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02-25-2010, 12:18 AM   #1
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Going skiing - camera precautions?

I'm going mountain ski resort this weekend, and, obviously, want to take my camera with me and take pictures!

But... How should I prepare for that? My camera's not sealed (K-x), nor is the lens I'm planning to take with me.
I'm only going to shoot if it doesn't snow (hopefully!) - so falling snow shouldn't be a problem.
What I'm worried a bit about is the temperature difference (lodging and outside) and condensation - but that can be solved with ziplock bags if I remember correctly... If anyone can comment on that, would be great.

Another thing I've been pondering is - how do I carry the stuff when I come out skiing? Right now I see three options: 1) Leave everything home - works, but I want something to take photos with 2) take a tiny backpack and stuff camera inside (I'd guess it would fit my K-x, a 200mm prime and maybe a wide angle) and somehow make it less prone to snow - don't have a clue how, though; and finally, 3) just take my regular backpack that I take to school... It's not waterproof, but it's got layers - and I can stick camera somewhere in the middle.

So... If anyone has any experience shooting while out on a mountain, I'd appreciate it if you could share your experience! Also, maybe your lens selection, general advice, etc

02-25-2010, 01:23 AM   #2
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If you're worried about weather protection a Pelican (or equivalent) weather/ shock resistant case in a regular backpack is a good bet - I have used that setup with various film cameras for skiing and on boating trips where submersion was a possibility. Waterproof hard cases give a level of camera protection that's more likely to hurt you than the camera in a fall and that will survive complete submersion in water so long as the case is closed.

If you don't want to spend money and don't expect to fall, a well padded soft camera bag inside a garbage bag placed in a regular backpack is pretty much weather impervious and should be fine so long as you don't fall on top of it. I've even cut strap holes in plastic bags to cover the outer backpack for extra protection from wet snow and rain.
02-25-2010, 01:44 AM   #3
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QuoteQuote:
If you're worried about weather protection a Pelican (or equivalent) weather/ shock resistant case in a regular backpack is a good bet - I have used that setup with various film cameras for skiing and on boating trips where submersion was a possibility. Waterproof hard cases give a level of camera protection that's more likely to hurt you than the camera in a fall and that will survive complete submersion in water so long as the case is closed.

If you don't want to spend money and don't expect to fall, a well padded soft camera bag inside a garbage bag placed in a regular backpack is pretty much weather impervious and should be fine so long as you don't fall on top of it. I've even cut strap holes in plastic bags to cover the outer backpack for extra protection from wet snow and rain.
Interesting... Camera bag in a trash bag in a regular bag sounds pretty fool-proof to me I think that'll be what I'd use - should be even safe if I fall a couple of times on my butt (which I believe is what usually happens to novice skiers )
I'm not really going on a field trip sort of thing, so pelican case will be unnecessary.

Thanks for advice!
02-25-2010, 03:23 AM   #4
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I never cared about my equipment: it either works or breaks

The most important thing is, to give the camera time to warm up, when you go inside, coming from the cold environment. You could put it in a bag before entering a house, to reduce condensation and you won't change a lens while the camera is still cold, as then you get condensation inside the camera.

Even non-sealed cameras are not rwa eggs and can be used outside applying a healthy level of common sense.

One thing you should be aware off the the risk of hurting yourself with the camera, when you are skiing yourself. I once fell on my Pentax LX, strapped to the bereast strap of my 30kg+ backpack, while doing backcountry skiing and broke my breast bone. That was a somewhat hurtful experience during the rest of the several days tour… Luckily the LX came out unhurt and I could take my photographis…

Ben

02-25-2010, 03:28 AM   #5
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QuoteQuote:
Even non-sealed cameras are not rwa eggs and can be used outside applying a healthy level of common sense.

One thing you should be aware off the the risk of hurting yourself with the camera, when you are skiing yourself. I once fell on my Pentax LX, strapped to the bereast strap of my 30kg+ backpack, while doing backcountry skiing and broke my breast bone. That was a somewhat hurtful experience during the rest of the several days tour… Luckily the LX came out unhurt and I could take my photographis…

Ben
That is why I decided against just tucking the camera on the shoulder strap under my sweater I don't think I'll be skiing at all when I'm taking photos - so it's just one thing at a time - either I'm skiing and camera in the bag, or I'm shooting and staying put.

QuoteQuote:
The most important thing is, to give the camera time to warm up, when you go inside, coming from the cold environment. You could put it in a bag before entering a house, to reduce condensation and you won't change a lens while the camera is still cold, as then you get condensation inside the camera.
Good, thanks for confirmation. I recall seeing that before - but didn't really look into it back then...
02-25-2010, 03:44 AM   #6
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If you ever get tired of the trash bag solution you could take a look at these bag companies, they both make skiing/adventure camera bags.

