/ D3000 in the cold

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Bob_the_Builder - on 02 Jan 2013
I'm going on a skiing/wandering around trip to the alps at the end of January, and I'm planning on taking my Nikon D3000. I'm wondering how noticeable the loss of battery life will be, having never really taken it to a cold place before. My friend said when he was there last year in got down to -10/-15 though I don't really know, I'm just gonna take enough clothes for a lot colder and see what happens.

I'd also like advice about filters, I know a lot of people use a filter so they don't need a lens cap, is that a reasonable option?

As a third thing (I don't know anything about cameras and cold obviously) I've taken it out in Scotland winter a few times and when I get it home, even when dry, the thing is all condensed up. Any suggestions on how to avoid that?

Thanks
What Goes Up - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to Bob_the_Builder:
> I'm going on a skiing/wandering around trip to the alps at the end of January, and I'm planning on taking my Nikon D3000. I'm wondering how noticeable the loss of battery life will be, having never really taken it to a cold place before. My friend said when he was there last year in got down to -10/-15 though I don't really know, I'm just gonna take enough clothes for a lot colder and see what happens.
>
Don't know about noticeable battery life dropoff with your particular camera (or any Nikon for that matter) but in properly low temperatures think about carrying a (spare?) battery around tucked up nice and snug inside your clothing. Warm is good.
> I'd also like advice about filters, I know a lot of people use a filter so they don't need a lens cap, is that a reasonable option?
>
Is it a great hardship to have a lens cap? It's not like there's a big weight gain to be had by leaving it behind, and tbh I've never heard of anyone using a filter 'instead' of a lens cap, just as an extra layer of protection. True lots of people use something like a UV or skylight to protect the front element, but actually most lenses are more durable than you'd think - on anything but the cheapest the coating is pretty solid these days. I used to religiously have a filter in front of all my lenses but have scrapped the lot recently and now that lovely expensive piece of glass which I paid for and is the reason I actually bought it is open to the elements and doing what it was designed to do rather than having to battle its way through another layer. Give me a lens cap over a filter any day of the week.
> As a third thing (I don't know anything about cameras and cold obviously) I've taken it out in Scotland winter a few times and when I get it home, even when dry, the thing is all condensed up. Any suggestions on how to avoid that?
>
Can't help you there but it wouldn't hurt to have some of those little silicone bags or whatever they are dotted around your camera bag if your kit's exposed to that much moisture. I often get fogging when I go from cold outdoors to warm indoors environments but it passes soon enough. If it's a regular thing though do keep an eye out for fungus on the internal optics - it can creep in without you knowing it and unless its worth you paying a good few hundred quid to get your lens back it's a one-way ticket.
> Thanks
No probs.

Bob_the_Builder - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up:

Thanks for the advice.

At what temperature does it count as "properly low"? I suppose a spare battery is a good idea anyway, I'll look into that.

For the filter, I'm deffo not a weight weenie (If I was I'd have to lose a few kilos myself!) but from conversations I've had I got the impression that
1. Lens cap is a faff and can get lost
2. You might need a UV filter anyway for the snow so why have both
3. No lens cap means faster prep time for taking the photo

I think the condensation is just from the temp difference, I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets it. The silicon sachets is a good suggestion! How do you check for fungus and what do you do if you see it starting to develop?

Again cheers for the help.
What Goes Up - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to Bob_the_Builder:
> (In reply to What Goes Up)
>
> Thanks for the advice.
>
> At what temperature does it count as "properly low"? I suppose a spare battery is a good idea anyway, I'll look into that.
>
Dunno tbh, sticking a finger in the air and suggesting maybe -5? I'd like to think that most kit should be comfortable down to at least freezing point. Have a look at this test of a Canon 7d (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCT-YMgjm9k) - which of course is a different beast to your camera but hopefully at least shows that they aren't all made of dlicate cut glass and have to be put to bed in a mink coat each night.

