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01-07-2010, 02:43 PM   #1
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K20D at cold temps?

I'm considering taking my K20D on a backpacking trip this weekend. It will be hights in the 20's and low's maybe under 10...

What can I expect from the K20D? Do I need to take any precautions?

Thanks,

Ken

01-07-2010, 06:01 PM   #2
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I can't speak for the teens, but my K20 was sitting in my truck in 20 degree temps when I was sent out to a fire scene a few days ago. No problems at all. Enjoy!
01-07-2010, 06:13 PM   #3
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Same body as K10D, pretty much, and I've had my old K10D in about -25 many times, no problem
01-07-2010, 06:14 PM   #4
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That isn't cold.
Enjoy your trip.
If you are going to take your camera from the cool mountain air into a warm chalet, take the usual precautions.

01-07-2010, 06:58 PM   #5
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Indeed, I've used my k20 in the -20's and had no problems at all....

Just be sure not to breathe on a lens (or the viewfinder) or it'll fog up instantly.

Also put the camera and lenses in ziplock bags just before entering a heated building (while you are still outside!) and do not remove from the bags them until they have reached room temp. This will avoid condensation on and inside the camera.

Pat
01-08-2010, 01:35 PM   #6
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K10d Just Died of Frostbite--There is a Limit

Well, I'm still shivering from sitting in my blind for the past two hours with K10d and 600/4. I've done this at 10-20 degrees farenheit without problems in the past.
Today I woke up at -22 farenheit, so I waited until it warmed up to -13. I took my camera and lens from indoor in a cool storage area at about 50ish farenheit and carried them to the blind out back of the house. When birds started to return to the carcass--about 40 minutes for them to forget I was there--the K10d was working great. I had to use exp. comp. lots depending on how much snow vs how much bird and carcass were in the frame. Got several nice images and missed my share due to quick moving birds flitting around while I searched for focus manually (I don't use auto focus for this type of shooting and almost never use it for other stuff either--just not interested in autofocus and it isn't even close to as fast or accurate as manual for offcenter subjects. Basically, autofocus can't determine that I want the eye in focus. That's a job for manual when close in like this with moving targets).
After an hour and 45 minutes in the blind, the exp. comp. function (which I have on the front wheel) died of frostbite. No problem, I'll just play with aperture on the rear wheel...nope dead too. So I used the manual aperture ring and the K10d gave me the ol' two dashes to indicate that the body couldn't read the aperture. Shot for another 5 to 10 minutes as the camera was set at a usable exp. comp. for most of the shooting...and then I had a brainstorm. I'll just turn it off and back on and see if it will reinitialize. Nope, now no exp. comp at all as the old settings died too. With the snow requiring at least a bit of exp. comp. that meant it was quitting time for me as my body was froze up! I tried to put a handwarmer on it, but it was way too late and I should have taped a handwarmer (hothands air activated packets) to the body while waiting for birds to come in.
Surprisingly, the batteries held good for the temp. It was other stuff that gave out. Note that this is a first for me...to have a body die of frostbite, but it was also a rare two hours of subzero farenheit temp too. Normally, I'm in and out of a vehicle with camera in those temps.
When I came into the house, the temp was clear up to 1 above zero farenheit. Because I checked the temp both heading outside and on returning this could be considered "hard data" for my K10d anyway. So from my experience you'll likely be fine above zero. Probably not below zero farenheit.
The fact that your body will be outdoors with you for extended periods in the cold without opportunity for warm-up may lend itself to the need for a source of warmth like the handwarmers I've resorted to at times through the years. Just too slow to do it this morning.
Here is an image I shot less than an hour ago. It's a bit soft but close enough for some post processing some other day when I want to sit at a computer. If you are an EXIF checker you'll find that the clock in my camera is not set accurately. The shot was actually made a little after noon.
Have fun in the cold, it's one of my favorite times to shoot!
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01-08-2010, 01:47 PM   #7
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Nothing to worry about.
Last weekend I had my K 7 outdoors at - 20 C for 8 hours in one go. No problems at all.
01-08-2010, 02:02 PM   #8
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Here are a couple more shots from this morning. Note the difficulties with white snow as this is something that complicates winter shooting and needs you to engage your brain...
Cropped a bit but no other pp just a resize...

01-08-2010, 02:04 PM   #9
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oops, attachments...
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01-08-2010, 02:43 PM   #10
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On December 23 (two weeks ago) we hiked down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Temps were very close to single digits on the South Rim when we started our hike and it was snowing hard. K20D did fine. During the hard snow I tried my best not to keep the camera covered up, since I was using the Sigma 10-20 lens and it's not weather-sealed. But basically the camera was out in the cold most of the hike. It survived, took some nice photos, and I'm happy to say that I survived too. Here's a pic taken down the trail a ways when the snow had started to let up. By the time we got down to the bottom nine hours later, having dropped nearly a mile in altitude, the temps had warmed up to around 40 F.

Will


01-08-2010, 02:47 PM   #11
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OH, and let's not forget that wonderful thread from a year or two ago. One of the forum's members (sorry, can't remember his name and don't have time to search) is involved in meteorological research in (if I recall correctly) Oklahoma. His team attached a K10D or K20D to a weather balloon and floated it up to the very edge of outer space - 10 miles? 20 miles? Temps there are, well, they are very very cold. Camera took some awesome photos. Take a second and search for that thread - it's worth it for the pictures, not to mention the reassurance about how well built the Pentax camera is.

Will
01-08-2010, 03:10 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
OH, and let's not forget that wonderful thread from a year or two ago. One of the forum's members (sorry, can't remember his name and don't have time to search) is involved in meteorological research in (if I recall correctly) Oklahoma. His team attached a K10D or K20D to a weather balloon and floated it up to the very edge of outer space - 10 miles? 20 miles? Temps there are, well, they are very very cold. Camera took some awesome photos. Take a second and search for that thread - it's worth it for the pictures, not to mention the reassurance about how well built the Pentax camera is.

Will
Thanks for the plug Will k10d 20 miles straight up, -60F. To save you the search, here are the links from the two flights:

Using the kit lens:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/31970-pentax-k10d-space.html

Using the fisheye:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/43930-pentax-k10d-space-ii.html

Hopefully we'll be sending the k10d up again in the next couple of months.

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 01-08-2010 at 03:15 PM.
01-08-2010, 03:37 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
Thanks for the plug Will k10d 20 miles straight up, -60F. To save you the search, here are the links from the two flights...

Thanks, Poke, for the thread links. I had to run to take my daughter to ballet, but now I'm back. Wow, those are some terrific exciting photos.

And -60... Wow, that's several degrees colder than it was today in Dallas and maybe even in OKC. ;-)

Will
01-08-2010, 04:28 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
Well, I'm still shivering from sitting in my blind for the past two hours with K10d and 600/4. I've done this at 10-20 degrees farenheit without problems in the past.
Today I woke up at -22 farenheit, so I waited until it warmed up to -13.
Wow. There's dedication
I've had mine in 10F weather covered in falling snow but that doesn't even come close
01-08-2010, 04:41 PM   #15
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If you can plug your K20D into a power source, you can leave it out all night with no ill effects. I have had it outside here in the Canadian winter at -25C for hours at a time and it still kept going. Just remember to wrap it in a towel or such when you bring it into a warmer environment.

Jack
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