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04-24-2019, 06:56 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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Has anyone used the pentax DA 560 for sports in FF mode with the pentax k1?

I use the sigma 50-500 OS HSM with k1 (always FF mode) for sports but I need a faster 500-600 mm weather resistant lens, and I have some questions about the pentax DA 560:

It is a very sharp lens, sometimes with aberrations at wide open, but:

- ¿Is the DA 560 a 100% usable FF lens?. According to http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/support/pdf/pentax_acc.pdf and DA 560mm F5.6 - is it a Full-frame lens? - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com , the DA 560 is a aps-c lens, but in Full Frame Coverage of DA Lenses: Comprehensive Test - Gear Guides | PentaxForums.com it is considered as a lens with perfect full-frame compatibility.

I found this photo taken with DA 560 at F5,6 and it does not look a full FF lens:



then, ¿is the DA 560 100% FF or not?

- ¿What about the autofocus? ¿is it fast and precise as the sigma HSM autofocus?. I took these photos with the combo pentax k1 + sigma 50-500,



























but I need a faster and weather sealed lens for cloudy and rainy days. Some days I have to work with ISO 6400 because the sigma 50-500 is not very sharp at wide open.

Many thanks in advance

04-24-2019, 07:30 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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The 560mm is officially designated as an FF lens, and it does fully cover the frame, though the wide-open vignetting is (in my opinion) a bit more excessive than what you'd normally expect in such a lens. Nevertheless, this can easily be corrected in post or in camera.

With the faster aperture, I would also expect the autofocus to lock on a little bit faster than the Sigma, but for practical purposes I think the results will be similar.

Another viable alternative to consider would be the 150-450mm:
Guide to Camera and Autofocus Settings for Shooting Sports - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com

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04-25-2019, 03:39 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by dagoban Quote
I use the sigma 50-500 OS HSM with k1 (always FF mode) for sports but I need a faster 500-600 mm weather resistant lens, and I have some questions about the pentax DA 560:
  1. Is the DA 560 a 100% usable FF lens?
  2. is the DA 560 100% FF or not?
  3. What about the autofocus?
  4. is it fast and precise as the sigma HSM autofocus?
  1. yes, it even has the lens correction options in the K-1
  2. it covers 24x36mm, other ultratele primes have similar amount of vignetting
  3. it works good, but needs some battery capacity
  4. the DA 560mm offers focus limiter, so can be even faster to work with
Find more out about about the DA 560mm here:
DA 560mm 5.6 AW - thread collection - everything about the DA560 - PentaxForums.com
04-25-2019, 04:37 AM - 8 Likes   #4
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Some words from me too, as I mostly use the DA 560 for aviation photography on my K-1.

  1. Is the DA 560 a 100% usable FF lens?
  2. is the DA 560 100% FF or not?
  3. What about the autofocus?
  4. is it fast and precise as the sigma HSM autofocus?
1. It is totally usable.
2. It is as a FF lens as many Canonikon primes! It shows vignetting wide open and @ f6.3 but I can't remember of any pics that were ruined by it or I wasn't able to correct in PP.
3. AF is OK. Not fast though (especially in comparison with other brands 8-12K primes) but with the focus limiter it is quite satisfying in most situations. It is at the same league with the bigma in terms of AF speed or even a bit slower.
4. The DFA 150-450 is the fastest and most precise of the 3. The DA 560 AF is very precise after you get to know the lens well.

You shouldn't compare the bigma to the DA 560 IMHO. If you need a supertele with great IQ even from 5.6 then the DA 560 is the way to go (the Sigma 500/4.5 being the only other option to buy new - if its still available somewhere).

Some samples from me (you can find more if you like at my Flickr):








Wide open hand held (no CA correction applied other than the CR auto)


Wide open hand held (This is the whole frame - no vignetting correction applied other than the CR auto)





Shot @f6.3 you can see the vignetting on the bottom left corner - no vignetting correction applied.

You can also find some great images from the DA 560 on my friends Kazuma profile (some taken with the K-1 others with K-3 or KP).
pipipi kazuma | Flickr



04-25-2019, 08:04 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by redpit Quote
Some words from me too, as I mostly use the DA 560 for aviation photography on my K-1.
These are fab!
04-25-2019, 09:14 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
These are fab!
I was just thinking the same thing! Nice work, @redpit
04-25-2019, 11:04 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
These are fab!
QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I was just thinking the same thing! Nice work, @redpit
Thank you very much guys! Really appreciate your kind words!
04-25-2019, 12:07 PM   #8
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I'll second the kudos for these aviation images, that's splendid work. I bet your aviation keeper ratio is also better than mine!

