Leica film camera beats digital to North Pole
A Leica film camera has survived a 60-day trek to the North Pole, recording images impossible to capture on digital equipment, says photographer and explorer Martin Hartley.
A specially tested Leica MP endured temperatures dipping to -40°C on a 483-mile expedition as part of the Catlin Arctic Survey, a project that aims to capture scientific data relating to the way CO2 affects marine life in the Arctic.
‘At these temperatures, battery-powered electronic devices become unreliable and are prone to failure, cameras being no exception,’ said Martin who carried the Leica MP around his neck in a thin waterproof bag to stop moisture from his breath freezing on the viewfinder.
‘These low temperatures cause everything to shrink - autofocus lenses become too tight and have to be focused manually and aperture leafs often jam.
‘It is during these times that photographic opportunities can be lost. This happens because cameras or batteries are often stuffed under several layers of clothes to keep them warm, and the effort to take the cameras and batteries out is just too much, especially when survival is more important than anything.’
First produced in 2003 the Leica MP is a fully mechanical camera which can be operated without batteries.
Picture credit (above): Ian Wesley
Picture credit: (above): www.martinhartley.com