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Thread: Medium Format Camera Care

  1. #1
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    Medium Format Camera Care

    First let me say thank you to all of you who took the time to answer my first post. Your answers were very valuable. The most valuable one was probably the one from Jack Flesher when he said, “NONE of us are 100% pleased with either system”. I then felt comfortable going with the one that would offer me the best overall solution for my style (and budget). Yet I knew the other system could have some feature I would not get with the one I would select.

    Well, I’ve made it! I took the plunge and I have ordered the H4D-40 with several lenses and the HTS1.5. I should receive it soon. I am very happy and anxious at the same well as this is new territory. I guess there must be a learning curve that I will have to go trough.

    I have a question for the members of this forum. I am going to take this camera outside and in very cold temperatures. With my DSLR, I didn’t take any special care as it is weather sealed and the only problem I was getting was sometime fog on the glass when I was taking my camera directly out of its warm bag into the cold weather.

    Is there any special care I should consider for a Medium Format camera?

    How do you manage using these cameras that are not weather sealed in very cold or humid environments?

  2. #2
    Super Duper
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    Re: Medium Format Camera Care

    I'll offer my 2˘ here...

    I'm a landscape photographer and as such my studio is the great outdoors rain, snow, wind and all the other warts included. I also shoot with a Cambo WRS and P45+, neither one a weather proof piece of equipment. I've found that if I take proper precautions then I'll be safe. I carry a very large piece of clear heavy plastic in my tripod bag to place over my equipment in a heavy downpour; I started using this when I was still shooting with a Mamiya AFD and it's been just as good with the WRS.

    I've stood at Tunnel View in Yosemite with the rain poring down my back and the equipment protected enough to make the capture. Likewise I've setup in the surf with a drizzle and a cloth over the gear and was okay. I live in the southwest and blowing sands can create as much of a problems as water and have had no problems. Lastly I've shot in very cold weather with blowing snow where I gave out much sooner than the equipment ever did.

    While my MF isn't as weather resistant as say Sandy's 1DsIII nevertheless if you take precautions you should be okay.

    Don

    One last thought about cold weather shooting - just like any other system keep a spare battery in an inside pocket.

    Don
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
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    Re: Medium Format Camera Care

    Don

    Thank you for having taken the time to answer my question.

    Laurent

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    Re: Medium Format Camera Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    I'll offer my 2˘ here...

    I've found that if I take proper precautions then I'll be safe.

    One last thought about cold weather shooting - just like any other system keep a spare battery in an inside pocket.

    Don
    I concur with Don. I am an industrial/architectural photographer and I shoot landscapes for pleasure. My base is in Dubai, in the Arabian Desert and I travel widely with work. I am writing from Switzerland and it is snowing outside. My kit is based around a Phase One P65+ with DF system and Horseman SW-D-II tech camera. The last 2 days, I have been out in driving snow with my back on an ALPA STC, compliments of the kind folk at ALPA Zurich.
    Bottom line is, use some common sense and you'll be ok. The gear is much tougher than you might realise. Short of slamming it against a rock or drowning it completely, it will keep functioning. The "sealed against the weather" hoopla is more marketing spiel than major advantage. Most of the circumstances that would wreck my kit would write off a Nikon/Canon/Sony/Leica just as surely.
    In snow, I sometimes carry a small umbrella to protect against flakes that might land on the back/body junction or on the slot of the cocking lever on the Copal shutter. This morning I was shooting with the Alpa which allows you to mount the lens upside down, so there was less of an issue with this. Watch where you put your bag. Melting snow will be drawn into a fabric bag (yes, even the "waterproof" ones) by capillary action. I carry a small sheet of plastic to lay on the snow before I lay my bag down.
    I shoot a lot in India and Indonesia and there, humidity can be a problem, especially when you leave an air-conditioned hotel or car, especially if your lenses' internal elements fog up. I often unpack my gear and place it on the still-hot engine of a car to bring it up to ambient temp before it can fog up.
    Yes, I place it directly on the rocker cover, under the bonnet (don't drop the bonnet on the gear!), without any problems.
    Be prepared, and keep shooting!
    Cheers,
    Siebel
    "In the end, it's all about the pictures"
    www.bryansiebel.com

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    Re: Medium Format Camera Care

    Nick-T from http://www.hasselbladdigitalforum.com published an article that I wrote about my use of the H camera system (since 2005) out in the elements:

    http://www.nick-t.com/blog/2010/04/h...-of-your-mind/

    I hope it helps and good luck with your new equipment.

    Kind regards,
    Derek Jecxz
    www.jecxz.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    First let me say thank you to all of you who took the time to answer my first post. Your answers were very valuable. The most valuable one was probably the one from Jack Flesher when he said, “NONE of us are 100% pleased with either system”. I then felt comfortable going with the one that would offer me the best overall solution for my style (and budget). Yet I knew the other system could have some feature I would not get with the one I would select.

    Well, I’ve made it! I took the plunge and I have ordered the H4D-40 with several lenses and the HTS1.5. I should receive it soon. I am very happy and anxious at the same well as this is new territory. I guess there must be a learning curve that I will have to go trough.

    I have a question for the members of this forum. I am going to take this camera outside and in very cold temperatures. With my DSLR, I didn’t take any special care as it is weather sealed and the only problem I was getting was sometime fog on the glass when I was taking my camera directly out of its warm bag into the cold weather.

    Is there any special care I should consider for a Medium Format camera?

    How do you manage using these cameras that are not weather sealed in very cold or humid environments?

  6. #6
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    Re: Medium Format Camera Care

    Hi Laurent,

    I too shoot with a H4D and use a Kata E 702. It's a clever way of completely rain/snow proofing your camera. Although, the viewfinder is seen through the clear plastic, it's easy to compose a shot. There are several models to choose, but this one suits my needs for a 28mm HCD and could accommodate much larger lenses, but the HTS1.5 might be a little tricky in the elements.

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    Re: Medium Format Camera Care

    The "weather sealed" cameras are not all hoopla, as I have shot with a Leica S2, Canon 1Ds mkii, in wet snow and rain, with no rain/snow protection at all. I wouldn't do that with a H4D, or for that matter a P45+. There's too many points of entry such as: the digital capture unit, the speaker in the DCU, the viewfinder etc. Points of connection/contact are most important.

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    Re: Medium Format Camera Care

    As in the post by Siebel,

    "The gear is much tougher than you might realise. Short of slamming it against a rock or drowning it completely, it will keep functioning."

    Recently, I attended the PODAS workshop in Glacier National Park. It rained frequently and I had no special protection on the 645 DF/P65+. I dried off the camera after each shoot when I got back into the car and it did fine.

    At one point, one of the participants stepped away from his camera while it was on the tripod at full height. The camera and P65+ fell forward full force into a mud puddle full of gravel. Despite "slamming it against a rock or drowning it completely.." it was fine with a wipe down and functioned normally the rest of the trip.

    These cameras are pretty tough.

    steve

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