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09-21-2017, 10:50 AM   #1
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IQ: Da560 vs Daf150-450

Which one produces sharper images at max focal length on a crop body, the 150-450 or the 560?

09-21-2017, 11:07 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Not so staightforward to answer. I do have the DFA150450, use it a lot, and already considered versus the DA560 alternative. DFA150450 sharpness starts to fall off from 400mm onwards. When using a 1.4x TC (approx 600mm) max sharpness is fairly good stopped down between f11 and f14. I was able to get good sharpness with TC and electronic shutter (or using a flash light with better beamer) + crop mode with the K1 (15Mpixels). Better sharpness can be had from the DA560 @ f7.1, with vibrations also to be taken care of. At 450mm, even stopped down to f8, DFA150450 is a tad less sharp than the 560. But, then lighting situation comes into equation, DA560 is VERY sensitive to purple fringing, the DFA150450 does not fringe. For a crop sensor like in K3 , the DA560 performs best in good lighting situation. Also, to achieve the optical potential of those lenses, vibrations should be eliminated as much as possible. Using the K1 in crop mode and electronic shutter, I achieved better sharpness with the DFA150450 than I was able to achieve with the K3 (K3 use mechanical shutter only). Now, I don't know if anyone tried the Pentax KP in silent mode both with the DFA150450 or DA560, but I guess it should be possible to get excellent image quality when the technique is mastered. My conclusion was that the DA560 offer very specialized use cases and is more expensive and not competitive with other prime lenses from Sigma. So I opted for the DFA150450. If the DA560 was priced $2.5K, then it would be a more difficult choice to make, but at $4.5K, DA560 is easily overpriced (one could eventually get similar images with good bokeh with a Tamron 150-600 G2 for a quarter of the DA560 price). Ricoh did not sell much of the DA560, yet they recently increased its price at the same time as the Tamron 150-600 G2 and Sigma 150-600 S are better in many ways.. Who knows what Ricoh are doing their best not to increase their market share, I think the message was clear from their CEO... (wishing them good luck).

Last edited by biz-engineer; 09-21-2017 at 11:31 AM.
09-21-2017, 11:34 AM   #3
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I agree, the flexibility afforded by a modern zoom will often triumph. Great insight!

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
yet they recently increased its price..
Seems like it's not on sale right now, but still well below the $7K launch price. Last Fall we saw it on sale for $3299 at Adorama

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09-21-2017, 11:41 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Last Fall we saw it on sale for $3299 at Adorama
DA560 used to be at 2999 at SRS, and there was sometimes 300 pounds discount. Not anymore. Now, the cheapest can be had from Japan.

09-21-2017, 12:05 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
one could eventually get similar images with good bokeh with a Tamron 150-600 G2
Where, o where is that one available with Pentax bayonet?
09-21-2017, 12:24 PM   #6
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I got my DA560 on a cyber Monday sale back in 2015 for $3400 after watching the price for almost a year, it was $4999 that whole time. I just recently sold it for not much less than what I paid for it.

I loved the lens it was a huge step up over the Sigma 150-500 I was using. It does have lots of purple fringing when shot wide open but was easy to fix in Lightroom. I did look at the DFA 150-450 but I went with the extra reach and I also prefer primes. I used it on the K3 and K1 and I think it did a better job on the K1, F8 seemed to be the best setting on both bodies. It did produce some very good images I thought and I've seem some others produce some great shots with it.

It is a long skinny lens but it is very light and well built. I did hand hold a few times but you definitely need a monopod at least for sharper images.

I never traveled by air with it, it may be to long for carry on and the bag it comes in is very cheap, no protection so if you plan on traveling a lot the DFA 150-450 is a much better way to go.
09-23-2017, 12:31 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
DA560 used to be at 2999 at SRS, and there was sometimes 300 pounds discount. Not anymore. Now, the cheapest can be had from Japan.
Currently it's out of stock.
Pentax DA 560mm f/5.6 lens availability in the UK - PentaxForums.com

QuoteOriginally posted by KiloHotelphoto Quote
It is a long skinny lens but it is very light and well built. I did hand hold a few times but you definitely need a monopod at least for sharper images.
I never traveled by air with it, it may be to long for carry on and the bag it comes in is very cheap, no protection so if you plan on traveling a lot the DFA 150-450 is a much better way to go.
The Sigma 500mm 4.5 is shorter, has faster AF and aperture.
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