Tech Advice: Bringing Equipment From Cold To Warm

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It’s the time of year that could see you photographing in the colder mornings or evenings (or even in the cold all day depending on location) and there is a hidden danger that many oversee.

Early morning shooting in the Algarve winter can even be cold enough for the Monkey Hat.

Taking photography equipment from a cold environment into a warm environment can cause issues with lenses and cameras.

For those that wear glasses will appreciate the issue of walking from a cold outside temperature into a warm room. Yes, condensation forms on the cold glass surfaces. The same happens to your camera gear.

After being in the cold for 3 hours, I left the equipment in a camera bag in a cooler part of the house to warm gradually.

Whilst condensation on the outside is fine, condensation can form on the inside of lenses and cameras, even the fragile sensor of the camera. Whilst it’s unlikely to cause any significant damage this condensation can take a long time to evaporate and can leave smear marks on both the lens and camera internals.

So, how is condensation avoided. The best way is to allow the equipment to gradually warm. The way I do this is to make sure my equipment is in a camera bag and I will leave it in a cooler part of the house to warm up before opening the bag. This advice is also relevant for bringing equipment that has been in the cold boot of a car into a warm house.


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