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02-27-2013, 10:04 AM   #121
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mistral75 Quote
Sold in a few hours after being listed, at 10,800 USD even though some accessories are missing:

Pentax FA 250 600mm 250 600 F5 6 Ed If SLR Camera Super Telephoto SMC Lens | eBay

There are still people prepared to spend big money for Pentax long glass .
QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
Seems optimistic to me.
You have to wonder, would a DA version of the FA* 250-600 have been that much more expensive? Personally I'd guess they make 200 of them and sell 20 a year over the next 10 years. I really need a larger part of my portfolio to be wild life, but my choice was an A 400. It's hard to believe their marketing department thought it was more important to have a 560 5.6, when they could have made a much lighter, cheaper easier to transport 400 5.6 and targeted the same market at a fraction the price. To my way of thinking, these things are exponential.

If 200 isn't long enough you want 400. If 400 isn't long enough, you probably want 800 or 1000. 560 is only marginally longer than 400, (in that it is considerably short of 800 or 1000, which would be the next logical lens after your 400) , but a lot more expensive to build.

I guess the Pentax model is 300 f4 to 560. But 560, is still short of the 600 I'd want to go in the camera bag with the 300. If it was perceived as too expensive to go to a 600 mm prime and they decided to keep the cost down by going to 560, I think they made a mistake. Once you're going to pay $7000 , you're probably almost as likely to pay $9k. This lens is still a head scratcher to me.

For APS-c 400 is needed and 560 is a head scratcher, at least surely you put out the 400 first and see what the response is. As it stands right now, the FA*250-600 is the only Pentax lens I'd consider paying $7k for, and this lens doesn't change that.

02-27-2013, 10:07 AM   #122
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The initial monthly production volume for the HD DA 560mm is 400 units per month. Of course, it could be only a one-month (400 units) batch, a continuous production or anything in between.
02-27-2013, 10:13 AM   #123
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
The initial monthly production volume for the HD DA 560mm is 400 units per month. Of course, it could be only a one-month (400 units) batch, a continuous production or anything in between.
7k x 400 would be an expected retail value of 2,800,000 a month. Whatever happened to "just in time" production values? This is not good. How could they ever have inventory of that value sitting on the shelves for a long period of time? I sure hope they have 300 pre-ordered because I can't see how this is good for Pentax if they don't.
02-27-2013, 10:25 AM   #124
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I'm sure they didn't made more than they would need. Waiting for the first order to start production would also be a big mistake, even "just in time" has limits.
I'm sure people@Pentax thought about such issues much harder than we do, and with more market data at their disposal.

By the way, 4 of those 400 are in stock at Yodobashi.


Last edited by Kunzite; 02-27-2013 at 10:30 AM.
02-27-2013, 11:09 AM   #125
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
I don't know if they sold any or not, but I would look for such information in Japanese - if I could.
Japanese isn't necessary, there are some shots on the UK site.
02-27-2013, 11:14 AM   #126
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
If you have any suggestions for evaluating this lens, let me know and I will forward them to Ole, who's doing the review. I'm planning on extending our loan of the 560mm by a month to ensure that the review evaluates it fairly.
My suggestion is as follows:

1. Do shots with MLU and the K-5IIs locked/clamped to a heavy stone table top or concrete block (no tripod). The idea is to increase the bodies' effective mass by 10x, not stability.

2. Do focus bracketing and select the sharpest. Maybe, use a rail slider (under the stone table top) to move the body, not the focus ring. Use increments of 10µm divided by magnification^2. Contrast-detect AF or magnified zoom focus is NOT good enough. Ask the makers of photozone ...

The distance should be 50x focal length (say, 20m; 10m at least). At 10m, 10µm / M^2 would be 3 mm shifts. 10 steps on either side (you may be able to get away with 5 steps if you shift around the contrast detect AF position). You may want to have a look at section 3.1 at http://www.falklumo.com/lumolabs/articles/D800AA/D800AAFilter.html. But 10m is probably too short, knowing the 560 is advertized as a far focus lens. OTOH, there are atmospheric turbulences kicking in at medium distances already (and in the optical tube as well if too hot). So outdoor, don't shoot near the desert ground ...

