I am planning an expedition up a 4000 meter volcano and I want to take some nice shots of the adventure.

At the moment I have two cameras. My Nikkormat FT, which is way too heavy and bulky, so I am not considering taking it; and my recently acquired Ricoh GR1. Now I love my Ricoh, and it's super light and compact and looks pretty sturdy to me. However, it's not a cheap camera and I would hate to ruin it.

My main concern is the cold and dampness. I would obviously take good care of it and have it inside my water proof jacket all the time. But then, another issue that worries me is condensation in the lense due to the sudden changes of temperature in the mountains and especially when I take it out of my pocket.

I would welcome any comments and suggestions of people who have experience with this type of scenario. I am also looking at buying an Olympus stylus epic because its cheaper and water resistant while at the same time it has decent optics.

Also, although not related, when photographing people in front of ice, snow, glaciers, etc I would expect you need to do some exposure compensation, right? I'd be interested in anyone having experience with the Ricoh GR1 as I've only taken one roll of film so far with it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't speak to the Ricoh, but I use the Nikon AW100 or GoPro Hero in adverse conditions and like both. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 18:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dpollitt I don't think either of those are film cameras. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 22:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ On the question about photographing snow, see photo.stackexchange.com/questions/5414/… \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 22:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ ok, but for example does anyone have a view on the following: condensation can happen as well if you take the camera out of your jacket's pocket, can't it? so if I am climbing a high mountain perhaps I should look at attaching the camera (with say a carabina) to the outer part of my rucksack. is that right or am I going crazy? :) \$\endgroup\$
    – chango
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 0:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm - Was film a prerequisite? I missed that part... \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 2:56

1 Answer 1


The Ricoh is not weather-sealed. Might run into two problems: "Drowning" the camera and having condensation in the lens that might cloud your photos. Condensation will not be as heavy as to ruin the camera itself.

The issue with condensation happens normally when the air is very humid and if the outside temperature changes much faster than the camera itself. If you go on a high mountain, the air is normally not humid. The humidity will much rather build up inside of your clothes when you sweat, specially if you wear waterproof outerwear.

You also might have an issue with actual water from rain or snow getting into the camera. You have to know yourself if there is a risk of rain where you go. I would assume that you should be able to protect the camera from snow.

I would therefore recommend you to get either put the camera in a pocket that is still protected from snow but that is not as close to your body that each time you take it out it will suffer from severe temperature changes. Putting it inside your backpack might be the best solution. Even if you ascend from a humid climate, you will not do so too quickly for the air in the camera being able to adapt to the changes.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The only way to stop internal condensation is to have the camera and lens be at the same temperature as the outside air. You do not want to keep it inside your parka. You have to be very careful when you go from inside, where its warm and wet, to outside where it is cold. Put the camera in a plastic bag, sealed, and take it outside before you go out. Let it chill to the outside temperature. Then, as @uncovery says, store it in an outside pocket or backpack, so it stays cold. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 17:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.