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09-19-2018, 02:23 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by redpit Quote
Enjoy your DA 560! I find it a great lens and a joy to use. It's not so hard to handhold and the foot being so far in the front gives a nice balanced grip on my K-1 with battery grip.

What you'll need to fully utilize it are: a good tripod, a long plate (20cm or more), a good gimbal head and a good bag to protect it and transport it. I can give you my recommendations on equipment that works great for me if you want more help.

Again congrats on your purchase! I also have the DFA 150-450 which is another great lens but my first choice is the DA 560 when the shooting conditions permit its use
So it seems that on the tripod front, a bit of trial and error is in order to find a perfect solution for me. Thankfully, I live close to the largest camera store in the southern hemisphere so I will definitely be bringing it in to try a few different combos. If you could recommend a few items that would be super helpful in getting me into the right ball park!

On the bag end of things, I think I have that worked out. For my day to day bag I have a 20L Peak Design Everyday Backpack, which I think in a pinch could hold it, though I do have a larger Kata Sling bag permanently set up for my Tamron 300mm f2.8 AF, so I think that'll work better for toting it around. For more intensive events/hiking I have a Lowepro ProTrekker bag that will definitely fit the lens along with a 15-30mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm and 2 K-1 (not that it's any good for the back).

To be honest though, I prefer to just wear my 300mm f2.8 on a nice padded shoulder strap instead, so I think that'll end up being my carrying solution yet again

---------- Post added 09-19-18 at 06:55 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
I have no problem handholding the DFA 150-450 at 1/800 or faster. I typically use 1/1250 for birds in flight. TAv.
Ah, someone in Melbourne has the DFA 150-450mm... I think a meetup is in order at some point in the future!

09-19-2018, 03:25 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joshua A Quote
If you could recommend a few items that would be super helpful in getting me into the right ball park!
I have an old but heavy Slik professional tripod that I'm glad I had bought (though it's too heavy it is very stable too).
Bag: Ruggard Alpine 600 Lens Backpack for DSLR and LBB-1600B B&H
It holds the lens with the K-1 attached. In fact they fit straight without any headspace left, only space around the lens for micro-things.
Plate: Benro PU200 Long Lens Quick Release Plate PU200 B&H Photo Video
For protection I've bought these:
Filter: amazon.com : Haida 112mm PROII Multi-Coated Ultra Violet MC-UV Filter 112 MCUV Pro II : Camera & Photo?tag=pentaxforums-20&
Cover: Pentax 560mm f5.6 HD DA Neoprene lens protection camouflage coat cover Green | eBay
And finally this head does the job right!
LensMaster Gimbal Head - European Sales
For carrying the lens around I use a peak design strap attached to the plate Slide Pro Camera Strap | Peak Design

All the above work fine for me. Sorry for the links, but it is easier to start your search that way if you're interested in anything.
09-19-2018, 05:46 AM - 1 Like   #18
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I haven't read through all the comments above, so previous posters, please excuse me if I repeat your advice. BACKGROUND: I've been using long lenses for a long time, starting with a 400mm f5.6 Piesker back in the early 1960's.

1) using long lenses is tricky - do not expect perfect results immediately, do not be discouraged by bad results because no matter how much experience you eventually get you will not be successful every time you use the lens.

2) NEVER TRY TO USE THIS LENS HAND-HELD, Use at the very least a sturdy monopod. I would recommend a carbon-fiber monopod with flip-locks with a Sunwayfoto or Sirui tilting head.

3) GET A STURDY TRIPOD! Sorry, but the weight of the lens is just the start. I can see quickly that this advice has been given by several already. LOOK ON EBAY FOR TRIPOD BARGAINS. My personal preference is for flip locks not collar locks, as the two tripods I've owned that had collar locks (a Gitzo that I still own, a Sirui that I sold), they were not reliable. Tripods I own that have flip-locks (Bogen/Manrotto, Slik, Sirui, Velbon, and Giottos) have all been 100% reliable - not one of them has ever slipped when extended, and some of them go back into the 1960's, are still in use, and are still 100% reliable.

