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11-21-2014, 05:29 PM - 13 Likes   #1
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Field Test: HD DA 560mm F5.6 ED (IF) AW Pentax lens

I recently did a three week shoot using the new HD-DA 560mm F5.6 ED (IF) AW. I was photographing Grizzly Bears in a variety of lighting conditions, from bright sunshine, to almost twilight, from bright overcast to very low flat light with little contrast, and from bright colours, to almost monochrome. There were situations that were quite static and many that were very fast action. I did 13,000 images with the DA 560mm and my FA*400mm F5.6, using two K3 bodies and alternating the bodies on both lenses. Approximately 70 % of the images were taken with the DA 560mm and I also used the HD Pentax DA 1.4X AW AF rear converter extensively on the DA 560mm. As previously reported the new TC was unreliable in Phase Detect mode other than in very bright, high contrast, frontal lighting conditions. I did not use Contrast Detect (Live view).

I did an owner’s review on the DA 560mm F5.6 ED (IF) AW on September 14, 2014 for the Pentax Forum Lens Database just prior to field testing.

HD Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Initially I felt that the length of this lens was awkward, but I found the DA560 to be a dream to handle compared to my FA*600mm F4.0 (6.7 lbs vs 15 lbs) so much so that I upgraded my review “ handling” score a point. I also did not find that the loss of a stop, at F5.6, was a problem as most of the new bodies shoot well at ISO 800 and an F4.0 long lens is not as important as it once was, particularly for wildlife and action.

I am posting some of my images from this shoot below and they are “uncropped” other than the “presentation” format used. I hope my experience with this lens is helpful.
Murray

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11-21-2014, 05:39 PM   #2
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Wow, killer shots. Great images there.
11-21-2014, 05:42 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by oneill Quote
I recently did a three week shoot using the new HD-DA 560mm F5.6 ED (IF) AW. I was photographing Grizzly Bears in a variety of lighting conditions, from bright sunshine, to almost twilight, from bright overcast to very low flat light with little contrast, and from bright colours, to almost monochrome. There were situations that were quite static and many that were very fast action. I did 13,000 images with the DA 560mm and my FA*400mm F5.6, using two K3 bodies and alternating the bodies on both lenses. Approximately 70 % of the images were taken with the DA 560mm and I also used the HD Pentax DA 1.4X AW AF rear converter extensively on the DA 560mm. As previously reported the new TC was unreliable in Phase Detect mode other than in very bright, high contrast, frontal lighting conditions. I did not use Contrast Detect (Live view).

I did an owner’s review on the DA 560mm F5.6 ED (IF) AW on September 14, 2014 for the Pentax Forum Lens Database just prior to field testing.

HD Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Initially I felt that the length of this lens was awkward, but I found the DA560 to be a dream to handle compared to my FA*600mm F4.0 (6.7 lbs vs 15 lbs) so much so that I upgraded my review “ handling” score a point. I also did not find that the loss of a stop, at F5.6, was a problem as most of the new bodies shoot well at ISO 800 and an F4.0 long lens is not as important as it once was, particularly for wildlife and action.

I am posting some of my images from this shoot below and they are “uncropped” other than the “presentation” format used. I hope my experience with this lens is helpful.
Murray

PENTAX : PENTAX Photo Gallery artist page
560mm F5.6 is a really good lens indeed. Be prepared,there is rumor that the MSRP will drop greatly to $4000
11-21-2014, 05:53 PM   #4
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Very nice. Uncropped means you were pretty close. Focus becomes important in that situation. How did you find it? Handheld or tripod?

Edit. Is you covered those things in the review. I encourage everyone to look at the show at his gallery.


Last edited by derekkite; 11-21-2014 at 06:04 PM.
11-21-2014, 06:14 PM   #5
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Wow...great pics and great composition.


I have been thinking of getting a 500mm long zoom for outdoor shots such as yours. I wonder how the IQ compares to a Siggy 150-500mm. Your 560 shots look great, maybe it is time for me to save up.
11-21-2014, 06:17 PM   #6
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Stellar. Wow!
11-21-2014, 06:49 PM   #7
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Incredible -- thanks for sharing these!!
11-21-2014, 06:55 PM   #8
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Just WOW

11-21-2014, 06:57 PM   #9
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The surfing grizzly is fantastic!!

Great to see a fair review of this lens!
11-21-2014, 06:58 PM   #10
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Nice shots. Thank you.
11-21-2014, 07:24 PM   #11
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Thank you for your review of the DA 560 and the beautiful pictures. I would like to own that lens someday but my pictures of the bears with the 560 would show the bears much smaller that yours....
11-21-2014, 07:24 PM   #12
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Thanks for sharing, WOW!
11-21-2014, 08:08 PM   #13
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Great shots. But also excellent lens review IMHO. You nailed the issues and the solutions.

Thank you
11-21-2014, 08:18 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
Thanks for sharing, WOW!
I'll second that (and third and fourth and ...). By all means check out Murray's galleries in the Pentax Photo Gallery, there is even something for lovers of the LX. Absolutely stunning!
11-21-2014, 08:27 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
Very nice. Uncropped means you were pretty close. Focus becomes important in that situation. How did you find it? Handheld or tripod?

Edit. Is you covered those things in the review. I encourage everyone to look at the show at his gallery.
Thanks derekkite,

The only lens I hand hold is my FA*200mm F2.8, I will monopod for 400mm and under from a boat. I have five tripods, one for every occation

Murray
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