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08-25-2012, 07:38 PM - 1 Like   #16
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Atlanta
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I have the Bower-branded version of the Samyang 500mm F6.3 along with the Tamron SP 500 F8, the Sigma 600 F8 and the Spiratone 500 F8.

From all, the Tamron has much better contrast and resolution with the Samyang a close second. The Samyang, being faster, is a bit easier to focus. The Sigma has very low contrast (my copy is probably not very good) and the Spiratone a softer painterly rendering.

With all of them it is mandatory to use a proper long hood. There is substantial contrast loss without a hood. Focus is super critical to get sharp images. I found the most accurate way is to use Live View on the K-7 and enlarge 6X.

All lenses produce better pictures on the K10D than on the K-7. I am not sure if it is the CCD vs. CMOS sensor or the fact that the K10D has fewer larger pixels, or the K-7 out resolves them.

They are usable handheld under bright conditions and a monopod really helps, but for best results they must be used on a good tripod with SR OFF, 2sec timer and remote cable release.

08-25-2012, 09:22 PM   #17
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 96
I have the Rokinon version of the 500/6.3. Bought it used at B&H - not a lot and thought I could return it if it sucked.
Since then I shot with it once at a hot-air balloon festival. The results were, although not spectacular, acceptable for the $120 I spent. Considering the next step up is in the $1000, and the next up from that is in the $8000 range for 500mm lenses.

The only bothersome thing I find about it is it focuses past infinity, making focusing far away tiny objects a chore to focus on.

Here are some good samples, not touched other than resizing to 1024, not bad considering I forgot to change the length setting on the K-5 and left it at 35.
Attached Images
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PENTAX K-5  Photo 
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PENTAX K-5  Photo 
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PENTAX K-5  Photo 
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PENTAX K-5  Photo 

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