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SPARKPLUG
10-05-2009, 10:00 AM
Ok, This weekend I was designated as team photographer for my sons hockey tournament in OKC. I also did our side of the penalty box. My camera is a Nikon D40 w/ 300mm VR zoom.

Usually I shoot from the stands or a birds nest if the rink is so equiped but this weekend I shot from the box. I used the sports setting and had everything else in factory default mode. This is the system I always use and usually get some amazing pictures, but this weekend most the shots turned out blurry, discolored and bad all around. I did notice the focus seemed to slow down as the camera got colder. If I would stop and put the camera under my jacket it would work ok for a while and then act up again.

Anyone here have any experience with something like this or similar, suggestions?

Wes
10-05-2009, 10:26 AM
I use a D90 and I have never had that problem in the cold. I'm not saying the cold isn't the cause.

Using auto mode, I would guess it might have been lighting or an auto focus issue caused by the movement or ice. Sometimes in certain settings you still need to outsmart an expensive camera. (Set your own settings and focus the old school way)

There are much better pro photographers on here so don't take my words as holy trinity.

tonylonesome
10-05-2009, 10:36 AM
I'm not one of the better photographers Wes is talking about, but I had the same thing happen to me. I was shooting the space shuttle that was parked overnight in Ft worth from a bridge. I think the low was 25 that night with probably 30 mph winds and the motor on my camera would slow down and eventually not shoot. I would have to warm it up in the truck for a few minutes before it would work again. I have the first gen rebel xt.

wildebube
10-05-2009, 11:02 AM
Batteries lose juice in the cold. Motors get sluggish. This is precisely why I loved my F2AS and my FM2. All manual, no motors, and no need for batteries unless you were relying on the internal light meter. But alas, film cameras are nothing but curiosities these days. Film is getting harder to find (Kodachrome is gone), and since I don't even have an enlarger anymore, printing is becoming problematic. I guess I'm going to need to join the 21st century and get a DSLR one of these days...

dutchinterceptor
10-05-2009, 11:15 AM
Sounds like your lenses were fogging over when you were transitioning the camera from under your jacket to the cool air. That could cause the blurriness and color issues. I've known photographers that while shooting in icy conditions would have to keep spare camera batteries in their pocket or armpit and swap frequently so they could keep shooting. Might try switching to manual focus.


Wildebube, I know what you mean. I miss my FM2 plus I still have a complete darkroom going to waste.

SPARKPLUG
10-05-2009, 11:16 AM
My biggest problem is my eyes, manual focus does not work if I shoot with my glasses on whats focused to me always turns out blurry and if shoot without them, well, I may as well try to draw the picture with crayons.


I have had the camera for approx. 3 years now and havent noticed the slow focus until this weekend. The battery was charged that morning and I was shooting in Sports mode (auto never works for me on moving targets).

M38A1
10-05-2009, 11:21 AM
Based on the fact that everything was the same for this shooting event EXCEPT the shooting location, I'd tend to say it was battery juice as well.

Was there a noticible temperature difference in your new location? Was the battery under a fresh charge? That 300mm fixed focal length is a monster sized lens so I'm sure the motors in it require a full charge.

I'd be a bit suprised if the D40 couldn't handle a cooler environment with ease though..... Specs give it a range of 0-40*C or 32*F-104*F.

M38A1
10-05-2009, 11:25 AM
...I was shooting in Sports mode (auto never works for me on moving targets).

Sports mode and single point focus were designed to take whatever was in focus and lock on that target then keep it until a new target is acquired. So it would be ideal for a hockey players as long as it initially was acquired in focus.

.

SPARKPLUG
10-05-2009, 11:35 AM
Based on the fact that everything was the same for this shooting event EXCEPT the shooting location, I'd tend to say it was battery juice as well.

Was there a noticible temperature difference in your new location? Was the battery under a fresh charge? That 300mm fixed focal length is a monster sized lens so I'm sure the motors in it require a full charge.

I'd be a bit suprised if the D40 couldn't handle a cooler environment with ease though..... Specs give it a range of 0-40*C or 32*F-104*F.


The lens is a 70-300 not fixed. It could possibly be battery, Like I said it was charged right before I left for the game but it is the origianal and could be getting time to replace.

SPARKPLUG
10-05-2009, 11:38 AM
Sports mode and single point focus were designed to take whatever was in focus and lock on that target then keep it until a new target is acquired. So it would be ideal for a hockey players as long as it initially was acquired in focus.

.

This has always been my prefered method and I usually end up with fantastic results. I can pick a player, half push the button and follow them down ice, push at picture time. It just didnt work out this time. Come to think of it the lighting in that rink was wierd too. I have never taken pictures at this location.

M38A1
10-05-2009, 08:32 PM
For grins, maybe take some shots of moving cars at the same distances as a baseline. Then put the battery in the freezer/fridge for a short period of time, replace, and go shoot the same shots/location and see if that confirms the cold theory?

.

SPARKPLUG
10-06-2009, 07:17 AM
For grins, maybe take some shots of moving cars at the same distances as a baseline. Then put the battery in the freezer/fridge for a short period of time, replace, and go shoot the same shots/location and see if that confirms the cold theory?

.

Good call. I will try that.