Street Shooting With The Pentax 645Z

One doesn’t equate using a medium format camera as something you would use to shoot street scenes with.  There have been quite a few well-known photographers that have used medium format for street, like Vivian Maier, who used a Rollei medium format camera.  Besides the obvious size and weight restraints, it’s not the first choice most photographers would use to shoot street with.  On a recent trip through several European cities, I did use the Pentax 645Z for just that purpose.  Outfitted with the excellent 55mm f/2.8 lens and a Black Rapid wrist strap, and keeping the camera close to my body helped to blend in.  Wearing dark clothes helps in hiding the camera next to you.  Besides having the look of a tourist who definitely is out of place once you pull the camera up to shoot, I was pretty much able to shoot and keep moving.  The Pentax isn’t lightening quick, though the 3.5 fps clearly beats out other medium format cameras, I was still able to get my shots off quickly.  The key benefit to using this camera as a street shooter is when you line it up for architectural images.  I found the camera to be particularly well suited when it rains, and that occurred often on this last trip.  The images shown here were all taken while walking around Amsterdam.

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