Are my classics safe at 125F? (50C)

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by marco_vera|1, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. I will be eagerly heading to California next week and my bags are
    packed with my full Contax RF outfit and the trusty Rollei 2.8F...

    I will be visiting death valley and taking early morning pictures. Are
    these the last the Sonnars will produce before separating in the heat?
    I will be air conditioning them in my car with me...Should I leave the
    Contax at home and just go with my Nikon SLR?

    I love to use these cameras but would hate to see them die from
    exposure to the sun (heat).

    What would you do?
  2. I have never been at 125 degrees but my (old) cameras have never had a problem with 90-100 or high humidity.
  3. It is easy to hit 125F or higher inside a car parked in the sun with the windows rolled up or nearly up, even in Seattle (Yeah, CE, you guessed right about Seattle). My solution is to use a large insulated lunch bag, and place some of those pre-frozen blue things in the lunch bag along with the photography stuff. Or fill a cooler with ice and have your gear inside water tight ziplock bags. I doubt that you find much shade in Death Valley. The things you freeze the night before are much neater than ice, and you can find them in all sizes at places like Fred Myers, or the equivalent in your neighborhood. Target?
  4. Should be fine...(mark in Scottsdale, currently 112-115....)
  5. When heading into that kind of heat, I always carry film and sensitive equipmemt in an ice chest. Place your gear in sealable plastic food containers, on top of the ice. Keep the water drained to a level that can't harm anything, but not empty. You can keep your lunch and drinks in there, too.
  6. The ice chest is a very good idea (just don't add ice).

    I'd worry most about the temeperature transitions. Moving from a room with AC into the heat will cause some thermal stress. After all, lens separation does happen with older Zeiss lenses.

  7. Thanks for the ice chest suggestion I had not thought of that. Styrofoam is cheap and disposable once I'm done with it. I will also watch temperature gradients...this should be interesting...thanks
  8. Temp of 125 won't hurt the lens itself, as long as it takes a reasonably long time getting there. Depending on the condition, however, it might cause grease to separate and migrate and result in oil fouling the shutter and/or diaphragm leaves, as well as other potential problems (not to mention hazing the glass, though that cleans up well).

    I've got three pre-War Tessars that sat in my van, internal temperatures up to 140F or higher, for two weeks last September while house hunting after a move. They'll all fine.
  9. 'Blue Ice' is great for extended cooling in the field but there is another system of refrigeration that is satisfactory for several days and has an added advantage. I use empty plastic 'Glibley's' gin bottles and fill them 3/4 full before freezing. Line the bottom of a foam chest with them and have enough for another layer to cover the stuff in the box. Keep closed and sealed as long as possible and you can keep stuff refrigerated for several days even in Death Valley heat. After the ice in the bottles melts it is still good for drinking, so you are killing two birds with one stone. Beats heck out of Blue Ice and it might even be fun to fill several bottles with pre-mixed Martinis!
  10. Marco, your cameras will melt into little puddles of metal and plastic and glass.

    More seriously, my wife and I went through Death Valley a couple of years ago. We encountered air temperatures of 115 degrees F and I'm sure our car's trunk and its contents got hotter. No problems with my relatively modern Nikons, AF35ML, or ancient Graphics. And the film survived too.

    Have a good time, don't worry so much,
  11. You could end up with lens damage (oil on diaphgram). The car's temp can become phenomenal and go past your number above with ease. I keep my camera equipment in the footwell of my truck ALWAYS in SHADE. A small cooler to protect them helps, but if you leave it in the sun, I won't make much difference after a while. If needed, the A/C is on with the footwell vent open. Exellent insulation can be given by some newspapers. Do NOT put the equipment in the trunk of the car. If you go outside to take pictures, YOU will more than likely fail before the camera equipment anyway. A large hat/sunglasses and drink water all of the time...its survival. I remember speaking to an elderly woman who owned a ranch close to Tucson.. She found a PHOTOGRAPHER in her carport...dead from exposure...still holding onto the camera....
  12. The only good photographer is a dead photographer

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