3. Shoot a target with multiple black squares (or multiple targets) on white ground tilted at 5°, exposed for a range 10...90% gray. The target is tilted at the wall, not the elements on the chart. Inkjet printer. Illuminate avoiding any reflections, best would be a strobe.

4. Expose with no sharpening from LR (best would be LR3 or LR4 PV2010 with all sliders to zero (you may leave contrast at default if done consistently), except for white balance and exposure). No lens corrections. Export TIFFs from crops around edges, at the center at various distances from it.

5. Compute MTF charts using the software from quickmtf.com. Use regions with at least 100 pixels on the edge. It has a batch mode and the crops prevent memory overflows ...

6. Compare the lp/mm resolution for 50% and 20 or 10% contrast (MTF50 and MTF20). IMHO, MTF20 figures are more meaningful for tele lenses than MTF50 (if not sharpened) because they tend to have reduced contrast w/o loosing the details. MTF50 would probably not provide a good comparison of results when sharpened.

7. Do this for the DA560/5.6, FA600/4, Sigma 500/4.5 at F4, F4.5, F5.6, F6.3, F8.

That's my proposed procedure, YMMV

QuoteOriginally posted by goubejp Quote
Hi Falk,
if I remember well you have published an empiric formula to predict the price of a lens vs its length and front element diameter ? Can you remind us the predicted price of the DA560 ?
That was in Falk Lumo: A hypothetical Pentax DFA* 500mm F5.6 ED(IF) SDMii based on the then current list prices for a lens w/o VR and fluorite front elements (2011 April). It would give you 2800$. BTW, the same formula gives you 5800$ for a 500/4 and 10k$ for a 600/4.

The more recent prices (e.g., 500 with VR or 600 and 800 with fluorite) are more expensive. But there is no reason why the DA560/5.6 exceeds 3k$, maybe 3.5k$ if allowing for 2 years of inflation.

In fact, given its simpler construction, it shoud be below 2.5k$. Really.

QuoteOriginally posted by eurostar Quote
Comparing lenses which are double the price of the DA560, or discontinued by a long time, seems... meaningless. I believe a person which is able to buy a Nikkor 800mm can buy a D4 to complement it.
That wasn't my point.

Buying a super tele lens more than anything else is an investment into a system. For the price of a DA560, I can buy a D600/D7100 plus a used Nikkor 500/4D.

So, the question to me really is if the lens' development at Pentax has still kept their teeth. In the past, Pentax super tele lenses have always been technically excellent. Now, we'll see.

Last edited by falconeye; 02-27-2013 at 11:33 AM.
02-27-2013, 11:26 AM   #127
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
My suggestion is as follows:

1. Do shots with MLU and the K-5IIs locked/clamped to a heavy stone table top or concrete block (no tripod). The idea is to increase the bodies' effective mass by 10x, not stability.

2. Do focus bracketing and select the sharpest. Maybe, use a rail slider (under the stone table top) to move the body, not the focus ring. Use increments of 10µm by magnification^2. Contrast-detect AF or magnified zoom focus is NOT good enough. Ask the makers of photozone ...

3. Shoot a target with multiple black squares (or multiple targets) on white ground tilted at 5°, exposed for a range 10...90% gray. The target is tilted at the wall, not the elements on the chart. Inkjet printer. Illuminate avoiding any reflections, best would be a strobe.

4. Expose with no sharpening from LR (best would be LR3 or LR4 PV2010 with all sliders to zero, except for white balance and exposure). Export TIFFs from crops around edges, at the center at various distances from it.

5. Compute MTF charts using the software from quickmtf.com. It has a batch mode and the crops prevent memory overflows ...

6. Compare the lp/mm resolution for 50% and 20 or 10% contrast (MTF50 and MTF20). IMHO, MTF20 figures are more meaningful for tele lenses than MTF50 (if not sharpened) because they tend to have reduced contrast w/o loosing the details. MTF50 would probably not provide a good comparison of results when sharpened.

