Classic camera you favour for winter shooting

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by gib, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. gib

    gib

    My name isn't Amundsen, and when I say winter shooting, that is maybe an hour max outside of the car and not much colder than -10C. So given those parameters is their a particular classic camera you favour for shooting outddors in the winter.
    If you can easily post an example shot, that would be a welcome bonus. Thanks
     
  2. Anything with large enough controls to use with gloves.
     
  3. Something completely mechanical with no batteries, meter....
    The Nikon F is good. Praktica L
     
  4. Rolleiflex 2.8E, Nikon FM, and my Praktica LTL. Have used all of those in freezing weather no problem. Worst camera was a Zeiss Contaflex with a sticky shutter...half the roll was blank.
     
  5. gib

    gib

    My worst experience was with a FED 3 which worked fine in warm house air, but produced a blank roll of film in winter weather.
     
  6. The Nikon F flourishes in all seasons.
    Least favored is the Olympus XA 2 and its relatives. I've had two of these (an XA2 and an XA3) fail when shooting in cold weather, both the same way: the camera refuses to fire except on self-timer, and I'm told it's a CPU failure. Maybe just coincidence, but two the same way suggests that these aren't the ones to be using in the cold.
    00VETF-199895584.jpg
     
  7. I'm often shooting Velvia and, therefore, need metering. I'll reach for something from the Nikon FM family (FM, FM2n or FM3a) and will attach the Nikon DB-2. One end of the DB-2 threads onto the camera's battery compartment and the other end holds two AA batteries at the end of the electrical cord, which can stay warm in a coat pocket. My other preferred 'cold weather' body is the Nikon F2AS or F2SB with the AR-1 release attachment; makes the shutter button easier to depress with gloves.
     
  8. My Canon FTb and my Voigtlander Vitomatic seem to work OK during the winter.
    Actually, this is my first winter with the Vitomatic (and it has been mild so far). However, it spent its first four years in the Yukon, and I do remember that my father used it outdoors in the winter up there...but...probably not on the colder days (-30 to -50 F).
    Cheers! Jay
     
  9. I've had my Nikon F3HP out in -10 in North Dakota, and it worked just fine:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Bill, Max 1hr? -10 C or warmer? Close to a warm car or coffee shop? Manual camera? (my Rollei T should qualify) My kinda guy! Someone I could probably photograph along side of without too much stress. Oh, wait a minute! We HAVE shot together. Hold that thought into this winter & perhaps I'll finally get you to agree to come to my favourite haunt, Willow Creek, Midhurst, On. (10 min from Tim Horton's) Samples matching your description can be found in my 2004 folder. (except the temperature, -27F, was a bit outside your, & now I know, MY comfort zone) I won't be caught out like THAT again. :) Any snow up your way? :) Best, LM.
     
  11. gib

    gib

    about eight inches of snow, nothing like Bracebridge and Huntsville who got 50+ centimetres
    we will have to do Willow Creek maybe on Sunday the 20th?
     
  12. gib

    gib

    one of the coldest moments when I was shooting was about -21C and I had two cameras out, a Nikon Coolpix 5700 and a Pentax PZ-1, the 5700 lens blades froze, which freaked me out but they thawed after ten minutes back in the car with the heater working, the PZ-1 never batted an eye at the cold.
     
  13. gib

    gib

  14. I think I'll have to say that my Zeiss Ikon Mess Ikonta is my favorite. Folded up it fits so nicely inside my parka and with it all preset (via all the little red dots) I just have to pull it out of the parka, open it up, cock the shutter, point and shoot. Don't even have to take the gloves off to wind on to the next frame.
     
  15. Nikon F and/or a Mamiya RB67 Pro S if the snow's not too deep or the ice too thin...
     
  16. Well, when its really cold it doesn't really matter, but when its actually snowing i reach for my Argus Super 75. With its hard bakelite/plastic body it cleans up easy. And, if for some reason i slip on the snow/ice and break it, - well you can get another one for just a few bucks. (no big loss). Below, a pix. with it during a 'freak' snow storm...
    00VEVs-199905684.jpg
     
  17. Zenit EM. Without a doubt. It was probably conceived in a blizzard and the bear grease stays fluid at very low temperatures. As a bonus, you can use it to smash the icicles off the door handles of the 4WD. Joking aside, it's very reliable when things get cold, and takes very nice pictures.
    00VEWN-199911584.jpg
     
  18. Once I got the mirror to work without sticking, my SR-T 102 became one of my favorite cold weather cameras. Two others I really like using in the cold are my QL17-GIII and my Konica Auto S2.
     
