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Author Topic: Extreme cold weather ball head required  (Read 648 times)

Philmar

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Extreme cold weather ball head required
« on: January 22, 2019, 02:47:40 pm »

I currently use a Siriu K-30X ball head on my Gitzo traveler tripod however I find the pan knob does not stop the ball head from rotating slightly when I am in extreme cold temperatures which is a problem since I am Canadian and like to do occasional long exposure photography.

So I am asking for recommendations from people who have used their ball heads in weather of -10*C and colder. I shoot with a full frame Canon 5D3 and the heaviest lens I would use is the large and heavy Tamron 150-600.

stevenfr

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Re: Extreme cold weather ball head required
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 03:05:28 pm »

I am shooting in Hokkaido for two weeks with arca swiss d4 geared head and a Phase One XF IQ4 150. No issues with the d4. Coldest day so far -16c.

mcbroomf

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Re: Extreme cold weather ball head required
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2019, 03:44:18 pm »

I use a BH-55 occasionally in single digit F (-15C or so) with no issues.
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NancyP

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Re: Extreme cold weather ball head required
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2019, 08:10:02 pm »

I am not much help: my coldest photo session, an owl nest watch, was at - 18 C, and I used a geared (Manfrotto 410) head, because that is what I had on hand at that time. If all you do is set up the shot at the tree cavity and then wait around in the cold for Ma/Pa to deliver dead rodent or for kids to stick beaks out of nest, you don't need to be able to change position rapidly. It just doesn't get that cold here in Missouri. Usual winter low temperature photo shooting session is above - 10 C. My two ball heads, Arca-Swiss Z1sp and Arca-Swiss p0, work fine at - 8 C and above. I wouldn't use the Arca p0 for the Tamron zoom, my weight limit for it is around 2 to 2.5 kg max body and long lens.
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Two23

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Re: Extreme cold weather ball head required
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2019, 11:55:38 pm »

I live on the Northern Plains and am most active during winter.  I go out in blizzards at night and will leave my tripod (Gitzo 1325) and camera out for several hours.  Cold?  Typically around zero F (-18 C) but I'm often out when it's much, much colder.  The coldest I've been out taking photos in was -42 F.  I was out last weekend taking photos and it was -22 F (-30 C).  Many ballheads become useless at these temps.  They get clogged with snow or simply frost, or just quit working right just because of the cold.  For the past 14 years I've been using an AcraTech Ultimate ballhead.  It has never once jammed.  Once I was paddling my kayak out of a rapidly freezing lake, with waves crashing into the boat.  It was about 5 below zero F.  My tripod and AcraTech were encased in a solid block of ice when I got back to shore.  I simply lifted it out and knocked it against a big rock, shattering the ice.  The AcraTech worked perfectly.  It handles my D800E + Nikon 80-400mm AFS with no problem, and I often use a c.1925 Gundlach Korona 5x7 field camera on it too.  It has never failed.  Even after once being hit by a train. :o  It will outlive me.


Kent in SD
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sdwilsonsct

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Re: Extreme cold weather ball head required
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2019, 02:25:08 pm »

Some telescope-mount owners swap out the usual lubricant for snowmobile grease. Using it on the pan lock knob might allow it to work a little better.

NancyP

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Re: Extreme cold weather ball head required
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2019, 03:29:22 pm »

Two23 and sdwilson - I am impressed by your hardiness.  Insulated boots, balaclava or face shield (that's what gets me, windburn), liner gloves within heavy mitts with wind shield, .... Usual winter temps range from - 5 C to +10 C where I live, I just quail at the thought of - 42 C.
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Two23

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Re: Extreme cold weather ball head required
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2019, 08:37:25 pm »

Two23 and sdwilson - I am impressed by your hardiness.  Insulated boots, balaclava or face shield (that's what gets me, windburn), liner gloves within heavy mitts with wind shield, .... Usual winter temps range from - 5 C to +10 C where I live, I just quail at the thought of - 42 C.


I have moutaineering clothing, mostly from Mountain Hardwear, Outdoor Research, and Baffin boots.  I don't start putting on the heavy stuff until it starts hitting 10 below F  (-24 C)though.  Above that I generally just wear Oboz boots, Smart Wool medium socks,  Outdoor Research midweight down jacket, RAB Primaloft mountaineering pants.


Kent in SD
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Matthew W.

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Re: Extreme cold weather ball head required
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2019, 01:45:03 am »

+1 for the Acratech Ultimate ballhead.  I use mine routinely in temperatures below -10C.  I've never had an issue with it jamming.  I do have to tighten it more than I would when it's warm, but when I have it tight it holds without any issue.  I shot a time lapse in Grand Teton NP last weekend and it was about -14C overnight.  I had no problems.
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