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Forum: Lens Clubs 07-01-2020, 07:05 AM  
DA560 lens club - Let's see some photos!
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 235
Views: 38,852
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:
Forum: Lens Clubs 06-30-2020, 03:05 AM  
DA560 lens club - Let's see some photos!
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 235
Views: 38,852
I just read about you trials with the DA560, and was stumped!
I used the DA560 for almost five years and was under the impression that it was actually a well built lens, made in Japan after all. But taking a look at the connection between the front lens tube and the lens body where the tripod collar is, it does not look well designed and put together at all. If the screws can be clean pulled out without the lens even having suffered a heavy fall or blow, then there is something seriously lacking with the build quality of the lens. I read about a few failings of the DC AF motor also, and at the (original) price of this lens, this all should not happen.

I am still debating whether to re-purchase the DA560 with the coming K-X, or save up for a Nikon 500F4E, but reading about the issues with the build quality of the DA560, I will likely opt for the Nikon, as I might not be so lucky again.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-28-2020, 10:30 AM  
HD Pentax-D FA★ 85mm f/1.4 SDM AW
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 1,078
Views: 76,485
I would be interested how corrective manipulation of raw data can make Longitudinal Chromatic Abberation disappear. I think I am not the only one :hmm:
My point is that modern lenses designed with the aid of computing power and ever evolving lens coatings are in general much better in the area of uncorrectable abberations.
As for Nikon, their S line for the Z-mount is quite affordable and when turning profile corrections of in a raw converter that allows for that, like Capture one, you will see that these prime lenses, like the 50mm f1.8 and the 85mm f1.8 do not rely heavily on software correction, or manipulation as you like to call it. But of course this being "the" Pentax forum, I would be better off bashing Canon and Nikon a bit...I know
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-28-2020, 01:28 AM  
HD Pentax-D FA★ 85mm f/1.4 SDM AW
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 1,078
Views: 76,485
To be fair, when comparing to other brands, you should take their latest designs, eg. the Canon RF85mm f1.2:

quote DPReview: "As we've seen throughout all of our samples, longitudinal chromatic aberration, which typically shows up as purple and green fringing in front of, and behind, the focal plane is simply not an issue at all with the RF 85L"

Nikon's latest Z prime lenses like the Z50mm f1.8S or 85mm f1.8S are also very well corrected for LoCa, the 50mm e.g. has virtually none (being f1.8 of course, but still extremely good for a 550,- lens) , where the Pentax 50mm f1.4 has pretty noticeable LoCa. No doubt Nikon's coming Z85mm f1.2S will be as well corrected as the Canon RF85
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-25-2020, 05:20 AM  
New APS-C is
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 886
Views: 52,054
Pentax does have a beautiful and unique lens to pair with the new APS-C flagship, if you can live with its limitations, ánd provided the new APS-C flagship does not inherit the K3's AF inconsistency and reluctancy to snap into focus. The KP was better in both regards, so I am optimistic.

I went from Pentax to Canon and to Nikon. But it's very hard to find anything like the DA560 anywhere else, except the 600mm f4 lenses from the big brands. I have tried to get there with teleconverters, but there is no easy road to 560mm with the solid IQ of the DA560 without going into the 400mmf2.8 +1.4TC or 600mmf4 region, and then of course you gain a very valuable stop of light.

If you want light weight fast focussing and mčh IQ, then there is always a Canon or Nikon lens that will do the trick with a TC on. But when you want the clarity and detail and outright sharpness and top IQ in áll circumstances of the DA560, then you are back to the superguns. Forget the CA of the DA560, it can be awful at 100%, but plays no vital role in real world images on screen or in print. The haziness, softness and light starvation of lenses with a TC on (with its extra 6-8 glass elements) has far more impact in real images, and on many times more images too.

