Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-01-2018, 12:57 PM   #1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
MossyRocks's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Minnesota
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 420
Cold weather shooting how cold is too cold

With winter approaching where I am and my want to go out and do a bunch of astro shooting up in northern Minnesota when the air is dry, sky is clear, and temps are cold by any measure (when F or C temp measurements become about the same) I was wondering if there are any concerns with gear while shooting when it is that cold?

I am aware of bringing things down to temp in a reasonable way, the shortened battery life, condensation when returning to a warm environment. I have solutions for all of these. But is there anything else I need to be aware of. The plan for power is a used car battery connected to an inverter with AC adapters for the cameras connected. Letting the cameras and lenses cool naturally in trunk on the multi hour drive up and then in the bags while things get set up for the cooling down. Bringing ziplock bags to put things in when done and letting them warm up slowly for the reheat.

So with those covered I am wondering if I need to be worried about the cold affecting other things?

I am planning on using a k2000 with a S-M-C 17mm fisheye takumar and a K-3 with a Sigma 300mm f/4 APO macro.

11-01-2018, 01:16 PM - 1 Like   #2
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Prince George, BC
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,660
The two main things to remember for cold weather shooting are:

- any cables will become stiffer and more brittle so due caution is required lest you snap any
- you need to keep your head, hands and feet warm somehow.

Take lots of hot chocolate

Jack
11-01-2018, 01:28 PM   #3
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 47,528
The K-3 is rated to -10C, but this also requires a weather sealed lens to work as specified. There is no spec for the K2000, so I'd just say go out and see what happens. If you're able to supply power to the cameras, you should be fine around that temperature range. I've heard reports of camera internals freezing up in extreme cold (i.e. -40 to -30C), due to moisture inside the mirror box turning into ice.

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover these costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

11-01-2018, 02:56 PM   #4
Otis Memorial Pentaxian
Loyal Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 30,997
A good rule of thumb is that if you are freezing to death, your camera is two steps ahead of you in the process. Beyond that are the published specifications for recent-model cameras and knowledge of the availability of insulated and heated "garments" for cameras/lenses and external power. (Note: the pros do not go into prolonged extreme cold with naked cameras and expect zero casualties.)


Steve

11-01-2018, 03:54 PM   #5
Pentaxian




Join Date: May 2016
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,014
I've used my k3ii with da limited lenses not much above or below freezing and everything worked fine. I'm not sure this was strictly within the recommended range because the lenses weren't wr. I was the first to give up before the gear because of my hands: thin gloves aren't warm enough and thicker ones don't allow using the camera. This was more walking or hiking and less picture taking, the camera stayed in the bag most of the time.
11-01-2018, 04:07 PM   #6
Pentaxian
photoptimist's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2016
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,639
One good effect of the cold is that a colder sensor is a less-noisy sensor.

The other issue is dew or frost on the lens. Any surface facing a nice clear sky (e.g., the astrophotographer's lens) is going to radiate heat into outer space and eventually become colder than the air. If the temperature of the exposed surface drops below the dew point, dew or frost will form. (See How to Dew-Proof Your Camera Lens ? PhotographingSpace.com for some ideas on how to deal with this.)

Have fun and stay warm!
11-01-2018, 04:26 PM - 1 Like   #7
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Fairbanks, AK
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,337
I’ve had no problems with my K-30 shooting in Alaska, including winter. I try not to change lenses until the camera warms back up when I go inside but other than that.
11-01-2018, 04:49 PM   #8
Resident Bagpiper
Loyal Site Supporter
bertwert's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Golden, BC
Photos: Albums
Posts: 9,856
Personal experience has been down to -30°C, -40 with windchill (that's in centigrade or fahrenheit...), but just taken quick out the bag for some quick shots and replaced.
Out for extended times (ie, no bag) I've been in -20°C snowing without any problems appearing, and I've accidentally dropped it in snowbanks.
But remember, they're not rated for that and only do what you're comfortable with.

