Cold Weather Shooting
Published : 7th March 2007
I am shooting with an Arri SR this weekend and we are doing a 5 minute, single take handheld shot. We are starting inside of a building for the first minute or so and then we walk outside and finish there. It will be about 8 degrees F that day. We are planning on some rehearsals (most will be the previous day), and about 4 or 6 complete takes.
Are there any concerns about condensation inside the camera or in the mag?
We will have about 15 minutes to reset between takes and the camera will be inside during this time.
Milwaukee Gaffer & sometimes DP
class="style2">>We are starting inside of a building for the first minute or so and then >we walk outside and finish there.
Warm to Cold no problem. Cold lenses back inside--there's the challenge. It's takes 2 and so on that may wreak havoc. Is 4 minutes in 8° F enough to chill warm lenses? Not sure. I've used 'hot hands' to heat the eyepiece w/o heater in a similar situation. And/ or you might just need to give time for your lens to reheat once inside. That or have 2.
I hope this helps. I'm sure the Canadians lurking on the list have far more wisdom on this subject than yours, truly,
class="style2">>>I am shooting with an Arri SR this weekend and we are doing a 5 >>minute, single take handheld shot.
You shouldn't have a problem going from inside to outside, especially if the camera is running.
Condensation is usually only a problem going from cold and dry to warm and humid.
Get back inside as soon as you can after each take.
Also 8 degrees F is not that cold, and you will not be at that temperature very long.
It will be tougher on the crew than on the camera.
I would also suggest the Hot Hands for the eyepiece, perhaps even three lenses of your choice and bring down the interior temperature as low as you can without too much inconvenience to the actors.
Perhaps keep one room warm for the talent in-between takes.
I wonder if a dehumidifier would help...
Director of Photography
class="style2">>>It will be about 8 degrees F that day. We will have about 15 minutes to >>reset between takes and the camera will be inside during this time.
Humidity is the enemy. If the air in the building is dry, it will be less of a problem, regardless of the temp change.. Put a plastic bag over the lens, or even better, over the entire camera, when you go back inside. Don’t remove it until the last minute.
A second lens is a very good idea. Once that little ring of condensation forms inside the lens elements, it takes a very long time to go away. Hair dryer is a good thing to have available. 5 minutes outside is not very long - the camera will not even reach ambient temp in that time.
Sometimes a lens will have residual humidity inside the elements from a previous location. this can condense in extreme cold, but once it goes away and the air inside the lens becomes dry, it will not likely come back as easily.
Hope this helps,
Thanks for the info.
It is great to hear someone in the business say that 8 degrees in not too cold because we usually get the opposite reaction (no offence to those in LA...HA). I am doing a test Wednesday night and I will try with the hair dryer. We only have 1 lens because it will be our 12 or 16. I will check on turning the heat down in the location. Thanks again for all the tips.
Milwaukee "dreaming of summer" Gaffer/DP
Go to www.clairmont.com and then click on technical tips or helpful tips and then cold weather shooting.
Very helpful tips there.
Thanks to all who gave advice for the shoot I had this weekend.
I asked for advice shooting with an SR starting inside and going outside for a total of 5 minutes. This was all handheld and one shot. I said it was going to be 8 degrees and it was about minus 7 with a minus 25 wind chill. The camera worked perfectly without problems. We only had 7218-500 tungsten film and we went from areas as low as a 1.3 inside to well over a 22 outside. I tried to hide iris pulls, so we will see. We are counting on the film to do most of the work for us.
I will post a ink to the project here soon, it will be on the "On the Lot" site.
Everything went great with the shoot I had in minus 30 degree wind chill. The camera never had a problem and the film looked great. We had a few times when I had to do an iris pull and the first was when looking out a window and then back in again. The lab told us that in the future we shouldn't bother to do that because they would have had enough information to bring it back in the transfer. That info would have helped a lot, but we live and learn.
We had this film transferred to full resolution HD on a drive and the stuff looked very sharp and colourful. We are planning on doing that with our next indy as well. If you want to see what the finished film looks like go to this link. Thanks again for all the input, it really helped us out on this project.
Milwaukee Gaffer and sometimes DP
Thanks for sharing that, Mike, it was very entertaining!
Los Angeles based DP
Mike Gillis wrote:
class="style2">>>We had this film transferred to full resolution HD on a drive and the >>stuff looked very sharp and colourful. We are planning on doing that >>with our next indy as well. If you want to see what the finished film >>looks like go to this link.
You, Vinnie and everyone else did a great job. It's a very fun(ny) piece. Good luck at OTL.
Eric J. Nelson
Heavy Visuals / PodNine Lighting & Grip