The thing is that people often judge a lens' optical performance by the images in best, favourable light. I have come to judge a lens by its performance in harsh, brutal light. I see the Canon 400DOII or the Nikon 500PF fail from my own experience, and read how the Sony 200-600 fails in harder circumstances. But people are very forgiving in general as long as the lens will not skip a beat in a sequence of 20 BIF shots.
The first couple of shots I took with the 7DII+400DOII+1.4TC outright shocked me. I could not get a decent image in bright spring light of a fairly distant white egret, where the DA560 casually used to nail shots like that. I have seen many images end up in the bin since then, and have also taken beautiful BIF shots of black terns with exactly the same combo that the K3+DA560 would have néver nailed.

So I am considering keeping my current Nikon set-up : Z7+500PF for all the flight work, and re-buy the DA560 with the 1.4TC and the coming APS-C flagship for static hardcore medium to distant shooting. You really get to appreciate a lens like the DA560 when you start to compare it firsthand with "compromise" lenses.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-15-2020, 01:21 PM  
New APS-C is
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 886
Views: 52,054
Absolutely! The 500PF is a little masterpiece. Just throw it in a small backpack on the Z7, and you will hardly notice it's there. To me, it is a grounbreaking product, and an absolute joy to shoot with. It even has good distance performance.

But it does not take a tc very well, and for dedicated birding trips I would want something a bit longer with more distance power. I don't mind if it is heavier, just as long as it is not (much) above 3 kg.


When I switched from the DA560 to the Canon 400DOII with 1.4tc and 2.0tc, I was shocked at how weak the perfomance was in bright spring daylight over distance, but also closer up. I am not a person that always goes out in the golden light of morning or dusk, but also like the brutal clarity of full midday sunlight. I only realized how well the DA560 performed all along in these "brutal" circumstances after I made the switch to Canon. It is really a lens that you can use in all types of light and all circumstances, and at all distances. The Canon 400DOII for sure was handicapped by the obligatory use of a tc, but still, I was shocked at how severely the images were affected by atmospherics or just plain harsh light. In gentle evening or autumn light though, the images were very good.

The Nikon 500PF for sure is better, but still does not perform like the DA560 when things get "tough", larger distance or more difficult light.
I could save up for the Nikon 500mm f4FL, the lightest f4 500mm prime around, the same weight as the DA560 (but smaller). But then it would need the 1.4TC to get beyond 500mm, and I might run into the same issues again.
All in all, 60mm extra may not seem much, but it is. My preferred lens would be a high quality 600mm f5.6, but we all know nobody makes such a lens.... :(
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-15-2020, 01:03 PM  
New APS-C is
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 886
Views: 52,054
I have the Z7, and after the latest firmware update is a véry nice birding camera, much better than I expected. It has a 21mp DX crop mode, so essentially is FF and APS-C in one body. ;)
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-15-2020, 10:38 AM  
New APS-C is
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 886
Views: 52,054
I sold the K3II and DA560 and now shoot the Nikon Z7 with the 500PF. I went there by detour with a Canon 7DII, but found out that when you have used a Sony sensored Pentax or Nikon, then there is no way back. :)
The Z7+500PF is a truly magnificent combo, but I still miss the DA560 for its sheer imaging power over distance in all types of light. Put a 1.4tc on the f5.6 500PF and the magic wanes. The DA560 bare has great IQ i.m.o. if you are willing to accept that the CA at 100% can be ugly and off-putting, but prints and viewing sized images are up there with the best. My only (major) gripe was the inconsisent AF with the K3/K3II, and with such a lens you really want dependable and spot-on AF. The Canon 7DII had the best single shot AF I've experienced, as good as the Nikon D500, and much better when using tc's. Even with the 2.0tc it was dead accurate.

