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Coolers aren't just for beer!!
They can actually save your equipment




With a list including (depending on your location)
October 7, 2012 - Draconids
October 21, 2012, before dawn. - Orionids
November 4/5, 2012, late night November 4 until dawn November 5 - South Taurids
November 11/12, 2012, late night November 11 until dawn November 12 - North Taurids
November 16/17, 2012, late night November 16 until dawn November 17 – Leonids
December 13/14, 2012, late night December 13 until dawn December 14 – Geminids

I expect that some if not quite a number of you will be setting up the cameras to capture that prize winning meteor shot!

Last year I  provided this tip.  Somehow it made its way into my draft folder.  I thought I’d dust it off and re-issue it with the list of the remaining meteor showers for the year (thanks earthsky.org for the complete list).

With it being October already, the cold weather is upon us (or soon will be) and that means that fingers and toes won’t be the only thing that gets cold when out photographing the night sky. Your equipment also cools just like your body, BUT unlike your body, the camera and lenses do not have a heart pumping warm blood to warm things up.


So what you ask?

Well, the biggest threat is not your equipment getting cold, it's your equipment getting warm once it's cold. When you bring a cold camera and lens into a warm environment once it's cold (depending on how cold it is outside) it will form a frost on the outside. This is not a good sign! As well as that frost forming on the outside, the inner workings of both the camera and glass can develop moisture. Once this occurs you run the risk of getting water spots on the inner glass or sensor. You can over time also develop mould on the inside of the lens!!! 

Both are bad!!

My solution is to take a cooler bag with me when I shoot in cold weather. Once I'm finished for the evening I put my camera and lenses inside the cooler bag so that it will warm up at a very slow rate and not form condensation on the outside or the inside. 

Just remember to leave the bag open and outside also, that way it will be the same temperature as the outside air.

This technique will also work with many of the camera backpacks (which I now use).
Another trick is to use ziplock bags for your camera and lenses.

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