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02-02-2012, 12:25 PM   #16
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I've shot a few days at those temperatures here in northern norway with both M lenses and the WR kit lenses. I just leave everything in my kitbag for a couple of hours when i come back in, and haven't had any problems so far. Batterylife has also been good if i don't use liveview too much.

I have to comment on what Heie said. While i haven't been in the military, i do live in a cold place. Sweaty, wet hands? I haven't tried that, and i don't think i will. What happens if cold air gets into your glove? What happens if the latex glove rips open? And how do your hands look after 6 hours? I use thick 100% wool gloves or mittens, and when it's really cold, i pull a pair of windproof, breathable cotton gloves on top of those. I've found it to be the only thing that works when it's really cold and windy. I have to say i don't know if your trick works; i'm sure it does, or else you wouldn't have posted it, i just don't think it's a good idea

I don't know if the reason for double socks not working is what you described, personally i have a theory it's got something to do with not having a layer of insulating air inside your boot, but it's true, it doesn't work. Thick, 100% wool right on the bare skin is a very good, perhaps the best option.

I've always wondered why you military people tucked your pants in your boots, it looks silly I never do it myself; it is uncomfortable, especially when you're wearing two or three layers...and when it's -17 and wind, you should wear 2 or 3 layers. The inner, thin, 100% wool(again) is of course tucked into the boot, if that counts.

Hydration is always important

02-02-2012, 01:12 PM   #17
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I haven't had any problems shooting in the cold. Yes, it was cold for a while here in Chicago before el Nino got everything warm and muddy. My K-10 I had out in very cold weather below 0F petty frequently the past few winters. Don't plan on using it indoors anytime soon after the cold excursion is my only real advice.

Pants and boots? Get some gaiters then go romp in the snow.

Last edited by TER-OR; 02-02-2012 at 01:13 PM. Reason: added comment
02-02-2012, 03:50 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bratz Quote
Thanks for all the good advice guys, much appreciated! A lot of hints both when it comes to equipment care and dressing up that I will take with me on the day.

After reading the responses I will take my FA31, and keep the camera and lens in the bag to acclimatize on the bedroom floor (should be +12C more or less) upon my return.

Oh, and yes: -17C is cold, to those above who wondered about that comment in the original post. What I meant was that -17C is not so cold that you can not dress to stay warm, and just as important: not colder than that I expect the K-5 to function reasonably. And the bonus is that I can keep a can of beer in my bag, and it will be nice and cold even after a couple of hours of shooting (the beer brought solely for the purpose of avoiding dehydration, of course).

I'll update this thread Saturday evening with my experiences from the day.
where do you plan to have a shoot at saturday??

I live an hour from Lillestrøm, maybe we could "celebrate" the World Pentax Day together??
02-02-2012, 04:09 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by morpho Quote
I've shot a few days at those temperatures here in northern norway with both M lenses and the WR kit lenses. I just leave everything in my kitbag for a couple of hours when i come back in, and haven't had any problems so far. Batterylife has also been good if i don't use liveview too much.

I have to comment on what Heie said. While i haven't been in the military, i do live in a cold place. Sweaty, wet hands? I haven't tried that, and i don't think i will. What happens if cold air gets into your glove? What happens if the latex glove rips open? And how do your hands look after 6 hours? I use thick 100% wool gloves or mittens, and when it's really cold, i pull a pair of windproof, breathable cotton gloves on top of those. I've found it to be the only thing that works when it's really cold and windy. I have to say i don't know if your trick works; i'm sure it does, or else you wouldn't have posted it, i just don't think it's a good idea

I don't know if the reason for double socks not working is what you described, personally i have a theory it's got something to do with not having a layer of insulating air inside your boot, but it's true, it doesn't work. Thick, 100% wool right on the bare skin is a very good, perhaps the best option.

I've always wondered why you military people tucked your pants in your boots, it looks silly I never do it myself; it is uncomfortable, especially when you're wearing two or three layers...and when it's -17 and wind, you should wear 2 or 3 layers. The inner, thin, 100% wool(again) is of course tucked into the boot, if that counts.

Hydration is always important
+1 For wool and layers. As far as how to dress for cold, this is what we used to do.