So when the new aps-c flagship comes, I will see how it is, and perhaps re-buy the DA560. There simply is no replacement in other brands, and I have come to dislike extenders. My first hope is a Nikon 600PF f5.6, for which Nikon has a patent, but if that does not come due to the rise of mirrroless, for which a whole horde of other lenses will first have to be made, then I may repurchase the DA560. I hope that the new aps-c K flagship has the type of rendering from the K3/K3II, finely detailed and not overly smooth as the KP was when I had it.
Forum: Lens Clubs 03-24-2020, 03:33 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 33,877
Views: 3,305,601
Thanks Des, I used to get a lot of practice handholding the DA560 with the winds gushing around me. Now I am spoiled by the OS of the Canon 400DOII and the Nikon 500PF, and have to watch out for my long lens technique, not to think it is all that easy because of the stabilized viewfinder. :confused:

I am afraid we are faced (in Western Europe) with declining numbers in all and everything that has to do with wildlife and nature. My way out of the distress that this loss of nature inevitably causes, is to try and get "into the moment" and concentrate my thoughts on nothing else but being in the company of the birds and spending some time with them. I wish all of their species a better future on this planet, but try to keep a realistic outlook on the enduring rise and especially, scale increase, of modern society.
Forum: Lens Clubs 03-24-2020, 03:03 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 33,877
Views: 3,305,601
From the old days of scouring the tidal areas of the Frisian Isles with 784mm handheld :)
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-23-2020, 07:42 AM  
Ten more lenses in the pipeline.
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 329
Views: 35,831
I still miss the DA560. I have shot the Canon 400DOII and the Nikon 500PF, and stíll miss the DA560.
I am the odd one out for sure, but I loved the output of that lens on the K3. I now have the Nikon D500+500PF, and still am contemplating a repurchase of the DA560 to use on the new K aps-c flagship. Not to replace the Nikon combo, but to go alongside it.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 01-25-2020, 09:38 AM  
Ten more lenses in the pipeline.
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 329
Views: 35,831
I have used the Canon 400DOII for a year now with 1.4tc and 2.0tc, coming from the DA560.
It's not as simple as dissing diffractive optics or praising them. The DO and PF lenses have strengths as well as weaknesses, but the same was true for the DA560.
In some ways, the DA560 is superior to the 400DOII, and in some ways it is inferior. So it all depends on which strengths you are after in a lens.

For distant rendering in harsh daylight, the DA560 completely crushes the 400DOII+1.4TC. But for waterfowl in normal light, the DOII crushes the DA560, that has a harsh OOF rendering of patterned water, and a truly ugly purple/cyan fringing in the bokeh that is impossible to remove in post.
Color is also a bit better with the 400DOII, less bold and more sophisticated, and also very fine detail is rendered better, where the DA560 excells in plain sharpness and clarity.
And of course, AF acquisition and reliability is of another level alltogether.

All these things way heavily when judging the useability of a lens, and you cannot dismiss diffractive optics with one or another horrible sample of its weakest point. Also, keep cost in mind, going to the supertele focal length is very costly, and brings with it considerable weight. Diffractive optics have no use in wide angle lenses, but in 400 or 500 mm lenses it is a very valuable addition to the lens offerings.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 01-22-2020, 12:30 PM  
Ten more lenses in the pipeline.
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 329
Views: 35,831
I think PF or DO technology would require too much investment and too much time to develop for a small company like Pentax. And the f2.8 telephoto primes would be too costly for the Pentax crowd I assume. But a 500mm f5.6 lens, non telescope and with a fast AF motor and a new high quality 1.4TC would be a unique offering. I somehow don't understand why high quality 500/f5.6 and 600/f5.6 lenses are not in any of the camera companies' lens offerings. There is the consumer type super zooms, then there is a large void, and then there is the professional grade (second hand car priced) large super tele primes.

The DA560 was a high quality unique offering, but easy to see why there was little interest: too long, AF too slow, not well corrected for LoCA. But still that lens was unique in its ability to capture razor images full of detail without breaking the bank.

It would be great to introduce the new APS-C with a 500/f5.6 lens and a matching 1.4TC. I might even return to Pentax for that! I would certainly return for a 600/f5.6 lens...
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 01-14-2020, 08:28 AM  
RICOH ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF HD PENTAX-D FA★50mm F1.4 SDM AW STAR-SERIES LENS
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 1,144
Views: 91,923
Of course I still believe that. I only now and then vist this forum, and I am sure you follow it ten times more intensively, but even I have read the confirmation in one of these threads, that the KP was indeed meant as the successor to the K3, but that Pentax/Ricoh realized that it did not meet the demands/needs of all Pentax users, hence decided that a higher end model was needed. Now just add the fact that the K3II has long vanished from the shelves, and the coming APS-C flagship is still probably half a year away, and you may get the message.

It is a shame in hindsight still, because I can tell you first hand, that even the best Canon sensors do not come close to the Pentax/Sony sensors when it comes to post processing latiutde, and this has proven a downside. I like to have post processing latitude as a wildlife/birder, because you usually have little to say about the light that you meet in nature, it can be harsh, contrasty, or misty and flat, it can be bright and induce atmospheric issues, or dim. A good sensor is paramount, and in all honesty, Canon still does not know how to make one. The latest generations are ok'ísh, but they overshot with 32,5 mp on a 1.6x crop area, and the extra resolution adds nothing to the IQ, but does make the files noisy. Only benefit is for abundant cropping, but then you are shooting m4/3 and I know why I left Olympus... My sweet spot for 1.5x crop has now settled firmly on 24mp, and I hope that Pentax sticks to that. Sadly, Canon has not to date produced a serious upgrade to the 1.6x crop 20mp sensor found in the 7DII, let alone a fitting body around it.
I have the 7DII, and in good light it performs much better than my K3, but in the winter season I can leave it in the closet and take the Sony A7RII with mc-11 adapter. I really prefer a high end Dslr for wildlife though, and at present, I think that only Nikon has got it all in order. I chose Canon because the 400DOII+1.4TC mirrors the DA560, and at that time, the Nikon 500PF was impossible to get anyhow, but when the rumoured Nikon 600mm f5.6PF comes out, I'll finally add the D500.

