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11-09-2014, 06:18 AM - 15 Likes   #1
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On Location with the 645Z

Hello,

I have been an avid reader of everything I could find on the internet connected with the 645Z and wanted to share something back for others with the same curiosity. At the start of the year I was about to pull the trigger on a used Hasselblad when I read about the upcoming 645Z. I showed restraint and waited to get my hands on a 645Z and was immediately sold by how friendly it was to use. I am a professional wedding photographer and whilst my Canon equipment is my bread and butter I have been looking at MF as a way to differentiate me from a sea of other good photographers out there. I have had an opportunity to use this camera for a few parts of the wedding day but I am still working out how to integrate it into my work flow commercially.

The other reason for buying the 645Z was that I wanted to move my personal photography on as well. I had read about how MF slows you down and I liked the idea of thinking through my personal pieces in more detail. The reality is the 645Z is not far off the practicalities of my 5D MkIII in terms of picking up and using.

It is a sizeable investment and one I DO NOT regret. It annoys me when people ask and then balk at the price of the equipment. I ordered the body + 55mm (best lens in many ways), 90mm, and 28-45mm. I have found that with the 55mm lens and a good black rapid the camera is equally at home as a street / travel camera as it is on more staged projects.

I have used the camera for one personal shoot and as the primary camera on a trip to India for the past couple of weeks. Having used the camera every day during that trip I can hand on heart say it will make you smile when given an opportunity to photograph worthy subjects.

For my first outing I set up a model shoot at a local disused graveyard. As you can imagine it was quite involved with the use of smoke machines and multiple Profoto B1's to light the location and the subjects. I really wanted to get in close to the models for this shot and used the 28-45 on a tripod. It was shot at f10, 28mm, ISO 800, 1/40th to balance the ambient from the candles with the artificial lighting. I needed the DOF to ensure my subjects were tack sharp. I used LV for focusing. The only thing I found very slow was reviewing the images at full magnification for review purposes to ensure sharpness when panning around the image. I was very happy with the results.

I have recently been inspired by the photography I have seen come out of India. Each year I try to travel solely for the purposes of my photography and so this year I decided to visit the camel fair of Pushkar and the holy city of Varanasi. I was lucky enough to use the same local contacts as Joey L and they were amazing in facilitating boats, Sadhu's, just about anything I needed to try and create compelling images. If anyone is interested in visiting please let me know and I will put you in touch.

I really tried to get to know all of my subjects by name and through my translators talk with them so we became comfortable working together. Once I could get them to move past me and my equipment I started to produce some compelling work. Most portraits were taken using the 645Z and 55mm or 90mm lens. For lighting I used the Profoto B1 with 100cm Rotalux octabox (perfect travel combination) I did not find the 1/125th sync speeds a problem as I was working at dawn or dusk for most of these shots. I wanted these to be environmental so shot most of the 55mm at F4 and the 90mm at F8.

The one noticeable exception is the shot of camel traders sat at the dawn camp fire. This was shot using ambient light before the sun had cleared the mountains, so the light levels were still very low. 125th, F7.1, ISO 1600. I could have risked dropping the shutter and lowering the ISO but they were moving quite a lot. ISO 1600 is a non issue to me when shooting this kind of documentary work.

All images are subjective in terms of composition and processing but I will say that when shot correctly the DNG files are tack sharp out of camera and I experienced no issues with CA as reported elsewhere.

This camera has not made me a better photographer and I did make some mistakes along the way, but when I got it right I found myself smiling or laughing out loud.

Thanks for reading. Any questions I will be happy to try and answer.

Nick.

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11-09-2014, 07:01 AM   #2
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In a word -WOW- awesome work. Those just pop off the screen.
11-09-2014, 07:03 AM   #3
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Wow! Awesome shots.
11-09-2014, 07:06 AM   #4
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Incredible shooting, but you've really sought out some interesting subjects and environments. Great work.


Last edited by normhead; 11-09-2014 at 09:14 AM.
11-09-2014, 08:03 AM   #5
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Incredible you need send those to Pentax so they can promote your work. Thank you for posting and showing us your work
11-09-2014, 08:26 AM   #6
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Awesome! The combination of a great photographer and a great camera. If anyone had any doubts about the capabilities of the 645Z these images will put an end to the argument.
11-09-2014, 08:30 AM   #7
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Incredible photos - thanks for sharing.
11-09-2014, 09:07 AM   #8
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You have produced some striking images. My favorite of the bunch is the fourth one. That's some great timing combined with excellent composition.

Thanks for sharing!

11-09-2014, 09:21 AM   #9
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>but when I got it right I found myself smiling or laughing out loud.

