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03-16-2019, 10:58 PM   #1
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Sigma 500mm F4.5 EX DG APO

I'm sorry if this topic has been covered before, but I couldn't find anything in relation to it. This lens seems to have been recently discontinued, which is extremely frustrating, as it seems to be one of the main viable long lenses available to the K-mount.

Is it actually discontinued, and if so, why? Is there a new one coming? Are there any new super-telephotos coming for the K-mount? My wallet needs to know if it's gonna live or not.

Thanks in advance!

---------- Post added 03-17-19 at 04:14 PM ----------

Oh, must also clarify, I'm only interested in primes!

03-16-2019, 11:16 PM   #2
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I do believe it's been discontinued. There are still some listed on Amazon, albeit at a premium over what the lens cost prior to discontinuation.

I think that there's quite simply not enough demand for Pentax telephoto lenses for Sigma to justify continuing these types of lenses for Pentax. Sigma isn't even releasing their modern Art lenses in the K-mount anymore, so this comes as no surprise.

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03-17-2019, 12:40 AM   #3
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That's a pity.

500mm f/4 or f/4.5 seems to be a reasonable compromise between light & IQ (on one side) and weight & size / ergonomy (on the other side).
With the benefit that 1.4x / 1.5x TC could be used for extra reach.

Definitely a lens I would buy. Let's hope that we'll get such a lens from Pentax one day.


QuoteOriginally posted by timbo Quote
Are there any new super-telephotos coming for the K-mount?

DA560 seems to be the only option at the moment.
03-17-2019, 12:47 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I think that there's quite simply not enough demand for Pentax telephoto lenses

Probably a stupid idea, but what about some Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign "New Pentax long telephoto prime"?

At least Pentax would know if there's the real demand or not. At the moment we're only guessing.

03-17-2019, 01:25 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by timbo Quote
I'm sorry if this topic has been covered before, but I couldn't find anything in relation to it.
Is it actually discontinued, and if so, why? Is there a new one coming? Are there any new super-telephotos coming for the K-mount? My wallet needs to know if it's gonna live or not.
Sigma 500mm 4.5 for KAF - availability
Is the Sigma 500mm f4.5 Pentax fit going out of production?
Pentax 560 vs Sigma 500: Help me Decide
Looking for opinions on the Pentax HD DA 560mm vs the Sigma 500mm f4.5
K-3, TC's, DA 560/Sigma 500, Latest Firmware Observations
Sigma 500 f4.5 APO DG EX with Kenko 1.5x TC
Sigma 500mm 4.5 vs. FA* 300mm 2.8 with 1.5x TC
03-17-2019, 02:22 AM   #6
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For reference, only 6.75%, on average, of all APS-C photos posted on the forum in the past 5 years were taken at 500mm or longer. While not insignificant, this is a fairly low figure. Combine that with the popularity of Pentax in general and this might be the reason.

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03-17-2019, 02:56 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I wish Sigma simply offered a custom order service, I would order their Sport 500/f4 and a matching 1.4x TC hsm today. Can't see how hard it would actually be, no screwdrive required these days, and they already have K-mount specs.
03-17-2019, 03:36 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
For reference, only 6.75%, on average, of all APS-C photos posted on the forum in the past 5 years were taken at 500mm or longer. While not insignificant, this is a fairly low figure. Combine that with the popularity of Pentax in general and this might be the reason.
Well, there are reasons.

Only few lucky guys own the FA*600 beasts (perfect IQ, but very heavy... compared to modern lenses).
The above mentioned Sigma 500 has been unavailable (at least in Europe) since several years already.
What we have is the DA560 (f/5.6 and disputable ergonomy, which discourages many).
Plus the absence of K-3 II successor (with improved AF and higher fps) does not help either.

Speaking about current situation, there's not the right glass and not even the right camera for long telephoto shooting.
No surprise that Canon and Nikon attracts the wildlife photographers more.

And I still think it's a pity, as the knowledge or know-how might still be there. I mean the guys who invented F*600 f/4 back in the 80's...

03-17-2019, 04:20 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by zzeitg Quote
Well, there are reasons.

Only few lucky guys own the FA*600 beasts (perfect IQ, but very heavy... compared to modern lenses).
The above mentioned Sigma 500 has been unavailable (at least in Europe) since several years already.
What we have is the DA560 (f/5.6 and disputable ergonomy, which discourages many).
Plus the absence of K-3 II successor (with improved AF and higher fps) does not help either.

