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03-18-2017, 10:15 AM   #1
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How often do you use your D or Z handheld?

I am wondering how often do people use the D or Z handheld?
Of course it also depends on the lens or purpose, but generally speaking how often.
What are the chances of getting decent usable shots handheld (with a bit of practice i suppose!) ?
I am deliberately keeping this question open, as I want to explore the diversity of opinions out there.

03-18-2017, 10:25 AM   #2
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The camera is hand-holdable! I try to use support whenever I can. But maybe 20% I do not.


03-18-2017, 10:49 AM   #3
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With how well balanced the camera is, i find it very easy to use without a tripod. Im a little bit more cautious of the shutter speed i use without a tripod, but i use a tripod maybe 50% of the time.


03-18-2017, 10:57 AM   #4
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Certainly usable handheld using a suitable shutter speed, the weight of the beast IMO an advantage in dampening movement and if course also a disadvantage in as much as can be tiring if you need to hold for extended periods of time at eye level. Like all cameras to get the best resolution a solid tripod, release and timed delay preferable when possible.

03-18-2017, 04:10 PM   #5
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The Pentax 645 bodies from film to digital, have always been able to be hand held and deliver predictable, sharp results. All of the bodies have had enough heft to be stable in your hand along with good ergonomics. It's simply a matter of knowing your limits and balancing that with the proper shutter speed. Obviously if you're shooting a landscape and going for maximum depth of field (F11-16 or higher) you'll want to use a higher ISO or a tripod.
03-19-2017, 01:46 AM - 1 Like   #6
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The Z is more hand holdable than the D, mainly because the shutter is more damped and the ability to recover shadows is better at lower ISO.

You can deliberately under expose by 2 stops to get the desired shutter speed and recover it later.

The weight is good too as it helps with bracing it against your face.
03-19-2017, 02:34 AM   #7
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I tend now to use a monopod wherever possible even in reasonable light, I can handhold a K1 down to 1/8th sec, but not the Z.


Chris

03-19-2017, 04:18 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by debakarma Quote
I am wondering how often do people use the D or Z handheld?
Of course it also depends on the lens or purpose, but generally speaking how often.
What are the chances of getting decent usable shots handheld (with a bit of practice i suppose!) ?
I am deliberately keeping this question open, as I want to explore the diversity of opinions out there.
The D I used to use pretty much only on a tripod in the studio, so I have almost no "normal" photos where I just used it handheld unless I was messing about. The 645Z is still a bit slow and clunky compared to the latest DSLRs, but there's nothing stopping you from using it how you want, coming from the equally-clunky 5Dmk2 I don't feel like I'm missing anything handling-wise.

When going outside of the studio I take the tripod maybe only 5% of the time when I have something specific in mind and know for sure that I'm going to need it, like nightscapes. You need at least 2x your focal length in shutter speed if you want to ensure good sharpness hand-held, so with the 55mm it's 1/125th and with the 150mm I go for 1/250th to start.

I would probably consider a monopod for general-purpose photography, because you'd otherwise need a medium-size tripod like a Gitzo 3 systematic to hold one of these cameras perfectly still, and that's a hassle even with a shoulder sling.
03-19-2017, 04:57 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I really depends upon what I am doing - for product photography, the camera will be on a tripod. But shooting models I work hand-held with both the D, Z and the Leica S2. I agree with many posters on here the Z feels better than the D. The Leica S2 is just different, it just feels like a larger Leica R SLR and fits the hand quite well, and feels balanced with short toe mid length lenses. However the Leica APO-Elmar-S 180mm f/3.5* is very front heavy, the Pentax 645Z balances better than the S2 does with longer lenses up to 300mm.


*which is presently the longest lens designed for the Leica S2 camera.

Last edited by Digitalis; 03-19-2017 at 07:30 AM.
03-19-2017, 05:07 AM   #10
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On my recent trip to Scotland I took maybe 6/7 shots with the camera on a tripod. On hikes in the area, I didn't bring my tripod at all. I generally only use a tripod where I am doing a long exposure.
03-19-2017, 11:05 AM   #11
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I use the Z frequently handheld. Not a problem. Occasionally I'll use a monopod, I like the ones with the legs/feet. I tripod if I feel I have the time. Really very versatile.

And I am reminded that around here, northeast U.S., back in the day most of the wedding guys I knew used MF, and not always with flash. I saw they got great results. I don't think digital has inherently changed that, just that we now routinely look at our images microscopically and have "advanced" resolution and acuity to the top of the stack of technical virtues. I am sensing a bit of a change in the air, though.....
03-19-2017, 04:42 PM   #12
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I use my Z almost exclusively handheld, the trick in doing so comfortably is having a proper strap which doesn't hang around your neck and rather diagonally over your shoulders to spread the weight, for example I use the original (now discontinued) BlackRapid RS-7 strap which has special padding for the shoulder, which essentially makes the 645Z feel like any other dSLR when walking around. The extra vertical tripod mount on the camera suits this purpose almost too perfectly.
03-19-2017, 06:08 PM   #13
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For indoor work - tripod 75% of the time unless using flash then I can handhold generally - though the shit 1/125 speed sometimes is an issue, I lose images from this time to time whereas if I had 1/250 it would be less of an issue.
Outdoors, probably 95% handheld.
I used to shoot more at night outdoors, that was 100% tripod. Now I use A7RII for that work and can handhold for most of it.
Bottom line, the 645 bodies are certainly handholdable as others have posted, but not as much as a smaller, lighter bodies for various reasons.
03-20-2017, 03:07 AM   #14
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With the monster 28-45 attached never - tripod only for landscapes. With 55 (and the 75 I am waiting to recieve) I might occasionally use hand held. Then again I have little incentive to walk around with the Z given my other camera is a K1.
03-20-2017, 07:01 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gyroscope Quote
With the monster 28-45 attached never - tripod only for landscapes. With 55 (and the 75 I am waiting to recieve) I might occasionally use hand held. Then again I have little incentive to walk around with the Z given my other camera is a K1.
You should get a bumper sticker for your K1 that says "My other camera is a 645Z!"

The 28 - 45 is one of my most used lenses handheld...
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