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Author Topic: Digital Backs in Cold Weather  (Read 5796 times)
etrump
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« on: July 06, 2007, 10:53:42 AM »
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I am just about to pull the trigger on a digital back and noticed the operating temps are all above freezing.  

Has anyone had experience using them in colder weather?
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2007, 11:20:15 AM »
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I used my Sinarback outdoors in -15'C and it didn't seem to make any difference.
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2007, 11:57:00 AM »
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The latest Phase One newsletter has a movie here: http://www.phaseone.com/upload/clm_frozenp+_001.mov

about a Phase + back working at -110 deg F.  Not exactly a 'real world' situation, but it does illustrate the point...

Mike.
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clawery
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2007, 12:19:56 PM »
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The latest Phase One newsletter has a movie here: http://www.phaseone.com/upload/clm_frozenp+_001.mov

about a Phase + back working at -110 deg F.  Not exactly a 'real world' situation, but it does illustrate the point...

Mike.
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If you look at the Antarcitc Photo Expedition here on LL, you can see some "real world" shooting with a normal P45 on a H1.  Take a look :  [a href=\"http://luminous-landscape.com/aa07-portfolio.shtml]http://luminous-landscape.com/aa07-portfolio.shtml[/url]
The Phase One backs can take the cold, but the batteries have a hard time with it.  I've heard of people using glove warmers, like you ski with, to keep the batteries running.

Chris Lawery
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michael
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2007, 12:23:52 PM »
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As mentioned, only the batteries are affected by cold with Phase backs. Keep an extra one or two in an inside packet with a handwarmer nearby, and swap them when needed.

I've used Phase backs in conditions down to -30C without difficulty. The camera in these conditions is another story. Lubricants in the lens focusing mechanism and shutter being the biggest issues.

Michael
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MichaelEzra
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2007, 12:34:01 PM »
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I have used Mamiya ZD in -10C in the wind. Batteries ran out quickly, but camera worked fine.
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pss
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2007, 01:12:39 PM »
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i think the deep frozen Phase back pretty much says it all...but without batteries...nothing works....
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rainer_v
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2007, 02:56:37 PM »
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with -10 degrees i hadnt noticed a difference in the performance with e22 or e75, as z-foto already said....
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2007, 04:40:24 PM »
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No problems with the Aptus 75 either, used in on Greenland -15C + wind chill. (Don’t know if that have any effect regarding battery performance)

Before that assignment I found the way that the battery is located at the bottom of the back not so elegant as a design - but it makes it very easy and fast to remove and attach the battery even with warm gloves - ok, it's still not that elegant - but very practical in the cold.

With the Leaf, you can use the digital magazine with batteries, put it inside close to the body and there is no longer problems with cold batteries. I did not use that solution, it was enough to remove the battery when the back was not in use.

Remember zip-lock bags for the back when going from cold to warm to avoid condensation.

Very best,
Adam
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Don Libby
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2007, 06:00:25 PM »
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I think the two biggest concerns that I’ve had shooting in cold weather has been power and condensation in that order.  In very cold weather (I remember last March in Northern Yellowstone – burr) I had more problems with power than with condensation (however it was never very far from my mind).  Of course this was before I made the move to MF and was using my trusty Canon 1Ds II.  I really don’t think there’s that much or a difference other than now I have two separate power sources to worry about (and which pocket).

I got into MF much too late this year to begin to even worry about cold weather shooting – (heck it’s now down to the low 100’s and it appears the monsoons have finally started).  BUT this question did bring it back to the front of my mind – what am I going to do in Alaska next year?  My thoughts are what I did when I was using the 1Ds II all the time.  I’ll have extra power stashed inside pockets (hadn’t thought of the pocket warmers – very good idea) and large trash bags ready for the rest of the kit.

Just a thought, can one buy an extra battery holder for the Mamiya 645 AFD II?  I know there’s an external pack available but is just the “guts” that hold the batteries available?  I guess I’ll leave this question up and go over to B&H to see……  I just answered my own question - $52.00 for an insert replacement - time to go shopping for a better price!
« Last Edit: July 06, 2007, 06:06:47 PM by Iron Creek » Logged

ynp
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2007, 07:11:38 PM »
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I am just about to pull the trigger on a digital back and noticed the operating temps are all above freezing. 