11-01-2018, 04:56 PM   #9
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
Quartermaster James's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 649
Ditto the caution on the cables at low temps. All things plastic, really.
I don't think that I've had the K3 out any colder than -27F. But, except for the expected battery life, it performed fine.
11-01-2018, 05:48 PM   #10
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
jpzk's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Québec
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,638
QuoteOriginally posted by MossyRocks Quote
With winter approaching where I am and my want to go out and do a bunch of astro shooting up in northern Minnesota when the air is dry, sky is clear, and temps are cold by any measure (when F or C temp measurements become about the same) I was wondering if there are any concerns with gear while shooting when it is that cold?

I am aware of bringing things down to temp in a reasonable way, the shortened battery life, condensation when returning to a warm environment. I have solutions for all of these. But is there anything else I need to be aware of. The plan for power is a used car battery connected to an inverter with AC adapters for the cameras connected. Letting the cameras and lenses cool naturally in trunk on the multi hour drive up and then in the bags while things get set up for the cooling down. Bringing ziplock bags to put things in when done and letting them warm up slowly for the reheat.

So with those covered I am wondering if I need to be worried about the cold affecting other things?

I am planning on using a k2000 with a S-M-C 17mm fisheye takumar and a K-3 with a Sigma 300mm f/4 APO macro.
I live in a region where the temperature frequently goes way below minus 20 Celcius (-4F) in the winter and my gear consists of a K3 + DA*300/4.
The main problem happens when the gear has been travelled around in the warm car for a while and then I take it out in the cold ... immediate condensation on the lens and viewfinder "window".
I found that just before I decide to get out of the car that I roll the windows down a bit to let some colder air in the car. That seems to help decrease the condensation. You seem to have it figured out
Also: try not to take a picture from inside the car with the window down ... it sure makes the resulting picture very fuzzy.
Anyway, I always keep an extra freshly charged battery in my coat (inside) pocket, just to be safe. I also make sure that the batteries for the camera are also charged to full capacity.
The camera works fine under such extremely low temperature ... to some extent: it slows down quite a bit very fast.

I just realized that I'm just repeating what you already know ...
Anyway, I will follow up your thread to see what new ideas you've come up with. Always useful, right?

Cheers!
11-01-2018, 07:52 PM   #11
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
MossyRocks's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Minnesota
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 420
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
you need to keep your head, hands and feet warm somehow.
I'm not worried about me getting cold, I have the gear to keep me warm and comfortable for extended periods of time, literally days, out in the cold.

For power I wasn't going to bother with the tiny batteries in the camera but use an old but still good large car battery connected to an inverter with AC adapters running into the cameras.
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I've heard reports of camera internals freezing up in extreme cold (i.e. -40 to -30C), due to moisture inside the mirror box turning into ice.
It sounds like my biggest concern will be with any moisture in the lenses and camera bodies freezing so I will probably pack them in a large plastic bag several days before hand with some dried out silica gel pellets. I plan on not changing lenses when out to avoid having to move cold things as that seems like is sure fire way to break things.

I will be setting the apertures manually to eliminate one more moving thing with each shot to try and save on wear and possible breakages.
As far as plastic getting brittle I am aware of that and know to avoid movement.
QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
See How to Dew-Proof Your Camera Lens ? PhotographingSpace.com for some ideas on how to deal with this.
Concerning dew and/or frost I have a hood for the 300mm and have done the handwarmer trick, the 17mm fisheye will be another story as I need to figure out how to keep it warm. I will have a 12v power source so a fan attached to the tripod there is a good idea I hadn't thought of.

It is good to hear that there are some that have used these cameras in similar temps I am asking about for extended periods so I know it can be done. I've had both out when it has been in the -5F to 0F range (-20C to -17C) for an hour or so but not much longer and apart from that eating batteries haven't had an issue.

QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
One good effect of the cold is that a colder sensor is a less-noisy sensor.
That is part of why I want to do this in the winter. The others being that I can get an unbostructed view of the sky from the frozen lake, and the ultra clear humidity free skies.
I got inspired to try and do an overnight time lapse video by Sluggo's post and figure that with some astro processing in a really dark area seeing everything chug along would be cool. Why not make use of that extra data in each shot but since it is video the k2000 would work well enough for that and the 17mm would give a nice a wide view. For DSOs I will chase those with the 300mm and K-3 as that camera works much better for those.

