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Cold Weather: Use at 0ºF (-20º C)
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Nikon 12-24mm Tokina 12-24mm Sigma 10-20mm Tamron 11-18mm

Nikon 12 - 24 mm f/4, Tokina 12 - 24 mm f/4, Sigma 10 - 20 mm f/4 - 5.6 and Tamron 11 - 18 mm f/4.5 - 5.6.
Click an image to get it from Adorama. Also try Amazon. It helps me if you get yours at either one.


I didn't feel like overnighting on Mt. Whitney, so I left these lenses in my freezer at 0º F (-20º C) for 24 hours. I kept them in ziplock bags to avoid condensation when I took them out.

In the old days lenses were lubricated with grease that froze solid. This prevented them from focusing. That's why I tried this.

The good news is these lenses all work. They were fairly similar. AF speeds were unchanged. The zoom rings got stiffer. Manual focus got very stiff on the Tokina.

There isn't much difference between these. They all work fine at 0ºF, at least for the short while I tried them.

Zoom Ring
A little stiffer
Stiffer and perfectly usable. You can no longer flick it with one finger from one end to the other.
Stiff. About twice as much drag as at room temperature.
Just a little stiffer than before, which is still lighter than the Sigma and Tamron at room temperature.
It was slower on my D70, but I also froze the D70 at the same time. The other lenses were tested on a room-temperature D200.
Unchanged, which is still slow even at room temperature.
Manual Focus Ring
No change
Much stiffer, slow but usable. Of all the lenses this is the only one that might be stiff enough to worry you. If it's this cold you'd better be in gloves and want a stiffer action to prevent knocking it by accident on the ski slopes.
As stiff as the zoom ring.
Just a little stiffer, which is still reasonably light.
Works fine.
Stiffest of the bunch and still quite usable.
Stiffer than room temperature but perfectly usable.
It was so light to begin with that it's now about as firm as the other lenses were at room temperature.

Next: Color Rendition


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