The weather
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Old 11-17-2010   #1
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Default The weather

This may be a stupid question , but how do you guys & gals take your camera gear out into the cold from a warm vehicle or house into the cold weather and not have your stuff be all fogged up . I live in a cold climate and want to try photographing people on snowmobiles and outdoor nature scenes with the T2i when it starts to snow outside .
Looking for any shortcuts to save some time .

Tim

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Old 11-18-2010   #2
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Default Re: The weather

Whenever traveling to the spot I'm shooting I almost always keep my bag in the trunk, it seems to work out rather well for me.

As for when it's at home I don't have AC in my bedroom so I keep it there. As for the winter I scarcely turn the heat on in my bedroom, and when I do I never turn it up very high. Which works out extremely well because I'm no track star when I first wake up and it seems to get me motivated to get out off bed when I need to get ready for work.
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Old 11-18-2010   #3
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Default Re: The weather

Just give your gear time to acclimate to the working environment temperature.

Fogging happens when cold gear is introduced to a warm, moist environment.

In winter the issue will be going from the cold outside to the warm inside.
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Old 11-18-2010   #4
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Default Re: The weather

Put your camera in a plastic bag then go outside or inside which ever is the case. Leave the camera in the bag so any condensation i.e. fogging occurs on the bag not your camera. When the bag is not fogged up any more your camera has reached the ambient temperature and should not fog up when removed from the bag.
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Old 11-18-2010   #5
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Default Re: The weather

I place gel packs in my camera bag, those kind you get whenever you buy shoes or something else, it helps absorb up to 40 percent of the moisture. I also have anti-fog cloths if I want a shot right away and the lens fogs up.
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Old 11-18-2010   #6
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Default Re: The weather

When you bring a cold camera. lenses, lighting gear or other oprical or electronic accessories into a warm room condebsations occours on the inner and outter surfaes of the equipemnt and that can lead to serious malfunction and damage.

The first step is to not allow the camera to become super cold or exposed to sub freezing tempertures if you intend working in a warm envrionment shortly thereafter. Transport you gear from an indoor location to a heated car and then into the other warm enviromnent. If you have to work in a very cold climate try keeping the camera under you coat when you are not shooting. There are also camera wraps known as blauns that help a bit when you are shooting in cold or wet situations.

Even if you are not goin into a warm environment after shooting in the cold, prolongd exposure to very cold weather can cause all kinds of malfunction and equipment failure. Batteries can fail at low temperatires unless you use a remote battery compartment which attaches to the camera via a cable and allows you to keep the batteriws under you coat where you body heat will allow the to function. Shutters can jam up due to frozen libracants and the shutter or diphragm blades can shatter at very low temperatures.

Condensation can be one of the worst problems because that "fog" is actually water vapor and can form anwhere in the camera; in the electronics. battery termainls, and even between the lens elements where it can cause mold to form and grow.
If it gets cold enough, I have seen controls and actual parts become brittle and snap right off.

Water and electronic curcuitry can not co-exist. In an emergency situation, a hair drtuer on low or medium heat can gently restore the equipment to room tempertur but it can tale about 15 minutes.

Never leave your equipment in your car over night in the cold weather- that when it can get super cold and cause all kinds of problems.

Be aware- take care! Ed
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Old 11-18-2010   #7
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Default Re: The weather

Most of the contributions here have been about taking a cold camera into a warm environment. I have the problem in reverse. On the road, I keep my camera in the motel room at night. In late fall and winter the lens fog up when I get outside to the shooting location. Most often it clears up once the temperature difference balances out. Its worse, when I've been in a warm dry environment all night, the try shooting early in the morning on a cold damp day.

