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02-12-2012, 10:07 AM   #271
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The scope/tele comparison is fascinating. So if this 560 is very sharp in the center, dropping off towards the edges which is mostly cropped by the sensor, and is in the $2K range, I think there will be buyers. Birders expect to crop; a sharp center on this long a lens allows you to stay far enough away from the subject to not be noticed yet get something clear. A focus limiter makes it very appealing. Now to find out the focus mechanism. If they have something that is reasonably fast, they will have a winner.

An anecdote. I was out with my gear and ran into a fellow who was interested. We chatted, he was from Calgary and visiting the Kootenays. He said all the guys he works with spend their weekends photographing birds. This is a growing market.

02-12-2012, 10:09 AM   #272
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The words of presentations by Pentax says "derived from astronomical lenses and especially good at long distances", that are not promising words for wildlife shooters, as many subjects (like passerines) are usually around near focus limit and not long distance. I guess I will keep my A*600 operative for hide photography and hope for the "long zoom" slated for next year, hoping it stretch to 400mm.
02-12-2012, 10:26 AM   #273
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I want a long distance lens, so this sounds pretty perfect for me. Center sharpness has always been been the characteristic of Pentax lenses anyways.
02-12-2012, 10:31 AM   #274
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
Minimum focus distance is not critical. 15 ft or so, or equivalent to the Sigma at 4 meters, or even up to 6 meters. 560 is long. Especially if the focus throw, weight and optics are compromised.
I hope for closer focus only because my usual targets are very small birds. Sparrows, Chickadees, Towhees, Wrens and such. These are not terribly hard to get close to, but they are very tiny. My wife has trouble with her Canon 400 because it has a longer minimum focus. This is only a hope for me, and is in no way a deal breaker. I of course am still going to buy it in any case.

02-12-2012, 10:39 AM   #275
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QuoteOriginally posted by eurostar Quote
The words of presentations by Pentax says "derived from astronomical lenses and especially good at long distances", that are not promising words for wildlife shooters, as many subjects (like passerines) are usually around near focus limit and not long distance. I guess I will keep my A*600 operative for hide photography and hope for the "long zoom" slated for next year, hoping it stretch to 400mm.
I think everyone is reading a lot into a few statements (me included). Lets see what it performs like once it's out. We could have a very good balance between performance and price. I'm also expecting to keep my A*600....but there have been advancements in technology over the past 25 years since the A series was made. We'll see.
02-12-2012, 11:11 AM   #276
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
I want a long distance lens, so this sounds pretty perfect for me. Center sharpness has always been been the characteristic of Pentax lenses anyways.
I'd disagree, at least for the lenses I have (with the exception of the FA 50/1.4). The 40mm especially, I use it a great deal for stiching-panoramas. The 300mm as well, although the side/corner sharpness is much less critical for me on that focal length... it does have excellent sharpness wide open IMO which is why I have it rather than the Sigma 300 f/2.8. Hell the DA* is a better lens at f/4 than the Sigma is.
02-13-2012, 01:36 PM   #277
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
IMHO (based on peliminary information as of today) the Pentax DA 560/5.6 is a tele prime lens at a good price point (sub $2000) which rivals the optical performance of much more expensive glass, )
If it cost sub $2000 I'll buy one promtly...
02-13-2012, 02:54 PM   #278
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has there been an indication as to when this lens will be available?
if the cost is between $USD2000 and $usd4000, then it is a affordable.

I look forward to trying out the lens, especially motorsport.

02-13-2012, 03:13 PM   #279
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
I'd disagree, at least for the lenses I have (with the exception of the FA 50/1.4). The 40mm especially, I use it a great deal for stiching-panoramas. The 300mm as well, although the side/corner sharpness is much less critical for me on that focal length... it does have excellent sharpness wide open IMO which is why I have it rather than the Sigma 300 f/2.8. Hell the DA* is a better lens at f/4 than the Sigma is.
Lemme rephrase - center sharpness has always been the characteristic of Pentax film lenses. It's been pretty true of a lot of the older Pentax lenses when compared to Leica and Zeiss equivalents. Center sharpness equal or surpassed, corners and edges not up to par.
02-13-2012, 03:43 PM   #280
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QuoteQuote:
Birders expect to crop;
No, that is not entirely true. A good many birders depend on field craft and hides to get close so they can fill the frame without cropping. Sure some crop a bit, but the better ones, very little, and a lot less than you would think. Too much loss of feather detail.
02-13-2012, 04:26 PM   #281
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560mm lens? I've got one of those!

QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
A lot of info about this lens can be found in Erwin Puts' book or any Leica forum. The design dictates the length and the doublet or triplet construction (400, 560, 800 mm lens line) yields great performance in the center and fairly low performance off center. The 5.6 was sold later as 6.3 or 6.8 just a more realistic opening. Still a light weight lens. A new design including AF, auto aperture, low CA, ... will be a completely new lens with quite different specs.
Btw do not forget the Apo-Telyt 4/560 and 5.6/560 mm modular series.
Soon we will have to answer the question why buy a 5.6/560 when you can still get a 2.8/300 used for probably the same money. The 300 with a 2x converter makes a "handy" 5.6/600. The 2x converter is yet missing on the Pentax list.
I have one of these sitting on my shelf (the Telyt-R 560/6.8). I also have an extra R-PK mount sitting around, looking for a home. Perhaps it is time to get moving and capture a few sample photos.

Here are a few in use and/or on Leica film body:

At Point Worzonoff


Checking to make sure it was unloaded


Craigslist score


Moose hunting rifle
02-13-2012, 06:07 PM   #282
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Ok, the plot thickens that we are seeing a 4" telescope design here. The length (very long for a tele lens but normal for a scope) being the fifth hint or so.

So, I'd like to contribute a bit more insight about what to expect of such designs.

Let me assume for the best which seems to be an optical 4 element Petzval design plus maybe an additional LFF (Large Field Flattener). A Pentax scope of similiar specification is the Pentax 100 SDUF or Pentax 105 SDP. In this PDF, you'll find a scientific measurement of the resolution of this Pentax scope (German!). The Petzval design dates back to physicist Jozef Maximilián Petzval and was first used in 1841.
While a design that dates back to 1841 might sound bad it helps to know a bit more about their characteristics. Typically they were very sharp in the centre but got a lot softer with a lot of strange aberrations out towards the edges. That sounds bad, but in the 1850s a 560mm Petzval would typically have been used for a 12 x 15 inch negative. The central "very sharp" section is larger than a modern FF sensor, let alone an APS-C sensor. Subsequent designs weren't as sharp in the centre but were sharper across the whole field and the Petzval fell out of favour, except for portraits. So basically this design would use only the "sweet spot" of the lens.
02-13-2012, 06:15 PM   #283
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Originally posted by zapp

A lot of info about this lens can be found in Erwin Puts' book or any Leica forum. The design dictates the length and the doublet or triplet construction (400, 560, 800 mm lens line) yields great performance in the center and fairly low performance off center. The 5.6 was sold later as 6.3 or 6.8 just a more realistic opening. Still a light weight lens. A new design including AF, auto aperture, low CA, ... will be a completely new lens with quite different specs.
Btw do not forget the Apo-Telyt 4/560 and 5.6/560 mm modular series.
Soon we will have to answer the question why buy a 5.6/560 when you can still get a 2.8/300 used for probably the same money. The 300 with a 2x converter makes a "handy" 5.6/600. The 2x converter is yet missing on the Pentax list


I always thought that a prime lens without any TC would have better IQ than that same lens with a TC.
Even if the lens is a 300/2.8: if it is excellent on its own, will it be just as good, IQ-wise, once a 2X TC is attached to it?

Wouldn't a prime 560/5.6 with no TC be the best way to go?



JP
02-13-2012, 06:21 PM   #284
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
The scope/tele comparison is fascinating. So if this 560 is very sharp in the center, dropping off towards the edges which is mostly cropped by the sensor, and is in the $2K range, I think there will be buyers. Birders expect to crop; a sharp center on this long a lens allows you to stay far enough away from the subject to not be noticed yet get something clear. A focus limiter makes it very appealing. Now to find out the focus mechanism. If they have something that is reasonably fast, they will have a winner.

An anecdote. I was out with my gear and ran into a fellow who was interested. We chatted, he was from Calgary and visiting the Kootenays. He said all the guys he works with spend their weekends photographing birds. This is a growing market.
I assume that most bird photographers would do some cropping, albeit minimal.
For my part, I do very frequently crop my bird shots taken with the DA*300/4 + K5 because I am lacking a bit more focal length. I wish I had this 560mm reach.

Even with a 560mm, I would still "assume" that I would be doing some cropping - unless the bird is originally filling the frame.

A sharp center with "croppable" softer edges would not affect the overall IQ of the image that much, if at all.

JP
02-13-2012, 08:20 PM   #285
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I got a shot of a pine grosbeak on the weekend, about 10 feet away. A* 300. Pretty good detail, but even that close a bit of cropping. With my 200-500 Tamron, a mallard at about 20 feet almost fills the frame with a bit to spare.

A friend has a Nikon 2.8 300mm with a 2x, pretty nice setup. He had a shot of a heron at about 40 feet. Lots of detail, stunning shot. He cropped it.

The reason you get a real long lens is so that you don't need to get as close. Take a look at the comparison above, where the astronomical lens was sharper in the center than the camera lens, but losing towards the edges.

I'm not saying this would be perfect. I would love to have something like that $17000 sony. Even that $6k Nikon setup my friend has. Won't happen ever. But something $2k-$3k? I'll buy that. I know I'm buying a compromise, but this, with a very sharp center would be definitely workable.
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