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12-23-2015, 05:53 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
As a point of reference, possibly the p&s digis for extreme weather are listed only down to -10C -> Pentax WG-3 and Olympus TG-860
Correct, although sometimes the cold weather performance of cameras is better than their specs. You can't really tell without testing. I'd recommend buying a good WR camera, sticking it in a fridge freezer for a few hours, and then doing some test shots. (Refrigerator freezers are not particularly cold but I think would be a reasonable simulation of a parka pocket situation.) If the camera works it should be fine for casual use popping in and out of a parka. If it doesn't work, return it and try a different one. Note that condensation will happen quickly on the lens once the camera is out of the freezer, so you need to shoot in a hurry.

My first digital camera was the mighty Nikon Coolpix 990. It worked very well in the sort of scenario the OP describes.

12-23-2015, 07:26 PM   #17
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Olympus trip 35 would be my recommendation. Good quality. Low cost. Easy to use. No batteries. Might be worth a cla with specific winterizing before going so the lube and seals are appropriate for the temps.
12-23-2015, 08:32 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
With a selenium cell lightmeter (I use sekonic L398--currently available for likely $30 or so) and something like the Nikon FM2, Pentax K1000, etc., you are totally independent of batteries.

BTW I don't agree about digital camera in cold--when I go expecting low temperatures (say 20F and below) I only take a film camera--my FM2. I took a digital SLR once winter backpacking in the Catskills (a K20d) and after that "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me." But I advance the film slowly and don't expect to change the roll of film except under optimum conditions.
I agree with you regarding a DSLR in the cold, but I had listed in #5 only smaller non-interchangeable lens digitals that could be easily kept in a pocket with less seals. SLR lenses become problematic with humidity and temp swings.
12-23-2015, 08:48 PM   #19
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Hey guys, thanks for all the good info! Agreed, digital may be easier... I've found that though gear may only be rated down to "x", if you keep it in a pack, take it out for a quick snap and put it back in... it'll do well in way colder. I've taken a lot of photos at -20 C and lower, never had any big issues, except for one spotmatic that stopped working at minus 5. With second hand SLRs going for $40 around here... it doesn't need to last forever.

That said... I agree with the one poster who was asking why film? It does make things more difficult in many ways. I guess I just like the idea of film, think she might get a kick out of it and who doesn't like black and white film photos of arctic aircraft?

12-23-2015, 09:37 PM   #20
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K1000 for film - I used for years in -20 + temperature light meter would cave if I was out for long time or had left in car overnight so I had small hand held light meter I kept in inside pocket in case. Probably have to ship film out to be processed.
Better still Digital point & shooters e.g. Pentax Optio VS20, Nikon S6100, S9300, Olympus SH-1 - Compact enough to fit in inside pockets to keep warm between shots. Good zooms, 16mp, built in flashes, ISO range etc etc. Bring extra batteries. A shirt with a breast pocket is most convenient. Can email results easier. Nikon S6100 around $60 - $100 on Ebay
12-23-2015, 09:58 PM   #21
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If it is just a matter of convenience, then there are p&s film cameras. The Olympus Stylus Epic is truly pocketable, convenient auto load/focus/expose, quality lens and even better still you get the quality results on film.

12-24-2015, 10:05 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
The minimum recommended operating temperature for the older manual focus Pentax film bodies was -20C. So if the body is to be used outdoors in the winter that may be an issue.

The Pentax 6x7 and 67 bodies had a cold weather remote battery option, where the battery was kept warm inside your jacket, so that may be a better option.

Phil.
The LX also has an "external battery cord" (I have one but I don't offhand know it's "correct" name - sorry) that screws into the LX and lets one keep the batteries in a warm pocket.

Certainly with this (the above), the LX would make a superb low-temp body.
12-24-2015, 11:10 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwcetus Quote
The LX also has an "external battery cord" (I have one but I don't offhand know it's "correct" name - sorry) that screws into the LX and lets one keep the batteries in a warm pocket.

Certainly with this (the above), the LX would make a superb low-temp body.
Thanks I did not know about the remote battery cord for the LX. I checked and found it in one of my Pentax booklets and it looks like there was also an "A" version that fit some M Series bodies and all A Series bodies.

Yes the LX with it's superb sealing would be good in a cold climate.

Phil.


Last edited by gofour3; 12-24-2015 at 11:19 AM. Reason: typo
12-24-2015, 01:36 PM - 2 Likes   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Yes the LX with it's superb sealing would be good in a cold climate.
Here's a couple pix of the "Battery Cord LX" -





Basically the two usual S76-type batteries (or a single 3-V "DL1/3N" Lithium cell, which often has better low-temp performance than the 1.5-V batteries anyway) go(es) into the open end of the black "battery holder" (just as they would go into the LX body), then the regular LX battery cover screws into the open end of the "battery holder", then the silver "battery replacer" at the other end of the cord screws into the LX body's battery compartment, with the help of the silver "tool" next to it, and then the "tool" slides along the cord until it reaches the "battery holder", and then the "battery holder" and the "tool" together go into one of the inner pockets of the soon-to-be-very-very-very-cold photographer.


Last edited by fwcetus; 12-24-2015 at 01:43 PM.
12-24-2015, 02:14 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwcetus Quote
Here's a couple pix of the "Battery Cord LX" -





Basically the two usual S76-type batteries (or a single 3-V "DL1/3N" Lithium cell, which often has better low-temp performance than the 1.5-V batteries anyway) go(es) into the open end of the black "battery holder" (just as they would go into the LX body), then the regular LX battery cover screws into the open end of the "battery holder", then the silver "battery replacer" at the other end of the cord screws into the LX body's battery compartment, with the help of the silver "tool" next to it, and then the "tool" slides along the cord until it reaches the "battery holder", and then the "battery holder" and the "tool" together go into one of the inner pockets of the soon-to-be-very-very-very-cold photographer.

That is a really nice accessory.

BTW: To answer the age old riddle: If you saw a fellow drowning, and you could either save him
or photograph the event . . . . . . . What lens would you use ?

I'd use all my lenses; shoot the whole thing on video with my GoPro, then throw my floatable Pelican lens case for the drowning fellow, and then jump in and finish the rescue. Gotta go viral.
12-24-2015, 02:49 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwcetus Quote
Here's a couple pix of the "Battery Cord LX" -
Can't say I have even seen one for sale! For a product that was available for a long time, accessories for the LX are sure hard to come by.
12-24-2015, 03:00 PM   #27
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Much of the LX accessories I only ever saw in the Pentax catalogs,
Have to think there may be (or once were) warehouses of that gear sitting around in Tokyo or Denver or other national centers, that never made it to dealers and stores.
12-24-2015, 03:18 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
who doesn't like black and white film photos of arctic aircraft
Your mission, should you choose to accept it...
12-24-2015, 04:03 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by dsmithhfx Quote
Your mission, should you choose to accept it...
Exactly!
12-24-2015, 04:33 PM   #30
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Curious - the owner's manual for the old Pentax S3 film camera notes that temperatures below -55 degrees F may affect the shutter performance. The S3 was all mechanical, but I wouldn't expect the rubberized curtains to work that low, let alone the lubricants.
However, in the mid '60s I used an H1a all winters in far upper Michigan, with frequent temps -20 to -30, and it always worked fine.
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