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  1. #1
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Cold / Hot Weather Effect on Lenses/Glass

    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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    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  2. #2
    Peltigera's Avatar
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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. #3
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peltigera View Post
    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.
    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. #4
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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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. #5
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    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.
    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. #6
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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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. #7
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    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.
    And where are you going that's -60 damn!! haha

    Your last statement is very correct.

  8. #8
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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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.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  9. #9
    Peltigera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    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.
    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. #10
    MattKing's Avatar
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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.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

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