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Forum: Lens Clubs 9 Hours Ago  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 31,324
Views: 2,891,001
I used the DA560 quite a bit for shooting at greater distance and using the cropping power of the K3, in all sorts of light. In comparing with my current lens, it strikes me how well the DA560 performed in e.g. harsh light. Very little "glow", blooming or haziness. Very good fine detail, contrast and color in types of light where my current lens simply struggles. Light had to get really merciless for the DA560 to give in to atmospheric distortions. I am sure the Canon and Nikon 10.000,- 500mm guns will also perform well here, but I now know that such performance is not a given.
The image below may not look like it was taken in very bright light, because I adjusted the exposure in raw, but it was nonetheless, and if you look at the fine and subtle details in the legs and the beak for instance, and the color and contrast that were not adjusted but default, then I can only say that no way that I am going to get that level of detail and contrast in crops from the Canon 400DOII+1.4TC at this distance and in this light, while in good light and at medium distance, it can keep up with the DA560 despite the converter. And other things it does so much better, like longitudinal CA correction and AF speed. It may be though, that the use of diffractive optics takes it toll regarding handling of difficult light. The new Sony 200-600mm, with its surgeon like mirrorless AF precision, would be an interesting comparison...
Forum: Lens Clubs 18 Hours Ago  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 31,324
Views: 2,891,001
A piece of cake yes! :lol: see image below.
Although I always needed a good deal of luck :confused:
If you do any far distance shooting in full daylight, e.g. over water, then it is probably a good idea to keep the DA560, because I have heard remarks that the Nikon PF lenses, like the Canon DO lens, are not really that good at far distance shooting either. It seems that my wish for the 400DOII with extenders to replace the DA560 with 1.4TC, only works with limitations.

---------- Post added 06-19-19 at 01:11 AM ----------



I did consider the 500PF + D500, but it did not help that prospect for delivery of the 500PF was not that good. I believe that is still the case.
Nikon may yet make a 600PF yes, but I am not sure if any PF or DO lens would excell in far distance performance, because the Nikon 500PF and 300PF also seem at their best with close to mid distance shooting. Perhaps there is after all no way around a good old large and cumbersome lens for that.
Forum: Lens Clubs 23 Hours Ago  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 31,324
Views: 2,891,001
While missing my former DA560 for its solid long distance performance and its top-level detail and clarity, I have found myself a new hobby: BIF :)
Seriously, in hindsight I would not have sold my DA560. I woúld have gotten the Canon 400DOII as I did, but would have saved up a bit longer, and would have gone in against my principle that I can only own óne 4000,- + lens.

Let's see what the Pentax new APS-C flagship will be next year. If it is very good, I will re-purchase the DA560 with the new Pentax flagship. The Canon 400DOII is a great lens, but very different from the DA560, which still remains a "600mm-light" prime. I know Sony has its new 200-600 zoom, but IQ will be so-so at 600mm compared to the DA560, and Pentax remains the only brand to make a top level detail 600mm'ish prime lens. It could not do shots like this one though, which is also at 560mm with the 1.4TC.

Chris
Forum: Lens Clubs 06-09-2019, 05:03 AM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 31,324
Views: 2,891,001
As I have a few days off from work, I've been reorganizing my bird images library, getting rid of a lot of delete candidates to make room for new sessions.
I switched to Canon a few months back, but revisiting the images taken through the years with my former set-up K3+DA560 (+ 1.4TC), I am amazed by how good the IQ of this combo actually really was. Not so much the (AF) performance, but the IQ, going back through all the images, was really very good i.m.o. Exceptional was the way the K3 worked together with the DA560 to capture really amazing detail over long distances., and the relatively low weight and high light transmittance enabled handholding without going into very high iso's (I never used a tripod in my life).
Here, for fun, is a full image with a 100% crop, only mildly sharpened, because often I see 100% crops posted to prove the sharpness of a lens, when in fact these 100% crops themselves have been processed with all sharpening methods available to make them look sharp. The K3 with the DA560 was truly sharp, with amazing detail and clarity, leaving room for additional sharpness to taste, not to let a cropped image appear sharp. Again, the K3 was something of a detail revolution for its time.

Chris
Forum: Lens Clubs 06-07-2019, 11:59 AM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 31,324
Views: 2,891,001
In retrospect, the Pentax K3 was a very nice camera. A true classic, for the first time I could seriously crop :)
In a way, I regret that the K3 replacement came too late for me to have the patience and trust waiting for it. The DA560 was such a unique lens, especially for distant subjects, it was tremendous due to its much maligned telescope-like construction.

