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08-04-2022, 08:32 PM   #1
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Pentax 67II Issue- Cold/ Wet Weather Conditions- Is Yours Ok?

I had to sell off my 67II camera at a loss to me, because it became unreliable with an intermittent shutter drag problem. The repair outlet I sent it to for a CLA on it, tried to fix it twice and after the second attempt, the issue still persisted. It wasn't every frame it did this, but on occasion, a couple shots or so were affected. On some of the last couple rolls I had through it, the camera was fine. So you really couldn't tell when a shot will have the issue. I noticed the issue persisted more when it was cold outside, and when there was higher moisture content in the air. My tech told me its a fault of the design of the 67II, because of the many magnets in the shutter mechanism. The tech said these magnets can be affected by cold weather, or wet weather. He said this type of conditions were what was causing my shutter drag issue. I had less issues with my camera when the weather was warmer outside. I have since gone back to the version 1 of the 67, and my tech said the older version is rock solid stable. I have had no issues with the two version one 67s I have owned/ currently own.

So I asked one person recently who still owns a 67II and asked him how his camera has been in cold wet conditions. He said he's taken it out in snow and rainy conditions and has had no issues with it. So this had me wondering if my tech was right on his assessment of the 67II and the magnets, or if my particular camera was just a lemon, and or the tech wasn't able to fix it correctly.

So people who own a 67II at some point, how was your camera in colder conditions or when there was higher moisture in the air? Did you have any issues with it then?


Last edited by braxus; 08-04-2022 at 08:48 PM.
08-04-2022, 09:55 PM - 3 Likes   #2
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I used to own two 67iis and used them in cold conditions, including photographing trains in Inner Mongolia in temperatures down to -30 Celsius (about -22 Fahrenheit). Often, I'd be outside all day in extreme temperatures.

I did have some problems, but never a shutter issue. I had one lens where the aperture blades buckled because they had frozen and then got damaged when they tried to move. I had to work hard to avoid condensation. Various other issues. But never did I have a single shutter issue or mis-exposed frame. I am talking about a total of three trips, each for about 2 weeks, with lots of extended use in those conditions. So I find it hard to believe that there was a problem with the design. Unless it's something that shows up with age. This was the best part of 20 years ago and the cameras were both pretty new.

Here's an example of the type of shot I got. P67ii with 105mm lens and Velvia 100F.

Last edited by Adam; 08-04-2022 at 10:53 PM.
08-04-2022, 11:15 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ed Hurst Quote
I used to own two 67iis and used them in cold conditions, including photographing trains in Inner Mongolia in temperatures down to -30 Celsius (about -22 Fahrenheit). Often, I'd be outside all day in extreme temperatures.

I did have some problems, but never a shutter issue. I had one lens where the aperture blades buckled because they had frozen and then got damaged when they tried to move. I had to work hard to avoid condensation. Various other issues. But never did I have a single shutter issue or mis-exposed frame. I am talking about a total of three trips, each for about 2 weeks, with lots of extended use in those conditions. So I find it hard to believe that there was a problem with the design. Unless it's something that shows up with age. This was the best part of 20 years ago and the cameras were both pretty new.

Here's an example of the type of shot I got. P67ii with 105mm lens and Velvia 100F.
Beautiful shot!

It further increases my never-ending wanderlust.
08-04-2022, 11:30 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by marco_gea Quote
Beautiful shot!

It further increases my never-ending wanderlust.

Thanks! But you won't be seeing what's in that picture. It was taken in the last winter of steam on the line (this was early 2005)... Now it's diesels all the way!

There's quite a story behind the picture. Let me know if you want to hear it - but it's rather off-topic


Last edited by Ed Hurst; 08-05-2022 at 12:10 AM.
08-05-2022, 12:55 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ed Hurst Quote
Thanks! But you won't be seeing what's in that picture. It was taken in the last winter of steam on the line (this was early 2005)... Now it's diesels all the way!

There's quite a story behind the picture. Let me know if you want to hear it - but it's rather off-topic
That is a fantastic picture Ed. I can't wait to hear the story.....
08-05-2022, 03:09 AM - 4 Likes   #6
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Okey dokes! Well, here goes...

To passionate followers of steam, the Jing Peng Pass in China's Inner Mongolia was something of an historical miracle. In the 1990s, when the rest of the world had largely finished with steam (setting aside little pockets at the time, like Cuba's sugar railways and North Korea), China decided to build a massive new railway - primarily to transport coal - and operate it with steam. Think about that! It's approaching the 21st century, and there's a new, long distance railway line operated exclusively with giants of steam! And not just any railway. Mountains. Great plains. Huge expanses of dramatic countryside. Winter temperatures so cold it would punch the air out of your lungs. I once saw a videographer up there with part of his face missing because he'd shot a long sequence and his camera had frozen to his face. The only place I have ever gone where a steam train would pass you and, within moments, the water that had seconds before been superheated steam would fall around you as fresh crystals of ice with a scattered, soft noise half padding, half tinkling. The only place I've ever been where teary eyes would start to freeze shut and nostril hairs would crunch if you wiped your nose. Where the time you needed to worry about your toes was when they stopped hurting.

It was truly a wonderful, harsh, bleak, awe-inspiring place.

But this crazy new heaven of steam was to be short-lived. By the winter of 2004/5, we all knew that this would be the last winter of steam and diesels' global march of tedious dominance would come here too.

So, I did one last trip back to experience it one last time.

Which brings me to this specific picture. Why is it that the best pictures always have some special, particular factors designed by malicious fate to make them the hardest to get? This location is known as Tunnel 4, after the tunnel from which you can see the train emerging. To get to the position, you have to scramble up a mountainside. When you get there, you realise that in the winter, the sun starts the day behind the hills and it's in shadow. About 30 minutes after it pops over the hill, it has moved to a position where the light angle is all wrong, and there's no decent light on the side of the train. 30 minutes a day with the light right, and that's it. But these trains don't run to a timetable - these are freights and they run as needed at different times each day. So you try to work out if a train is approaching in the right window, and go for it if you fancy your chances. Thing is - there were lots of wonderful vantage points that were easy to do, near the road; you could chase the train and blaze off loads of them. Or you could climb up here - which takes time - and try just for this. You really had to want it, and hope nothing would go wrong.

Which brings me to the biggest problem. The prevailing wind. It's from the west here which puts it directly at odds with that 30-minute window of morning light. If the wind blows from the west, the steam would blow down and hide the train in white mess. The picture would be ruined. My friends and I had tried this shot quite a few times and always - always - something had gone wrong. We would sacrifice all those easy shots near the road, several per train, try this, and get nothing. The train would come too soon and be in shadow. Or too late and be lit from behind. Or the light would be perfect but the steam would blow down. Or a cloud would hide the sunlight entirely. Something. Every. Single. Infuriating. Time.

In fact, we'd had our last go at it. If we were to see all the other places on our trip, we had to wave goodbye to the Jing Peng Pass for the last time. There would be no further visits after the steam had finished. We'd valiantly tried, and failed.

BUT THEN
My friend Ian's knee asserted itself.
We were sharing a room and one evening, I heard a clatter then an agonised roar. I rushed into our en suite bathroom and found that water had found its way down the back of the bath and onto the floor, turning it as slippery as an ice rink. As Ian got out of the bath, it tipped (not fixed very well in these rural places) and he was propelled onto the treacherous floor. He lost control, twisted and dislocated his kneecap. Imagine the poor chap's predicament. Several days' drive away from civilisation, in a rural location, with a dislocated knee. We got help. A local doctor came, by which time he had put the knee back himself. The doc gave him drugs unknown to western science that - shall we say - stopped him caring about the pain. We had to get the village carpenter to knock up some crutches for him, for the day when he could move (which would not be that day or the day after). Any crutches in the area - if there were any - had not been built for a man over 6 foot tall.

So the poor guy had to spend some time in bed until the pain/swelling/drugs wore off enough for him to be moved. There was nothing for it - we had to have a couple of extra days on the Jing Peng Pass.

