Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/12/03

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Subject: [Leica] Cold Cameras
From: Donal Philby <>
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 1999 08:54:43 -0800

I mentioned to Tom Carroll this discussion about cold weather and
cameras.  He is a long time corporate and editorial shooter (Time, Life,
etc., and hundreds of annual reports) and way back got into Leica after
starting with the really big stuff.  (He has told me stories and shown
me pix about doing Coca Cola lifestyle ads with an 11x14 camera and
Kodachrome, and traveling the country by small plane shooting aerials
with a Linhof 5x7 camera, but finally hated the lack of spontaneity that
the Leica could provide)  He has worked in Alaska and Siberia and North
Sea on oil rigs and said coldest was -70F and never had a problem with a
camera.  He wrote, in part:

"This is the only way to treat a Leica: Marty Forscher would always
remove all the oil from our M series so they would work anywhere....his
theory was they were so precision-made, there was no room for the
lubricants."   Tom used to own 6 Ms and every lens made including for
the Viso and used to do seminars for Leica.

But Nikon,  in turn, seduced him with cameras.  He ended up working on
the first Nikon book and still mostly uses Nikon, but says you need to
use fill flash with Nikons because the lenses can't record the shadows
the way Leica can.

He said in the Nikon instruction books it states that in cold weather
always use Nicad, never alkaline batts.  He has 70 Nicads he cycles
through the charger for cameras and strobes.

- --
Donal Philby
San Diego