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03-28-2013, 01:13 PM   #16
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I noticed the shots seemed a bit noisy at 400 iso. Cropping exacerbates noise. I'm wondering if the IIs has different characteristics, or the lens. When I got my DA*300 i was surprised how I could go higher iso and get decent results compared to my older manual tamrons. Are the DNG's available somewhere to see how they process?

When the review says that you enjoyed using it, could you elaborate? This is purely subjective, but I'm interested in what you mean by that.

Thanks very much for the review. Well done and very informative.

03-28-2013, 01:46 PM   #17
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Thanks for taking the time to review this lens. Sadly I can only dream of owning a lens like this.
03-28-2013, 02:07 PM   #18
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Thank you for the review. A great effort and a very interesting reading.

It is interesting to read, through this thread, the reduced price: a good sign in my opinion.
03-28-2013, 02:09 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by macTak Quote
Adam, I enjoyed the review, but this statement under optics is just plain false: "but you can expect image quality to improve as the light rays have fewer lens surfaces to travel". Bearing in mind identical lens coatings, transmission will improve, but "image quality" most certainly need not. I hardly need to state a case for that (or else all our lenses would have but one element), but generally it takes more elements to better correct for abberations which diminish image quality (e.g. an achromatic doublet versus a singlet, an apochromatic triplet versus an achromatic doublet).
I guess that statement is a bit unclear. What its trying to say is that there aren't that many elements to correct aberrations, and this could have the benefit of less distortion.


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03-28-2013, 02:11 PM   #20
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Pentax 560/5.6:
QuoteQuote:
[...] This lens is already quite sharp wide-open, and it becomes very sharp and contrasty when stopped down to F8. F8 and F11 are the sharpest apertures

[...] At F5.6 corner resolution is visibly below that of the center. At F8 - F22 corner resolution is at par with the center. We recommend using F8 , F11 and F16 where possible over F5.6

[...] The lens is very sharp across the frame with F8 through F11 being the optimal apertures. [...]


This lens is MADE to resolve detail other lenses can't. After all, you could use a DA* 300/4 and crop into the image to get the same results than from a DA560 which isn't tack-sharp.
03-28-2013, 02:59 PM   #21
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Many thanks for the review.
IMO for the price it should be really sharp wide open.
The review went downhill when comparisons were made with the Sigma zoom - really sad!
Nice try Pentax but I would much prefer the Sigma 500mm prime.
This lens will certainly not tempt any Nikon or Canon users to switch marques!
03-28-2013, 09:01 PM - 1 Like   #22
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I find it interesting that while many complain that Pentax lacks certain focal lengths in it's lens lineup, when Pentax brings out such a lens, people then say they can't afford it. If you look at Canikon's lenses of simlar focal length, they are also similaly priced- not a few hundred bucks, but many thousands. So it was never a secret that it would be expensive. Even the 60-250mm f4, 200mm and 300mm lenses are too pricey for most people, although far less expensive than the 560mm.

So in reality, while Canikon has more lenses, reality is that most people, using any brand, will never use even a small fraction of the lenses available, due to both price, and, for the long lenses, the weight. It's good that Pentax has a 560mm now, but I really don't see it as being that important.

However....maybe Pentaxians have a large number of wealthy amongst them and the 560mm will sell like hotcakes. Wouldn't be the first time I was wrong
03-28-2013, 09:32 PM   #23
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By the way, there are F6.3 and F7.1 - is it better than F5.6? Or the same?

03-28-2013, 11:56 PM   #24
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A few criticisms:

The Manfrotto Neotec 458B was a poor choice of tripod for initial testing the 560mm f/5.6. The manfrotto 405 which weighs 1.6Kg - the Pentax 560mm f/5.6 weighs 3Kg, the K5IIs weighs 760g. My point is that 1,670g+3,040g+760g=5.470g - which is well over half the maximum weight capacity for the 458B, which is 8Kg. Having seen a 458B tripod personally I think Manfrotto is being a bit generous with that figure, you simply overburdened the tripod legs. When I work with lenses longer than 200mm I always recommend a set of tripod legs with a minimum of double or better yet: triple the load capacity of the setup being used.The Manfrotto 405 which I own and use along with a Gitzo GT3541L can comfortably be used with the Nikon D4 and a Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G even with a 2X converter.

