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09-18-2012, 07:45 PM   #1
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new 560mm versus actual high quality telescope

Hi All,

I'm a professional astronomer, and I was fairly gobsmacked at the price of the new 560mm. Compare it to a high quality Meade of similar optical design (triplet APO refractor) and physical aperture size (above 10cm) at only $3,000:

Meade Instruments Corporation - 130mm ED TRIPLET APO #0507-00-05

We don't have this telescope where I work (all mirrors for outreach), but it has ED glass so the raw materials don't look miles apart. Flip-side, I know that optical telescopes like this usually have unforgivably large aberrations since our eye is a poor optical device and your average amateur astronomer is no-way near as critical of IQ as a pixel peeping camera buff. E.g. despite the optical flaws we use Dobsonians a lot for outreach just because they are such cost efficient light-buckets- photographers much prefer IQ to pure lens speed.

Obviously this scope is missing the weather sealing and auto-focus (and closer focus) abilities of the Pentax 560. I'd be curious as to how much cheaper the Meade is due to volume- I'm sure they build a lot more of these things per year than they will the 560.

Overall, I'm wondering if they priced purely in relation to high end rival lenses (which have a much more complicated and expensive optical design), i.e. are Pentax's margins on this thing humongous? That's the downside of a lack of K-mount competition for sure.



09-18-2012, 08:50 PM   #2

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New York
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There's a similar comparison of the DA560 to telescopes at
09-18-2012, 08:54 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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As of now, I haven't heard of anyone trying out the DA560mm. However, Pentax did mention that this lens is capable of high quality pictures despite so few elements in its design. I am no optical expert but I doubt they are lying. I will wait for more people to get a hands on before coming to conclusions.

At a lower price, a Sigma 500mm f4.5 as an alternative looks very good for the $$$. If you can live without weathersealing, and the lack of AF limiter and quickshift for the K mount version.
09-18-2012, 09:14 PM   #4
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Original Poster
Sure, I'm not commenting on the optical quality yet- a photographic lens has to have much better IQ. Purely in terms of raw material and lens design (it's nothing exotic), the price seems very very high. To take the simple optical design and improve the IQ must push the price up on R&D at least, but to $7K?


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