Lecia Says MP Meter NG in Cold Weather

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Roger Pellegrini, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. Roger Pellegrini

    Roger Pellegrini Subscriber

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    I just got off the phone with Leica Techhical Services in NJ. They are telling me that the MP meter does not work at -3 degrees C because the battery gets too cold. Unbelievable!
     
  2. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    So don't meter. Sunny 16 and away you go. At least your shutter still works.
     
  3. E76

    E76 Member

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    I hardly see how this is Leica's fault. It's a well known fact that the output of all batteries, regardless of type, drops at low temperatures. Some batteries are better than others, but it still happens.

    I wonder if there is anything like Mamiya's "External Battery Case" for the Leica...
     
  4. kristopher_lawrence

    kristopher_lawrence Member

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    Thats interesting,

    I am using my M6 with silver oxide batteries way bellow that, we had many days between -20 and -30 in canada in the last weeks, never had a problem with the meter. This being said they might not use the same design for the meter. Maybe you should try different batteries?
     
  5. ath

    ath Member

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    The more correct phrasing would be that Leica said the batteries are not good in the cold. This is a well known problem.
     
  6. budrichard

    budrichard Member

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    I suggest that you get your information from someone at Leica that knows what they are talking about.
    Leica M6's, M7's and MP's routinely work well below -3C which is about 26F.-Dick
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Could somebody say what kind of batteries we're talking about? I can imagine some workarounds.
     
  8. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I've never had a problem either, with both the M6 and MP. But I generally keep the camera under my coat, and don't let it cold soak. I remember Nikon had an adapter for the F3 for cold weather operations, which placed the battery in a separate case (connected to the camera with a cord), so the battery could be kept warm inside your coat. No battery will continue to work properly when cold soaked to -30.
     
  9. lns

    lns Member

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    Ditto. And Chicago has cold, cold winters.

    -Laura
     
  10. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Thionyl chloride batteries can operate much lower than -30 :wink: dunno if the defense dept. will sell you any though!
     
  11. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Two MS-76,SR-44, 357, or similar, or one CR1/3N (or other equivalents to two stacked MS-76 batteries.

    I've been out in -13F with an R3 for 4-5 hours with no shelter ( a sunny day on the frozen lakes in Minneapolis), shooting with the camera outside the bag the whole time with no problems, and that camera has much greater demand than the MP on the same battery setup. Battery failure at -3C seems a bit odd to me.

    It's not great fumbling with small batteries in cold weather, but you could get a few and swap them into a warm pocket if you need to. I'd suggest the single piece batteries for that. What type of battery was it? Lithium, silver oxide, alkaline ... ?

    Lee
     
  12. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Just checking: you did specify -3 celsius when you asked, right? -3 F is a whole lot colder :wink:

    -3C is nothing. This has to be incorrect.
     
  13. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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    It is true that batteries work less well at low temperatures. I would not say that Leica is blameless here, placing some thermal insulation around the battery would certainly help, rather than simply giving the battery compartment a thin plastic (or, worse, metal) wall - the "P" in "MP" does stand for "Professional", after all. I am sure the problem could be alleviated if not cured by keeping the camera in a case under your coat and in contact with body warmth as much as possible, perhaps one of the gadgets sold as finger-warmers could help if you had this in a camera bag and kept the camera in the same bag as much as possible.
     
  14. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    yep, MP was out all morning yesterday and did fine as usual, maybe -12 or so. 3v lithium
     
  15. budrichard

    budrichard Member

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    -12 what? Is Canada all metric?-Dick
     
  16. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    sorry, metric. Canada's been metric for awhile. -12F would be a bit colder I think :wink:
     
  17. Roger Pellegrini

    Roger Pellegrini Subscriber

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    Yes, Celsius

    Yes. Celsius. About 23 degrees F. What struck me as really amazing was the sheer arrogance of the technical services department. They acted like couldn't be bothered.
     
  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Mamiya makes a pocket battery holder with a cord and adapter that run to the bottom of the RZ. The battery is to be kept warm in a pocket close to your body and the cord runs to the battery socket and plugs in. They recommend this for accurate readings in cold weather.

    PE
     
  19. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Thionyl Chloride is pretty nasty stuff and decomposes when wet!

    Wow. I used to use that in the lab and opening the bottle used to cause fumes to gather over the bottle as it released toxic corrosive fumes.

    PE
     
  20. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Here are my experiences with thionyl chloride, with which I was doing a few months of chemistry at one point. When I got it, I was told it reacts violently with water, so of course I made myself a controlled explosion in a fume hood to see how reactive it was. Got a very nice mushroom cloud.

    Second, I placed a capped container with used thionyl chloride in a vented chem storage closet. Yes, I stored the stuff in all-plastic bottle with parafilm etc. Problem was, the storage closet was metal, and not covered with any protective plastic. Next morning, the cabinet and all metal objects in the cabinet were thoroughly corroded.

    So yeah, using SOCl2 batteries in your Leica may not be the best option :wink: Just tuck your Leica somewhere nice, warm and soft (between the buttocks perhaps?) and withdraw it right when you're ready to shoot.