And so it was that we had one last try at Tunnel 4. I persuaded the group to do it rather than go for lots of those easy shots. The gamble was on me... Quite a responsibility, as we all knew it was sacrificing many other shots. As we climbed up the hill, one last time, it was all in shadow. Not only from the hills, but from a bank of cloud - while the other side of the valley, where we might have gone, was bathed in light. We saw a train approaching miles away, perhaps half an hour off. It still seemed hopeless. Can you believe that as the sun rose over the hills, the cloud sank too? It was still there, but the sun rested just over the cloud - just high enough to light the scene. The train stormed out of the tunnel, just as the wind dropped, and - miracle of miracles - the steam stayed up! We had done it! On a day when we should have been driving back home, we had nailed Tunnel 4! On the last day when we could ever have tried it before steam finished there. Somehow, the efforts had paid off.

But not for poor Ian. At the bottom of the valley, in a bed, he was lying there resting his knee slightly deliriously. I suppose he was never going to get the shot. If he had been well enough to have joined us, we wouldn't have been there, but off home anyway. So it wasn't his fate. But i do feel for him and did at the time, even as we stood on the windswept mountainside, hundreds of miles from anything really, whooping and jumping and punching the air and hugging each other that we had achieved the shot of a lifetime.

And that's the story of the shot!

I did warn you it was a digression...

I call it The Ballad of Ian's Knee.

Last edited by Ed Hurst; 08-05-2022 at 03:18 AM.
08-05-2022, 03:29 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ed Hurst Quote
Thanks! But you won't be seeing what's in that picture. It was taken in the last winter of steam on the line (this was early 2005)... Now it's diesels all the way!

There's quite a story behind the picture. Let me know if you want to hear it - but it's rather off-topic

Honestly, it's the landscape that attracts me, not the steam train (although I admit that it does enhance that picture).
But coal-fired steam engines? No thanks. Electric trains all the way.

08-05-2022, 03:29 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Nice story and picture as well, well done!

Phil.

PS to the OP my P67II has not had any issues in the cold as well, though I don't believe I've shot it below zero Celsius. (Just above freezing)
08-05-2022, 03:34 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ed Hurst Quote
Okey dokes! Well, here goes...

To passionate followers of steam, the Jing Peng Pass in China's Inner Mongolia was something of an historical miracle. In the 1990s, when the rest of the world had largely finished with steam (setting aside little pockets at the time, like Cuba's sugar railways and North Korea), China decided to build a massive new railway - primarily to transport coal - and operate it with steam. Think about that! It's approaching the 21st century, and there's a new, long distance railway line operated exclusively with giants of steam! And not just any railway. Mountains. Great plains. Huge expanses of dramatic countryside. Winter temperatures so cold it would punch the air out of your lungs. I once saw a videographer up there with part of his face missing because he'd shot a long sequence and his camera had frozen to his face. The only place I have ever gone where a steam train would pass you and, within moments, the water that had seconds before been superheated steam would fall around you as fresh crystals of ice with a scattered, soft noise half padding, half tinkling. The only place I've ever been where teary eyes would start to freeze shut and nostril hairs would crunch if you wiped your nose. Where the time you needed to worry about your toes was when they stopped hurting.

It was truly a wonderful, harsh, bleak, awe-inspiring place.

But this crazy new heaven of steam was to be short-lived. By the winter of 2004/5, we all knew that this would be the last winter of steam and diesels' global march of tedious dominance would come here too.

So, I did one last trip back to experience it one last time.

Which brings me to this specific picture. Why is it that the best pictures always have some special, particular factors designed by malicious fate to make them the hardest to get? This location is known as Tunnel 4, after the tunnel from which you can see the train emerging. To get to the position, you have to scramble up a mountainside. When you get there, you realise that in the winter, the sun starts the day behind the hills and it's in shadow. About 30 minutes after it pops over the hill, it has moved to a position where the light angle is all wrong, and there's no decent light on the side of the train. 30 minutes a day with the light right, and that's it. But these trains don't run to a timetable - these are freights and they run as needed at different times each day. So you try to work out if a train is approaching in the right window, and go for it if you fancy your chances. Thing is - there were lots of wonderful vantage points that were easy to do, near the road; you could chase the train and blaze off loads of them. Or you could climb up here - which takes time - and try just for this. You really had to want it, and hope nothing would go wrong.

Which brings me to the biggest problem. The prevailing wind. It's from the west here which puts it directly at odds with that 30-minute window of morning light. If the wind blows from the west, the steam would blow down and hide the train in white mess. The picture would be ruined. My friends and I had tried this shot quite a few times and always - always - something had gone wrong. We would sacrifice all those easy shots near the road, several per train, try this, and get nothing. The train would come too soon and be in shadow. Or too late and be lit from behind. Or the light would be perfect but the steam would blow down. Or a cloud would hide the sunlight entirely. Something. Every. Single. Infuriating. Time.

In fact, we'd had our last go at it. If we were to see all the other places on our trip, we had to wave goodbye to the Jing Peng Pass for the last time. There would be no further visits after the steam had finished. We'd valiantly tried, and failed.

BUT THEN
My friend Ian's knee asserted itself.
We were sharing a room and one evening, I heard a clatter then an agonised roar. I rushed into our en suite bathroom and found that water had found its way down the back of the bath and onto the floor, turning it as slippery as an ice rink. As Ian got out of the bath, it tipped (not fixed very well in these rural places) and he was propelled onto the treacherous floor. He lost control, twisted and dislocated his kneecap. Imagine the poor chap's predicament. Several days' drive away from civilisation, in a rural location, with a dislocated knee. We got help. A local doctor came, by which time he had put the knee back himself. The doc gave him drugs unknown to western science that - shall we say - stopped him caring about the pain. We had to get the village carpenter to knock up some crutches for him, for the day when he could move (which would not be that day or the day after). Any crutches in the area - if there were any - had not been built for a man over 6 foot tall.

So the poor guy had to spend some time in bed until the pain/swelling/drugs wore off enough for him to be moved. There was nothing for it - we had to have a couple of extra days on the Jing Peng Pass.

And so it was that we had one last try at Tunnel 4. I persuaded the group to do it rather than go for lots of those easy shots. The gamble was on me... Quite a responsibility, as we all knew it was sacrificing many other shots. As we climbed up the hill, one last time, it was all in shadow. Not only from the hills, but from a bank of cloud - while the other side of the valley, where we might have gone, was bathed in light. We saw a train approaching miles away, perhaps half an hour off. It still seemed hopeless. Can you believe that as the sun rose over the hills, the cloud sank too? It was still there, but the sun rested just over the cloud - just high enough to light the scene. The train stormed out of the tunnel, just as the wind dropped, and - miracle of miracles - the steam stayed up! We had done it! On a day when we should have been driving back home, we had nailed Tunnel 4! On the last day when we could ever have tried it before steam finished there. Somehow, the efforts had paid off.

But not for poor Ian. At the bottom of the valley, in a bed, he was lying there resting his knee slightly deliriously. I suppose he was never going to get the shot. If he had been well enough to have joined us, we wouldn't have been there, but off home anyway. So it wasn't his fate. But i do feel for him and did at the time, even as we stood on the windswept mountainside, hundreds of miles from anything really, whooping and jumping and punching the air and hugging each other that we had achieved the shot of a lifetime.

And that's the story of the shot!

I did warn you it was a digression...