04-25-2019, 05:24 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by redpit Quote
Some words from me too, as I mostly use the DA 560 for aviation photography on my K-1.

  1. Is the DA 560 a 100% usable FF lens?
  2. is the DA 560 100% FF or not?
  3. What about the autofocus?
  4. is it fast and precise as the sigma HSM autofocus?
1. It is totally usable.
2. It is as a FF lens as many Canonikon primes! It shows vignetting wide open and @ f6.3 but I can't remember of any pics that were ruined by it or I wasn't able to correct in PP.
3. AF is OK. Not fast though (especially in comparison with other brands 8-12K primes) but with the focus limiter it is quite satisfying in most situations. It is at the same league with the bigma in terms of AF speed or even a bit slower.
4. The DFA 150-450 is the fastest and most precise of the 3. The DA 560 AF is very precise after you get to know the lens well.

You shouldn't compare the bigma to the DA 560 IMHO. If you need a supertele with great IQ even from 5.6 then the DA 560 is the way to go (the Sigma 500/4.5 being the only other option to buy new - if its still available somewhere).

Some samples from me (you can find more if you like at my Flickr):








Wide open hand held (no CA correction applied other than the CR auto)


Wide open hand held (This is the whole frame - no vignetting correction applied other than the CR auto)





Shot @f6.3 you can see the vignetting on the bottom left corner - no vignetting correction applied.

You can also find some great images from the DA 560 on my friends Kazuma profile (some taken with the K-1 others with K-3 or KP).
pipipi kazuma | Flickr

Good gosh, those are outstanding. How in the world are you nailing focus like that?
04-25-2019, 07:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by redpit Quote
Some words from me too, as I mostly use the DA 560 for aviation photography on my K-1.

  1. Is the DA 560 a 100% usable FF lens?
  2. is the DA 560 100% FF or not?
  3. What about the autofocus?
  4. is it fast and precise as the sigma HSM autofocus?
1. It is totally usable.
2. It is as a FF lens as many Canonikon primes! It shows vignetting wide open and @ f6.3 but I can't remember of any pics that were ruined by it or I wasn't able to correct in PP.
3. AF is OK. Not fast though (especially in comparison with other brands 8-12K primes) but with the focus limiter it is quite satisfying in most situations. It is at the same league with the bigma in terms of AF speed or even a bit slower.
4. The DFA 150-450 is the fastest and most precise of the 3. The DA 560 AF is very precise after you get to know the lens well.

You shouldn't compare the bigma to the DA 560 IMHO. If you need a supertele with great IQ even from 5.6 then the DA 560 is the way to go (the Sigma 500/4.5 being the only other option to buy new - if its still available somewhere).

Some samples from me (you can find more if you like at my Flickr):








Wide open hand held (no CA correction applied other than the CR auto)


Wide open hand held (This is the whole frame - no vignetting correction applied other than the CR auto)





Shot @f6.3 you can see the vignetting on the bottom left corner - no vignetting correction applied.

You can also find some great images from the DA 560 on my friends Kazuma profile (some taken with the K-1 others with K-3 or KP).
pipipi kazuma | Flickr

The 560 wasn't on my radar at all, since I figured I'd eventually get the 150-450, but the 560 is now officially on my radar.
04-25-2019, 08:58 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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Thank you very much for your comments.

Redpit with all those amazing airplane samples has convinced me that the pentax DA 560 is the lens I need. I would like to test seriously one of them before before starting the purchase process. Fortunately prices have decreased a lot during last five years.

My second option is the sigma 500 f4,5, but it is not a weather sealed lens and its autofocus is not HSM, then I suppose that sigma 500 F4,5 autofocus is slow, isn't it?, ¿is the sigma autofocus slower than the pentax DA 560 autofocus?

I'll employe the DA 560 for air shows too. In the past I did them with the slow pentax 55-300 focus. Some examples:






















But sometimes the pentax 55-300 is not the best lens for that, 300 mm is not enough:








Thank you very much guys!
04-26-2019, 05:38 AM - 3 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by StiffLegged Quote
I'll second the kudos for these aviation images, that's splendid work. I bet your aviation keeper ratio is also better than mine!
Thank you very much! The keeper ratio is not a good indicator to me personally After so many years in aviation photography and I’m still learning things or find myself in never faced before conditions/challenges. I can tell you this and most of you guys who shot airplanes will understand: if I wanted today I could have more than 90% keepers rate, but since I decided to upgrade my equipment and my pics quality, I find myself having less keepers now than I had with the K-5IIs and my bigma 50-500!