  19. I used my Minolta SRT 101 many times in the freezing cold winters of Montreal and was able to work all the functions quite well with heavy mitts on. Saw one the other day for $12 in a thrift store.. in mint condition!
     
  20. I rely on my Canon F-1n. The toughness of this camera in harsh conditions is remarkable. Here is a shot taken of the snow geese migration over a frozen marsh at Squaw Creek, MO in sub-zero conditions. The camera worked far better than my hands.
    00VEWq-199917584.jpg
     
  21. A romp in the snow of last weekend with a Yashica Lynx 5000. I'm 58 years old, the camera is 46 years old. It minds the cold less than I do.
    Jim
    00VEX2-199919584.jpg
     
  22. I have used Canon F-1s in moderately cold weather. When I used a Konica TC in cold weather in the late 1970s the shutter stayed frozen in the open position for what seemed like 15 seconds before it finished its cycle. Either the lubrication got too cold or the metal parts of the shutter did not all contract at the same rate. In the very cold winter of 1977 I spent several hours one day walking on the Charles River. The temperature was about 0F and the wind chill was -50F. I used a Konica Autoreflex T3 and tried to keep it inside my parka while I was not actually taking pictures. I read years ago that cameras with cloth shutters had fewer problems in cold weather than cameras with metal shutters. There have been several postings in the Canon FD forum about using the F-1N in very cold weather by removing the battery first. I have two F-1s and an F-1n so I don't have experience with the F-1N in cold weather. Some cameras will work mechanically in very cold weather but their light meters won't work because the batteries can't provide enough power at low temperatures. To solve this problem I used a remote battery pack with my Konica FS-1 and FT-1 cameras. With the remote pack the FT-1 did well in cold weather.
     
  23. I'd say my Nikon F and F2 are great winter cameras, followed by my Hasselblad. The F with the plain prism is pretty much bullet-proof and will work long after my hands have had enough cold.
     
  24. Same as in hot weather, an Ebony. 2nd choice would be a Rollei twin f3.5.
     
  25. I've used Nikon Fs (though reloading with that detachable back and gloves on sucks compared to a hinged back), F2s (better), FM, FM2ns and OM-1ns. I currently prefer the FM2n with a short zoom (no lens changing and broad focusing and zoom rings). None with batteries installed. For a meter, I carry one of my Luna Pros dangling from my neck inside my jacket and 2nd layer, only bringing it out briefly to take a reading when necessary and sliding it back in before it freezes. I have used several P&S's (including XA's & Stylus Epics) in the same manner without a problem. In heavy cold and snow, I tend to slow down and work in a more contemplative fashion.
     
  26. Retina IIa, in its case it still fits very nicely under any parka or coat, well protected from any tumbles, no battery to worry about.
     
  27. I worked at McMurdo Station, Antarctica in the late 90s and I was very happy the way my Nikkormat EL performed there. Never had any problems with the batteries or the mechanics failing due to the extreme temperatures.

    The only issue was the metal camera body would get really cold up against my face and threaten to stick. One of my colleagues rigged up a foam sleeve for his camera to prevent the "tongue-stuck-to-a-flag-pole" syndrome.
     
  28. My K-1000 has worked OK in -20 C weather.
     
  29. My usual NYC winter film camera is a Nikon FM2n with a lithium battery installed and a beater pair: 24/F2.8 and 50/F2. Throw in a couple rolls of XP-2 and I'm ready for the street. The camera's tiny size makes it easy to slip inside my coat when the weather is bad.
    On occasion the Nikon stays home, and I carry an OM2 w/ 50/f1.8 and 24/F2.8, when I know I need "small".
     