These were with the lens I had before the DA560, the Sigma 500/4.5

Chris
Forum: Lens Clubs 04-16-2019, 02:20 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 31,324
Views: 2,891,001
Currently I am trying the 400DOII + 2.0x extender out on my Sony A7rII. It turns out that focus is so critical at 800mm f8, that even though the 7DII produces very good results in many circumstances, it can also miss focus in certain types of light, eg. harsh overhead light , especially with added thermal distortion, or low contrast sideways light. It appears though, that the Sony A7rII nails precise focus in almost all circumstances with this combo, almost as if there is a bare lens on the camera. This turns the 2.0 extender from a reach for sharpness compromise that takes some extra care when handholding, into an almost casual walkaround option. In honesty, it is hard to believe how well the sigma mc-11 adapts canon lenses to a Sony e-mount body. Not native, but not that far from it, and the precision is fairy tale like.
So I can believe that a Sony A9 may be all you need for this Canon lens.

Here is a few with the 7DII. I am keeping it for the 400mm BIF shots, but these were testing with the 2.0 extender. But also for the extra reach (1.6x crop) and for the rugged K3 like build.
Forum: Lens Clubs 04-10-2019, 07:35 AM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 31,324
Views: 2,891,001
I know, I never seem to take the logical path :confused:
No, seriously, I considered that of course. But I already own and use the A7rII for all shooting other than birding/wildlife, and I was not ready to spend 3000,- on the 5DIV, simply because I am positive that within a few years, Canon will have an EOS-R ready that is a match for the Sony bodies. Also, the 5DIV is "only" 30.4 MP, and the A7rII is 42mp BSI. The lenses using refractive or diffractive optics b.t.w. are really, really small. The 400DOII is 23cm long.

Chris
Forum: Lens Clubs 04-10-2019, 04:32 AM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 31,324
Views: 2,891,001
To be totally honest, I only got the 7DII because in the Canon 400DOII + camera bundle, I got a 600,- discount. I never really fancied Canon camera bodies simply because the Sony sensors are so much better. But I have to say that the 7DII has positively impressed me as a body, apart from the poor performance DR wise at iso 100-200.
The reason that the very good performance at iso 1600-2000 has a benefit for me, is purely the 400DOII+EF2.0x combo, which is F8 and drives up the iso outside of bright daylight. I had shots with the DA560+1.4TC with shutter speeds of 1/320s because I did not want to go above iso 1000, but 784mm handheld at 1/320s never gave really good results.
B.t.w. I am seriously venturing into using the 400DOII with both exenders adapted to my Sony A7rII, simply because IQ is at another level and the AF accuracy is astounding, so I have to admit that I am looking ahead at the EOS-R developments and just hope they will come along. The reason for many Canon users to switch to Sony will have been two-fold: a better sensor and the benefits of mirrorless. I hope the EOS-R models of the future will have sensors as good as the Sony sensors, of course... My last "plan" before deciding to switch to Canon, was getting a Pentax K1mkII for the DA560. Images that I have seen from that combo are first class.

Chris
Forum: Lens Clubs 04-09-2019, 09:58 AM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 31,324
Views: 2,891,001
I got the EF2.0x III converter today. No birding yet, but a test shot. Coming from the DA560 + 1.4TC, this was going to be an important one, because the Canon 400DOII + EF2.0x at 800mm f8 is going to take the place of DA560 + 1.4TC at 784mm f8. For wading and perched songbirds, it has been an important combination of focal length and aperture for me. A 2.0TC is not generally part of a serious birding kit, only for the special shots, but I took a gamble that it would turn out right with the Canon EF2.0x III, which is regarded (with Sony's 2.0TC) as the best 2.0TC around, and would be at least as good as the 1.4TC on the DA560.

Here is a test shot on the 7DII at 2000 iso. I am pleasantly surprised to see no CA, either lateral or longitudinal, whatsoever in testing with the 400DOII + EF2.0x III, which was a bit of a problem with the DA560 + 1.4TC (mostly longitudinal, so impossible to clean up), and feel that it passes the critical detail test. Also, auto focus is still fast, responsive and mostly spot-on.
On the Sony A7rII, sharpness is even better, but auto focus is clearly not native, with quite a bit of travelling through the focus range, needing to set the limiter on the lens, and aid with manual forcus. Once in the region, it snaps into spot-on focus immediately.
Finally, the very, very good IS in the 400DOII really comes to aid handholding 800mm, making it almost cheatingly easy compared to the DA560+1.4TC, and the 7DII seems to get better at iso 800 to iso 2000 compared to the K3II, whereas the K3II is clearly better at iso 100- iso 200, and a tie inbetween. What the 7DII does very well, is hold colors at higher iso settings, where the K3 washes out above iso 1600.