02-02-2012, 04:33 PM   #20
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I have taken my K10D out in the cold almost on a daily basis in the winter. Our winters are around 5 1/2 months long and we have periods where it will go to 30 to 35, sometimes 40 below.

I don't go out in 30 below...but -20 to -25 isn't too bad if you dress for it. I put the K10D in it's case in the car after taking it out of a warm house. When I reach my destination...usually forest trails ...I take the camera out of the case and start walking down the trails.

I've done this for 5 years with the K10D and so far have had no problems. However I'm not as hardy as I used to be and when it get's 20 to 25 below...I find 45 to 60 minutes about my limit. The camera however is functioning fine.

Also I carry a heavy duty garbage bag in my winter parka...if it starts to snow, I wrap the camera in the bag. I know the K10D is weatherproof, but I can't bring myself to getting camera equipment wet.

BTW, as someone mentioned...condensation sets up...when you go from the cold to the warm, not from the warm to the cold.
02-02-2012, 05:42 PM   #21
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I've had my K10, K20 and K5 out in temps down to -40 C. without any problems. I noticed that my battery lasted longer than those on friends' cameras, they had the 'other brands'. Could be chance, could be something real going on - maybe we will do some experiments sometime!

My biggest problem is my own comfort rather then the camera's comfort. Once I'm almost frozen I pop the lens cap on, pop the camera in the bag, put it and myself in the car and get going towards a warm house.

Lesmore - I always have a heavy duty garbage bag in my camera bag too - I have been known to use it to keep the snow off my knees or butt if a shot requres a low down position. The snow easily slides off so it can go back in the bag withot making things wet.
02-02-2012, 06:18 PM   #22
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Not sure if it was mentioned but if wearing gloves the shutter release can be a bit tricky to half press for focus then release, so normally most take off gloves to operate the shutter, but, if you set the shutter release to not focus with half press, and then use the dedicated AF button of the back it makes it very easy to AF then take the pic whilst wearing gloves that prevent you from feeling the half press. Just take a few shots to accustom yourself, hit the AF button on the back with your thumb, the take the pic with your finger as normal.

Also good way of shooting in bumpy conditions like on a boat ect ect.
02-02-2012, 06:49 PM   #23
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The biggest challenge of cold weather is fog on the viewfinder. A wipe with a bare finger gets rid of it. I'm thinking of some kind of kerchief that would direct my breath away.

02-03-2012, 12:57 AM   #24
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Cold like this?

Icy ocean:


02-03-2012, 01:26 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by slartibartfast Quote
where do you plan to have a shoot at saturday??

I live an hour from Lillestrøm, maybe we could "celebrate" the World Pentax Day together??
For sure!

I'll be touring the Lillestrøm area. There is a walkway on the river bank, surrounding the town, where there are a few nice opportunities (a farm besøksgård), a factory, a small boat harbor, some bridges and the train station - all in all about five km walk, I suppose). I might finish up in the city centre, but if you know Lillestrøm you know that it is not known for it's architectural brilliance

I plan to start the day at 07:45 to be ready by sunrise and then just walk around seeing if something presents itself. I have to finish up at 12:30 due to family obligations.

If this sounds tempting send me a PM and we'll exchange contact details. If not maybe we could do a Oslo Pentax day with other Norwegians at a later date?
02-03-2012, 06:40 AM   #26
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I had an avid outdoor photographer buddy of mine suggest that after your day of shooting in cold temperatures, take your jacket / parka off outside your door (just before you go in!), wrap your camera and lenses in the jacket with the cold side in and stick the bundle someplace in your house where it can warm up gradually. I think he meant wrap up the whole camera bag in the jacket. This will allow everything to warm slowly and reduce any condensation (he advocated about 2 hours, as others have suggested here).

I keep a glove with missing fingertips in my camera bag to replace my mitt or glove for my right hand while shooting in cold weather.
02-04-2012, 12:09 PM - 1 Like   #27
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So a summary of my day out:

Temperature turned out to be -20C. I went out at 07:55. Beautiful sunrise, and clear skies.