Speaking about current situation, there's not the right glass and not even the right camera for long telephoto shooting.
No surprise that Canon and Nikon attracts the wildlife photographers more.

And I still think it's a pity, as the knowledge or know-how might still be there. I mean the guys who invented F*600 f/4 back in the 80's...


I would buy a FA*600 if it was available. Iím considering buying a used one. Iíd probably prefer something closer to the 500 range, but my god the FA*600 is a beautiful lens
03-17-2019, 05:59 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
For reference, only 6.75%, on average, of all APS-C photos posted on the forum in the past 5 years were taken at 500mm or longer. While not insignificant, this is a fairly low figure. Combine that with the popularity of Pentax in general and this might be the reason.
Adam, I would be willing to bet that is a consistent number for any camera make.

Wildlife is a niche.

Even when I travel, the longest I carry normally is 400, and I only take that IF I know there is a wildlife opportunity. City bound, I donít take more than about 100, and several trips I have spent two weeks with 75 as a limit.

But that doesnít mean with Pentax there is a lack of market, but I would be willing to bet the market is already saturated.
03-17-2019, 06:18 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by timbo Quote
but my god the FA*600 is a beautiful lens
Of course it is. But imagine a brand new Pentax lens, with equivalent IQ, but faster AF and about half of the weight...

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
but I would be willing to bet the market is already saturated.
but then again, people's interests and hobbies are changing. In my case the enthusiasm for wildlife photography appeared, well... about 20 years since receiving my first camera.

The market might be saturated, but...
- there are always some new people starting with wildlife shooting (and if there's nothing available from Pentax brand, then they surely don't buy Pentax).
- there are existing Pentax users who might find their way to wildlife photography (and wouldn't it be silly to let them jump ship?)
03-17-2019, 08:13 AM   #12
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I honestly don't think the price premium on a prime like that is worth it anymore. The iq of long zooms is excellent.

I have one of those lenses and probably my shots make up a proportion of that 6.75%. It is sharp, renders nicely. It is also very heavy and the focus distance is too long for long macro type shooting. It does doesn't autofocus as well as the Pentax 150-450.

I found that the zoom on the K1 all around better. Sharp, quick accurate focus, and the half stop is more than made up by the higher iso ceiling on the full frame sensor. That half stop is critical on the K3, in fact in the winter i was carrying a flash extender setup.

I'm using around my 500 right now because my 150-450 is off for repair (don't fall into muddy ponds). I suspect it will be relegated to storage except for long sitting by a lake shooting, or hide photography watching eagles nests.
03-17-2019, 12:13 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
But that doesn’t mean with Pentax there is a lack of market, but I would be willing to bet the market is already saturated.
Another Pentax-specific issue in this space is (a) the excellent availability of second-hand / manual focus lenses, and (b) the budget-oriented nature of many of our users. These can both severely hurt the sales of new, premium products.

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03-17-2019, 12:18 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by zzeitg Quote
Of course it is. But imagine a brand new Pentax lens, with equivalent IQ, but faster AF and about half of the weight...



but then again, people's interests and hobbies are changing. In my case the enthusiasm for wildlife photography appeared, well... about 20 years since receiving my first camera.

The market might be saturated, but...
- there are always some new people starting with wildlife shooting (and if there's nothing available from Pentax brand, then they surely don't buy Pentax).
- there are existing Pentax users who might find their way to wildlife photography (and wouldn't it be silly to let them jump ship?)


I feel like Iím in this boat. About a year ago my K30 developed aperture block failure, and I almost jumped because of that reason. Itís only the amazing quality and value of the K1 that truly stopped me, plus the prospect that Pentax might make more lenses in the future.

I do anticipate though, if Iím not able to find a good long lens for wildlife shooting on the K mount, that I may consider jumping ship in the future.

With some smart marketing, I reckon Pentax could draw a few new users to their system with a really sexy super telephoto. They already have an amazing lens lineup in other areas. I would hate to have to give up my 100mm macro WR, as an example.
03-17-2019, 02:36 PM   #15
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I shot wildlife with Pentax for years, started with the Sigma 150-500 and a K3 then bought the da560 and added a K1. After a couple years was really feeling like I was missing a lot of shots so I started looking at other brands.

Canon and Nikon have a great selection of long lenses and Tamron and Sigma also offer long primes and super zooms for them. So I had to really consider if Pentax would be releasing a new 600 F4 anytime soon, and I couldn’t see them ever doing it again so I went Canon.

If you’re really looking to shoot with longer lenses I would suggest adding a second system or switch completely, this is just not Pentax’s strong point.
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