Chris
Forum: Lens Clubs 04-06-2019, 02:18 AM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 31,324
Views: 2,891,001
I will. I still have it on order at the moment, but it should be here soon. As AF will be crucial at 800mm f8, I am hoping it will perform as good as the 1.4TC on the Sony A7rII, which can really nail focus dead on with its on-sensor phase detection system. I did not expect much, it was more for fun, but it exceeded my expectations greatly. So much so, that I am now using the 400DOII more on the Sony body than on the Canon body. Not at all meaning to fuel a mirrorless discussion here, but the accuracy and 99% consistency of the sensor phase af is a bit of a revelation for me. It is not native though, so not sure if it will work with the 2.0TC. If not, I will be visiting my camera store after the summer to try out the EOS-R. It was a bit of a personal wish these past years to have pinpoint accurate and consistent AF and now it seems that mirrorless does indeed provide that.

Chris
Forum: Lens Clubs 04-05-2019, 01:27 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 31,324
Views: 2,891,001
Recently, I decided to switch systems. I had the DA560mm, DA1.4TC and the K3 for almost five years. I had become so much accustomed to that set-up, focal length and brightness wise, that I wanted to duplicate it in a more portable: smaller and lighter package, and with more consistent auto focus. Reason for this, is that I hike and cycle a lot, and like to carry my equipment and like to capture sudden, unexpected moments.
IQ wise, al I wanted was equal to the wonderful DA560 sharpness. I knew the clarity would be hard to equal (the DA560 having so few glass elemets), but the CA at f5.6 I would happily part with. That CA was very noticeable as green and magenta coloring in the OOF areas. Also, in strong lighting, purple fringing could be abundant. But in all honesty, real world shooting was more than satisfying with the DA560.

So here's a few early samples from my "DA 560-replica in a small package": the Canon 400mmDOII + 1.4TC + 2.0TC. I got a Canon 7DII in the Canon lens promotion bundle, but these are with the 400DOII + 1.4TC on my Sony A7rII by means of the the sigma mc-11 mount adapter. IQ is on another level from the 7DII, so in Canon land, I more or less face the same "ordeal" as I faced in Pentax land: the 7DII is an outdated crop camera, a nice fast camera with pro's and cons, like the Pentax K3 (well, leave out "fast" there...), but with a sensor in more need of a serious update than the K3's, although this is mostly iso 100-400. Iso 500-1600, it is equal to the K3, but base iso is poor if you have high contrast or backlit scenes, as there is very little raw processing latitude. With the Sony A7rII, there is abundant raw processing latitude, and high iso is just great, I always have all noise reduction at "0" until above iso 1600-iso 2000.
The last two images are an example of the cropping power of the Sony A7rII + Canon combo. For now, it is mostly practicing and getting acquainted with both the full Canon combo, and especially the Sony/Canon combo. Regarding portability: the IS in the Canon 400DOII is just staggeringly good, handholding the lens at 560mm is just a piece of cake after handholding the DA560 for five years.

But it feels nice to have my favorite combinations of focal lengths and apertures again! It is all about the moments you capture in nature though, I have captured many favorite images with the DA560.

Chris
Forum: Lens Clubs 03-22-2019, 12:27 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 31,324
Views: 2,891,001
Great shot this one too.
I seriously considered getting a K1mkII for the DA560, but ended up trading my Pentax DA560, 1.4TC and K3II in for a Canon 400DOII, 1.4TC and 7DII. I've only had my new kit for a few days, but it would have been an interesting comparison between the DA560 and the Canon 400 f4 with 1.4TC, both being 560mm at f5.6.
It was a tough decision, because the 7DII can not be regarded as anywhere near the IQ level of the K1mkII. So although the 7DII is certainly not the poor IQ body it is sometimes made out to be, getting a 400DOII is aomewhat of a leap of faith regarding Canon's intentions for a successor, which somehow get's me into dejavú :)

But what made the decision, is that I almost exclusively cycle and hike lately with my birding kit, and the DA560 was getting too heavy and large for me to carry along comfortably. I wanted 30cm off, and 1 kg off (the 400DOII is 23cm and 2,1 kg), so it was down to Nikon's featherweight 500PF or the majestic Canon 400DOII. It was tough passing on a Nikon D500, but I wanted to get as close as possible to the combination of focal range and f-stop as I could of the DA560. 500mm would have soon forced me to put on the 1.4TC all of the time, and would have trapped me at f8. It may not seem much: 60mm, but the base focal length I really want is 600mm, and 560 is a lot closer to that than 500mm. F5.6 still allows you to shoot freely in moderate light, and from using the DA560 with the 1.4TC, I know how dim f8 can become in anything but full daylight.