ø F-Stop // Adventure Photography Camera Packs and Bags - 253.236.0070 ø
DAKINE : SKI

I have no affiliation with either of them, but found them asking myself the same questions as you do
02-25-2010, 03:56 AM   #7
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I just went skiing with mine to do an resort review article for a skiing paper. I think part of it depends on how good a skier you are. I used a backpack to carry my cameras when not shooting, then if I had one out I just held poles in one hand the camera, around my neck, holding on to it with the other hand. That was for shooting runs. Of course I wouldn't go all out in that situation. If I wanted to ski hard, the cameras were in the backpack heavily padded. I'm a good skier, but I won't take unecessary risks with my gear. Sometimes I would get a camera out before getting on the lift, ride up with it shooting, then put it back for the run down.
02-25-2010, 03:57 AM   #8
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I carried my K100D for years in a normal backpack when skiing, without any protection (ziplock bags or whatever). I even took a few nasty falls and the camera came out of the bag into the snow and it was fine. I usually had the kit lens or the DA35 on. Camera and lenses never had any problems with condensation or anything; the K100D kept working at -15C, even -20C without any problems whatsoever. Sometimes if the weather was fair I would ski with the camera hanging on my neck and stop every now and then to take a pic. I think that if I had it in a ziplock bag which was then in another sealing pack and then everything in a backpack it would have been to much trouble to take it out. Just keep it simple, the cameras are more resilient than we think. Of course, that is if you don't do really stupid things with them.

02-25-2010, 05:25 AM   #9
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When I ski with my camera, I usually use a prime and just leave the camera around my neck under my coat. I don't change lenses on the slopes and so I have to decide ahead of time what lens I'm going to want to use. Lithium AAs are probably necessary in this situation rather than rechargeables because they seem to weather the cold a little better. The biggest thing, as mentioned above, is to let your camera get accustomed when you come back inside.
02-25-2010, 12:49 PM   #10
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Back in the old days of film for me, I could never do both well at the same time. It was too much effort to keep from killing myself, taking my eyes away from the great photo instances all around me.

I would ski earlier, and shoot in late afternoon, where I preferred the lower sun anyway.
02-26-2010, 06:45 AM   #11
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Hello from Italy,
I often make sure to have inside the bag (expecially winter time) plenty of Silica Gel bags. To avoid spending money a tip is to keep them when you buy plastic shoes, flip-flops, or some toys. You can regenerate them warming them up on a radiator and then back into your sensitive equipment bags.
Also,
I noticed that someone published tips but your camera is not weather-proof like the K10 K200 or K20, so use extra caution.
My recommended bag is the Pampas 47 in any case is made by Vanguard with quick zip (many models) available here: http://www.vanguardworld.com/components/com_virtuemart/shop_image/vanguard/Pampas-47-3.jpg
02-26-2010, 11:51 AM   #12
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I don't think it's a good idea to carry your DSLR to ski, if so,a small camera backpack should keep it from danger. I used my K-x in the winter outdoor this year (-25c temp). First thing is to carry extra batteries, and put then in the inner layer of your clothing, so it won't get cold, shooting at the cold, the AA battery will die out fast, you need to warm them up again before you can shoot again. Second, i found that the K-x SR isn't working that will in the cold, at less i got alot of blurry pictures, i suggest you turn the SR off is possible. Lens wish, try not to carry that many, mostly you will use the wider end for landscape, the kit lens should do the job.
02-26-2010, 12:22 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pbo Quote
Another thing I've been pondering is - how do I carry the stuff when I come out skiing?
I use the following items.

Off Trail 1

Lowepro - Off Trail 1

The Off Trail 1 will fit a K10D/K20D with a 55-300mm attached. The lens pouches will also accommodate up to a 55-300mm.

Photo Runner

Lowepro - Photo Runner 100

I have an older version of this. Less room, but I actually prefer this pack. This will also accommodate up to a K10D/K20D with 55-300 attached (on its side) with room for another lens. You can also attach external lens pouches as well.

I actually only use one lens when I am on the mountain, so I tend to put other stuff in the pack. I generally remove the lens pouches from the Off Trail and travel very light.

Either or both of these I strap on and move the pack to the front. If I am doing particularly steep descents, I will put them around to the back, and then try hard not to fall straight back. Both are padded and though I have fallen on my cameras I have never damaged either the camera or myself.

When I ski for the sake of skiing I ski very hard. When I am wearing the camera, it is somewhat limiting. I always have to decide what my priority is. If it is picture taking, I take it easy.

woof!
02-27-2010, 01:46 AM   #14
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Wow thanks everyone for the advice! I'm leaving early tomorrow in the morning, can't wait!!
02-27-2010, 09:30 AM   #15
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I take my camera skiing with me often. On cross country trails, I carry it in my backpack. When downhill skiing, I only take it up the mountain when I intend to do some shooting and put it away when I'm skiing. You could damage the camera in a fall or possibly loose it and you could also be seriously injured if you fall on it. I met a guy in Lake Placid a few years ago who was sitting out his ski vacation in the lodge after cracking some ribs falling on his point and shoot.
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