Quote Originally Posted by MarkT View Post
My experience suggests once down to 0.5mm pitch you need to use stencil/solder-paste/oven for reliable results,
you need that strictly rationed amount of solder per pad.
Well, what you really need is a iron with fine tip , of course, but the most important thing is a GOOD flux.
You almost do not need solder , as most of the time the PSC almost has enough. Typically, I put some solder on the pads, all at once, good roisin flux, and you gently drop in place your .5mm pitch device on the pads, solder one end, make sure all is aligned and centered, solder the other corner, while slightly pressing the device in place.

The best I ever achieved by hand like that is QFP204. Beyond that , no go.