QuoteOriginally posted by TerryL Quote
Good gosh, those are outstanding. How in the world are you nailing focus like that?
Thank you kindly! It’s a matter of practice and settings mostly and then the equipment gets into the equation. I’m planning of starting a thread about aviation photography where I can share my knowledge with other PF members and learn their experiences too! Always talking about aviation photography in PENTAX world. Most things apply to aviation photography in general but there are some features that PENTAX has and are unique!

QuoteOriginally posted by BugsDogsAndSunsets Quote
The 560 wasn't on my radar at all, since I figured I'd eventually get the 150-450, but the 560 is now officially on my radar.
The 560 is a great lens I’m glad I bought it! If you have a lens longer than the 55-300 like the Bigma 50-500 or the older 150-500 I would suggest to go for the DA 560. Otherwise you will find the DFA 150-450 far more useful. The DFA has great IQ it’s the fastest FF AF lens from Pentax and it is better for aviation photography than the DFA* 70-200 at the same focal lengths for many reasons. If I had to choose only one lens for what I do the DFA 150-450 would be it!

QuoteOriginally posted by dagoban Quote
Thank you very much for your comments.

Redpit with all those amazing airplane samples has convinced me that the pentax DA 560 is the lens I need. I would like to test seriously one of them before before starting the purchase process. Fortunately prices have decreased a lot during last five years.

My second option is the sigma 500 f4,5, but it is not a weather sealed lens and its autofocus is not HSM, then I suppose that sigma 500 F4,5 autofocus is slow, isn't it?, ¿is the sigma autofocus slower than the pentax DA 560 autofocus?

I'll employe the DA 560 for air shows too. In the past I did them with the slow pentax 55-300 focus. Some examples:

Thank you very much guys!
Thank you too dagoban. Your images are great and from your settings I can tell you that the DA 560 will help you a lot since you know about aviation photography. If you take a look at the PF comparison between the DA560 and the Sigma 500 the Sigma AF and some other features seem better than the DA lens. I was thinking about the Sigma too but ended up with the DA 560 and never regretted it!
04-26-2019, 10:31 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dagoban Quote
the pentax DA 560 is the lens I need.

My second option is the sigma 500 f4,5, but it is not a weather sealed lens and its autofocus is not HSM
  1. I suppose that sigma 500 F4,5 autofocus is slow?
  2. is the sigma autofocus slower than the pentax DA 560 autofocus?
  1. No, because it uses fast screw drive and can take advantage of the stronger motor inside the more recent cameras
  2. This depends on the subjects distance and movement. DA 560 has the advantage of the focus limiter and the AF speed of the Sigma ist a bit faster.
Lenses for Pentax with focus limiter
Pentax 560mm F5.6 vs Sigma 500mm F4.5 Review
Pentax 560 vs Sigma 500: Help me Decide
Looking for opinions on the Pentax HD DA 560mm vs the Sigma 500mm f4.5
04-26-2019, 06:24 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by redpit Quote
Thank you too dagoban. Your images are great and from your settings I can tell you that the DA 560 will help you a lot since you know about aviation photography. If you take a look at the PF comparison between the DA560 and the Sigma 500 the Sigma AF and some other features seem better than the DA lens. I was thinking about the Sigma too but ended up with the DA 560 and never regretted it!
QuoteOriginally posted by angerdan Quote
  1. No, because it uses fast screw drive and can take advantage of the stronger motor inside the more recent cameras
  2. This depends on the subjects distance and movement. DA 560 has the advantage of the focus limiter and the AF speed of the Sigma ist a bit faster.
Lenses for Pentax with focus limiter
Pentax 560mm F5.6 vs Sigma 500mm F4.5 Review
Pentax 560 vs Sigma 500: Help me Decide
Looking for opinions on the Pentax HD DA 560mm vs the Sigma 500mm f4.5
Thank you very much for your answers. I'll look for a used DA 560 then!.
04-27-2019, 05:49 PM   #15
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Please, some more questions.

How do you transport the DA 560 lens?.
Is the original soft case strong enough to carry the lens without danger of damaging it?.
How do you travel by plane with the lens?.
Have you ever had any problem traveling with the lens in the cabin of airplanes due to airline restrictions?.

Thanks in advance
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