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Optical time domain reflectometery (OTDR) is one of the most used measurement techniques in the characterization of optical fiber links. In this paper, we present a thorough investigation of an OTDR using a Peltier cooled photon-counting detector at 1.55 um. Due to its superior spatial resolution and the absence of classical dead-zones, it is well suited for detailed, high resolution analysis of problem zones. We give a detailed analysis of its performance, and also demonstrate that a polarization-sensitive photon-counting OTDR can be used to extract local birefringences too large to be measured with standard P-OTDRs.