Hasselblad 500 cm and cold weather

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by romunas, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. romunas

    romunas Member

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    Hi.
    I'm new with a Hasselblad equipment (just today i've got my first Hassy) and i have a couple of questions. for the first: how does it feels himself at low temperatures? I'm going to travel to the North of Russia for a week and i'd like to make some pictures with my new camera. Hope it will not be too cold, but i'm preparing for temperatures up to -20 C
     
  2. maarten m

    maarten m Member

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    it went all the way up to the moon, remember?

    m:wink:m
     
  3. romunas

    romunas Member

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    Sorry. I didn't understood your answer :smile:
     
  4. K-G

    K-G Subscriber

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    If the camera is not to old and in good condition, temperatures down to - 10 C ( 14 F ) should not cause any problem according to my own experience. Older equipment where grease and dirt has started to acumulate may cause problems. If you want to test your own camera, put it in the freezer over night and when you take it out, directly test all the shutterspeeds before it is warming up. Especially the longer speeds ( 1/15 th of a second and longer ) are sensitive. If the shutter sounds normal then it is probably OK. Just beware that when you have taken the camera out of the freezer condense will start to form on it. After testing, let it rest an hour or two and it will be OK. A good rule of thumb is that the camera can stand much colder weather than your fingers. I have used my own Hasselblads for winter photography for more than thirty years and if you treat them well they will serve you well.
    Good luck !

    Karl-Gustaf
     
  5. Sim2

    Sim2 Subscriber

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    Hallo,

    Depending upon which model you have, will be the answer!

    The 500 series are all mechanical (no electrics) so no problems with batteries going off due to the cold.
    The 500EL (motorized 500 series) rely on batteries for film advance, cold weather performance will depend on the type of batteries - ni-cad, alkaline etc.
    I have been using a 2000 series that needs a 6 volt battery to fire the shutter in the U.K. over the last few weeks where the temps have been between 0 to -10, and it worked fine.

    I think that it will be the associated issues rather than the camera that may be troublesome, e.g. I accidentaly breathed on a filter when out - wouldn't clear in the cold! Film getting fragile, wet hands freezing to cold metal etc!! But being from the Ukraine you will be much more used to operating in the cold than we are!!!

    I would put money on the Hass working, more likely than a consumer grade digital. Have fun!

    Sim2.
    P.S. There are other on the site who have much more experience of 'blads and working in the extreme cold - hopefully they will "chip-in."
     
  6. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    ...I've taken my Hasselblad 500CM shooting in Edmonton for 3 winters. The average temperature during winter is around -17 (between -5 and -35 all winter). I've NEVER had an issue, but my Hasselblad was also CLA'd 4 years ago with some replaced parts, so the grease and everything might be slicker than yours. Either way, I have only heard of problems when it's ridiculously cold (-40) on other Hasselblad bodies that require batteries. My thoughts are that if it's cold enough to effect your Hasselblad, it's probably too cold to be out shooting.
     
  7. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    I would get it cleaned and regreased, otherwise you may have problems with it (or any camera) locking up. Other than that, I think it will work great.

    Enjoy it - it's a great camera!
     
  8. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    NASA used Hasselblad cameras to photograph the astronauts on the moon. They were specially modified so the astronauts could operate them while wearing their thick spacesuit gloves. The moon is very cold, which is why the other poster said your Hasselblad would be ok in Russia's winters, but I think the Hasselblads used on the moon had special lubricants in them to work in very cold conditions.
     
  9. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Not just for space gloves, the special NASA Hasselblads were also modified for lubrication which no earth-bound Hasselblad has had done to it to my knowledge. But still, mechanical cameras should be OK generally to -20C but things can lock up and break below that. A CLA using special low temperature greases could help.
     
  10. romunas

    romunas Member

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    Oh! Thanks to all for answers! So i see that my Hassy can make shots on cold weather without serious problems if the temperature will not be too low. That's really great! :smile:
     
  11. romunas

    romunas Member

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    Oh! I forgot about it :smile: But i think that Hasselblad made a special edition of it's camera for moon expedition :smile:
     
  12. romunas

    romunas Member

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    What is CLA? Is that an repair service or something like that?
     
  13. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    It´s a maintenance service, stands for: clean, lubricate, adjust.
     
  14. sandholm

    sandholm Subscriber

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    I have brought up a 500C/M and a SWC to both the top of Mt Blanc, Matterhorn and even in Himalaya (but only to BC, so actually warmer then the alps) and there is no problem. I have even used them during the winter season were weather is really really cold (below -20, in any scale :wink:

    So no worry, just use it, its a work horse
     
  15. romunas

    romunas Member

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    Oh! I see. Thank you :smile:
     
  16. romunas

    romunas Member

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    Thanks a lot! :smile: Now i see that i can use it absolutely easily! :smile:
     
  17. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    All depends on the state of the grease in your camera and lens though.
    If it is old, and stiff, it will cause problems. Cameras and lenses that have been CLA-ed recently will be fine.

    The first thing you will notice of a cold related problem is the shutter becoming a bit slower, i.e. shutterspeeds longer.

    One other thing, though, is the film itself. It can become dry and brittle. So wind on slowly.
     
  18. romunas

    romunas Member

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    Thanks for your advices! :smile:
     
  19. maarten m

    maarten m Member

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    how does temperature actually affect the response of the film to light?
    does it affect it? or is that neglectable?

    mm
     
  20. sandholm

    sandholm Subscriber

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    well, film is rated at 20 C (i think), and i have shoot film in the alps during both winter ans summer season and (personal) first i exposed a bit more (1-2 stop) when it was cold (0/-10/-15/-25 C) but i have stopped doing that, the difference is so little that you dont have to think about it.

    I am 100% sure that someone else will say the opposite :wink:
     
  21. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    Usually when I shoot film in -20c weather the landscape comes out all white.

    :wink: