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07-24-2010, 06:50 PM   #1
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Pentax K-x and the cold

I知 a relatively new owner of a K-x...

I知 taking most of my pictures when I travel (backpack)... I love the features of my camera(low light IQ)... and for the usage that I知 making, I don稚 really more bells and whistles... except that I知 a little bite worry about its weather resistance...

I could deal with rain and dust by simply not taking any pictures (not the most interesting time to take pictures anyway... and I carry a dry bag just in case)... but the cold is a different issue that i can稚 really avoid.... and where will be interested to take pictures.

In the user manual, they say that I not could use my camera below 0C.... So I知 was wondering what will happen if i try to take a picture with my camera at -10c (or -20c)...

Thanks for your advice.
Ben

07-24-2010, 07:00 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ben_leg Quote
I知 a relatively new owner of a K-x...

I知 taking most of my pictures when I travel (backpack)... I love the features of my camera(low light IQ)... and for the usage that I知 making, I don稚 really more bells and whistles... except that I知 a little bite worry about its weather resistance...

I could deal with rain and dust by simply not taking any pictures (not the most interesting time to take pictures anyway... and I carry a dry bag just in case)... but the cold is a different issue that i can稚 really avoid.... and where will be interested to take pictures.

In the user manual, they say that I not could use my camera below 0C.... So I知 was wondering what will happen if i try to take a picture with my camera at -10c (or -20c)...

Thanks for your advice.
Ben
In low temperatures, your problem will be batteries, not the camera. The manufacturer's specifications are basically that they have tested the camera to that temperature, not that it will blow up if you turn it on. I have used an SF-1 at -30 C, and all that happened was that the top plate LCD wouldn't work right. I do have a cold pack for it - a battery pack and 1 meter cord that has an end that replaced the battery housing in the grip.
07-25-2010, 11:45 AM   #3
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That is good to know that i will still be able to use my camera if it get really cold... I知 guessing that i that i should be careful about condensation (ie put in into the dry bag until it get to the ambient temperature)

But no need to upgrade my camera for a weatherised version (on ebay, i could exchange my k-x for a k20 without having to spend a lot of money... but i get an older technologies)
07-25-2010, 11:53 AM   #4
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Keep battery's warm in your pocket. In this way you can use the camera for a short while when you insert the battery's at the moment you want to take pictures.

The K-7 is more usable in the cold, even in -15.

Try your K-x in the freezer, so you know how it will react.

07-25-2010, 02:33 PM   #5
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In the cold, extra batteries are helpful. I have 3 total. When one battery gets slow, replace it and put the cold one in your pocket. When they warm up, batteries will somewhat revive.

Also, carry a microfiber cloth. Cold will often fog your lens. When you bring your camera inside after a shoot, put it in a plastic bag. Let it warm to room temperature before removing it. There's always more moisture in warm air than cold and a cold lens really likes to fog when brought into a warmer environment.
07-26-2010, 03:59 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ben_leg Quote
So I’m was wondering what will happen if i try to take a picture with my camera at -10c (or -20c)...
I don't know about -20 Celsius, but I used my K-m in +10, 0 and around -5 Celsius (although not too much because I can't stand cold lol).
In cold weather you may have these issues:
  • (very) reduced battery performance
  • slower operation - camera response time increases
  • condensation
  • LCD may crack
  • shutter may stuck in extreme cold

I think I read somehwere that somebody climbed very high mountain in very cold weather with his K-x. Can't remember the article or the website though...
07-26-2010, 05:08 AM   #7
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As menitioned; The batteries are the main issue when in the cold. Keep extra batteries close to Your body. I've operated the K7 below -40c with success (10 min batterytime before need of heating).

Another issue is dew problems when re-entering heated areas (K-x are not weather sealed). This may be solved by using a plastic bag (put camera in, fill with cold air and keep sealed until camera temp equals room temp). I use this even on the K7 when inside for a shorter period, it aviods that dew gets frosen on camera when re-entering cold areas.
07-26-2010, 05:15 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by tiltman Quote
It avoids that dew gets frosen on camera when re-entering cold areas.
I do the same thing in Florida, where below-freezing temperatures are a big problem.


07-26-2010, 08:09 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by simico Quote
I don't know about -20 Celsius, but I used my K-m in +10, 0 and around -5 Celsius (although not too much because I can't stand cold lol).
In cold weather you may have these issues:
  • (very) reduced battery performance
  • slower operation - camera response time increases
  • condensation
  • LCD may crack
  • shutter may stuck in extreme cold

I think I read somehwere that somebody climbed very high mountain in very cold weather with his K-x. Can't remember the article or the website though...
Only once did I have a camera that did not function due to cold. In 1965, in Northern Quebec, my brother-in-law to be took me for a ride in a Piper Cub to view my future (and 45 years as of the 24th) wife's home town. The camera appeared to work correctly - it was an original Pentax, right down to the 25/50/100/200/500 shutter speed sequence. The film was completely blank during only the exposures taken while flying. My best guess as to the problem was that the shutter curtains had frozen together. Other than that, I have seldom worried about weather with my cameras. I usually give up much earlier than my camera does. It is nice to know, though, that my K10 + DA* can go under a waterfall without damage. It did.
07-26-2010, 08:15 AM   #10
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I live in a tropical country, how can I fight mositure on my Kx?
is having weather sealed body and lens prevents the camera from having moistures..

im a little bit paranoid lol
07-26-2010, 08:54 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by redeleon Quote
I live in a tropical country, how can I fight mositure on my Kx?
is having weather sealed body and lens prevents the camera from having moistures..

im a little bit paranoid lol
We are all paranoid about our toys. My wife still laughs at me for being so anal about my gear. She likes it when I get a new toy, though - she gets the last greatest one. She's using an MZ-S now - the SF-1 was too heavy. I bought the MZ-S when she started using the SF-1 instead of her ME because her eyes were missing focus too often. I bought the K10d with a small part of my inheritance when my Dad went to his reward, and she took over the lighter MZ-S and the FA 24-90.

That said, I think in the Phillipines, I would invest a few dollars in a sealed box with envelopes of that keep-things-dry silicone stuff. If you get the reusable version, you just heat it for a while to evaporate off all the moisture to make them new again.
07-26-2010, 01:07 PM   #12
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I take mine skiing and haven't had a problem yet. The batteries die faster, but Lithiums hold up really well and most of the time Eneloops do fine as well.
I keep the camera in my jacket pocket so that helps keep it warm.
So far, so good at temps down to maybe +10 F.
07-26-2010, 01:22 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
I take mine skiing and haven't had a problem yet. The batteries die faster, but Lithiums hold up really well...
+1
The earlier posts pointed nicely the issues of battery life in the cold. I would recommend strongly to follow mattb123's advice to use Lithium batteries. I have done of lot of field measurments (any kind) and the batteries are often a key component. In the field, we take the longest-life batteries to minimise intempestive stoppage and Lithium batteries can be highly recomended.

Further take several packs of Lithium batteries with you, because they are not always sold in the local, countryside shops.

Last edited by hcc; 07-26-2010 at 01:25 PM. Reason: Typos
07-26-2010, 01:27 PM   #14
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i found up that total low for camera is around -30`C, after some 1.5 mins exposed camera stopped responding till i didn't put it under jacket for some while.
07-26-2010, 01:41 PM   #15
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I went shooting startrails with my K-x in the winter, it was about -20 Celsius outside and I took a 15 minute exposure with now problems whatsoever, plus the dark frame, of wich I was outside about five minutes before getting inside. The batteries held up quite nicely, I use panasonic Infiniums.
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