combating glass fogging in the cold

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by pellicle, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. pellicle

    pellicle Member

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    Hi

    for reasons which escape me I like to use my 4x5 camera outside when its cold, I seem to find my best subject matter that way.

    Among the challenges this brings is the problem of focusing without fogging up the screen. This is my (home made) dark cloth. Its light weight, dark, water proof and the silver side really helps keep it tolerable in the heat (when I'm home in Australia). Here in Finland I have other problems ...

    [​IMG]

    When its less than -10°C I have trouble with the glass fogging up (and then freezing fogged). Presently I hold my breath, but I'm thinking of using a snorkel to see if this works ... anyone have any tips?
     
  2. richard ide

    richard ide Subscriber

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    Waxing the glass will prevent fogging.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Make a focus shade for the back & don't use a dark cloth then you aren't trapping the warm breathe around the screen, hold your breathe too :D

    Ian
     
  4. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    Snorkel?
     
  5. pellicle

    pellicle Member

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    [​IMG]

    to take my breath outside of the hood ...
     
  6. pellicle

    pellicle Member

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    been thinking of something like that ... just have to figure out how to hold the loupe when focusing ;-)

    thanks for the suggestion!
     
  7. pellicle

    pellicle Member

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    ok ... and doesn't inhibit clarity? do you have a suggestion on wax?
     
  8. pellicle

    pellicle Member

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    days like this

    [​IMG]

    when there is a stiff wind and its below -20 makes holding the metal of the camera (its a kind of alloy rail camera) very challenging ... even with thin microfleece gloves
     
  9. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Letting the camera get cold will lessen the fogging. Usually you get fogging when glass is warmer than the ambient environment.

    A scarf around your face will not only keep you warm, but keep your breath off the glass as well.
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You should be able to work without a loupe for shots like that, although it depends what screen you have. My Wista is very easy to focus without and so's my Crown Graphic since I added a fresnel even in quite low light levels.

    The Speed/Crown Graphic's, MPP's, Linhosf's etc all come with a focus hood which is detachable, but you could make or buy (Custom Bellows, UK) a bellows style screen shield, or make something from black card . There may be one made for your camera. There are also the binocular type focus devices for some cameras.

    Mike Nesbitt used to make a wooden field camera with wooden knobs etc for cold weather use.

    Another option to prevent the screen misting up is a silicone liquid, a friend used to use something to prevent his spectacles steaming up ask in an opticians/spectacle shop.

    Ian
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Other way around, glass steams up when it's colder than the humid air :D

    Ian
     
  12. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Quite right!

    I think the common tendency is to try to keep gear warmer than the ambient temperature. Aside from battery issues (not an issue here, obviously) it is better to let the gear be *at* ambient temperature.
     
  13. Bruce Watson

    Bruce Watson Member

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    Yes. There are products out there to prevent fogging. Rain-X makes one.

    If treating the glass isn't enough, you might try to find an oversize drinking straw (sometimes called a "wide" straw) as an easier to carry and use alternative to a snorkel. An ice cream shop might have just the thing for milkshakes and other thick drinks.
     
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  15. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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  16. Steve Hamley

    Steve Hamley Member

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    Soap. Use a glycerin soap and rub it dry on the GG then buff it off. You can moisten it a little, but not wet - buff off when dry. It doesn't last forever of course, but it works and it's cheap.

    Don't use it on your lenses of course.

    Pentax used to make an anti-fog lens cleaner but I haven't seen it in a while. It also left a visible residue on the glass 9as it must to work), but it would clean off with regular lens cleaner or alcohol.

    Cheers, Steve
     
  17. pellicle

    pellicle Member

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    ok ... never thought of that ... although I do have some which I use with some blue-tac to sure up the front and back standards to minimize vibration sometimes.

    thanks
     
  18. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    There was a product called fog off. It was an orange waxy stick that you rubbed on glass, then buffed. It worked really well, even filled in tiny scratches on my plastic eyeglass lenses. Alas, I haven't been able to find it again. The latest stuff I use for anti-fog is called Cat Crap. It's a paste and works similarily to the fog off product. It is available in safety supply stores.
     
  19. Leigh Youdale

    Leigh Youdale Member

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    Quite a few suggestions - some insane :smile: but why not go to your nearest ski shop and get a little bottle of whatever fluid they sell to spray/wipe on the inside of ski goggles to prevent fogging. Saved me from impacting trees at Thredbo many a time!
     
  20. pellicle

    pellicle Member

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    I think that there must be some sort of insanity in people (like me) who persist in fiddle farting around with cameras and films like I do in search of 'that image'.

    have fun next season at Threadbo ... winter is starting here in Finland ... who knows we may get snow worth skiing on this year without heading 1000km north ;-)
     
  21. kompressor

    kompressor Restricted Access

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    where can i buy the best groundglas there is for my Crown Grapich 4x5" ?
     
  22. kompressor

    kompressor Restricted Access

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    To fill in: I want a glass as brigth and clear for low light. So i dont have to use a loupe all the time.
     
  23. pellicle

    pellicle Member

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  24. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    That's why I kept my camera gear (except the light meter) in my sister's unheated garage when visiting over Christmas. That way I can go out and photograph at any time. Temps are usually -10C or warmer.

    Taking the camera (4x5 to 8x10) and lenses inside risks condensation on any surface with air contact. While photographing, the spot meter goes in a cargo pocket of my heavy wool overpants, unless it is really cold and then I might put it under my jacket.

    Vaughn

    PS I normally use the hold-my-breath method, or hold the darkcloth in such a way to deflect my breath out and away from the GG.
     
  25. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    I use a snorkel too - but mine is a more simple tube

    I probably look very odd indeed - but who cares :tongue:

    I struggle with cold fingers which makes operating the controls difficult – how do you come on?

    Martin
     
  26. Smudger

    Smudger Member

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    I have a bottle of Glycerine (from the pharmacy). On the label it states "Keeps glass and mirrors fog free ".