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Forum: Lens Clubs 10-26-2021, 02:36 PM  
DA560 lens club - Let's see some photos!
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 279
Views: 50,465
Good to hear your efforts eventually paid off. In the time I owned it, I always appreciated the lens greatly.
I had some plans in the back of my mind to re-purchase the DA560 at the arrival of the K3III, but Ricoh beat me to it with a discontinuation.


I took another turn, and purchased the Sigma 500mm f4S for use with the Nikon D500, and I don't really expect another long Pentax prime to replace the DA560.
Forum: Lens Clubs 07-12-2021, 01:11 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 37,330
Views: 3,940,681
What a lovely bird! It reminds me a lot of the european Stonechat.

Chris

---------- Post added 07-12-21 at 08:14 PM ----------



Surely this can't be one mothers offspring!?
I imagine this will be a creche of sorts, like with Eider ducks, where one female guards over the chicks of multiple females?

Chris
Forum: Lens Clubs 06-10-2021, 11:46 AM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 37,330
Views: 3,940,681
Very nice, this is how I remember the DA560, and the K3III produces some very nice IQ with it. Did you convert these from raw or is it still jpeg only for the K3III? And how is performance now that you have gotten to know the combo? There is still this little voice in my head wanting to re-purchase the DA560 and add it to the Nikon 500PF, if I can still get one...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-01-2021, 03:45 AM  
HD Pentax DA 560mm f/5.6 ED AW replacement : what are your thoughts ?
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 70
Views: 5,038
Imagine an up-to-date current 600mm f5.6 prime lens made with use of the technology that produced lenses like the Sony 600mm f4GM, the Canon 600mm f4III or the Nikon 500mm f5.6PF....
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-31-2021, 11:41 AM  
HD Pentax DA 560mm f/5.6 ED AW replacement : what are your thoughts ?
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 70
Views: 5,038
Sadly, none of the camera makers have made serious work of a f5.6 600mm lens. It is beyond me why anyone would want f4 at 600mm and pay the size, weight and price premium, when a 600mm f5.6 lens has very fine subject isolation, while still having good clarity and contrast, both of which tend to go fairly steeply downhill beyond f5.6.
Size and weight would seem much more attractive than those of a 600mm f4 lens (all else equal), not to mention price.

Simply because 600mm f5.6 prime lenses were never taken seriously, we cannot know how good they could have made them, and at what cost and weight. A real pity.
Forum: Lens Clubs 05-24-2021, 02:55 AM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 37,330
Views: 3,940,681
Thanks, I suspected as much! I used the DA560 for over 4 years, and the 500PF now for 1,5 years. What they have in common, is true prime image quality. Both have very good light transmittance, and that means your relative iso will always be a step lower at a given aperture compared to e.g. a superzoom or a shorter prime with a tc that render dimmer images at identical apertures. I noticed that especially when I went from the bare DA560 to the Canon 400DOII+1.4TC. The bare Nikon 500PF has a t-stop very close to the aperture no doubt. With the bare DA560 I was also always able to keep the iso down. With the K3III this may be less of an issue when it comes to noise, but high light transmittance still renders better images.
Apart from the AF, purple fringing and bokeh fringing, the DA560 is still a tremendous lens, and outperforms the 500PF when it comes to reach and pure detail i.m.o.

