Using Nikon D80 below freezing

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Paige Miller, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. Paige Miller

    Paige Miller Guest

    I have a new Nikon D80 and the outside temperature is below freezing
    this week for the first time all winter.

    How well does the camera work in this weather? The manual says that
    the operating conditions are 32 deg F and above.

    If you have any tips or tricks for using a D80 in winter conditions,
    please share!

    Paige Miller

    It's nothing until I call it -- Bill Klem, NL Umpire
    If you get the choice to sit it out or dance,
    I hope you dance -- Lee Ann Womack
    Paige Miller, Jan 18, 2007
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  2. Paige Miller

    Doug Payne Guest

    I've used my D100 in some pretty cold conditions to at least -25C (-13F)
    and it works fine. I assume the D80 will be similar. All the usual
    caveats about using any camera in cold weather apply, particularly when
    going between inside and outside. There's lots of good info about that
    available. Basically, don't take it out of your camera bag right away
    when you go back indoors; give it a few hours to acclimatise, else be
    prepared to deal with condensation. Don't take it outside if there is
    condensation in the camera or lens. Keeping the battery as warm as
    possible will prolong its life, although lithium-ion does pretty well;
    carry a spare in an inside pocket and swap back and forth frequently.
    The LCD screens might stop working at really low temps.

    Don't stick your tongue on the metal parts :)
    Doug Payne, Jan 18, 2007
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  3. Paige Miller

    Rudy Benner Guest

    You might have a few issues of fogging when bringing the camera outside.

    I use my Nikon outside in well below freezing temperatures. No problem.
    Rudy Benner, Jan 18, 2007
  4. Paige Miller

    Paige Miller Guest

    Thanks! That's very helpful and very re-assuring.
    Darn, I was planning on doing that too!

    Paige Miller

    It's nothing until I call it -- Bill Klem, NL Umpire
    If you get the choice to sit it out or dance,
    I hope you dance -- Lee Ann Womack
    Paige Miller, Jan 18, 2007
  5. Paige Miller

    darkroommike Guest

    The camera usually doesn't fog when going from warm to cold
    only when returned to the warm humid interior of your nice
    warm house or car after taking on the outside ambient temp.
    Pack a BIG zipper freezer bag, put the cold camera in the
    bag, Zip, and then bring it in to warm up. The cold outside
    air is very low humidity, let the camera warm to room temp
    before opening the bag, no condensation. The bag is handy
    when it's raining, too, and when you're done shooting makes
    a practical (if somewhat stupid looking) rain hat. Great
    also to store all your little bits and pieces for
    presentation at the airport line for hand inspection:
    cards, batteries, flash cords, etc.
    darkroommike, Jan 18, 2007
  6. Take some long exposures... the sensor is more noise-free in freezing
    Phil, Non-Squid, Jan 19, 2007
  7. Paige Miller

    Sheldon Guest

    I used my Nikon D70 in well below freezing temps today with no problems.
    Well, there was this problem of trying to shoot a white dog in the snow, but
    that has nothing to do with the camera's function.
    Sheldon, Jan 19, 2007
  8. Paige Miller

    tomm42 Guest

    Keep the camera inside your top layer so it stays warm, as it said on
    another post, keep a warm spare battery. Cold really stresses
    batteries, don't expect the same performance from your battery below
    freezing (or even at freezing) thatyou get at 80 F. Switching batteries
    with a warm one may increase the number of photos, I'll have to try it
    this winter.

    tomm42, Jan 19, 2007
  9. The trick is generally to keep the camera relatively warm. Do
    that by keeping it under your coat as much as possible.

    Note that cold batteries are not discharged or dead, and as soon
    as they are warmed up they'll work again. Hence if the camera
    stops working, warm it up!

    I don't know about the D80 batteries, but with a Nikon D2x the
    batteries I have are a royal *pain*. They cannot be swapped. A
    fully charged battery can be put into the camera and work, but
    if it is immediately removed from the camera it cannot be used
    again until it is first "recharged" in a charger.

    Charged batteries that are left sitting for a length of time
    will also not work until put through another charge cycle.

    One effect is that the camera cannot be used to verify the
    charge state of a battery, because doing so leaves the battery
    "dead". And it is impossible to know if a battery that was
    charged last week is going to work or not, so grabbing two or
    three "charged" batteries and heading out the door probably
    means a battery disaster.

    Be careful when you take a cold camera into a warm moist
    environment. Under your coat generally is not moist unless you
    have been exercising and are wet and sweating. But going from
    outside into a house is a problem. Warm air can hold more
    moisture, but when it comes in contact with the cold camera that
    moisture condenses out.

    The camera does not need to be all the way up to room
    temperature, and it does not need to be in an air tight
    container. Just keep the warm moist air off the camera until
    the temperature of the camera is warm enough (40F, for example
    is usually enough) to avoid condensation. Some camera bags will
    work (but some won't, and none are as good as a plastic bag for
    other reasons).

    The easy way is to keep a few plastic bags handy (e.g., in your
    vehicle or in your camera bag). Kitchen size garbage bags are
    good, and for most cameras one or two plastic "grocery bags"
    will do fine too. They do not have to be air tight, you just
    need to prevent air from circulating, and that can be done by
    just squeezing most of the air out of the bag while still in a
    cold area.

    Air is a very good insulator, hence any container that has a lot
    of air in it will also mean it takes more time for the camera to
    warm up. A camera bag, or a large zip lock back sealed full of
    air, are examples. It may take hours more...

    I commonly wrap a Nikon D2x up in a plastic grocery bag, and
    then put that into another grocery bag. For smaller cameras or
    individual lenses, a single bag is fine because it can just be
    rolled up in a ball. The idea is to get as much air out as
    possible, and then not do anything that will cause air to be
    move back into the bag. Set it down in one place and leave it
    until warm.
    Wear loose shoes with thermal knit socks, and keep your forehead
    warm. Also, a vest under your jacket, to help keep the core of
    your body warm, is nice too. But *do* *not* *sweat* in cold

    Cameras work better when you aren't hypothermic... :)
    Floyd L. Davidson, Jan 19, 2007
  10. Paige Miller

    Mike Fields Guest

    Sheesh -- who better to talk about cold weather than somebody from
    Barrow, AK (especially at this time of year). Good time for practicing
    your "nite shots" too up there !!

    Mike Fields, Jan 19, 2007
  11. That stuff is all sort of an every day thing here. :)
    Floyd L. Davidson, Jan 20, 2007
  12. Paige Miller

    Mike Fields Guest

    Yeah -- I used to work with a guy that spent a number of years in
    Wainwright - used to enjoy his stories of running his dog teams
    (or did they run him ??).

    Mike Fields, Jan 20, 2007
  13. That must have been interesting! Wainwright is a pretty nice

    I used to run dogs, and raced them too, but that was a long time

    Hopefully, you run the dogs. But when they decide to run you,
    you don't have any choice at all! Kinda like being tied to the
    back end of a freight train gone wild.

    Letting loose with a well trained dog team is second only to
    Floyd L. Davidson, Jan 20, 2007
  14. Paige Miller

    Mike Fields Guest

    Yep, pretty much what he said too (he had them get away a couple
    of times). Or you get a fight started. Said he learned to carry an
    old axe handle so he could wade into the middle of the fight and
    get their attention.

    Mike Fields, Jan 20, 2007
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