D700 lock-up at -23C

Started Jan 10, 2011 | Discussions thread
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nicobar New Member • Posts: 19
D700 lock-up at -23C


I just returned from a trip in Western Siberia, Yekaterimburg and Chelyabinsk.

Almost every day I walked around sightseeing and taking pictures in temperatures always between -15C and - 28C, mostly dry, carefully putting back the D700 with AF-S 24-70 f2.8 and mini-dGPS unit back inside my parka after every shot. I also had a spare battery in my inner pocket in case I needed.

I never had any problem in 2.5 years with this camera-lens combo and, beside the weight, I absolutely love it.

One morning at -23C I kept the camera outside the parka for a good half an hour between frequent shots, so that the camera probably thermalized with the surrinding air. I am sure about the temperature because I also had a calibrated digital thermometer with me.

At some point after one shot the camera locked up, the mirror would not come down and the top display showed "err". Pressing buttons or turning it on and off would not help. The battery was still showing four notches and replacing it did not help either.

At that moment I also noticed that the focusing ring of the 24-70 was extremely loose, while the zoom ring was very stiff.

I was able to make the camera work again only after warming it up in the apartment for about one hour. That particular last shot was not recorded.

Can D700 lock up like this at "only" - 23 C ? Have you had any similar experience with this camera? I am well aware of the issues with batteries in the cold but this is different.

And about the midi-dGPS, the 10cm cord also snapped for the cold: the particular rubber used for the cord starts getting rigid at only -10C, and when I rushed to put the camera inside my parka after the lock-up, the cord must have been very rigid and it snapped. Not sure if I can have it repaired, mine is also a 2008 model, I wonder if the newer model are better in this department.

On an anecdotal note, while these temperatures (constant highs around -20C, and lows lows down to -30C and below every night) may sound a bit extreme for the most of us, I was surprised to see that it is "business as usual" for the local russians: kids playing outside at night, guys wearing jeans and somewhat thin down jackets, mothers in fur coats and high heel boots walking their baby strolleys... I thought I must have looked like some sort of polar bear to them


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