Clothing
Feet: wool sox and leather boots.
Lower body: wool boxershorts, wool pants and windproof ski pants
Upper body: cotton perforated "wife beater", thin wool shirt, thick wool sweather and thick parkas
Hands: leather gloves with wool lining
Head: Buff headnecker and russian style faux fur hat

The hands were the only problem of the day. Obviously, to handle a camera you need fingers, so mittens were not an option for me. I am lucky that my parkas has fleece lined outer pockets, that helped warm my fingers, but I had severe spells of "nail bursts" during the trip. It was expeced though, as I suffered frostbite during my army service on my fingers and my earbuds - those are always the areas that get hit first, when winter kicks in.

Lower and upper body felt perfect for the entire walk - dressing in layers is key: keep the wind out, and put three or four layers on the upper body and you'll be fine, even in -30C.

I did use cold weather cream on my face before going out, as the cheeks and nose are unprotected from the chill - glad I did. The Buff really was handy in keeping my breath from fogging the viewfinder. Kept me warm also. Buy it, if you don't have one.

Equipment:
Took the K-5 with the FA43, 0.6 and 0.9 ND filters, a polarizer, my Domke F-3X and the Gorillapod.
The K-5 performed without issues. Obviously the viewfinder will fog a little and the LCD will be slower in -20C, but the camera functions flawlessly. Upon my return I left in in the Domke bag on the bedroom floor, and then took the bag out in the living room after a few hours. A quick function test this aftenoon turned out as expected: no issues.

The Domke F-3X is my favorite bag because of it's compactness and ability to hold more than expected. Today it was almost empty, but I was still glad I brought a bag (I don't use a neck strap, but a leather grip, and holding the camera in my hands for the entire walk would have left my fingers so cold I would have cried).

Forget the Gorillapod in low temperatures: the joints of the legs gets mushy, and will fail you. Also, the ballhead became hard to manipulate as it froze (propably true for all other ballheads as well). I regret not bringing a "proper" tripod, even if the weight would have been greater.

Shooting
I tried using ND filters to capture smoke and frost. The remote did not work (propably user error), and since the Gorillapod did not handle the cold, most of my shots on bulb got ruined. I used Live view for many of the shots, which worked well, even if the LCD got slow. It is impossible to avoid some fogging of the viewfinder in these temperatures, but using the Buff helped a lot - I had no real problems using the viewfinder for my walk.

I turned off SR before going out, which turned out to be a mistake. The cold and the stress that follows ("get the shot off before your fingers fall off") made many of my shots turn out unsharp due to camera shake.

Conclusion
All in all, a fun day. As always I went out optimistic, thinking that this would be the day I turned in to Robert Kapa, but, alas, I came back with the usual mediocre set of shots. Still, I had fun, and I also learned a few things. I'd like to thank everyone who contributed in the thread for their helpful insights, and I hope you enjoyed your World Pentax Day - wherever you are.

Here are my two keepers from the day:


02-04-2012, 03:37 PM   #28
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I like # 2 the underside of the bridge...nice sweeping vista...great pix....not mediocre at all. In my book when you go out shooting...if you get one great pix...then it's been a successful photography day. Any more...well that's a bonus day. To me, photography is like fishing....if it was all about getting masses of good pictures...or large amounts of fish...it would be called catching.

Yeah...maybe my reasoning is hard to follow but i think most will get the gist.

Just being out and about with my cameras is great fun.
02-05-2012, 09:35 AM   #29
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I took my K-5 out today in -15 to -18c for over an hour, with just the kit 18-55 WR lens on it. No bag or any other protection. I kept it on my shoulder hanging from the strap when not in use. I shot 58 frames. Absolutely no problems at all. Battery never got weak, in fact the only thing I noticed was the top LCD got a bit slow after a while.

I just brought it inside without bagging it, a tiny amount condensed on the front lens element, but I just left the lens cap off until it dissipated. Downloaded the shots about 15 minutes later.

The K-5 passed my first real weather test with flying colors. If I were to go for more extreme cold or longer duration, I would likely want to take a spare battery and keep it in a warm inside pocket just in case the cold starts to get to the battery. However, today, I noticed no battery degradation at all.
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