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01-28-2014, 04:52 AM - 1 Like   #1
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K5 low temp performance

By mistake I left the K5 with a cheapo Tammy 18-200 mounted on it over night in the car.
When I got out to the car at 4 am it was -24 F (-30 C).

Anyway instead of taking it in right away I thought I would try a few shots to see how it would perform at this temp.

I fired off a series of fast bursts in C mode just to see what it would do.

Both the camera and lens functioned normally as far as I can tell and the files look normal.
Hard to tell about the files because it was dark and I just pointed it a lighted gas station two blocks away but given that they look about normal.

Right now it's defrosting out in the garage at about 28 degrees F (-3 C)

Just thought it might be of interest to some of you outdoor winter shooters.

01-28-2014, 06:15 AM   #2
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About two years ago I was shooting couple hours in -30 to -35C (-24 to -31F) with K-r + Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 OS HSM and only "problem" (besides awkward handling of a camera with mittens) was that HSM and LCDs got slower. Nothing got broken, not even the HSM which had been reported to "resign" in -10 to -15C (14 to 5F).
01-28-2014, 06:18 AM   #3
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The only problem I've found is if the battery is under half-charge, it starts to report depleted pretty quickly. At least mine does now...but I did buy a backup.
01-28-2014, 06:52 AM   #4
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I found one problem with shooting with the K5 in the well below freezing temperature range. That sucker is cold! As in my hands become really cold by holding it! Other than that all is well.

01-28-2014, 07:00 AM   #5
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My current K-x starts to act up at about -20C,
the other night at -27C I could only get 1-2 actuations
until it 'froze' and the rear LCD displayed a bunch of weird lines.
A quick on/off and it would always repeat the same behaviour.

An older K-x I sometimes use a spare (broken flash mount)
seems less affected by the extreme cold.
Lube on the mirror mechanism variations?

Last edited by mlatour; 01-28-2014 at 07:36 AM.
01-28-2014, 07:16 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
I found one problem with shooting with the K5 in the well below freezing temperature range. That sucker is cold! As in my hands become really cold by holding it! Other than that all is well.

There is that! That's a drawback of that magnesium alloy body.

Oh, and with my sling strap snow can tend to collect on the viewfinder and thus in my eye...but it does keep the lens facing down and thus snow-free.
01-28-2014, 08:06 AM   #7
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At those temps, I'd be more worried about the photographer's performance than the camera. However, thanks guys for this report as it saves me from ever wanting to experiment there.
01-28-2014, 09:18 AM   #8
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Cold itself isn't very dangerous, the real problem when shooting in cold weather is how to avoid moisture from getting inside your gear (condensation).

Also, any tips how to safely change lenses in the sub-zero temperatures?

01-28-2014, 09:24 AM   #9
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The air is VERY dry at those temps (unless shooting in the snow) so I just change as normal. Or leave the 18-135 on as much as possible!
01-28-2014, 09:33 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
The air is VERY dry at those temps (unless shooting in the snow) so I just change as normal. Or leave the 18-135 on as much as possible!
Didn't think about that, you are right

It explains why my throat, mouth and nose gets so dry after some simple walking when there is very cold outside.
01-28-2014, 11:55 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apapukas Quote
Cold itself isn't very dangerous, the real problem when shooting in cold weather is how to avoid moisture from getting inside your gear (condensation).

Also, any tips how to safely change lenses in the sub-zero temperatures?
I would think so long as the gear is more or less at ambient temp there would be no condensation.
01-28-2014, 01:13 PM   #12
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My top LCD goes all funky when it gets really cold, but everything else seems to be fine
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