(Presumably yours will have less weather sealing than the Nikon equivalent in key areas for the stuff your talking about and a less-robust body [more plastic, less metal]- the dropping it down stairs thing I'm imagining isn't top of your priority list anyway). I think the message is that a modern camera can take quite a pounding. My little old 450d before I upgraded it certainly did. If you fancy replicating the test with a D3000, please make sure you post the link here for us to watch!
> For the filter, I'm deffo not a weight weenie (If I was I'd have to lose a few kilos myself!) but from conversations I've had I got the impression that
> 1. Lens cap is a faff and can get lost
Get a different lens cap - pinch-grip is the way to go unless you're planning on being in a siutation where you can't take your gloves off, but to be honest I only find that to be an issue when I'm using a big lens with a massive lens hood and have to reach right inside it to take the cap off. Any other time I'd struggle to think of a situation where taking the lens cap off is your biggest worry in taking a shot (unless you're shooting nature and need to have it ready to go at a split-second's notice). You're right though that lens caps do get lost. I lost one a couple of days ago, and screwed a filter on at the end of the evening just to keep the lens protected on the way home. So filters aren't all bad.
> 2. You might need a UV filter anyway for the snow so why have both
Because your filter will still get covered with crap while you carry it around without a cap on?
> 3. No lens cap means faster prep time for taking the photo
>
What exactly are you planning on photographing?

> I think the condensation is just from the temp difference, I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets it. The silicon sachets is a good suggestion! How do you check for fungus and what do you do if you see it starting to develop?
>
Good news is fungus is quite rare so apologies if I rattled you, but to check take the lens off, hold it up to the light and play around a bit at different focal lengths, especially at the wider end. Look out for crystals which look like snowflakes creeping in from the sides. As I understand it, and I'm no expert having only had one lens on the receiving end [but that was enough to make me read up on it at the time] it's like little acidic beasties which burn their way in and that's what makes them such a bugger to get rid of. Happily even if you do have them it doesn't necessarily mean that the lens is screwed now - you can shoot through it depending on where it is - just that it will be one day. On the very off chance you do find some fungus though keep that lens out of the rest of your camera bag!
> Again cheers for the help.

What Goes Up - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up: (missed the final bit of your question: 'what do you do?' - if it's a [very] expensive lens get it repaired ASAP. If not, keep using it with the understanding that it, alas, has been given a death sentence - if the fungus has just started you may have a good few years in it yet before it becomes noticeable in your images. Keep it away from the rest of your kit just in case, but most importantly of all don't be an arsehole and sell it on ebay for its full price - it might just come back to bite you.
Hannes on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to Bob_the_Builder: A lens hood will protect better than a uv filter for knocks against the front of the lens, it'll also make your photos better so if you don't have one that is essential. A filter of good quality will set you back easily up to 50 depending on size, how much is your lens worth? If it is the kit lens I wouldn't even bother, just get a new one if it against all odds break but don't be fooled into buying a cheap filter as it will degrade image quality, make autofocus worse and may give vignetting though the last is true for any full thickness filter.

What UV filters are best for protecting against are splashes of things and making it easier to clean the front glass though that is not needed that often. If you do get one buy a good quality one, preferably a B+W multi coated one as they are probably the best but and at smaller sizes don't cost a fortune. They can't replace a lens cap completely though
harry1969 - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to Bob_the_Builder:
> I'd also like advice about filters, I know a lot of people use a filter so they don't need a lens cap, is that a reasonable option?
>
I've a book called "Remote Exposure: A Guide to Hiking and Climbing Photography" where the author recommends leaving the lens caps at home and using a filter (UV or Skylight) as protection from dirt for the lens when the camera's in it's bag for just the reason you mention, sometimes you need to access the camera very quickly for a shot where the extra 1/2 second taking the lens cap off means you miss the shot altogether. I've followed this advice on a trip to the Alps and I didn't regret not having the lens caps and whilst I agree with the advice about lens hoods They usually come off (or get reversed) for going back in the bag so won't do the same job as a filter.

Also re advice on only getting filters of 50 or so. I use filters of a decent (but not extortionate - like B+W IMO) like Hoya, Kood, Jessops etc. I've looked at various tests online of filter and taken my own test shots with and without a selection of my own filters and tbh I can't see any degredation of image quality with sensibly priced filters. The online tests do show that some filters are better than others at reducing UV (and these are NOT necessarily the expensive ones!) but since that's not even the point in question it's pretty much irrelevant anyway.

Hope some of this helps.

Harry

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