Best recommendation I've read to date.
11-09-2014, 09:23 AM   #10
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That's what happens when you press the shutter on a 645z??
Sing me up for two!!
11-09-2014, 09:27 AM   #11
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WOW those are awesome. Please post more!
11-09-2014, 09:40 AM   #12
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Emphatically agree: captivating shots, each in its own way. Remind one of the meaning of the phrase "in capable hands", as those are needed to make such an awesome tool as the 645Z really sing. Would make excellent advertising for the camera and lenses, and for MF in general.
11-09-2014, 11:03 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by nphnet Quote
Hello,

I have been an avid reader of everything I could find on the internet connected with the 645Z and wanted to share something back for others with the same curiosity. At the start of the year I was about to pull the trigger on a used Hasselblad when I read about the upcoming 645Z. I showed restraint and waited to get my hands on a 645Z and was immediately sold by how friendly it was to use. I am a professional wedding photographer and whilst my Canon equipment is my bread and butter I have been looking at MF as a way to differentiate me from a sea of other good photographers out there. I have had an opportunity to use this camera for a few parts of the wedding day but I am still working out how to integrate it into my work flow commercially.

The other reason for buying the 645Z was that I wanted to move my personal photography on as well. I had read about how MF slows you down and I liked the idea of thinking through my personal pieces in more detail. The reality is the 645Z is not far off the practicalities of my 5D MkIII in terms of picking up and using.

It is a sizeable investment and one I DO NOT regret. It annoys me when people ask and then balk at the price of the equipment. I ordered the body + 55mm (best lens in many ways), 90mm, and 28-45mm. I have found that with the 55mm lens and a good black rapid the camera is equally at home as a street / travel camera as it is on more staged projects.

I have used the camera for one personal shoot and as the primary camera on a trip to India for the past couple of weeks. Having used the camera every day during that trip I can hand on heart say it will make you smile when given an opportunity to photograph worthy subjects.

For my first outing I set up a model shoot at a local disused graveyard. As you can imagine it was quite involved with the use of smoke machines and multiple Profoto B1's to light the location and the subjects. I really wanted to get in close to the models for this shot and used the 28-45 on a tripod. It was shot at f10, 28mm, ISO 800, 1/40th to balance the ambient from the candles with the artificial lighting. I needed the DOF to ensure my subjects were tack sharp. I used LV for focusing. The only thing I found very slow was reviewing the images at full magnification for review purposes to ensure sharpness when panning around the image. I was very happy with the results.

I have recently been inspired by the photography I have seen come out of India. Each year I try to travel solely for the purposes of my photography and so this year I decided to visit the camel fair of Pushkar and the holy city of Varanasi. I was lucky enough to use the same local contacts as Joey L and they were amazing in facilitating boats, Sadhu's, just about anything I needed to try and create compelling images. If anyone is interested in visiting please let me know and I will put you in touch.

I really tried to get to know all of my subjects by name and through my translators talk with them so we became comfortable working together. Once I could get them to move past me and my equipment I started to produce some compelling work. Most portraits were taken using the 645Z and 55mm or 90mm lens. For lighting I used the Profoto B1 with 100cm Rotalux octabox (perfect travel combination) I did not find the 1/125th sync speeds a problem as I was working at dawn or dusk for most of these shots. I wanted these to be environmental so shot most of the 55mm at F4 and the 90mm at F8.

The one noticeable exception is the shot of camel traders sat at the dawn camp fire. This was shot using ambient light before the sun had cleared the mountains, so the light levels were still very low. 125th, F7.1, ISO 1600. I could have risked dropping the shutter and lowering the ISO but they were moving quite a lot. ISO 1600 is a non issue to me when shooting this kind of documentary work.

All images are subjective in terms of composition and processing but I will say that when shot correctly the DNG files are tack sharp out of camera and I experienced no issues with CA as reported elsewhere.

This camera has not made me a better photographer and I did make some mistakes along the way, but when I got it right I found myself smiling or laughing out loud.

Thanks for reading. Any questions I will be happy to try and answer.

Nick.
I totally understand what you mean about the file quality, they make me smile constantly. I purchased a 645D shortly after it was introduced. It has been a great camera. Well, I purchased the 645Z when it was introduced. Totally blown away. I have not used the D or my K3 since. This is just so incredibly user friendly that I carry it all the time. It does my landscape work and studio work with ease. I get my daily workout caring the 40# pack around, but I think I need a new computer to go with it!
11-09-2014, 11:11 AM   #14
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Terrific shots and interesting account of your experiences.
All these first hand experience writeups are very valuable to everyone, in particular to those on the verge of buying such a jewel.
11-09-2014, 05:17 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Thanks for posting Nick. Truly striking images that have a quality one would expect from a studio set up. Nice to have a post not nitpicking the camera too.
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