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Old 11-18-2010   #8
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Default Re: The weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by inspectortag View Post
This may be a stupid question , but how do you guys & gals take your camera gear out into the cold from a warm vehicle or house into the cold weather and not have your stuff be all fogged up . I live in a cold climate and want to try photographing people on snowmobiles and outdoor nature scenes with the T2i when it starts to snow outside .
Looking for any shortcuts to save some time .
You didn't specify what a "cold climate" is... so I'll probably go overboard for your specific case. My idea of cold is Fairbanks Alaska, and temps colder than -60F. My idea of a pleasant cool climate is Barrow Alaska, with the coldest average temperature in the US, where it never gets colder than -59F!

The biggest problem is condensation. That happens when a cold object is exposed to moist warm air. For example if a camera is outside at 33F (or -40F) long enough to be colder than the dewpoint of the air inside a building and the camera is taken inside, when the warm moist air touches the cold camera the air cools off, to a temperture below the dewpoint, and the moisture in the air condenses. Of course it condenses on the camera, and while it might do little more than fog the surfaces, it might literally drench the camera with large beads of water too! It's like working in the rain, and water might get into lenses or the camera body (consumer models are significantly less well sealed against this than are prosumer or pro models).

The solution to condensation is to prevent the warm moist air from coming into direct contract with the equipment while it is cold. That can be accomplished by putting the camera in a camera bag, in a ziplock bag, in a box, wrapping it with a coat or a shopping bag, and other ways I suppose, but the best way is a kitchen size trash bag. It does not need to be sealed, it just needs to prevent air flow. The advantage of a trash bag is that things like CF cards can be retrieved easily without letting moist air touch to camera.

Whatever, let the camera warm up to at least 5 or 6 degrees above freezing, which pretty much assures it will be higher than the dewpoint, before exposing it to room air. Note that a thin plastic trash bag will allow warming very fast if the air is squeezed out. Air is good insulation, and slows down the warming.

The next biggest problem is batteries. Batteries are not damaged by cold, nor are they discharged. The problems is that they use a chemical reaction to release the charge, and such reactions are slower at lower temperatures. So the battery has the charge, but won't give it up when cold. Warm up the battery, and it will work fine... until it gets cold again.

Down to maybe -40 it is usually feasible to just use a pair of batteries and swap them between the camera and a warm inside pocket. That works well because most cameras today will function fine down to below -30F, if the battery can provide a charge. (In the good old days the lubricants would freeze solid at -20F or so, but that is no longer true.)

If you have some specific concerns, mention them and we can explore it. Extended exposure, whether hours or days, is interesting. So are extreme temperatures, below -40 or so. Those both require discussion of clothing too. It did sound as if that might be of specific interest to you. How long outside and what temperatures (and maybe if wind is a factor) would be useful.

One thing I forgot, because while it might affect you often it affects me rarely, is a discussion of travel in cars. If it's just you and the camera, the air in the car has lower humidity than outside air (the air came from outside and was warmed, with only your breath to make it more humid). But if you have a car full of people, look at the windows! If the are fogging up, so is your camera if it is cold and exposed to air.
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Old 11-18-2010   #9
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Default Re: The weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by Songman45 View Post
Most of the contributions here have been about taking a cold camera into a warm environment. I have the problem in reverse. On the road, I keep my camera in the motel room at night. In late fall and winter the lens fog up when I get outside to the shooting location. Most often it clears up once the temperature difference balances out. Its worse, when I've been in a warm dry environment all night, the try shooting early in the morning on a cold damp day.

Steve
It could be worse, eh? I visited Houston once, and when the wheels hit the ground the guy in the seat in front of me said, "Yep, it's Houston! The wheels hit the ground and the windows instantly fogged up." It was true too.

Here, we get fog going inside, you get fog going outside.
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Old 11-18-2010   #10
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Default Re: The weather

I have never experienced the problem, but I live in a perfect climate. Once a year I head up to Yosemite to visit the snow and the camera seems fine. I suppose Yosemite is probably not that cold. I try to make it up there after a storm to make sure there is a good amount of snow but the weather is nice while I am there. Kind of slippery however. This year I have some of those rubber deals that I can stretch over my tennis shoes so I will be able to hike around better.


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