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Thread: Dec trip to Beijing and Harbin

  1. #1

    Default Dec trip to Beijing and Harbin

    Hi,
    been a long time i've posted in CS.

    I'm planning a trip to Beijing and Harbin this coming Dec, as I've never been to such a climate before (temp can hit -20 degrees Celsius), I'm kind of cautious.

    1. Clothing. Weather is going to be pretty harsh there, so I want to be prepared. Some friends of mine told me that i just need to make sure I'm wearing long johns and make sure my head is covered, the rest just wear boots, jeans and a warm jacket.

    Is that enough?

    2. Gloves. any tips on operating the camera since my fingers will be covered by my gloves? don't think i'll be able to push those small buttons and turn those dials.

    3. Bag and protection of equipment. I'm concern about protecting my equipment from the weather and carrying some stuff ard. I got two options:

    a. get a daypack from lowepro. this basically solves everything but it's costly.

    b. use a normal backpack but buy those neoprene cover to wrap around my camera.

    Would any of these options ble to protect my DSLR from the cold?

    4. Lastly, any recommended places to shoot at beijing and harbin? I like land/city scape

    TIA

  2. #2
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec trip to Beijing and Harbin

    Quote Originally Posted by ahming111 View Post
    Hi,
    been a long time i've posted in CS.

    I'm planning a trip to Beijing and Harbin this coming Dec, as I've never been to such a climate before (temp can hit -20 degrees Celsius), I'm kind of cautious.

    1. Clothing. Weather is going to be pretty harsh there, so I want to be prepared. Some friends of mine told me that i just need to make sure I'm wearing long johns and make sure my head is covered, the rest just wear boots, jeans and a warm jacket.

    Is that enough?

    2. Gloves. any tips on operating the camera since my fingers will be covered by my gloves? don't think i'll be able to push those small buttons and turn those dials.

    3. Bag and protection of equipment. I'm concern about protecting my equipment from the weather and carrying some stuff ard. I got two options:

    a. get a daypack from lowepro. this basically solves everything but it's costly.

    b. use a normal backpack but buy those neoprene cover to wrap around my camera.

    Would any of these options ble to protect my DSLR from the cold?

    4. Lastly, any recommended places to shoot at beijing and harbin? I like land/city scape

    TIA
    You can get most cold weather information from here:
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/threa...15#post5626815

    Seriously, when you put another cover over the camera, you do not protect it from the cold. It is effective for people because we generate heat. inanimate objects don't. -20 deg C is not that cold. I used my D90 with several DX lenses in -25 deg C weather and had no problems at all.

    Just read the link above on taking care when moving from cold to warm environments. It is more important to protect yourself more than your equipment.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Dec trip to Beijing and Harbin

    I visited Beijing and Harbin in February 2009. The temperature in Beijing was then fluctuating between -2 and 6 to 7 degree while Harbin was between -5 and -25. Beijing should not be a problem at all. As for Harbin where the average day time temperature was about -12 to -13, I would suggest that you wear longjohns made from microfleece, a layer or two of clothing (this can be any thickness or fabric depending on your ability to take the cold) and an other layer that is thick and resistant to wind. The problem with Harbin is that the temperature outside is very cold but once you step inside any building, you would be perspiring because most of them have the heater turned on way too high. You must therefore be able to remove the thick layer of outer jacket/windbreaker quickly to prevent you from perspiring. Longjohns made from cotton should not be considered because if you were to perspire, your sweat is trapped in the fabric and if you were to step into the outside again before the cotton dries up, you will catch a chill easily. Microfleece is the best under the circumstances and to a lesser extent, wool. As for gloves, it will indeed be difficult for you to handle your camera well. Even with your gloves on, the cold can be numbling especially when the winds blow. If you want full protection, a bit "kiasu" in my opinion, consider wearing a pair of Lowepro gloves inside and wear an exceptionally large pair of gloves where the top part, from the second phalange onward, can be flipped away at the moment you want to use your camera and then flipped back for protection when you are done with it.

    The main concern of the camera is the battery. At that temperature, your battery lasts much shorter than usual. Bring spare batteries and keep these warm when not in use. You will certainly need them. I brought spare batteries but kept them in my camera bag and when my camera went dead while I was at an ice-sculpture exhibition one night, my spare battery didn't last long. Try putting your batteries next to a packet of chemical warmer that can last up to 24 hours. Other than that, your camera and lenses should be pretty hardy and daredevil has said, -25 is not really a problem. By the way, I love cold weather.

    I don't think you need any advice on where to shoot in Beijing. This is after all the imperial capital of China during the Ming and Qing dynasties and there are plenty of places to spend your time. As for Harbin, there is a strong Russian influence. Take a stroll along Central Street, pay a visit to Sophia Church, pay a visit to the Songjiang River Park. I think the river will have already frozen by December and you can actually walk along the frozen river and see old folks taking their daily swim in dug-out holes. I doubt the ice/snow exhibition has started but you should check.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Dec trip to Beijing and Harbin

    You can read this too. I posted in there about my experience in Harbin last December...

    And I agree with Nikonmaniac's post above.

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