4) For a tripod head I have found gimbal-style heads easiest to use; pan-tilt heads second, and ball heads third. With either gimbal or pan-tilt, it's best to level the tripod before starting to shoot. Not as necessary with a ball head, but with a ball head there's a tendency for a heavy lens to tilt right-left, you must grip strongly.

A) For a gimbal head, WImberly is everyone's favorite, but I have one made by Induro that is carbon-fiber and therefore lighter weight.

B) A much less expensive alternative (about $180 retail) is the Manfrotto Heavy Telephoto Lens Support. I also have one of these and it is every bit as satisfactory as the Induro gimbal head. It is a "U within U" system. You can flip the supporting "U" to the top, lens dangling under, then use the cross-bar of that "U" to attach a strobe. Why did I also get an Induro? The Manfrotto unit is wide and very difficult to almost impossible to use when shooting from a car (= it is too big to swing right-left without bumping into part of the car door). THIS IS THE SUPPORT TO GET IF AND ONLY IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO USE YOUR CAR AS A PHOTO-BLIND


C) I cannot recommend a pan-tilt head, although the Slik unit I use has some damping on both pan & tilt which makes it much easier to swing a long lens. I prefer the Slik to a much older Gitzo "Rationelle" pan-tilt head that I have.

D) For a ball head, without hesitation, will not accept alternatives, Sirui makes an outstanding product and their K-40X, rated at 77lb, is THE BALL HEAD to have for heavy lenses. The locking is smooth and progressive, ball movement is silky smooth. At less than $170 new, there is NO COMPETITION. I have one that I use below my biggest-heaviest lens & camera combinations, and it is an absolutely wonderful ball head.

5) If possible use a cable lease - - get your subject framed, lock the tripod head, take your hands away and make sure no part of your head is touching the camera, trip the shutter with the cable release. BUT, sometimes when following a moving subject you really must keep your right hand on the camera and trigger directly with your finger. Old advice to minimize body movement: take two fast deep breaths, then a third, exhale half and hold your breath, then squeeze the shutter release with your finger. It's the same advice, more or less, that's given for target-shooting with a rifle.

NOTE ADDED AS AN AFTERTHOUGHT: Obviously a major problem with long lenses is camera/lens movement or vibration that degrades IQ. I've commented several times that an outstanding photographer I know, an amateur who has won bushel-baskets full of prizes, has advised repeatedly that camera-photographer movement is the single greatest cause of poor image IQ. In connection with this, when using a long lens, the vibration tends to run down the long axis, from viewfinder out to the lens hood. You will find that no matter how massive the tripod and head, locked down as tightly as possible, a light finger tap atop the pentaprism or end of the lens hood will cause disturbing movement visible through the viewfinder. If using a beanbag, bracing on a tree branch, or maybe trying to steady the camera/lens when it's on a tripod, BRACE OR STEADY IT AS FAR FORWARD TOWARD THE LENS HOOD END AS POSSIBLE. With a tripod-mounted system, vibration induced by mirror-slap may be dampened by placing your left hand gently out as far as possible on the lens hood. You can get accessory long-lens braces that go from tripod leg up to the lens, and these always attach far out around the lens hood. I used a home-made brace of this kind when using 1000mm (500mm + 2X extender) to photograph a woodpecker nest. It's effective, but only practical when your subject always comes & returns to exactly the same spot. The rig is NOT for turning, swiveling, reframing.

Last edited by WPRESTO; 09-19-2018 at 06:18 AM.
09-19-2018, 03:19 PM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joshua A Quote
Just looking for some advice in to how best prepare myself for using the DA 560mm.
So I thought I'd ask for advice from you mob on how to get the best results from the lens, practice notwithstanding.
DA 560mm 5.6 AW - thread collection - everything about the DA560 - PentaxForums.com
DA 560mm 5.6 AW - useful accessoires - PentaxForums.com

09-19-2018, 08:38 PM   #20
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Wow!!!! That's a lot of really great information. I feel like I should get some sort of certificate after going through all that information, ha!