Has anyone had experience using them in colder weather?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=126843\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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ynp
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2007, 07:42:35 PM »
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I used the Sinar eMotion 22 on my Alpa TC outside in winter time. The lowest - minus 40-42 C. No problems with the back, the shutter was more affected with the frost. I used the e22 and db20 on the Rollei 6008AF when the temperature was below minus 30, both backs worked. IMO there is a huge difference between minus 20 C and minus 40 C. I noticed that the body heath made the optics of the viewfinder frozen very fast.  I do not breath when near the camera in extreme cold. And I usually leave the camera and the back outside (without the batteries) in a perforated case. Minus 30 C means very dry in our parts.
Yevgeny
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david o
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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2007, 08:13:12 PM »
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I do some shoot in winter time in Canada, -20 to -30... Not with a digital though.

But the camera had a hard time to handle the cold. Not talking about the battery.
To fight condensation one thing to do : before you go back in, put everything in ZipLock bags and wait  for your gear to go back to room temp.
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etrump
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« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2007, 09:15:50 PM »
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Wow, thanks for all the responses.  This checks off one more item on my list.
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Ed Cooley

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thsinar
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« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2007, 10:07:07 PM »
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etrump,

under such cold and minus weather conditions, it is more likely the camera itself (understand it mechanics) which will lead to problems: mechanical parts of a camera are "greased" with special lubrificants. These lubrificants have a tendancy to become thicker and less fluid, thus affecting the movements and sometimes blocking it.

At Sinar we have some special lubrificants, especially for people working well below 20°C (most of the lubrificants will become thicker below 20°C), on request and for our view camerras and other items with mechanically moving parts. Those lubrificants can also be found elsewhere.

Also, and as said by all, the batteries are much affected under cold conditions: try to keep them warm all the time. Have a set of batteries with you which you change on regular intervals, about every 10 minutes or so. Keep the spare ones warm.

The digital backs will certainly not stop working, even under extrem cold conditions. One thing you will notice, is that noise is almost no issue here: the cooler the better for the noise level.

Best regards,
Thierry
« Last Edit: July 06, 2007, 10:20:48 PM by thsinar » Logged

Thierry Hagenauer
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« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2007, 11:25:36 PM »
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A few more tidbits.....

In Boston in February my hands were the first to throw in the towel... long before the batteries died on the P45.  Figure out a way to keep your hands warm.  You might need to go beyond just warm gloves or multi-layered gloves.

Try a trial run of going through a whole shot with gloves on.  You might find you need a different cable release that is easier to hold with gloves on.  The buttons on the Phase P backs make it easy to adjust the back with gloves on.

It is difficult to remove the CF card from Phase backs with the gloves on, so use larger CF cards that have to be changed less often.

The grease on my Gitzo head became so stiff that each time I panned the camera to the left it would start to unscrew from the tripod.
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MarkKay
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« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2007, 12:04:33 AM »
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I took my H2 and leaf aptus 65 to the Rocky Mtns in Colorado one winter. The temperature was almost -20F and it was nasty with the high winds.  My RRS tripod head froze but my camera operated well.  I had a car and was rarely out for more than an hour at a time.  I kept the spare batteries in the car and kept one in my pocket.

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I am just about to pull the trigger on a digital back and noticed the operating temps are all above freezing. 

Has anyone had experience using them in colder weather?
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2007, 08:00:23 PM »
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I have been using a Mamiya ZD extensively in rather cold weather this winter in the Japanese Alps, and found no issue with the digital part BUT:

- battery life becomes ridiculous from -10C / -15C, as little as 10 images for a fully charged battery which is nearly unusable (batteries were of course kept inside my jacket until the moment they were put in the camera),

- the lubricants in some of the Mamiya lenses had a hard time as well (especially the 55-110 zoom lens had a hard time),

- I observed a differential metal contraction between the body and lens mounts, which resulted in increased tolerances between the 2, often resulting in a loss of electical contact between body and lens. This only occured for those lenses that already had some tolerance at ambiant temperatures (but no contact problems then).

Regards,
Bernard
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Don Libby
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« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2007, 08:04:44 PM »
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Bernard - Did you by chance change lens?  If so how did the cold effect the change over?

Thanks in advance

don
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« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2007, 09:54:20 PM »
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Bernard - Did you by chance change lens?  If so how did the cold effect the change over?
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I did change the lens several times out there in the cold, mostly between the 35 and 55-110, and that went OK - that is if your forget about my cold fingers.

Regards,
Bernard
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