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  1. #1

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    Keeping camera and film cool in the car

    Lately I've been using a six pack cooler to keep my camera and film cool in the car. The camera is Minolta Maxxum 5 with a 50mm lens on it. I store it in the six pack cooler with a frozen 32oz Gatorade bottle.

  2. #2
    wclark5179's Avatar
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    I try to make sure it's out of the sun, tucked somewhere such as under the front seat. I've used a cooler for film but your idea seems to be a good one to maybe keep the camera. How would temp. differences & humility affect the performance, fog on lens and other things when taken from the cooler to be used?

    Good idea though.
    Bill Clark

  3. #3

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    Here's what I do in central Florida. I have a giant cooler (the type and kind you see at tail gate parties) in my trunk. In it, I store my camera, lens, and film when I absolutely must. There are no ice or cooling agent in this cooler. I try to park in shade but this is not always possible.

    Returning to it after few hours, the inside does get warm but never HOT. I have suffered no damage so far and I have been doing it for a while with both digital gears and analog gears.

    The reason I don't put ice or any cooling agent is that if I cool significantly to the ambient air, when I take it out, water can condensate and fog, just like coming out of cool air conditioned room with glasses on. I reasoned, my goal is to keep it _not_too_much_ warmer than if I were to carry them with me. I have done this up to about 4 hours with good results.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  4. #4

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    I would very much like to hear what everybody else does though.... there GOT to be a better way....
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  5. #5

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    The temperature in a closed car gets much higher than the outside if there's any sun at all and that's the reason I don't keep my nice film cameras in the car. I firmly believe that many camera repair problems stem from being exposed to high temperatures in a car or an attic.

    The problem is I miss out on a lot of good photo opportunities by not having a camera available. I do have a nice little Rollei 35S which can fit in my pocket but many times I wish I had one of my Nikons.

    It seems to me what would be ideal is a way to keep the camera at "normal" temperatures, say 60-80 degrees F. That way bringing it out into use would not cause any condensation problems. I'm thinking perhaps an insulated bag and the cooling device (frozen water bottle, gel ice packs) in an separate insulated wrapper to slow down the heat transfer. It would take some experimentation to get it right.

  6. #6
    jp498's Avatar
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    I keep my camera/film in a shiny toolbox/case. It will reflect the light/heat away so that it's not generally warmer than ambient. Unless it's pouring, I keep a back window or two open slightly in my white car.


  7. #7

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    Thanks for the reminder that the frozen bottle will cause condensation. I'll have to try some other alternative. I'll have to leave the lid of the six pack cooler unzipped to see if this will minimize the fogging. the other alternative is to bring it inside when I'm at work.

  8. #8

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    I may try keeping the camera in a zip lock bag to prevent fogging.

  9. #9
    T42
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    Hi Folks.

    I like tkamiya's approach that he uses in central Florida.

    A few years ago I used the cold six pack cooler with frozen water bottle method. One time I got home and forgot that the camera was in that cooler. It stayed overnight. The next day I noticed that some humidity had worked its way into the camera's viewfinder system (Nikon F2). I was really distressed about that.

    I left the camera out in an air conditioned, dry atmosphere for several days with the lens off. The humidity left without harming my camera. But I learned an important lesson. Never, ever do that again!

    I have also observed, as mentioned above, that fogging can also happen from a cold camera being introduced into a warmer, humid environment. The camera can be perfectly dry and cold, but when put into warm, humid air, the water in the air will condense onto the camera and lens.

    My approach is simply to never, ever leave or store a camera in an environment where I am not comfortable myself.

    If I absolutely HAD to store it, I would use the styrofoam enclosure path, same as tkamiya does in Florida. Lots of styrofoam, no cooling, and not much time for heat to get to the gear and film.

    Film is very susceptible to heat damage too. If it is stored cooled it should be allowed to come up to ambient temperature before breaking the air tight seal. Cold film can have condensation form on it too.

    Happy day.
    Last edited by T42; 07-16-2010 at 12:08 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo, add
    Henry
    A Certified Dinosaur
    Nikons F, F2, D700, Leica M3, & Kiev 4a

  10. #10
    T42
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    I recall reading about how that Ansel Adams thought that it was unwise for camera cases to be black. He did an experiment in which he painted one white. Comparing it to a black one, he found that the white one heated up much more slowly than the black one.

    I suppose that a white case, or an aluminum one, with thick styrofoam liner inside, might be a good choice for protecting optical instruments from heat, for a while at least. The aluminum by itself may reflect radiation some, but keep in mind that aluminum is also a good conductor of ambient heat (like in frying pans, radiators, and air conditioner heat exchangers, etc.). It needs an insulating material between itself and the protected interior to keep oven-like heat from transferring rapidly from outside to inside.

    Taking the camera with you is probably a better idea yet.

    Last edited by T42; 07-16-2010 at 12:10 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo, add idea
    Henry
    A Certified Dinosaur
    Nikons F, F2, D700, Leica M3, & Kiev 4a

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