Winter Photography in the Cold

As per my last post I was at my brother's place over the new year, and it as cold, as in dark side of the moon cold. I chose a Nikon F2S and a three lens kit and in the end I just shot with the Pre Ai 50 f1.4 lens because it was too cold to change lenses.

VIP Seats to the Chill

Everyone has an opinon but I found from personal experience my mechanical Nikons are sturdy workhorses for less than wonderful weather, even then I found the F2 and Nikkor 50 f1.4 lens struggled below -20c windchills. I saw the same situation a few years back the last time I took a F2 into the cold over March Break that coincided with a polar vortex and I saw the same symptoms. Moral of the story this camera is great above -10c, below not so much. I noticed the end results were a little more dreamy then planned call it a happy accident.

Cold Morning for a Jog

That said the cameras I would recommend are Nikon FM, FM2n, and the mechanical Nikkormat series. Vertical copal shutters I found work well in bitter cold temperatures. In fact, the Canadian Government used the Nikon FM2n in the high arctic for years because they didn't fail in the cold. The same can be said for any camera with a mechanical vertical copal or leaf shutter. They will all work when it gets bitter.

Icy Beach

Now the other thing, dress properly out there when the temperature gets bitter. The Chrismas present I love the most this year is my Patagonia Windsweep 3 in one jacket. Warm enough I didn't even need a sweater underneath. The other thing is gloves, I have fleece pair from the Running Room, they were great for handling the camera controls when it is frostbite in 20 minutes weather.

RC Harris Under the Snow

The big thing you have to manage is making sure your camera doesn't fog up when you come indoors. Keep it in the camera bag for a bit to ease it into another temperature zone.

End of the Line

Camera: Nikon F2S, Nikkor Pre Ai 50 f1.4 lens.
Film: Kosmo Mono 100, Rodinal 1+50 @7.5 minutes 


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