c. Between-the-lens shutters, such as those found on view cameras, are susceptible to moisture freezing
on the internal mechanism. This can then cause rust or corrosion. Removing the lens elements and warming the
internal mechanism will reduce the chance of rusting. The lens elements of most other cameras (35mm SLR,
etc.) cannot be removed except by depot maintenance personnel. Remember, NEVER lubricate between the lens
d. Batteries lose much of their power and charge under very cold conditions. Dry cell and nickel
cadmium (NiCad) batteries lose almost all their charge at -10F (-23C).
e. You must protect yourself from the cold. In addition to your regular issue of cold weather clothing,
carry a pair of cotton gloves, the type used by film editors and members of color guards. These can be worn
under your regular mittens. When it is necessary to handle the cold camera and adjust controls, your fingers will
not stick to the bare metal if you are wearing gloves. People have been known to lose portions of their fingers
because of the cold. Also remember to handle cold film carefully; it can cause severe cuts.
To keep your equipment operating in cold climates, the following steps should be taken.
a. Keep the camera dry and at the same relative temperature.
(1) If you are working out in the cold and must bring your camera into a heated room, NEVER return
to the cold temperatures without first warming the camera equipment to room temperature. Moisture condensates
on the camera, lenses, and mechanisms. Returning it to the cold temperature will cause this moisture to freeze,
rendering your equipment useless.
(2) There are a number of ways to solve the problem of keeping the camera dry and at the same
(a) Keep your equipment outside. If you are in a permanent situation with buildings, you can
build a cold box in a window. This will allow you to keep the equipment at relatively the same temperatures as
outside and still be able to clean, service, and adjust the equipment in comfortable surroundings. The room that
the cold box is in should not be a warm room.
(b) Another method is to place the camera equipment in a plastic bag before entering a warm
room. Baggies, zip lock, or trash bags can be used. By sealing the camera in a plastic bag, the moisture will
form on the bag and not on the camera.
(c) In field situations, the same principles apply. Never bring your camera into a warm tent and
then return to cold temperatures. Always allow the camera to warm up before returning to the cold. Again,
plastic bags can be used to keep moisture off camera equipment.
b. Protect your equipment from the elements.