I read though, that it is now officially discontinued, and when I asked my camera store on possible delivery time (it is nowhere in stock anymore) they could not give me an answer.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-22-2021, 08:50 AM  
DA560 production end / successor ?
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 172
Views: 9,595
I can think of a very long list of advantages that a FF 600mm f4 lens has over the DFA150-450 with a 1.4tc on a crop body..:rolleyes:
Forum: Lens Clubs 05-19-2021, 01:56 AM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 37,330
Views: 3,940,681
Thanks for the update. The D500 is like a swiss army knife when it comes to picking up and locking focus. I used the K3(II)+DA560 for 4 years, and struggling with (quick and reliable) focus acquisition had become a fact of life. With the D500+500PF, keeper rate is not something that occupies my mind any longer, when the combo does not nail AF, it is always user error. The struggle with good focus acquisistion was the main reason for switching.
Since you used both combos on the same subject, could you share something on the image quality of both combo's in an identical scenario?
Forum: Pentax K-3 III 05-13-2021, 02:31 AM  
Post your K3 iii pictures.
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 1,088
Views: 98,345
Stunningly beautiful birds!
Forum: Lens Clubs 05-12-2021, 11:52 AM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 37,330
Views: 3,940,681
Thanks for your report. The finch image shows the solid IQ the DA560 can produce, just very clear and well defined..
About spot-focus: the Nikon D500 does not have the best spot focus available either. Before I went for the D500+500PF, I used the Canon 7DII+400DOII+1.4TC for a year, in an attempt to mimic the K3+DA560. That combo had the best spot AF, very decisive and reliable. With the D500, I think it is best to put a 1.4TC on a 500mm lens for the smaller birds to enhance AF performance. The 500PF at f5.6 does not pair well with a 1.4TC though, and I am currently saving towards a 500mm F4E FL lens to mainly use with a 1.4TC.


I had some plans to re-purchase the DA560 with the K3III, but the DA560 is not available anywhere anymore, and it was to be expected that auto focus would remain a weak spot even with the much enhanced K3III. It is best I guess, to save on a bit and go for a lens that does it all well.
Forum: Lens Clubs 04-28-2021, 11:49 AM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 37,330
Views: 3,940,681
Please do post examples from the K3III with the DA560 once you are shooting the K3III. I also went to the "dark side" with the Nikon D500+500PF (via an expensive detour of the Canon 7DII+400DOII), but have missed the reach and fine detail of the K3+DA560 combo ever since (I regrettably sold both). I could not wait any longer back then, disliking the buggy nature of the K3 too much to stay put.

I could write pages on the differences between both combo's, but looking back, the K3+DA560+1.4TC at 784 mm handheld at 1/200sec gave me some amazing performance in early morning shooting, that I have not gotten close to with Canon or Nikon, although I have not shot the +10.000 super guns yet.
I am now at the stage where I want to increase the reach again, as the 1.4TC on the 500PF is not to my liking. I am still undecided between getting a Nikon 500mm f4E FL or return to the Pentax DA560 (if it is still available for order!!) with the K3III.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-23-2021, 05:29 AM  
CEO of Ricoh (the mother ship) talks about the future of PENTAX and GR
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 572
Views: 40,593
I did not respond to your post, as I felt it best to bow out, given that there are some long toes to step on on this forum if I don't choose my words very carefully. Contrary to what some posters here insist on, I am not at all out to undermine Pentax with negative speculation. I shot Pentax for 6 years, and had a clear option in my mind to re-purchase the DA560 + 1.4TC (if still available) after the K3III launch.

However, I have not been living under a rock, and having shot Canon and Nikon, are aware of the difficulties for the camera companies to keep dslr going in a shrinking market with mirrorless gaining traction fast during the past two years.

I went through a very expensive system switch because Canon decided to accelerate their transition to mirrorless and pulled the plug on the 7DIII. I could (should?) have known right?
No, I did not anticipate the acceleration to the point of terminating dslr and now I am experiencing the same acceleration at Nikon, currently shooting the D500+500PF. Many have calculated a D500 replacement or a D850 replacement, or more F-mount PF lenses, but suddenly it is all as good as certain to be over and Z mount get's all the R&D.


Reading the info that opened this thread, and the new delay in getting the K3III out, makes a possible return to the K3III + DA560 paperthin, and in the context of Canon and Nikon ending dslr, I have doubts or questions about whether Ricoh can keep Pentax going, or whether a merge or sale is inevitable and neccessary.
But I will keep my thoughts to myself, and stay well away from this forum and not disturb its peace.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-15-2021, 11:29 AM  
CEO of Ricoh (the mother ship) talks about the future of PENTAX and GR
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 572
Views: 40,593
I see that a bit differently with all respect.
If only "facts" were allowed on this forum, than it would be either a Ricoh/Pentax board room, or a véry quiet forum. It is neither so it is full of speculations, wishfull thinking, depressive doom and gloom post etc.
My "negative speculation" varied from insisting the Pentax KP successor was unlikely to be released in the spring of 2018, to suggesting dslr was about to be replaced by mirrorless 2 years ago etc. etc.