Thanks for posting
09-19-2018, 11:21 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by redpit Quote
I have an old but heavy Slik professional tripod that I'm glad I had bought (though it's too heavy it is very stable too).
Bag: Ruggard Alpine 600 Lens Backpack for DSLR and LBB-1600B B&H
It holds the lens with the K-1 attached. In fact they fit straight without any headspace left, only space around the lens for micro-things.
Plate: Benro PU200 Long Lens Quick Release Plate PU200 B&H Photo Video
For protection I've bought these:
Filter: amazon.com : Haida 112mm PROII Multi-Coated Ultra Violet MC-UV Filter 112 MCUV Pro II : Camera & Photo?tag=pentaxforums-20&
Cover: Pentax 560mm f5.6 HD DA Neoprene lens protection camouflage coat cover Green | eBay
And finally this head does the job right!
LensMaster Gimbal Head - European Sales
For carrying the lens around I use a peak design strap attached to the plate Slide Pro Camera Strap | Peak Design

All the above work fine for me. Sorry for the links, but it is easier to start your search that way if you're interested in anything.
Thanks for the links mate, definitely a bit of extra gear will need to be headed my way by the sound of things! I think on the top of my list will definitely be that tripod plate!

I see you use the Peak Design Slide with the lens, and as I use that combo too, I'm interested to see how you prefer to attach the anchors to the lens, and if you find the lens to heavy to be hanging from your shoulders?


QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
I haven't read through all the comments above, so previous posters, please excuse me if I repeat your advice. BACKGROUND: I've been using long lenses for a long time, starting with a 400mm f5.6 Piesker back in the early 1960's.
So basically, get a tripod that suits both my needs and that of the lens, aka definitely not a pan/tilt for me (I honestly can't stand them personally), and make sure that it's high quality and relatively heavy.

On the topic of dampening vibrations, thats definitely going to be a problem with the way I shoot as I am always on the run, but hopefully I can find a compromise between high ISO (to keep the shutter speed high) and the balance between noise and detail! Easier said than done I'm sure, but practice makes perfect!

Most importantly though, is to not drop the lens xD

Thanks for the feedback mate!

QuoteOriginally posted by angerdan Quote
DA 560mm 5.6 AW - thread collection - everything about the DA560 - PentaxForums.com
DA 560mm 5.6 AW - useful accessoires - PentaxForums.com
Thanks for the additional resources, I'll definitely be diving into those!
09-19-2018, 11:38 PM   #22
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I would say a ral good monopod. When use the combo, just sit on the ground. In this way you can make the combo steady, supporting it and pull it down. Should work fine with a 1/1000th of a second.
09-19-2018, 11:48 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joshua A Quote
I see you use the Peak Design Slide with the lens, and as I use that combo too, I'm interested to see how you prefer to attach the anchors to the lens, and if you find the lens to heavy to be hanging from your shoulders?
Not so heavy really! The lens is lighter than it seems to be when you look at its size! I have the plate always screwed on with all its three screws and at the end of the plate near the camera I have attached the anchors of the slide. That way I cross the combo over one shoulder and either let the lens hanging towards the ground and resting parallel to my hips and leg (for easy walking and standing), or I hold it by the front end of the lens foot and in combination with the lift from the slide at the other end you can hold it - as you walk fast or even run - parallel to the ground. Maybe some other techique works better for you or other users.

09-19-2018, 11:54 PM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by redpit Quote
I have an old but heavy Slik professional tripod that I'm glad I had bought (though it's too heavy it is very stable too).
Bag: Ruggard Alpine 600 Lens Backpack for DSLR and LBB-1600B B&H
It holds the lens with the K-1 attached. In fact they fit straight without any headspace left, only space around the lens for micro-things.
Plate: Benro PU200 Long Lens Quick Release Plate PU200 B&H Photo Video
For protection I've bought these:
Filter: amazon.com : Haida 112mm PROII Multi-Coated Ultra Violet MC-UV Filter 112 MCUV Pro II : Camera & Photo?tag=pentaxforums-20&
Cover: Pentax 560mm f5.6 HD DA Neoprene lens protection camouflage coat cover Green | eBay
And finally this head does the job right!
LensMaster Gimbal Head - European Sales
For carrying the lens around I use a peak design strap attached to the plate Slide Pro Camera Strap | Peak Design

All the above work fine for me. Sorry for the links, but it is easier to start your search that way if you're interested in anything.

