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Thread: How is your Aptus when working outdoors

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    How is your Aptus when working outdoors

    I'm wondering how people who have the Aptus backs find they behave/perform when working outdoors? Looking at one as an option (yes still looking!!) but just concerned about the open venting with the fan.

    I have a major construction project to document and obviously dust is a concern, especially with the active fan cooling. Does it suck or blow?
    Seriously though, if I bought one and wanted to make a little protective cover out of some eVent I have from a knackered jacket, would it work?

    I see Gabe Farnsworth's stuff on 500px and he's using an Aptus-II 12 out in dusty environments so I guess it's not to bad.

    Moisture ingress is also a worry as it's not exactly dry here most of the year in the UK.



    Or should I just concentrate on getting a P+ back?

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    Re: How is your Aptus when working outdoors

    I have been working with Aptus II 10R with my Hasselblad 503 / SWC and Alpa 12 cameras in situations you mentioned without issues. Some advised to wrap the back with materials similar to what is used for "ladies panty hose or stockings" when shoot in dusty environments. I haven't tried this way though.
    Philip

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    Re: How is your Aptus when working outdoors

    A had an AptusII 12 for 10 months. I am an architectural photographer specialising in construction and was based in Dubai at the time. I used it heavily on construction sites throughout the Middle East, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Muscat, Beirut and in humid tropical locations all over India and SE-Asia without any issues. I have also shot is snowstorms in Switzerland and tropical rainstorms in Indonesia with no more than an umbrella for protection. Another photographer in my studio had an Aptus 65 that had served in the same locations for 6 years without a hitch. The backs were designed in Israel, a hot, dusty, desert country. I know of some fans that have needed replacing after many years of service, but that's the only issue. Obviously some common sense applies. For example, if a dump truck unloaded near me and the dust cloud was headed my way, I would cover the camera with a cloth till the cloud passed, I never went out in sandstorms etc. To be honest, this was more out of concern for the lenses than fear of what the fan would draw through the camera.
    eVent and GoreTex are designed to breathe water vapour but would massively impede the airflow through the fan system and put a huge load on the fan that it was not designed to deal with. I wouldn't recommend it over the air intake vent, nor the exhaust for that matter. Yaya may have something to say about this.....
    I hope this helps.
    Cheers,
    Siebel
    "In the end, it's all about the pictures"
    www.bryansiebel.com

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    Re: How is your Aptus when working outdoors

    Thanks Bryan and Philip.
    You're right about the eVent, I always get the vapor breath-ability confused for air permeability.

    Those are all much harsher sounding environments than I'm likely to find myself in at the moment so sounds more reassuring.

    Cheers

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    Re: How is your Aptus when working outdoors

    I've had problems with my Aptus 75 in cold weather, but it turned out to be a faulty back so I got it replaced by the manufacturer. So my experience is that Leaf stands behind their products that they should be just as reliable as they say in the marketing. I'm committed to Leaf and I find it to be reliable enough for my needs. It is very clear though that if it had been designed for really tough environments in mind the design would be different. When I was in contact with Phase One support for my issue the told me the same thing, they suggested I should try a passively cooled back. On the other hand it seems to be some sort of standard answer they give and is not really in line with what Leaf centrally says, which claim the back is as good as any other, within reason.

    The thing is with electronics that are not truly designed for reliability in tough environments is that they can work pretty well anyway, and it can vary from copy to copy. I have numerous of examples of mobile phones some which has survived much tougher environments than they were designed for, and some that fail quite easily even if the same model.

    If you really need to be certain about reliability I'd go for the P+ though, it has a better design to face tough environments, it's well-proven and from all user stories I've heard it seems that it can be the most reliable MFDB series there is so far (assuming latest firmware).
    Last edited by torger; 26th August 2013 at 06:43.

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    Re: How is your Aptus when working outdoors

    I've got an Aptus 22 that I use outside for landscapes, I've not had it long but not had any issues, I take care not to get it wet etc but I don't worry unduly.

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    Re: How is your Aptus when working outdoors

    Between 0c and 40c you shouldn't have any problems.