Hiding behind a strong dislike of speculations that you don't like by insisting "only facts" are allowed, or otherwise you are a troll spreading FUD, that is in itself inflammatory....
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-15-2021, 10:51 AM  
CEO of Ricoh (the mother ship) talks about the future of PENTAX and GR
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 572
Views: 40,593
The situation with Pentax and Pentax shooters is not unique Alex. Canon shooters have lost their 7DII upgrade path (I know from personal experience, the 90D was nothing but an obligational job that raised mainly disappointment), Nikon shooters are losing their D500 replacement path.
On the respective forums, this is openly discussed, even though people's interests are at stake. People come to these forums for information and open discussion.
The sky is not falling when dslr cameras arrive at a dead end, Nikon D500 and Canon 7DII users move on, they accept the camera industry is changing.

Ricoh is also part of that camera world, they cannot be an island but have to relate to what is happening, e.g. at Nikon.

The only "FUD" I am involved in, is "FUD"GE CAKE, the chocolate variety. :rolleyes:
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-15-2021, 09:36 AM  
CEO of Ricoh (the mother ship) talks about the future of PENTAX and GR
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 572
Views: 40,593
I would advise you to stick with your current gear Alex. I sold the K3 and the DA560 and have regretted it ever since. Only once you are sure your new gear is what fullfills your needs, should you sell your old gear, that is what I learned.

With regards to the future and future gear, only you know what is best, depending on your needs and budget. You can plan ahead and try to see where things are going, or you can just take things as they come, and possibly be caught off guard.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-15-2021, 08:44 AM  
CEO of Ricoh (the mother ship) talks about the future of PENTAX and GR
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 572
Views: 40,593
I read about the parts supply issue for sure, and it is not unique to Ricoh or Pentax, it has affected all manufacturers that use electronics and electrical components. Nikon has had delays with lenses like the Z70-200, and faces difficulties with supplies of the Z7II/Z6II. Canon has also needed time to get the R5 on the shelves. Olymus has considerable issues regarding manufacturing capacity supplying the 150-400.

But the majority of releases have taken place nonetheless, and certainly all of the important releases. And if the K3III is not an important release to Ricoh/Pentax, than I have been fooled. They are the only company to postpone a release of core importance without further notice or info as far as I know.

Also, the parts supply was not the only given reason when I have the facts straight: they expressed something of "needing more time to ensure the K3III is working up to standard".
But whatever the situation, the wait is on again, and hoping for the best....
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-15-2021, 07:55 AM  
CEO of Ricoh (the mother ship) talks about the future of PENTAX and GR
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 572
Views: 40,593
Far from it, I don't expect Ricoh staff or Ricoh employees to lie at all, not in videos, not in press releases.

Still, the "news" opening this thread may reveal some of the cause behind the ongoing delay with regards to the K3III release. Until recently, and even now, I am still planning on a K3III purchase, with a re-purchase of the DA560, so I am not just reading these formus with the intention of butting in with negative readings of unfounded rumors.

I see what is happening at Nikon, and I don't doubt that Ricoh management sees the progressing and accelerating state of phasing out dslr cameras at other companies. I can imagine this has effects on where they feel Pentax can go from here. It is enough for me that they use the phrase "cannot go on forever" when speaking about the Pentax patronage.
I hope Pentax has other possibilities, but come on, Pentax users, including me should I choose to become one again, should prepare for the possibility that new product development and releases might end because of the increasing thrust behind the switch to mirrorless. Existing equipment will go on working for a long time, and the K3III at least will hit the market sooner or later, I think that is a given.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-15-2021, 05:15 AM  
CEO of Ricoh (the mother ship) talks about the future of PENTAX and GR
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 572
Views: 40,593
Whatever has truly been going on behind the scenes at Ricoh (who can really tell?), the fact that the K3III was delayed after leading up to its release for quite some time, with an official development announcement, video's, specifications published etc., indicates that there have to be uncertainties around Pentax' fate at Ricoh. After being súch an endless wait already, this felt rather as a knockout blow for the patience of Pentax shooters except perhaps for the hardened core of the remaining fan base of traditional Pentax shooters.
From that perspective, an outside take-over with partnership and investment would be the only remaining option for Pentax to endure in the declining camera market. But unlike Olympus, that at least has something of a future proof system, Pentax only has a system on offer that is being fased out at a massive pace currently.

