Nikon D750 in -75°F

THE FROZEN HELL – Nikon D750 with Nikkor 20mm f/1.8 lens in -75°F temperatures

On Saturday, January 6th, 2018, my friend Nathan and I climbed New York’s seconds highest mountain, Algonquin Peak (5,115 ft) in the Adirondack Mountains to experience some of the coldest temperatures on earth. On this day, most of America was frozen over by the coldest weather of the season yet. The ambient temperature on the top of the mountain was -36°F with a 45 mile per hour wind, making it -75°F on the summit. It was by far the coldest experience I have ever had in my life. When something is hot enough, if you touch it, you can be burned easily. That was the same thing with this weather except the opposite. It was so cold that not only did I get wind burns on my face (I had goggles), but I burned my hand from touching a metal shovel that was connected to my backpack.

Below are photos from the journey taken with my Nikon D750 and Nikkor 20mm f/1.8. There is also a video attached, a documentation of the trip itself recorded on the same camera. Throughout the entire trip, I was very curious to see how well my camera would perform In such conditions. I monitored it closely. Within 5 minutes of being outside of my car, the back monitor of the camera already started to lag due to the cold. Because the Nikon d750 has probably the worst weather sealing of the professional line up, I was a little nervous with the temperatures. I’ve had my camera in -30°F temperatures before and it lasted, but this was different. I had two fully charged batteries inside of my camera the entire time, one inside the camera and one inside the battery grip. For some reason, the first battery inside the grip died much quicker than the second one and the second one eventually died right after I summited the mountain. I didn’t consider writing this post till after the fact, so sadly I have no photos of the camera itself on top of the mountain. But below I have attached a photo from Google Images of roughly what my camera looked like in the moment!

The entire time I was handling the camera, I had -50°F Rated mittens on my hands. It was rather difficult to control the camera with these on, but I made it work. The camera acquired a thick layer of frost and ice everywhere on the camera. I mean, of course this is expected. I had to constantly keep scraping the frost off of the front of the lens. the shutter kept lagging and the autofocus wouldn’t work anymore. It was really rough. I’m a very experienced mountain climber and conditions like this do not frighten me. I felt very prepared and dressed appropriately for the weather. I took every precaution and every step that I could to ensure my safety, yet it was still very difficult and painful. I’m a professional landscape photographer from Ohio, but I spend a lot of my time in the Adirondack Mountains. You can find all of my other work on my Instagram @JonathanZphotography or at my website

Photos from the trip:

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