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Shooting at -30


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#1 AlejandroGomez

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 08:38 AM

Hi guys,
 
I have a question, its possible to shoot with technical equipment at -30°. The camera it´s supposed to be a Red Epic. Any tips and extra or specialized equipment for shooting in that extreme conditions?
 
Thank you guys!

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#2 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 08:52 AM

Down or similar camera cover..  heated bag for spare batteries..  LCD VF /screen,s can get blue and some lag.. worst case crack .. everything covered up should be fine... biggest problem I think is battery going down fast .. and anything LCD cracking..  you might have to "winterize" your tripod/lenses .. i.e. thinner lubrication .. if its getting really cold with chill factor.. 

 

Big plastic bag to seal camera from condensation when you go into warm interiors.. 

 

The other problem is your own body.. you cant be out all day in that cold.. .. very dangerous ..


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#3 Michael Rodin

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 02:02 PM

Make sure your lenses' focus and t-stop don't get stuck in that cold. 

You can try using heavy-duty NiCd or NiMH batteries (if your rental still has them) as they tend to handle high loads at low temperatures better than lithium.

By the way, if you'll be using HMIs in that cold, keep in mind that newer flicker free ones can have problems with striking at -30. Better strike them inside the truck or get old ones with double-ended globes and choke ballasts.


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#4 AlejandroGomez

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 04:28 AM

Hi guys what about hard drives and computers? 


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#5 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 04:54 AM

Well usually you would be doing down loads etc inside no?...  your not seriously going to be camping out in -30 are you.. :0


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#6 AlejandroGomez

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 05:54 AM

We are shooting car commercial, so we are shooting car to car. The camera will be in the truck/Van. I dont really know if they will take some stills, close ups outside. But the donw loads will be inside of the car, thats for sure! 

 

Any extra advice how to heat up the Environment of the camera ?

 

Thanks for the help guys! 


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#7 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 06:55 AM

Wind chill could be a factor if you're shooting car to car.


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#8 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 08:14 AM

I got a Portabrace Polar Bear cover for shooting in the Arctic last year..  they are designed for ENG type camera,s.. but basically it was just a big down coat for my F5.. they also have pockets on the inside for those chemical hand warmer things.. although I didn't used them myself..  the added plus is it can keep your hands warm too as its big with a smaller camera body in there.. when your operating.. (maybe your on Russian arms anyway..)..   other people I spoke to before that shoot.. had actually had a local bag/coat maker .. make them up a custom cover.. probably cheaper than the Polar Bear.. which is quite expensive .. and would fit perfectly.. 

 

Personally I would take enough cards to cover you each day.. (you cant shoot for 10 hrs in that cold).. rather than down load in a car.. cables will get brittle.. batteries go down fast.. its so cold you really wont want to be doing anything extra like that, believe me .. best done back at your hotel in a calm orderly manner.. and an obvious one.. taking the camera from the cold into a warm car will give you condensation problems for sure.. better to leave it in the cold really..  or have one camera for ext and another for Int..I took big plastic sealable bags made for storing clothes .. (you suck the air out with a hoover to make small for storage).. so air tight.. put the whole camera in,seal it up.. and leave it an hour or so before taking out in your room,warm car int..

 

As Brian says .. with a base of -30 and any windchill.. plus wind from driving..  you might have problems with any LCD screens.. they go blue color wise.. and you will get time lag.. super cold and they can crack.. 


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 06 December 2016 - 08:19 AM.

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#9 Patrick Kaplin

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 06:39 AM

Personally, I've never used a thermal cover.  I find the camera's internal temperature runs so high that heat dissipation is actually improved in colder temperatures.  However, I suppose it couldn't hurt, but I wouldn't always consider it a necessity.  I've shot Red Epic in -36C without a thermal cover with no issues.  Care must be taken for the LCD screens though.  Handwarmers and rubber bands are good friends.

 

One really important thing to be aware of is lens lubrication.  If you don't winterize your lenses, you can expect to have some issues with remote follow focus units.  They may not be able to provide enough torque to properly turn the lens at those temperatures.


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#10 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 07:58 PM

Whenever these posts come up about shooting in the cold I have fond memories of Antarctica in the early 80s. I spent a couple of summers there, doing poop jobs and shooting 16mm on the side, the second time as a stringer for TVNZ in NZ, shooting whatever observational stuff I liked, with notes to develop a piece, at or near McMurdo.

The first time I jumped off a plane, I felt every filling in my mouth shrink, so take care of the body. Hands and feet are the first to suffer. Those white "bunny boots" and bear claw mittens from the Korean war era will save your toes and fingers. Several times, wearing just leather boots in the spring or autum I felt my toes freezing. I would run for a warm hut and thaw out.

Wind chill is a flakey factor. It just means that the air wizzing past is taking heat energy quickly. The wind on the day or a moving car gives that. The old 16mm film cameras need "winterizing", like a CLA with thinner lubricants. Same with lenses. Those who know the stuff can do this easily. But even with winter lube, I remember feeling the grease peel off the metal inside the zoom lens.

All this is just anecdotal, amusing nonsense. Various factors affect the actual temperature of the camera and lens mechanicals. So I think you need to insulate as best you can, to protect those. Batteries will be fine next to your body under your coat if that is possible. Just need a cable. Easy if hand held.
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