Now to see about finding an AC adapter for the K2000, the k3 one is still available so I'm not worried there.

Thanks for the advise so far.
11-01-2018, 08:21 PM   #12
Otis Memorial Pentaxian
Loyal Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 30,997
QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
The other issue is dew or frost on the lens.
Dew or frost inside the lens or viewfinder! I have had both when moving from warm to cold when the warm was sufficiently humid.


Steve
11-01-2018, 09:02 PM - 1 Like   #13
hcc
Pentaxian
hcc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,598
As other said, condensation and lower battery life are two key issues in cold weather. In very cold weather, I always charge fully all my batteries before shooting and I take at least one spare battery (fully-charged), preferably two. Swapping batteries can be a challenge and, like for lens swapping, should be done only when appropriate.
My 5 cents...
11-01-2018, 09:58 PM - 1 Like   #14
Journeyman Cat Wrangler
Loyal Site Supporter
SSGGeezer's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Maine, U.S.
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,320
QuoteOriginally posted by MossyRocks Quote
I'm not worried about me getting cold, I have the gear to keep me warm and comfortable for extended periods of time, literally days, out in the cold.

For power I wasn't going to bother with the tiny batteries in the camera but use an old but still good large car battery connected to an inverter with AC adapters running into the cameras.

It sounds like my biggest concern will be with any moisture in the lenses and camera bodies freezing so I will probably pack them in a large plastic bag several days before hand with some dried out silica gel pellets. I plan on not changing lenses when out to avoid having to move cold things as that seems like is sure fire way to break things.

I will be setting the apertures manually to eliminate one more moving thing with each shot to try and save on wear and possible breakages.
As far as plastic getting brittle I am aware of that and know to avoid movement.

Concerning dew and/or frost I have a hood for the 300mm and have done the handwarmer trick, the 17mm fisheye will be another story as I need to figure out how to keep it warm. I will have a 12v power source so a fan attached to the tripod there is a good idea I hadn't thought of.

It is good to hear that there are some that have used these cameras in similar temps I am asking about for extended periods so I know it can be done. I've had both out when it has been in the -5F to 0F range (-20C to -17C) for an hour or so but not much longer and apart from that eating batteries haven't had an issue.


That is part of why I want to do this in the winter. The others being that I can get an unbostructed view of the sky from the frozen lake, and the ultra clear humidity free skies.
I got inspired to try and do an overnight time lapse video by Sluggo's post and figure that with some astro processing in a really dark area seeing everything chug along would be cool. Why not make use of that extra data in each shot but since it is video the k2000 would work well enough for that and the 17mm would give a nice a wide view. For DSOs I will chase those with the 300mm and K-3 as that camera works much better for those.

Now to see about finding an AC adapter for the K2000, the k3 one is still available so I'm not worried there.

Thanks for the advise so far.
I have spent hours outside at near -20 C with my KP and previously with my K-50. Shorter battery life, even with the grip on my KP, but you are overthinking things unless your camera is already brittle from age. Just don't force anything and change temperatures gradually. keep a bag with the camera and lenses going out and inside after you are done. You could always wrap a handwarmer under the camera body with a scarf or something.
11-02-2018, 05:51 AM - 2 Likes   #15
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
TER-OR's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Dundee, IL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,239
The biggest issue I've had in very cold outings is the battery. Just bring your second battery and put it in a pocket to stay warmer and swap when you need. Warming up is tougher, as mentioned above.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
bags, battery, camera, cameras, photography, technique
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to use your DSLR in Cold Weather & Shooting the Northern Lights Nitrogliserin Photographic Technique 41 11-26-2015 01:08 AM
All Weather vs. Weather Resistant jjeling Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 5 01-10-2014 12:31 PM
645D: How weather proof is weather proof ? larkis Pentax Medium Format 18 12-23-2011 03:03 AM
Sigma SD1 weather sealed, maybe weather sealed Sigma Lenses too? trd300gt Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 0 09-21-2010 10:12 PM
Cold Weather Shooting shiestmiester Pentax DSLR Discussion 2 10-02-2009 10:52 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:06 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top