    Left in direct sunlight above 40c for a while, the back will stop working.
    The same in strong humid winds below 0c.
    Last edited by shlomi; 28th August 2013 at 10:53.

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    Re: How is your Aptus when working outdoors

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    So my experience is that Leaf stands behind their products that they should be just as reliable as they say in the marketing

    you are lucky because my experience is that Leaf tells you to go screw yourself and it takes few trips to MAC center to even remotely get something actually looked at. And after that it still wont be fixed. My warranty by now ran out and i just learned to work around issues, but it really pisses me off to remember how i attempted to get all the warranty service and got finger all 3 times my back was to MAC - none of issues was ever fixed in full. First time it wasnt even looked at.

    To answer original question: i believe it depends solely on your luck and model. normal operation range is somewhere around 12c to 24c.. out of it - it might get funny

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    Re: How is your Aptus when working outdoors

    Quote Originally Posted by SergeiR View Post
    you are lucky because my experience is that Leaf tells you to go screw yourself and it takes few trips to MAC center to even remotely get something actually looked at. And after that it still wont be fixed. My warranty by now ran out and i just learned to work around issues, but it really pisses me off to remember how i attempted to get all the warranty service and got finger all 3 times my back was to MAC - none of issues was ever fixed in full. First time it wasnt even looked at.

    To answer original question: i believe it depends solely on your luck and model. normal operation range is somewhere around 12c to 24c.. out of it - it might get funny
    They do have a support organization issue (meaning it depends on which person you get in contact with what they think is an okay working back), and they are not good at detecting intermittent errors related to temperature. My back was in 3 times and it took me making a video showing how the back failed in +5C even after repair before I got a replacement that worked. How large risk it is to get a bad back I do not know. With you we are at least two on this forum that have (had) problems, but there are many others that are trouble free too. I think they need to fix their support organization, but possibly the newest backs (Credo) are more stable too thanks to their passive cooling design so they get less of these issues. Personally I'm pleased as they finally helped me out, and I'd not hesitate to get another Aptus or Aptus-II, but I would surely test it in my environments before I would trust it.

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    Re: How is your Aptus when working outdoors

    Quote Originally Posted by siebel View Post
    A had an AptusII 12 for 10 months. I am an architectural photographer specialising in construction and was based in Dubai at the time. I used it heavily on construction sites throughout the Middle East, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Muscat, Beirut and in humid tropical locations all over India and SE-Asia without any issues. I have also shot is snowstorms in Switzerland and tropical rainstorms in Indonesia with no more than an umbrella for protection. Another photographer in my studio had an Aptus 65 that had served in the same locations for 6 years without a hitch. The backs were designed in Israel, a hot, dusty, desert country. I know of some fans that have needed replacing after many years of service, but that's the only issue. Obviously some common sense applies. For example, if a dump truck unloaded near me and the dust cloud was headed my way, I would cover the camera with a cloth till the cloud passed, I never went out in sandstorms etc. To be honest, this was more out of concern for the lenses than fear of what the fan would draw through the camera.
    eVent and GoreTex are designed to breathe water vapour but would massively impede the airflow through the fan system and put a huge load on the fan that it was not designed to deal with. I wouldn't recommend it over the air intake vent, nor the exhaust for that matter. Yaya may have something to say about this.....
    I hope this helps.
    Cheers,
    Your experience give me confidence using my 10R in adverse conditions but somebodies also said that the LCD will broken under sub-zero(-20C to -40C), do you experienced that ? Since I plan to go where will be -40C later.

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    Re: How is your Aptus when working outdoors

    I've never heard of the glass breaking from being very cold. Fast temperature change could cause the glass to crack. It should be alright as long as the temperature doesn't change quickly. But you don't mean to use it at that temperature right?

    It is rated for 0 to 40C
    15%–80% Relative humidity (non-condensing)

    The temperature here today was 35 C, and my Leaf Aptus II 7 locked up while I was enlarging the image to check focus. So, my craps out at 35, not 40. On hot days, even in the shade, it locks up while recording the image, too. Then I have to turn it off. The fan is running and it doesn't seem defective. I think it's like Torger says, they "can vary from copy to copy."

    --Steve.

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