Changing lenses in cold weather


Jun 13, 2009
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#1
Hi, understand that it's advisable not to change lenses in extreme cold weather. But is it still fine to change in the open for temperatures ranging 10-15 degree Celsius?
 

rhema83

New Member
Nov 14, 2010
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#2
10-15 degrees Celsius is not even considered cold by many people in temperate climates. Therefore the answer is a definite "no problem"!
 

cp1238

New Member
May 23, 2007
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#3
Hi avalancheseah,change lenses below 0°C, the s/s lenses mount will contract,body mount also contact,both side will have scratches and must force to unmount: (
 

qystan

New Member
Jul 8, 2010
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#4
cp1238 said:
Hi avalancheseah,change lenses below 0°C, the s/s lenses mount will contract,body mount also contact,both side will have scratches and must force to unmount: (
This is factual experience or perceived?
 

rhino123

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 1, 2006
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#5
Good advise from National Geographic, when shooting at sub-zero temperature.

Tips for Cold Weather Shooting From Cotton Coulson and Sisse Brimberg -- National Geographic

I think the main thing about changing lenses in such cold environment outdoor was more on, you will cause moisture or condensation inside the camera body due to the difference in temperature from the ambience to the body.

Another nice site to read is,

Cold Weather Photography - How to Take Photographs in Cold Weather

Actually I have not been to these type of places... but I would believe that in any sub-zero condition, any water vapour or moisture that are on the body of the camera and lens will freeze and become ice (thin film of ice), thus it would cause the lens that are already being attached to the camera body very difficult to be remove (theoretically).

As to temperature at around 10-15 degree, theoretically, it should not be a problem, however there is the condensation issues that might be a problem, because of the difference in ambience temperature and camera body temperature. it was like, when you are in a very cold air-con room, and once you walk out of the room and into warm outdoor temperature, your spectacle will fogged up as condensation happen.

Taking that theory to your camera and lens, the interior of your camera are warmer than the ambience temperature, thus when you remove your lens and thus expose the interior of your camera to the outside temperature, it will rapidly cool the interior of the camera. However as you insert a new lens to it and started shooting, temperature will rise rapidly thus causing condensation. (anyway, those are all theory, not sure how the actual thing works).

Hope it helps.
 

Jun 13, 2009
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#6
Thanks all for your replies.
Just check the weather of the places I'm visiting. Now, it's below zero to 15 degrees. I'm going to kunming, lijiang, Dali and shangrila btw. Prob, I might bring a spare dlsr body -500d. It'd light anyway, so shouldn't pose a weight concern.
 

Aug 29, 2011
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#7
I had been to all those places you mentioned during Christmas and there was no with my camera or lenses. I had been to Haarbin where the day time temperature averaged about -14 and night time temperature plunged close to -30 and I didn't experience any particular problem with my camera or lenses. If you should encounter the occasional fogging of your lenses, don't change your lens to avoid moisture from getting into the lens through the rear mount and into your camera. After a short while, it will be ok. Just enjoy your trip to Yunnan. The weather is not particularly cold at this time during the day and early evening. Do bring extra battery though.
 

Jun 13, 2009
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#8
Hahaa. Thanks. But it's too late, I dun have extra battery. Heard that 60d and 7d batt can last long. I will charge it every night. But thanks for your advice any way.
 

Last edited:

Tyrov

New Member
Dec 7, 2008
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#9
Hi, understand that it's advisable not to change lenses in extreme cold weather. But is it still fine to change in the open for temperatures ranging 10-15 degree Celsius?
It will be fine. Thousands of people in the US, Europe and Japan to name a few places change lenses in those temps just fine. 10 - 15 isn't that cold by the way. It is still shorts weather.
 

achtung7

New Member
May 19, 2008
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#11
I have just changed lens 2 weeks ago at sub-zero and rather windy conditions halfway up a mountain in USA.. there wasn't any problem at all. You don't get condensation when the weather is cold.. condensation happens when you bring a cold surface in contact with warm, moist air...
 

loveko

New Member
Jul 12, 2010
595
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Yishun
#12
Good advise from National Geographic, when shooting at sub-zero temperature.

Tips for Cold Weather Shooting From Cotton Coulson and Sisse Brimberg -- National Geographic

I think the main thing about changing lenses in such cold environment outdoor was more on, you will cause moisture or condensation inside the camera body due to the difference in temperature from the ambience to the body.

Another nice site to read is,

Cold Weather Photography - How to Take Photographs in Cold Weather

Actually I have not been to these type of places... but I would believe that in any sub-zero condition, any water vapour or moisture that are on the body of the camera and lens will freeze and become ice (thin film of ice), thus it would cause the lens that are already being attached to the camera body very difficult to be remove (theoretically).

As to temperature at around 10-15 degree, theoretically, it should not be a problem, however there is the condensation issues that might be a problem, because of the difference in ambience temperature and camera body temperature. it was like, when you are in a very cold air-con room, and once you walk out of the room and into warm outdoor temperature, your spectacle will fogged up as condensation happen.

Taking that theory to your camera and lens, the interior of your camera are warmer than the ambience temperature, thus when you remove your lens and thus expose the interior of your camera to the outside temperature, it will rapidly cool the interior of the camera. However as you insert a new lens to it and started shooting, temperature will rise rapidly thus causing condensation. (anyway, those are all theory, not sure how the actual thing works).

Hope it helps.
Agree. It happens to me last overseas trip. I was shooting outdoor temp was about 32degrees, after shooting outdoors for 4hrs i go for rest at my check-in room which my room temp ard 17deg. I kept the camera inside my bag for overnight until i woke up on early morning and i notice my 50mm lens got condensation on its interior glasses. Still i can use the camera, but pics blurry. Luckily, around 10am sunlight was too high already enough for the condensation to dry for the lens. What i have done is i just take the lens and position alternately direct to the sun, the circular moisture inside the lens was remove little by little until it disappears which it took for me 1hr to keep the interior lens dry.
 

NazgulKing

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2009
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#13
I would be more worried that your skin peels off when the temperature reaches below -30 than anything else.
 

iamnubie

New Member
Jul 25, 2010
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Singapore
#14
no problem, just avoid things getting inside your body, like snowfall, etc
 

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