Cold / Hot Weather Effect on Lenses/Glass

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by StoneNYC, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    There's no lens specific category, Mods feel free to move.

    So I had left my camera in my car today and went to do the trash and decided to take it on as the night had gotten cold.

    I know that lenses will expand/contract per weather condition.

    But when we go out and shoot in cold or hot areas, this happens anyway.

    My question is, battery issues aside and ignoring the idea of leaving the camera/lens in a baking car in direct sunlight on a 100° day...

    Is there any reason I can't leave my camera lenses in the car overnight? Will the constant expansion/contraction really do that much harm to them more then if I went out shooting every day anyway?

    Thanks.


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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  2. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    The expansion/contraction of parts left in the car will be much slower than when you take a warm camera straight out into the frost. Or when you bring that now frozen camera back into a warm house. So I would think any harm would be less than keeping the camera in the house and subjecting it to sudden temperature changes.
     
  3. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Thanks, yea that's what I was thinking, I guess now it's just up to the battery issue. I just always want to have my camera with me, but I like to have different cameras with me, but carting them in and out of the car back and forth is a pain...

    Unless anyone else disagrees I think thats the answer.

    However, what about REALLY cold temperatures, like when it gets severely cold or severely hot, then is there more danger?
     
  4. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I'd be more concerned about the loss of the camera due to theft, left in the car, than I would damage from temperature changes.
     
  5. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Not worried about that too much, I live in a very safe neighborhood in suburbia, I don't even lock my car (but that's because my alarm is broken and goes off randomly at night) but I do lock it if I were out somewhere with my camera equipment in it of course... I'm not worried about the entire car being stolen either, it's a 2001 Saab, not worth much in parts and has a really good anti theft lock system.
     
  6. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    I've had mechanical film cameras reach an outdoor ambient temperature of -60 degrees Fahrenheit with no problems. Of course film becomes quite brittle, and moisture does condense on them when bringing them inside. Letting them reach room temperature sealed inside an airtight container reduces problems with this. When frequently photographing from cars, try dressing warmly and leaving the car interior temperature close to the outside temperature. Good photography is more about doing what is necessary and less a matter of comfort and convenience.
     
  7. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    And where are you going that's -60 damn!! haha

    Your last statement is very correct.
     
  8. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    You're tempting theft by leaving your cameras and lenses in the car, irrespective of where the car is kept. There is no ill effect occasioned cameras or lenses from hot or cold conditions, but consistently very humid conditions such as those found in the tropics, can lead to the formation of fungus chiefly inside lenses, but on occasion on mirrors, internal viewfinder lens etc. About the only irritation you'll deal with going from warm environment to a cold one is fogging of the lens and viewfinder.
     
  9. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    Well, you could not leave a camera in a car where I live, for sure. Sometimes worry about leaving the car in the car!
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    As an aside, I would be very surprised if an insurance company would pay out on a claim for camera equipment stolen from a car left unlocked over night.
     
  11. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Cold itself won't hurt your camera or film (aside from brittleness, and possibility of static streaks). Heat can definitely harm both. Film will be fogged by too high a temperature, and lubricants in cameras and lenses can move to places they shouldn't be, or partially evaporate.
     
  12. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Insurance companies won't pay for any equipment because I'm a "professional" they only cover cheap cameras like canon rebels and such... if you're a hobbiest ... as a pro, they won't cover anything... I'm sure there's some kind of photographers equipment insurance but I don't know where to find that info... anyone? Also any camera that's old enough to claim to be a hobby camera... they won't give you a good price on anyway...
     
  13. sepiareverb

    sepiareverb Subscriber

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    Give Maine Mutual a try. I have everything insured for full replacement value (even older pieces) no matter where it is at a very reasonable cost. I update prices once a year.
     
  14. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    FWIW, You can just remove the alarm box, or just unplug it, it's in the top of the left hand front wheel well (on a 9-5 anyway) held on with two bolts. The locks will work correctly, and the keyless entry will work too. The downside is that every time you start the car the display will tell you to service the alarm system.
    Mine is sitting in my workshop waiting for a roundtoit and battery replacement.
     
  15. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I've thought of that but doesn't that stop the lock/unlock button on the key to stop working so you habe to manually lock all the doors or unlock then or the trunk with the key? I'm always carrying stuff and so pushing that unlock button in my pocket is essential haha


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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  16. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Thanks! I'll check it out for sure!


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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  17. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    No, the buttons on the key work just fine. In some respects it's an improvement, as without the alarm, when you use the key buttons, there is no beep, it just blinks the lights and operates the locks.
     
  18. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    OH!! Sweet! Always thought that the alarm communicated with the DIY (or whatever the radio unit thing is called) and wouldn't work with the wires detached.

    I actually found replacement batteries for $25 on eBay and soldered out the old ones and put the new ones in, they worked for 3 months, no issue, then started up again... Lame...

    Thanks for the info, off topic but important none the less :smile:


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I've thought of adding a bolted box inside my trunk but literally the whole trunk is filled with lighting and camera gear, so this isn't really an option.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  20. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    i hopr this doesn' turn into yet another 2nd amendment discussion. i can't take another one, and yes guns suffer fom expansion and contraction issues too.:whistling: