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In Part 1, I talked about the effect of cold on Nikon D800 bodies. Today, the focus is on lenses and remote shutter release cables. Cold, frost and wind affect my camera equipment and accessories.

Lenses

I use three Nikkor lenses with D800 bodies. Focus is manual and done on infinity stars.  With the 14-24mm f2.8, once the focus is done, I can tape the focus ring and I am good for the night (week). I haven’t seen any shift of the focus due to cold.  I love shooting at 14mm to get as much aurora as possible in my pictures.

This is another story with the 24mm f1.4 and 20mm f1.8. These are beautiful fast lenses but more difficult to focus -especially the 24mm. And the focus keeps shifting as the equipment gets colder, when the wind picks up… Protecting camera and lens helps but one needs to keep checking for sharp focus.

Frost on the front glass of lenses is also an issue. Protective filters are removed when shooting aurora borealis. Once there is frost on your lens (don’t even think of breathing close to your lens…), it is best to pack it and wait for the frost to melt before cleaning the lens to avoid scratches.

Lots of green on that cold and frosty night in Yellowknife, Canada. Dec 2015.

Lots of green on that cold and frosty night in Yellowknife, Canada. Dec 2015.

Remote shutter

Batteries in wireless remotes die quickly so I use a cable shutter release (MC-30). The cable plastic hardens just below 0°C and becomes brittle, exposing wires. As with other equipment, preventing damaging by protecting cable shutter releases is best. A spare cable shutter release is highly recommended.

Remotes with and without Remote Shutter Release Cover from AT Frosted Lens. Left: just taken out of the car. Right: after 10 min at -10°C (14°F)

Remotes with and without Remote Shutter Release Cover from AT Frosted Lens. Left: just taken out of the car. Right: after 10 min at -10°C (14°F)

 

 

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  1. InstaFollowFast.com

    Specifically, with camera functionality, everything starts to slow down in those temperatures below freezing. Granted, there are probably some cameras out there that are designed to handle more extreme temperatures, but even brand name flagship cameras such as the  Canon 1D X Mark II and the  Nikon D5 are still only rated by the manufacturers for temperatures down to 32°F (0°C). One of the first things that stops working well, or altogether, for my camera setup is the autofocus. I tend to use manual focus pretty much as often as I use autofocus, but when the temperatures drop beyond freezing then the autofocus system on my camera starts operating really slowly and sometimes just stops working. The required usage of manual focus is pretty much inevitable when staying out in frigid temperatures for a longer period of time. The camera, so far, has still been able to operate just fine and capture all the images that I want, but some of those automated features definitely slow down.


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