I shoot Nikon now, the D500 dlsr, and was completely taken by surprise by the Z9 development announcement with a coming high resolution stacked BSI sensor, something I thought only Sony could do, or would at least be reserved only for Sony. This means that even for Nikon, dslr is now on the way out. Apparently a D850 update was in the works, but suspended in favor of full force for the Z system development, much alike the canon R5 superseding a 5dIV dslr replacement. Nikon was the most traditional of the camera manufacturers apart from Pentax. That would mean that Pentax is now completely on its own regarding dslr.

Things have accelerated beyond imagining in the last 2 years. The Nikon decision to apparently suspend dslr development, and possibly even discontinue it, has only been made recently according to the rumor mills. There is no other way but forward.

What will that mean for Pentax? I enjoy the Nikon D500, had a short affair with the Z7, but sold it to re-purchase the D500 because I preferred it. But that does not mean a thing, the D500 will be my last dslr regardless of what I prefer. I am struggling to see what future Pentax can still have, and what partner will invest in Pentax. :confused:
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-04-2021, 09:46 AM  
560mm now available.
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 357
Views: 49,961
It would be a real pity if Pentax were to discontinue the DA560 without having an alternative, especially with the K3III coming!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-04-2021, 09:20 AM  
560mm now available.
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 357
Views: 49,961
Is the DA560 really on its way to being discontinued? No store here has it in stock, but still have it listed for special order. Also at the same price as past years.
I am still debating to re-purchase the DA560, simply because there is no other lens in its category under 10.000,-
I have been shooting the D500+500PF for this past year, and it is very sharp, very fast and very reliable. But put a 1.4TC on it, and the magic is gone. Also, it has a kind of flat, ultra-sharp and very contrasty rendering that has its own limits.

Canon has its R5 and the RF800mm f11, which is an unsuspected release, but would have been so much better if it had been a 600mm/f5.6, although I understand it was made with low price and high portability in mind. There is still plenty of room for a high quality 600mm f5.6, that can take a 1.4TC well.
Forum: Lens Clubs 12-03-2020, 01:41 PM  
DA560 lens club - Let's see some photos!
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 279
Views: 50,465
This is a shot I was very impressed with.
These were seals taking a sunbath in midday harsh sunlight in early may, a recipe for thermal distortions and air turbulence ruining all of your shots. It was over (sea) water and at a distance, so with the 1.4TC to get more pixels in case I would want to print it. If you look at the whiskers of the seal on the right, you see what I admired most in the DA560 looking back: amidst the out of focal planes that are mushed by thermal distortion, there is a very clear and incredibly well defined plane of focus. Also, you see the transition of the OOF foreground to the plane of focus and on to the OOF background, as a very well defined transition. And this was on the 24mp K3 at 784mm handheld.

I have since tried similar shots (I still re-visit the island where this image was taken each may) with the Canon 400DOII and Nikon 500PF lenses, and the most apparent difference, is the lack of a clear and well defined plane of focus inbetween the mushed OOF areas. Similar shots with these lenses look messy, unbalanced or downright soft. Until I sold the DA560 and got on the Canon and Nikon bandwagon, I did not know how difficult a shot like this is, and forums are flooded with knowledge on how these shots are impossible due to the thermal distortions, and you should not attempt to take shots in these conditions, but pack your gear and wait for better light. I have loads of messy images of these trips after selling the DA560, which I keep only for reference.

