Last Friday it was -10 in the morning, -16 with the wind chill. But the sun was shining and I wanted to do something with the roll of TriX film lolling in my Nikon F80. I attached a 50mm lens and left the apartment.
   I was wearing thick socks, lined jeans, a sweatshirt, hat, gloves, and a canvas jacket, so I didn’t feel the freezing temperature. The wind pricked at my face at first, but the cold feeling went away after I walked for a while. Because of increased blood flow or numbness, I’m not sure. The F80 was hanging exposed around my neck, but I thought, “-10 should be okay for a modern-ish camera . . . ” I wasn’t sure if wind chill affects electronics or just an animal’s perception of the cold.
   I only made a very few photos before the batteries in the camera went dead. I turned the camera off and on again, and was happy to see that the battery meter read full. I made another photo and the camera went dead. Off, On, one photo, dead. Off, On, one photo, dead. This was how I used up the roll of film on the way to the village of Seongsan. I’m not sure I’ll have any properly exposed photos on the roll. The film wound through the camera very sluggishly, and I wonder if the shutter was also slowed down by the cold. I’ll find out in a week or so, I guess.
   The F80 is not a professional Nikon model and sits below the single-digit F models and hardier amateur models such as the F100. It’s probably not made to withstand the cold and the weather. I wonder how my F6 would fare on a similar morning. I might try a bit later.
   I once used my Nikon FM3a (why did I sell it!!!!!) in Canada at -46. It worked fine for quite a while until the lubricants and materials froze and it seized up completely. It worked fine once I brought it inside and let it warm up. I presently have an FM2n, and the light meter goes dead if you walk near an open fridge. I don’t much like the light meter in it, anyway. But I’m digressing now.
   Keep warm, and a happy new year to you and yours!

6 thoughts on “Cold

  1. And likewise to you too Marcus!Batteries and cold don't suit each other – when I had the Pentax 67 it hated the cold and was very pernickity in it.If your camera had been in a bag that might have helped a bit. Those microwaveable hand heating bags (gel ones) would keep your camera bag at a decent ambient temperature.Yes . . why did you sell the FM3A???All the best for 2019 from the home of New Years' celebration!P


  2. Or at least the theme song. 🙂 Yes, I thought about the bag and the hot pack when I was halfway to Seongsan. What a fool. I hope the shutter was working.The FM3a . . . . I looked into buying another one a while ago, but the collectors have the price driven sky high. I've read good things about the Minolta 700. It's small and light and has aperture priority and professional (P) modes. Any experience with them? They don't seem to be prized by collectors, so the prices are reasonable here.


  3. Those are seriously low temperatures. So far (tempting fate I know!) here in Northern Ireland it’s been a mild winter…11 degrees C / 52 F today, for example. I’d be in survival mode at those temperatures Marcus not caring whether a camera fired or not!


  4. I would not have brought with me a \”battery camera\” in that sort of temperatures I guess. I would go for the FM2 and nothing much else if I were you. You probably would have to cope without the light meter, but everything else would at least work as long as it's not cold enough for your film to break 🙂 I think this is one of the reasons I mostly own and use cameras which can be operated and used without batteries, if you look away from the huge medium format cameras of japanese origin, of course.


  5. The F6 works better in cold/chilly weather. I could use the FM2n without batteries, but I don't have an external light meter. I've used the F16 rule more or less successfully in the past, but I would rather have a more accurate exposure. My iPhone has a light exposure application, but the iPhone dies very quickly when it's cold. I think the lesson is, 'stay inside and drink tea'.


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