7. Do this for the DA560/5.6, FA600/4, Sigma 500/4.5 at F4, F4.5, F5.6, F6.3, F8.

That's my proposed procedure, YMMV


That was in Falk Lumo: A hypothetical Pentax DFA* 500mm F5.6 ED(IF) SDMii based on the then current list prices for a lens w/o VR and fluorite front elements (2011 April). It would give you 2800$. BTW, the same formula gives you 5800$ for a 500/4 and 10k$ for a 600/4.

The more recent prices (e.g., 500 with VR or 600 and 800 with fluorite) are more expensive. But there is no reason why the DA560/5.6 exceeds 3k$, maybe 3.5k$ if allowing for 2 years of inflation.


That wasn't my point.

Buying a super tele lens more than anything else is an investment into a system. For the price of a DA560, I can buy a D600/D7100 plus a used Nikkor 500/4D.

So, the question to me really is if the lens' development at Pentax has still kept their teeth. In the past, Pentax super tele lenses have always been technically excellent. Now, we'll see.
Exactly - I can keep my excellent K-5 system for all photography except wildlife where I'd like a 500 to 600 lens. For wildlife I'd probably go with an older used Canon Pro body, one with demonstrated fast focus, and a used Canon lens. My reason for Canon over Nikon is there are more used Canon lenses available.

So I am really looking forward to the Forum test of the Sigma 500 and Pentax 560. If these lenses turn out to be high performers than I'd probably add the Sigma just because of price and a stop faster (probably equates to faster focus also.) The Pentax 560 would be an option if its performance is top notch, focus is fast and the price dropped significantly. If both the Sigma and Pentax turn out good but not top notch, then I would lean to buying a used Canon system - probably a top pro body two generations back from their newest model - more than enough pixels to make great prints with a great lens. To me being able to buy a high grade long lens is the driver. A well cared for, used Canon or Nikon will perform terrific.
02-27-2013, 11:32 AM   #128
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
My suggestion is as follows:


7. Do this for the DA560/5.6, FA600/4, Sigma 500/4.5 at F4, F4.5, F5.6, F6.3, F8.

That's my proposed procedure, YMMV
That's a good proposal; the issue is, do they have a FA600/4 available for test ?

QuoteQuote:
That was in Falk Lumo: A hypothetical Pentax DFA* 500mm F5.6 ED(IF) SDMii based on the then current list prices for a lens w/o VR and fluorite front elements (2011 April). It would give you 2800$. BTW, the same formula gives you 5800$ for a 500/4 and 10k$ for a 600/4.

The more recent prices (e.g., 500 with VR or 600 and 800 with fluorite) are more expensive. But there is no reason why the DA560/5.6 exceeds 3k$, maybe 3.5k$ if allowing for 2 years of inflation.
Thanks, this is the order of magnitude I have written in a previous post.

QuoteQuote:
Buying a super tele lens more than anything else is an investment into a system. For the price of a DA560, I can buy a D600/D7100 plus a used Nikkor 500/4D.

So, the question to me really is if the lens' development at Pentax has still kept their teeth. In the past, Pentax super tele lenses have always been technically excellent. Now, we'll see.
I fully agree on this statement; I have a FA600f4 which is excellent (but heavy...), I'm not prepared to pay 7000 euros for a loss in image quality. And if you are to spend 7000 $, you'll go up to 9000 $ for a Nikon 500f4 for a full stop faster, and demonstrated image quality. The good order of magnitude of the price for this lens is 3500 $, to place it in the range of relatively low budget long lens for enthousiast amateurs

02-27-2013, 11:34 AM   #129
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Should the same tests, or part of them, be performed on a Sony NEX-VG900 + adapter to check how the DA 560mm f/5.6 behaves with a 24x36 sensor, that would be brilliant.
02-27-2013, 11:40 AM   #130
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mistral75 Quote
Should the same tests, or part of them, be performed on a Sony NEX-VG900 + adapter to check how the DA 560mm f/5.6 behaves with a 24x36 sensor, that would be brilliant.
Yes, but who pays Adam to do all these tests?
I am ready to donate $50 if others donate too

Alternatively, I could help with the evaluation if I'd get the 150 RAWs or so.
02-27-2013, 12:15 PM   #131
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote

So I am really looking forward to the Forum test of the Sigma 500 and Pentax 560. If these lenses turn out to be high performers than I'd probably add the Sigma just because of price and a stop faster (probably equates to faster focus also.) The Pentax 560 would be an option if its performance is top notch, focus is fast and the price dropped significantly. If both the Sigma and Pentax turn out good but not top notch, then I would lean to buying a used Canon system - probably a top pro body two generations back from their newest model - more than enough pixels to make great prints with a great lens. To me being able to buy a high grade long lens is the driver. A well cared for, used Canon or Nikon will perform terrific.
For the Sigma you do not need to wait for this test. Quite a lot of information, tests etc has been published about this lens. Even the lens review section of this forum has a fair amount of information about it. For some reason the reviews have been split both into "legacy prime lenses" and "current prime lenses". The paint finish may be a bit different in the very latest ones, but the actual construction is unchanged as far as I know.
Personally I do not need further data about the Sigma as I have been using this lens for a couple of years and know it to be a solid performer. The interesting thing is to see how the 560 compares to it.
02-27-2013, 01:12 PM   #132
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
That was in Falk Lumo: A hypothetical Pentax DFA* 500mm F5.6 ED(IF) SDMii based on the then current list prices for a lens w/o VR and fluorite front elements (2011 April). It would give you 2800$. BTW, the same formula gives you 5800$ for a 500/4 and 10k$ for a 600/4.

The more recent prices (e.g., 500 with VR or 600 and 800 with fluorite) are more expensive. But there is no reason why the DA560/5.6 exceeds 3k$, maybe 3.5k$ if allowing for 2 years of inflation.

In fact, given its simpler construction, it shoud be below 2.5k$. Really.
I'm sorry, Falk, but I don't really agree with your formula. It fails in too many cases, even for Sigma lenses, and it assumes things are being equal when they aren't.
For example, production volume should dramatically influence the price point at which a certain lens could be made. Can Pentax get raw materials for the same prices as Canon, Nikon, Sigma? R&D and other expenses would have to be recovered by putting a larger margin on products, and so on.
And I doubt Pentax is making $6500 on each lens sold.

By the way, do you know approximately how much ED and fluorite elements would cost?
02-27-2013, 01:41 PM   #133
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
That wasn't my point.

Buying a super tele lens more than anything else is an investment into a system. For the price of a DA560, I can buy a D600/D7100 plus a used Nikkor 500/4D.

So, the question to me really is if the lens' development at Pentax has still kept their teeth. In the past, Pentax super tele lenses have always been technically excellent. Now, we'll see.
You can buy a used Nikkor. In a few years, you will be alble to buy this lens, used, for a lot less than a used Nikkor 500/4.

I got what you point was. Still, I believe it's not the moment where Ricoh-Pentax are going to create lenses for the sake to show their state-of-the-art. Not for K cameras. For 645D they just did, with the 25mm and the 90 macro. Like I said, if a supertele lens of big performance and stellar price will come, it will be for the medium format, to replace the A*600/5,6. And maybe then they will simply make a version of it for K bodies.
02-27-2013, 02:57 PM   #134
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
I'm sorry, Falk, but I don't really agree with your formula. It fails in too many cases, even for Sigma lenses, and it assumes things are being equal when they aren't.
For example, production volume should dramatically influence the price point at which a certain lens could be made. Can Pentax get raw materials for the same prices as Canon, Nikon, Sigma? R&D and other expenses would have to be recovered by putting a larger margin on products, and so on.
And I doubt Pentax is making $6500 on each lens sold.

By the way, do you know approximately how much ED and fluorite elements would cost?
You are right from an economical point of view, ie larger production volumes lead to decrease price point. But from a marketing point of view, you have to be competitive otherwise you don't sell anything at all. I remember having the same discussion with my boss 10 years ago; he didn't understand how we could earn more money by decreasing our price. Fortunately for us, the boss was fired, we decreased the price to be competitive - I mean for the same level of functionnality and performance than the competitors, comparable price - and we earned much more money.
02-27-2013, 03:58 PM   #135
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OTOH decreasing the price in itself won't necessarily bring you a higher profit. I have a hard time accepting that a HD DA 560mm will be profitable at $2500 MSRP (which is not comparable price for the same level of functionality).
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