Seeing your images makes me feel I would have gotten the best out of the DA560 with a K1mkII, they have a quality that images with the K3 somehow just did not have. It also shows how much difference a high quality body makes, just as the 400DOII on the Canon 1DXmkII looks absolutely stunning even with Canon's 2.0TC on.

I got a 600,- bundle discount on the 7DII, so a very modest body purchase, and my intenetion is to upgrade in a year or so to either what will be the best Canon DSLR at that moment (save the 1DXII though!), or get into Canon mirrorless R.

All I can say at this stage, is that auto focus with the Canon combo (including 1.4TC) is literally lightning fast, simply instant, and not a trace of zip-zip-zip that plagued the DA560+K3II combo in anything but high contrast, bright daylight. I missed a lot of fleeting opportunities due to my DA560+K3 combo taking time to wake up, start focussing, decide on what, the zip-zip-zip, and the bird was either long gone, or if the K3 did fire off some shots, they would simply not be pin-sharp, or even poorly focussed. Only good results where when I had spacious time to carefully focus, which is fine for slow moving or static subjects....
It's a treat to have the AF that I wished for as a basis for getting the shot when it matters. I understand that regarding reliability, the K1mkII with the DA560 is a step up, perhaps good enough already?
Anyway, enjoy this fantastic combo, I will mine!

Chris
Forum: Lens Clubs 03-19-2019, 03:29 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 31,324
Views: 2,891,001
Beautiful shot. The DA560 shines on the K1

Chris
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-12-2019, 04:23 PM  
Kenspo moves on
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 305
Views: 24,398
It's the weight and size that made me favour the Canon. I did consider the Sigma, but the weight and size put me off it, as I mainly hike and cycle. And the Canon 400/4 duplicates my DA560 at 560mm and f5.6, but at a much smaller size and lighter weight.

Just curious: apart from the difference in reach, what makes you favor the Pentax kit to the D500/sigma 500?

Chris
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-12-2019, 02:03 PM  
Kenspo moves on
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 305
Views: 24,398
You are right in a way, Pentax has to profile itself to an extent and the KP was clearly part of that. I used to value IQ highly, and of course I still do, but other things have become increasingly important. So for me things took a turn, whilst others may be very happy with their KP, or if shooting fullframe, their K1mkII.

You may be surprised to hear that I cancelled my pre-order for the Nikon D500 (thé best APS birding body) and the 500PF, in part because supply of the 500PF is really dramatic and will remain so for a good while. Not to return to Pentax though. I decided to invest in a top end lens that suits me, portable, versatile and high IQ, and take the camera for what it is, for now. Because the future of camera bodies is being made, I wanted to put what funds I have towards a lens that will be seeing quite a few bodies over the coming years I suppose. I went with a Canon 400DOII and both 1.4 and 2.0 converters, and took the 7DII in a bundle only costing 639,-. It will in future need a 1DXmkII type mirrorless body (a la Sony A9) to really shine though, so it's a leap of faith.


No doubt Pentax will put out a very good, and in many ways much better than the aging 7DII, APS-c body somewhere next year.

Chris
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-04-2019, 03:33 PM  
My Report from CP+ 2019
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 238
Views: 17,404
Sold out everywhere in my Country (western Europe)
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-04-2019, 10:32 AM  
My Report from CP+ 2019
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 238
Views: 17,404
It's hard to lean down on Nikon and Canon though (although Canon should have updated their 7DII by now), since both have now fully stepped into mirrorless and have both offered very decent mount adapters to use their full lens catalogue on these cameras. AF can be greatly enhanced by future firmware updates, Nikon has jsut issued an update that includes eye AF to their Z cameras.

Chris
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-04-2019, 05:00 AM  
My Report from CP+ 2019
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 238
Views: 17,404
Nice to read something coming directly from Ricoh employees!

It should be assumed that the sensor will be the same as in the Fuli XT3, the top end Fuji APS-c camera, the Sony 26mp BSI IMX571, since Pentax always uses Sony sensors.


