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Thread: Strategies in Cold - During and After Shoot

  1. #1

    Strategies in Cold - During and After Shoot

    Just got done making some pictures in 25 degree weather... only exposed a single sheet for a 25 minute exposure. Upon completion of the shot the dark slide went in nice and smooth so no fear of popping / film shattering.

    I placed my lens inside a wrap, then placed inside a plastic bag. Currently the camera and lens are inside my camera backpack acclimating to my interior room temperature of 61ish degrees. I can still tell that the interior of the backpack is fairly cold.

    Other than letting it sit overnight is there a strategy with shutters ... set them at X speed, preview open etc. Work through the speeds the following morning to get some of the lube working?

    I have a pretty mint 12 ď GD dagor in a serviced ilex 4 by Flutot. Iíd rather not destroy this shutter for experiments in the cold. I rather enjoy the lens.


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  2. #2
    Foamer
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    Re: Strategies in Cold - During and After Shoot

    Was that 25 above or below? Only one of those is considered cold around here. As for me, last weekend I was out taking shots in east central South Dakota. It was snowing, wind blowing, and +18 degrees. I was shooting wet plate out of my car.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  3. #3

    Re: Strategies in Cold - During and After Shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    Was that 25 above or below? Only one of those is considered cold around here. As for me, last weekend I was out taking shots in east central South Dakota. It was snowing, wind blowing, and +18 degrees. I was shooting wet plate out of my car.


    Kent in SD
    Luckily 25 above! It wonít hit sub zero for a while here in the Boston area. Iíve never really cared about cold etc because I always had run of the mill nikkors in copals and tough cameras. Now Iím using an 810 thatís not necessarily delicate but more so in my mind due to waiting a long time for one. Same with the lens.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Strategies in Cold - During and After Shoot

    Hip flask. Never really bothered doing anything for the gear.

  5. #5
    Les
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    Re: Strategies in Cold - During and After Shoot

    Whatever you do try not to breathe anywhere near the lens or gg. It can ruin the shoot for some time, till things return to norm. If things go lower than say -10F I'd (maybe not others) start thinking about about an enclosure/hide/tent with marine battery <charged> powering some sort of mini heater just to take the bitterness away - it will still be rather cold inside. It's kind of a two fold thing, one has to keep the lens comfy and self comfortable enough to remain functional. Comfy is a relative term and a flask is not going to help yer lens.

    Les

  6. #6
    Foamer
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    Re: Strategies in Cold - During and After Shoot

    I have the clothing to keep me warm down to about 50 below. I always photo alone and generally iin isolated places. I need gear that will keep me alive for extended times without gas in my car or batteries. My challenge this year is to keep wet plate chemicals warm enough that they work and out of the wind when pouring a plate. So far I am succeeding but I have to think that in the very depth of winter I'll be switching back to dry plates and film. Winter is my favorite time of year for photography.

    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  7. #7

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    Re: Strategies in Cold - During and After Shoot

    You may like to read Kodak's tech publication on photography in arctic conditions: https://125px.com/docs/techpubs/kodak/c9.pdf , but keep in mind that it's mostly written for conditions much colder than 25 deg F.

    Your main concerns might be: 1. condensation of humid air onto cold surfaces; 2. batteries in light meter not working; 3. static discharge on film (mostly a problem with winding roll film I suspect); 4. shutter operation in cold temps. Once the shutter warms up I don't think you have to do anything special to free it; you might fire it a couple of times. Leaf shutters generally run on very little lubricant.

  8. #8

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    Re: Strategies in Cold - During and After Shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by reddesert View Post
    You may like to read Kodak's tech publication on photography in arctic conditions: https://125px.com/docs/techpubs/kodak/c9.pdf , but keep in mind that it's mostly written for conditions much colder than 25 deg F.

    Your main concerns might be: 1. condensation of humid air onto cold surfaces; 2. batteries in light meter not working; 3. static discharge on film (mostly a problem with winding roll film I suspect); 4. shutter operation in cold temps. Once the shutter warms up I don't think you have to do anything special to free it; you might fire it a couple of times. Leaf shutters generally run on very little lubricant.
    As mentioned before - breathing on gear, especially under the dark cloth will make icy surfaces. Pre-treating the ground glass with anti fog can help. When the small layer of breath ice happens a credit card can easily chip it away and won't scratch the glass.

    My Uncle photographs in sub zero temps often in North Dakota and has a cheap kids type scuba snorkel. Uses it under the dark cloth to vent the air out and keep it off the ground glass.

    An extra battery or two for the light meter kept in a pocket under the coat helps. Keeping the light meter under the coat works also.

    An anti static cloth is a big help with film holders. Static can easily happen when removing or replacing dark slides. Using the anti static cloth to wipe them down and for holding the dark slide when removing and replacing helps keep sparks to a minimum. The colder it gets the more the static seems to build.

    Exercise the shutter a few times before removing the dark slide and actually making the photograph. Can help a bit and you can hear if it is working.

    Miller mitts - fingerless gloves worn under real mittens help a lot. The air powered heat packs in a mitten will be worth it in keeping your fingers from getting too stiff when it is really cold. As for gloves, jackets, head and face covering - Windproof is the name of the game. All the effort is made more difficult if the blowing keeps taking away your heat.

    On your feet - good warm snow paks. Military "bunny boots" work well and a lot of ice fishermen in our area really like them. They keep feet warm - coupled with good Merino wool socks(no itching) or newer synthetic socks - at 40 below on bare ice.

    For those I know, photographers - ranchers - farmers - Fish & Game folks - and the like, keeping warm is keeping alive. The cameras can generally take anything you can.

    If you are where you need to set up and have time and space a Pop-Up ice fishing tent works well and keeps you and the gear protected and out of the wind.

    Hope we get to see some successful Wet Plate work from Kent during a few good SoDak winter days.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  9. #9

    Re: Strategies in Cold - During and After Shoot

    The 1999 Kodak C9 publication that Willie references is excellent. However, Kodak does recommend in that publication that sheet film cameras should be avoided wherever possible in very cold conditions. Having lived in Alaska for 40+ years, I've found that large format leaf shutters tend to freeze open in very cold ( i.e., -30F plus wind ) weather. A mirrorless digital camera small enough to keep warm inside your coat has been the most reliable approach for me in very cold weather.

  10. #10
    Foamer
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    Re: Strategies in Cold - During and After Shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Kashi View Post
    The 1999 Kodak C9 publication that Willie references is excellent. However, Kodak does recommend in that publication that sheet film cameras should be avoided wherever possible in very cold conditions. Having lived in Alaska for 40+ years, I've found that large format leaf shutters tend to freeze open in very cold ( i.e., -30F plus wind ) weather. A mirrorless digital camera small enough to keep warm inside your coat has been the most reliable approach for me in very cold weather.

    Fortunately lately I'm shooting lenses that never had shutters.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

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