I call it The Ballad of Ian's Knee.
All very romantic. But I'm sure you will appreciate that that very landscape, so beautiful and pristine, was being blighted by toxic and acidic depositions thanks to those same picturesque ice crystals forming out of the steam...
Sorry to be ruthlessly realistic.
08-05-2022, 03:42 AM   #10
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There was certainly pollution, but the ice crystals were just the condensed steam. H20. The smoke was polluting and - even more so - the coal they were transporting would do huge harm. Not the steam itself.
I don't pretend this did no harm. But they weren't running it for us photographers. It was happening without us. Some photographers even tried, after they got rid of the steam, to persuade them to keep a few engines on to stimulate tourism - but they were having none of it. So we weren't encouraging or prolonging this in any way - just recording it. That said, the coal they hauled was doing the biggest harm - probably being used to power all sorts of filthy industry - and that's still happening with the diesel-hauled trains even today - but with a lot less beauty.
But since it was happening anyway, it was certainly extremely beautiful and I am glad I was there to both see and experience it.
08-05-2022, 07:31 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by braxus Quote
My tech told me its a fault of the design of the 67II, because of the many magnets in the shutter mechanism. The tech said these magnets can be affected by cold weather, or wet weather.
Complete Baloney!! (I'd use another starts-with-b word, but I'm trying to be polite.)

As to their magnetic performance (i.e. field strength or orientation), permanent magnets are not affected by cold or wet. Well, they might get rusty in the long run if iron-based and got wet, or if the temperature goes into the many hundreds and exceeds the Curie point (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curie_temperature).
08-05-2022, 09:15 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ed Hurst Quote
Okey dokes! Well, here goes...

To passionate followers of steam, the Jing Peng Pass in China's Inner Mongolia was something of an historical miracle. In the 1990s, when the rest of the world had largely finished with steam (setting aside little pockets at the time, like Cuba's sugar railways and North Korea), China decided to build a massive new railway - primarily to transport coal - and operate it with steam. Think about that! It's approaching the 21st century, and there's a new, long distance railway line operated exclusively with giants of steam! And not just any railway. Mountains. Great plains. Huge expanses of dramatic countryside. Winter temperatures so cold it would punch the air out of your lungs. I once saw a videographer up there with part of his face missing because he'd shot a long sequence and his camera had frozen to his face. The only place I have ever gone where a steam train would pass you and, within moments, the water that had seconds before been superheated steam would fall around you as fresh crystals of ice with a scattered, soft noise half padding, half tinkling. The only place I've ever been where teary eyes would start to freeze shut and nostril hairs would crunch if you wiped your nose. Where the time you needed to worry about your toes was when they stopped hurting.

It was truly a wonderful, harsh, bleak, awe-inspiring place.

But this crazy new heaven of steam was to be short-lived. By the winter of 2004/5, we all knew that this would be the last winter of steam and diesels' global march of tedious dominance would come here too.

So, I did one last trip back to experience it one last time.

Which brings me to this specific picture. Why is it that the best pictures always have some special, particular factors designed by malicious fate to make them the hardest to get? This location is known as Tunnel 4, after the tunnel from which you can see the train emerging. To get to the position, you have to scramble up a mountainside. When you get there, you realise that in the winter, the sun starts the day behind the hills and it's in shadow. About 30 minutes after it pops over the hill, it has moved to a position where the light angle is all wrong, and there's no decent light on the side of the train. 30 minutes a day with the light right, and that's it. But these trains don't run to a timetable - these are freights and they run as needed at different times each day. So you try to work out if a train is approaching in the right window, and go for it if you fancy your chances. Thing is - there were lots of wonderful vantage points that were easy to do, near the road; you could chase the train and blaze off loads of them. Or you could climb up here - which takes time - and try just for this. You really had to want it, and hope nothing would go wrong.

Which brings me to the biggest problem. The prevailing wind. It's from the west here which puts it directly at odds with that 30-minute window of morning light. If the wind blows from the west, the steam would blow down and hide the train in white mess. The picture would be ruined. My friends and I had tried this shot quite a few times and always - always - something had gone wrong. We would sacrifice all those easy shots near the road, several per train, try this, and get nothing. The train would come too soon and be in shadow. Or too late and be lit from behind. Or the light would be perfect but the steam would blow down. Or a cloud would hide the sunlight entirely. Something. Every. Single. Infuriating. Time.

In fact, we'd had our last go at it. If we were to see all the other places on our trip, we had to wave goodbye to the Jing Peng Pass for the last time. There would be no further visits after the steam had finished. We'd valiantly tried, and failed.