Chris
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-01-2019, 04:48 AM  
Kenspo moves on
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 305
Views: 24,398
So the limitation of the dslr AF system at f8, which is to be expected. I am aware of this, and have considered getting the Nikon Z7 instead, because I don't so much mind the loss of AF speed in lesser light, but would mind the loss in accuracy. Mirrorless AF enables high accuracy at smaller apertures, like the Sony A9 with dead on AF at f11. Have you tried the Z7 with your lens?
Is it AF-C that you are referring to, or also loss of accuracy in AF-S?
Regardless though, the DA560 is unreliable on the K3 at f5.6 in anything but high contrast, bright daylight, especially with first focus acquisition, so it is not all the physical limitations of the dslr AF system.
I have seen pin sharp images from D500 with 500PF and 1.4tc of birds under canopy, so with care I expect it to be possible.

Chris
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-28-2019, 01:29 PM  
Kenspo moves on
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 305
Views: 24,398
It will come when it is ready, with "next year" still giving quite a bit of room to the time frame, since it's only 2 months into 2019. Someone who seemed into the know told me some specs for the coming camera, but also told me that launch or announcement was supposed to be this CP+. I decided to wait until this CP+, and no longer. But it shows me that no one really knows anything at all about a possible next high end APS-c body.

I honestly won't miss all the confusion and groundless speculation. What I realized is: you should be shooting the camera that you want to be shooting and that is available right now, on the shelves in the stores, not a speculation placed into an uncertain future. I guess it is a problem of the internet, that camera bodies that have no reality in the stores at all, somehow become real on the internet, on fora. So I found it was time to force myself to limit myself to reality.

The K1mkII is a camera that I would want to shoot for my needs, if I weren't invested in Sony and the Zeiss Loxias, so I am not at all dismissive of Pentax.

Chris
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-28-2019, 06:24 AM  
Kenspo moves on
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 305
Views: 24,398
Interesting to hear about your experiences. With regards to the 1.4TC, do you mean performance drops AF wise, or IQ wise?
The DA560 with 1.4TC took a hit optically, so I am familiar with this. From what I have seen though in user reports though, IQ wise the 500PF works well with the 1.4TC

Chris
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-28-2019, 04:48 AM  
Kenspo moves on
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 305
Views: 24,398
The DA560 is a fine lens, I don't expect the Nikon 500PF to better it optically, except perhaps for bokeh and better color correction. Really, I have no regrets shooting it for 5 years. It is just that the K3 does not feel reliable enough AF wise, and high iso is dated. The KP was not my cup of tea.

Chris
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-28-2019, 02:52 AM  
Kenspo moves on
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 305
Views: 24,398
I have finally made a decision. I now have a Nikon D500 + 500mm f5.6 PF + 1.4TC on order with an option for trading in the DA560 and 1.4TC. I am grateful to my camera store for offering a trade in, because it was impossible to sell the lens privately, and I did try.
It was the better option for me. Hope for other Pentax APS-c users though, that a K3 successor does eventually surface.

Chris
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-27-2019, 08:30 AM  
Kenspo moves on
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 305
Views: 24,398
I am not saying that I cannot take wonderful birding shots with my Pentax set-up though.
It is just not enough, in that I will be honest. I still believe, and will continue to do so, that Pentax did not invest enough in its APS-c system in the last 5 years, and did not get a competitive, current APS-c body out the door in time.
That is simply how I see it, Pentax under Ricoh neglected its APS-c portfolio.
You are welcome to disagree, no problem. Other brands are picking up on their APS-c offerings, so no problem, especially Nikon has made strides, albeit for a specific target group, with its D500 and now the, somewhat spectacular, 500mm PF. I have one on pre-order, with an agreement to trade in my DA560 + 1.4TC. It may still take until summer, the lens is simply so heavily pre-ordered that it might even take the whole year to get it in proper stock.

Chris
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-27-2019, 05:17 AM  
Kenspo moves on
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 305
Views: 24,398
Pentax has not been cast in stone since I adopted the system with the K5. At that time, and certainly with the K3 introduction, it was a viable budget wildlife kit.

Fast forward to 2019, I cannot but agree fully with you. The KP, and now the KP custom, has made that clear to me. It's now about waiting for the Nikon 500PF to become available. That lens is facing demand that seems to defy the shrinking camera market.
Last year though, if at Photokina we would have had the APS-c body that many here (that have not ledt already) seem to have been waiting for, I would have continued to use the Pentax system. The DA560 is a good lens. Even if there would have been a FF camera that could double as a crop wildlife birding camera, I would have gotten it. The way it is now, Pentax under Ricoh has drifted towards a high IQ slow stills system exclusively.

Chris
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