I’ll add another vote for the Lensmaster gimbal head. It is high quality and cheaper than many other options. I use it with my old K500/4.5 + 1.4x when I am close enough to schlepp it all and can park it in a blind. It is about the same length as the DA 560, which I would have happily snagged in a heartbeat for that price. To the OP, good job!

I used to hold strictly to the monopod or tripod for long lenses, but for birding I found I was missing too many shots even with just a monopod. Partly that is because I am tall and birds are often in the air or in trees, so the angle doesn’t work without doing knee bends. I don’t know how well the Pentax IBIS works at 560mm, but I get good results with the DA*300 +1.4x or a Sigma 150-600 handheld (not available for Pentax) if I just keep the shutter speed above 1/600 and the shutter firing quickly. One of the shots in the burst will always be sharp down to the feather barbs.

Last edited by GeneV; 09-20-2018 at 12:01 AM.
09-20-2018, 12:26 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
I need to know how you do this "accidental" buying thing.
(Don't tell my wife you told me how it works!)
Yeah -see your problem - you might have to lay low on telling your wife you won it, for a while...
09-20-2018, 01:30 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
I would say a ral good monopod. When use the combo, just sit on the ground. In this way you can make the combo steady, supporting it and pull it down. Should work fine with a 1/1000th of a second.
Yeah when I used to do cricket photography for the local newspaper, that's what I'd do with the 300mm f2.8, much easier on the back I find.

QuoteOriginally posted by redpit Quote
Not so heavy really! The lens is lighter than it seems to be when you look at its size! I have the plate always screwed on with all its three screws and at the end of the plate near the camera I have attached the anchors of the slide. That way I cross the combo over one shoulder and either let the lens hanging towards the ground and resting parallel to my hips and leg (for easy walking and standing), or I hold it by the front end of the lens foot and in combination with the lift from the slide at the other end you can hold it - as you walk fast or even run - parallel to the ground. Maybe some other techique works better for you or other users.
Ah, so similar to how I have the DFA* 70-200mm or Tamron 300mm f2.8 hooked up! Good to know that'll continue to work for me!!!

QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I’ll add another vote for the Lensmaster gimbal head. It is high quality and cheaper than many other options. I use it with my old K500/4.5 + 1.4x when I am close enough to schlepp it all and can park it in a blind. It is about the same length as the DA 560, which I would have happily snagged in a heartbeat for that price. To the OP, good job!

I used to hold strictly to the monopod or tripod for long lenses, but for birding I found I was missing too many shots even with just a monopod. Partly that is because I am tall and birds are often in the air or in trees, so the angle doesn’t work without doing knee bends. I don’t know how well the Pentax IBIS works at 560mm, but I get good results with the DA*300 +1.4x or a Sigma 150-600 handheld (not available for Pentax) if I just keep the shutter speed above 1/600 and the shutter firing quickly. One of the shots in the burst will always be sharp down to the feather barbs.
Just a heads up (also, I hope I'm not breaking forum rules atm), Roberts Camera has a DA560mm for sale on Ebay (Pentax AF DA 560mm f5.6 ED AW IF Lens 560/5.6 #530 | eBay), and I bet you that if you offered them between $2400-2800USD they'd bite... Not that I'm suggesting that you try
09-20-2018, 04:58 AM   #27
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If you're on the go and using a monopod = MUCH quicker than using a tripod, then keep this in mind. I see many monopod users placing their left hand atop the lens directly above the monopod, or gripping the monopod itself up tight against the underside of the lens. BUT, as I noted above, I find it most effective to place my left hand far out on the lens hood to steady such a rig. Even just a finger of my left hand against the hood-end of the lens significantly reduces shakiness, at least for me. But experiment, see what works for you (and do it BEFORE you're trying to capture the photo-op of a lifetime).
09-25-2018, 01:45 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joshua A Quote
Thanks for the additional resources, I'll definitely be diving into those!
How do you think about your lens now?
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