BUT THEN
My friend Ian's knee asserted itself.
We were sharing a room and one evening, I heard a clatter then an agonised roar. I rushed into our en suite bathroom and found that water had found its way down the back of the bath and onto the floor, turning it as slippery as an ice rink. As Ian got out of the bath, it tipped (not fixed very well in these rural places) and he was propelled onto the treacherous floor. He lost control, twisted and dislocated his kneecap. Imagine the poor chap's predicament. Several days' drive away from civilisation, in a rural location, with a dislocated knee. We got help. A local doctor came, by which time he had put the knee back himself. The doc gave him drugs unknown to western science that - shall we say - stopped him caring about the pain. We had to get the village carpenter to knock up some crutches for him, for the day when he could move (which would not be that day or the day after). Any crutches in the area - if there were any - had not been built for a man over 6 foot tall.

So the poor guy had to spend some time in bed until the pain/swelling/drugs wore off enough for him to be moved. There was nothing for it - we had to have a couple of extra days on the Jing Peng Pass.

And so it was that we had one last try at Tunnel 4. I persuaded the group to do it rather than go for lots of those easy shots. The gamble was on me... Quite a responsibility, as we all knew it was sacrificing many other shots. As we climbed up the hill, one last time, it was all in shadow. Not only from the hills, but from a bank of cloud - while the other side of the valley, where we might have gone, was bathed in light. We saw a train approaching miles away, perhaps half an hour off. It still seemed hopeless. Can you believe that as the sun rose over the hills, the cloud sank too? It was still there, but the sun rested just over the cloud - just high enough to light the scene. The train stormed out of the tunnel, just as the wind dropped, and - miracle of miracles - the steam stayed up! We had done it! On a day when we should have been driving back home, we had nailed Tunnel 4! On the last day when we could ever have tried it before steam finished there. Somehow, the efforts had paid off.

But not for poor Ian. At the bottom of the valley, in a bed, he was lying there resting his knee slightly deliriously. I suppose he was never going to get the shot. If he had been well enough to have joined us, we wouldn't have been there, but off home anyway. So it wasn't his fate. But i do feel for him and did at the time, even as we stood on the windswept mountainside, hundreds of miles from anything really, whooping and jumping and punching the air and hugging each other that we had achieved the shot of a lifetime.

And that's the story of the shot!

I did warn you it was a digression...

I call it The Ballad of Ian's Knee.
Great story Ed, Thank you for sharing with us. It gives the picture a new meaning.
08-05-2022, 01:18 PM - 1 Like   #13
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My Pentax 67 II, purchased new in 2002, totally "froze" (blocked) 6 months after I got it, one day before Christmas. I sent it back to the Canadian Importer and it was repaired under warranty. They said it was "one of the electro-magnets" in the shutter mechanism that was defective. It has been going strong since, in any kind of weather.

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Last edited by RICHARD L.; 08-05-2022 at 01:27 PM.
08-05-2022, 05:46 PM   #14
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So it sounds like mine was a lemon then, and the magnet story was used because they couldn't repair it properly. I wonder if a different repair outlet would have fixed the issue?
08-06-2022, 01:51 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ed Hurst Quote
There was certainly pollution, but the ice crystals were just the condensed steam. H20. The smoke was polluting and - even more so - the coal they were transporting would do huge harm. Not the steam itself.
I don't pretend this did no harm. But they weren't running it for us photographers. It was happening without us. Some photographers even tried, after they got rid of the steam, to persuade them to keep a few engines on to stimulate tourism - but they were having none of it. So we weren't encouraging or prolonging this in any way - just recording it. That said, the coal they hauled was doing the biggest harm - probably being used to power all sorts of filthy industry - and that's still happening with the diesel-hauled trains even today - but with a lot less beauty.
But since it was happening anyway, it was certainly extremely beautiful and I am glad I was there to both see and experience it.
Not to be pedantic, but the ice crystals act as condensation nuclei for the pollutants. So they end up being concentrated in acids and soluble metals.
I have a degree in environmental chemistry, trust me
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