I also take issue with this statement: "F8 and F11 are the sharpest apertures, closely followed by F16. Diffraction doesn't occur as early with this lens due to the large size of the aperture." I can spot diffraction softening at f/8 on the Pentax K5IIs at f/16 it is quite obvious to by eyes. It is very disappointing to see that an already slow lens does not perform well in terms of resolution or aberration control at its widest aperture, especially considering that slower lenses aren't as difficult to design as faster lenses are. It would be interesting to compare the Sigma 500mm f/4.5 against the pentax 560mm f/5.6 super telephoto, but to be honest - my money is on the sigma lens.





Last edited by Digitalis; 03-29-2013 at 12:08 AM.
03-29-2013, 03:26 AM   #25
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Thanks a lot for the review!!!!!!
How does it perform at f/6.3 and 7.1? I must say I am a little disappointed. 6000 euro is a stretch for me but doable if a save for a few months. But I would want top-quality optics for that price, sharp wide open and free of false color. Pentax speaks of telescope optics, but modern apochromatic telescopes all seem to be using fluorite (O'hara FPL-53) glass without breaking the bank, supposedly giving images without fringing or longitudinal CA. Not that fringing is that terrible a crime: most birds not being purple, simply desaturating all the purples in an image and darkening a little makes the problem go away to a big degree.
The good news is that AF is accurate, because all the IQ talk concerning super-teles is useless if focus is not spot on. That, plus WR plus rotable CPL dd up to an appealing package, but it could be better
Anyway, i've started birding this year, I'm hooked, so I've started saving so I can get something better than my manual focus Sigma 400 f/5.6 APO. I'm not sure where i'll settle though...
03-29-2013, 10:14 AM   #26
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Thank you for the in-depth review. It is certainly a lens I would like to acquire. Right now, and for the foreseeable future, it is just out of my price range. I hope this lens makes its way to a lens rental shop where I can rent it for a couple of weeks for trips to Yellowstone and other locations. For everyday use I will need to stick with my Sigma 150-500, SMC K 500 4.5 and Pentax 1.7 AF converter.
03-29-2013, 10:16 AM   #27
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Are there plans to do an in-depth review of Sigma 500 f4.5? I thought the 560 would be compared to the Sigma? Thanks
03-29-2013, 11:24 AM   #28
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Certainly my dream lens.

Wow this is certainly my dream lens. If I can manage to buy one there will be an 800 and a 500 and maybe a 400 available. The sale of these would offset the price of the 560 by at least half and none of them are AF. The market for long lenses that will fit anything is hot right now even though they are older lenses. Those who do not have a need for a long lens probably cannot justify the price but just like Canon and Nikon the Pentax lens is perfect for a Pentax camera. Sure there are a few weak points but here at Pentax Forums we are not afraid to point these out where with Canon you better not criticize their nearly 11 grand 500 lens for that would make you look silly for having bought one! And then you have to consider that this may be better compared with a 600mm lens which just gets more expensive. My only wish would be for a faster wide open aperture. I admit I have been thinking of switching to Nikon for a good FF body and good long glass but this lens plus the review give me further pause. The mere fact that this is a Full frame lens indicates to me that there will be a FF Pentax DSLR in the near future maybe even this year. I also think those cameras will sell very well.
03-29-2013, 12:20 PM   #29
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After buying a second camera body, I have one K-5, setting aside money to acquire this lens is my next step. It will take some time, probably more than a year after I buy a second camera, but I'll get there.
I am still confused - is this a lens only for APS-C cameras or will it also work on FF cameras. I thought it was only for APS-C. Thanks
03-29-2013, 12:27 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
After buying a second camera body, I have one K-5, setting aside money to acquire this lens is my next step. It will take some time, probably more than a year after I buy a second camera, but I'll get there.
I am still confused - is this a lens only for APS-C cameras or will it also work on FF cameras. I thought it was only for APS-C. Thanks
Yes, this is a good question. In all the information in the lens database it says APS-C. Yet in the review it is said to be full frame also. So is it designed for full frame or is that a repeated typo????????? Can you help us understand Adam???
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