On a recent business trip to the north of Sweden I had one day off. The days are short but the working days are long. As I knew I would have the Sunday off I took the Fuji X-T10 and the XC 16-50 II with me, not knowing how it would perform in cold weather.
After a long week with some wonderful light but no time to photograph I was hoping for great weather on the Sunday. After a good breakfast I wrapped up warm with all my thermal underwear, ski pants and warm shoes. I must have looked pretty silly, but I knew I would be out for around about 3 – 4 hours.
A spare battery and one spare SD card went inside my coat pocket. After all the temperatures had dropped down to around about -20°C! Pretty cold for a camera which is not made for those cold temperatures as the X-T1 and X-T2 is.
Knowing that I was going to photograph the Storforsen rapid and knowing that I wanted the water to have the distinct flow I also packed my set of ND filters in my pocket. I had three with me, an 8 x, an 64x and the ND 1000. A good choice as I would learn later on.
After checking all the gear and throwing the tripod around my shoulder I headed out to the Storforsen rapid. As soon as I reached the first part it started to snow heavily. Not that what I wanted, especially knowing that the X-T10 and the XC 16-50II is not environmentally sealed. It did get quite some snowflakes on it but luckily enough the camera survived and performed absolutely flawlessly. After about 2 ½ hours the XC 16-50 II would not zoom very well any more. It made the impression that it was freezing up slowly. The X-T10´s display was also starting to get some ice coating on it. None the less the X-T10 was still working well. After about three hours the first battery was blinking red. By that time I had taken around about two hundred shots, most of them with the ND filter attached thus being long exposure photographs and exposure time anything between 2 – 15 seconds.
Luckily enough the weather had brightened up giving me a magical sky. I just had to push the X-T10 further and further. The XC 16-50 II was stuck at 16mm by now but still working fine. I left the aperture at the set f/8 as well. The X-T10 with some visible freeze marks on it was still working. Even the dials did not freeze up and turned as if it was not -20°C but +20°C. I did not notice any difference at all. Same goes for the buttons. After four hours in the cold it was time for me and my gear to go back to the hotel and the warm hotel room. The first thing I did was to take out the battery and the SD card out of the X-T10. Other than that I left the battery compartment open and left the camera to warm up again.
The photographs I took are reward enough even if the camera would have conked out. It would have been my fault as the X-T10 and the XC 16-50 II are definitely not made for those harsh environments. And minus 20°C is harsh, cold and yes very cold.
I pull my hat to Fuji and the camera for performing so well. Of course an X-T2 and the XF 16-55 2.8 would have been the better choice, but as I have neither I had to give it a try.
Take a look at the photographs and give me your opinion on them, on the gear I used or anything else.
Until then have a great day.
Last but not least of course the photographs I brought back from a cold walk.