But with the DA560, and a new K3III with better sensor, it should work out fine. Of course, I have not tried a lens like the Sony 600GM, which should by all logic do perfectly fine where the DA560 does, but that is a 13499,- lens.
Canon's attempt at the 600mm f11 is another story alltogether,
Forum: Lens Clubs 12-03-2020, 01:11 PM  
DA560 lens club - Let's see some photos!
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 279
Views: 50,465
Here is an example of a typical distance shot (in very dreary, flat light) that I am talking about. It is the bare DA560 on the K3, the first image showing the full image, and the second image showing a 100% crop. And honestly, I don't even feel that the lens was the limiting factor here, but the K3's sensor, which was very good, but not quite D500 good. I feel that a succesful attempt at the K3III could raise the performance of the DA560 quite a bit. Still, despite the very grey muddy light, there is a lot of fine detail and clarity.
Forum: Lens Clubs 12-03-2020, 06:20 AM  
DA560 lens club - Let's see some photos!
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 279
Views: 50,465
I have thought long and hard over which lens to get to pair with the featherweight Nikon 500PF, and which can give me the distance performance of the DA560. The Sigma 500f4S was high on my list because I already have the Nikon D500 and Z7. I know that conventional super telelenses will do better in ultimate IQ than the specialty lenses like the Nikon 500PF and Canon 400DOII, but the Canon and Nikon affair has taught me a thing or two, and true focal length can not easily be replaced with a TC when it comes to the ultimate lens test: distance rendering. TC's work great at close to medium distance, merely to get more pixels on your subject, but are a lousy proposition if more reach is what you want, unless you are already filling enough of the frame without TC and want the extra pixels. In general though: cropping the bare lens often beats using a TC when shooting distant subjects.
it is important to get close enough, reach out far enough, to let the camera do its work, AF wise, and have the neccessary subject isolation and distinction from the surroundings. This is especially true in daylight over longer distances.
So while I came close to going for the Sigma 500mmf4S or the Nikon 500mm f4E FL, I decided that I still will not be able to get DA560 performance over distance, simply because of losing the crucial 60mm of the bare lens.
I decided to save up longer and go for a 600mm f4 ór return to the DA560 when the new K aps-c body has top IQ.
The weakest point of the DA560 though, is its AF motor, which practically limits it to static shooting, and the pronounced color fringing which tends to add magenta and green stripes to water surfaces outside the plane of focus. But then again, the cause of that weakness: very few lens elements, is also the reason why the DA560 has immense clarity and is capable of very high detail without resorting to elaborate sharpening, and iso tends to stay low due to very high transmission for a f5. 6 lens.
A modern 600mm f4 lens will have all that the DA560 has, plus cutting edge AF and no color fringing, but my goodness, the prices for these lenses are sky high. The weight though of the Sony 600mm f4GM is identical to that of the DA560, so it is a tough choice. Nikon is set (rumored) to release its Z600mm f4 before the end of 2021, and having the Z7 already for all general shooting, would be somewhat more affordable.
Forum: Lens Clubs 12-02-2020, 03:04 PM  
DA560 lens club - Let's see some photos!
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 279
Views: 50,465
good to see some activity on this thread!

Still waiting for the Pentax new APS-C crop body to decide whether to re-purchase the DA560.
I have since used the Canon 400DOII and the Nikon 500PF, and have learned that the DA560 beats them both easily at distance shooting. There seems to be no other way to reach out to subjects a bit further away and keep detail, clarity, contrast etc. like the DA560 does, even with the 1.4TC on. Canon's and Nikon's finest excell at BIF shooting, or closer subjects in beneficial light, but when things get tough, the DA560 appears the only one that continues to perform.

I currently have settled on the Nikon D500+500PF combo, which firmly has the birders DNA, but for longer distance shooting I have realized I have only the option of the stratospheric (price-wise) Sony 600mm f4GM or the Canon or coming Nikon Z version to get the same performance that the DA560 gave me (and then of course without the (bokeh) color fringing that was my main issue with the DA560). The thing is that you have a lót of very good birding lenses currently, but they all excell at closer to medium distances. When reaching out a bit further, they all turn soft and mushy and/or succumb to atmospherics.
Forum: Lens Clubs 07-01-2020, 07:05 AM  
DA560 lens club - Let's see some photos!
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 279
Views: 50,465
It's simple, If you bought a new lens (certainly in that that price range) that simply fell apart when unpacking the box, then it is totally inexcusable that they had you pay for repair. I would have taken this, if at all possible, as far to Pentax headquarters as possible, and certainly never buy anything Pentax again. But also the shop and precision repair facility are to blame. It comes across as if all parties were ducking their responsabilities. This type of behavior suits a company in decline that has no plans to continue for very long...
Your story in short is shocking if things went exactly as you described... :fedup:
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