  30. Nikkormat FT3. Never a problem up here in the Great White North.
     
  31. My Spotmatic II works well mechanically in the cold, but the meter gets unreliable at low temperatures, so I keep a hand-held meter inside my jacket. A Pentax Super-A proved to be a warm weather only camera. I've used another electronic camera, a Canon A-1 in -10C conditions with no problems. My standard winter beater used to be a Practica MTL5, however the focus ring on some of my East German lenses would lock up after a while in deep the cold - crappy lube. My Spotmatic remains my prefered winter camera. I do have an old 1st gen EOS 630, which has been very reliable for winter street shooting. In medium format, my Kalloflex is the cold weather camera of choice.
     
  32. I love my OM1. Small camera, big controls. I've got some of those gloves that are missing the finger tips. I use an incident hand-held meter because it's somewhat more reliable than trying to compensate back and forth with overly dark (wet) scenes and overly light (snow) scenes. I carry the same lenses as Steve does with his OM2... these are must-haves for me.
    [​IMG]
     
  33. For SLR I would go with any of my Minolta SRT's, Pentax MX or Spotmatic, or Olympus OM-1. For RF I would use either my Konica Auto S2 or Auto S1.6. For medium format I would use either my Yashicamat D or Fuji GS 645 Wide. For compact (meaning pocketable) I would use my Rollei 35 or Olympus 35 RC.
     
  34. Naturally there is a real bias toward all metal mechanical cameras in this post. For myself I would have to say that the wooly cover that my mum knitted for my Rolleiflex adds a whole new dimension to comfortable and warm shooting on those cold days. ;>)
     
  35. Canon F1, Canon FTb
     
  36. gib

    gib

    Steve, do you have a photo of the wool cover you can post?
     
  37. Sadly I am not able to release a picture at this point in time W J. The project is very much 'under wraps' until mum's patent application is approved. Once this is Ok she will be ramping up production and a number of fashionable new knits will be introduced. We are also thinking of creating a matching wooly hat and camera cover set which should go down well with the fashionistas amongst us.
    Steve
     
  38. gib

    gib

    Steve, can I get on the pre-production reserve list? Blue is my favourite colour, brings out my bluegreen eyes
     
  39. I attempt to use the same ol' crap I try to use in the other three seasons. Assorted 35mm, 23 and 45 series Graphics. Shutters will drag sometimes, but usually pretty OK.
    00VFXn-200501584.jpg
     
  40. gib

    gib

    what a great shot SG
     
  41. Here's one for gloved hands:
    [​IMG]
    http://rcbooth.zenfolio.com/p889158784/h1fa20c47#h1fa20c47
    00VFe9-200547584.jpg
     
  42. I've often heard of Leica M's doing well in very cold weather. I haven't tried it with mine. But I once saw a russian leica clone looking very much like the picture above (big knobs designed for gloves). That might be a cheap possibility.
     
  43. We get cold weather (cold enough to snow that is) about once a year in Oxford; our last fall was in February. I reached out for my old Yashica-Mat and a roll of Neopan 400 and it worked fine. here's my neighbourhood churchyard under a few inches of snow.

    [​IMG]
     
  44. The first two responses pretty much covered it. I'd add a hand-held meter that doesn't require batteries.
    My Leica IIIf fits in an inside pocket to stay warm when I'm not using it, and keeps going long after I've lost feeling in my shutter finger.
    00VGHv-200889584.jpg
     
  45. The antarctic Leica is very very cool, but I have to ask, why did they bother to put an extension on the rewind knob? Even if you can manage to get at the rewind lever, you'll need to take your mittens off to open the back and change film anyway, won't you? I know I shouldn't quibble about something that cool, but I wonder if there's any reason for that knob other than symmetry.
     
  46. glove liners work great [thin lycra gloves worn inside heavy mittens]. take one or both mittens off for fiddling with settings, winding, etc. and your hands still stay a lot warmer than bare hands would.
     
  47. Matthew, regarding the "Antarctic Leica", there is a dual purpose for this Leica IIc. The person for whom I modified the camera finds it useful in mild weather too, due to coordination problems with hands. Hence all knobs were made larger so he could handle them more easily.
     

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