So there is a place for Pentax in my view.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 01-14-2020, 06:33 AM  
RICOH ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF HD PENTAX-D FA★50mm F1.4 SDM AW STAR-SERIES LENS
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 1,144
Views: 91,923
There is so much to do though. Like developing new lenses to take advantage of higher performing camera bodies, with the emphasis on new high performance AF motors. I have to admit that Ricoh's refusal to put more of their weight behind Pentax was a major part in my decision to jump ship and go for a mainstream brand. But it was the KP as K3 successor that was the main reason.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 12-12-2019, 02:44 AM  
Pentax KP - Specifications
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 666
Views: 82,761
This certainly contributed in giving me the last push to sell my Pentax gear and move to Canon. Not saying that it is the main reason, but if it had not been for the dead silence of the past years on Ricoh/Pentax side, I think I would at least not have sold my DA560. So I know first hand how a total lack of transparency and communication can affect the loyalty to a brand that everyone develops I guess in a certain way.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-27-2019, 07:59 AM  
interview with Ricoh Imaging General Sales Manager for Europe
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 712
Views: 37,247
I can tell you never shot Olympus :eek:
If you had, you would have waited as desperately as other Olympus users at the time of the E3 and (the last Olympus dslr) E5 for Olympus to finally source a decent sensor, and break away from the second rate sensors that Panasonic kept feeding them. Good that Olympus finally did by striking a deal with Sony, but the new Sony sensor ended up in the EM-5, and that was a cumbersome body to use with the SHG lenses on all fronts. It made me sell all my Olympus gear and move to Pentax.
Some will say something along the lines of: "but you shot the SHG lenses on the E3 and E5 for years, so why was it suddenly not good enough?" The answer to that is simple: it was never good enough, but there was always the hope that the next body would have a decent sensor. That hope evaporated overnight with the termination of 4/3. In honesty, you can now shoot the SHG lenses perfectly on the EM-1mkII, but to get the AF sorted out took years, and I was not ready for an EVF and a tiny body at that time. In fact, I liked an OVF much better. I still shoot one at present with the Canon 7DII. I hoped to add the Olympus 300mm f2.8 to my set-up, and could not envision this lens with converter on something like the EM-5...
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-27-2019, 02:18 AM  
interview with Ricoh Imaging General Sales Manager for Europe
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 712
Views: 37,247
You interpret my words differently from what I mean with them. I saw my collection of very expensive (and very good) zuiko SHG lenses lose half their functionality and worth practically overnight when Olympus terminated 4/3. That is not what I wish Pentax users. This is i.m.o. much more about "inevitability" more than anything else. Canon will be releasing a 1DXIII soon, and have just released the 90D, but their main emphasis and R&D are geared towards their new mirrorless RF mount, which they see as their future. I think Ricoh may be a conservative company, but they undoubtedly have some brilliant minds that can see where the camera market is going. And then there are the sales numbers that confirm all this with the GRIII's success. Even established reviewers mention in their Canon 90D reviews, that the 90D may well be Canon's last mid-range dslr, and that the mirrorless twin M6II has the better technology. Canon simply copied the 80D's AF system. I don't think they will be developing the conventional AF system any further, except for the coming 1DXIII, that has a new AF system, but even that camera has greatly enhanced mirrorless shooting options according to rumors.
Time will tell...
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-25-2019, 03:27 PM  
interview with Ricoh Imaging General Sales Manager for Europe
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 712
Views: 37,247
A very revealing interview, although most of what is said is very obvious: Ricoh released one camera in the past several years (not counting the K1 mkII because simply being another version of the K1 ), and it is a mirrorless camera and it is selling exceptionally well, beyond expectation: the Ricoh GRIII. So of course Ricoh will be doing some serious thinking about where to go with their camera business, and it is impossible anyhow going forward to become totally isolated as the last company holding on to exclusive dslr technology. It's good the taboo on talking about this is slowly being broken.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-20-2019, 04:04 AM  
Will we ever get a 400mm f2.8 lens for sports photographers?
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 86
Views: 3,831
A very good 400mm f4 prime lens would make sense, like the Canon 400mm f4 DOII lens that I now use. You have the lightweight, relatively fast 400mm f4 for e.g. BIF. Put a 1.4TC on, and you have a still very good, and not too slow aperture 560mm f5.6 lens. Put a 2xTC on and you get 800mm f8 for ultimate reach. Not being a diffractive optics lens, a Pentax version would be larger and heavier though.

It does take a very good prime to make this work, otherwise CA, loss of sharpness and AF degredation make it less worthwhile. And it also takes a very good 2.0TC. Pentax has the lens making capabilities to design and produce such a lens, but a 400mm f2.8 will never happen.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-19-2019, 04:05 PM  
Will we ever get a 400mm f2.8 lens for sports photographers?
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 86
Views: 3,831
If Pentax were ever to go after the sports/birders community, then first up would have to be the birders classic: 500mm f4, which get's you to 700mm f5.6 with a 1.4TC, and weighs about 3kg.
But lenses like that are totally out of the question, especially given the fact that Pentax needs 5+ years to get a fast 85mm prime out (assuming that lens will in fact come).
You have to go Sony style to lure the sports/wildlife shooters away from Canon and Nikon. I think the best of Ricoh style is more likely the GRIII crowd. In fact, in todays situation, a lens like the DA560 would never make it past the drawing board.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-14-2019, 07:09 AM  
Ricoh's financial results for Q2 - Pentax still not doomed.
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 214
Views: 12,502
Canon hás to establish its mirrorless line, or they will not be future proof and suffer a lot more a few years down the line. People don't realize what a luxury position Pentax is in with its dwarf like scale. They can just stroll along and take five years between the development announcement and the release of a lens like the 85mm f1.4. Canon can not stroll along like that, they are too big and would suffer too much. So they have to take up the gauntlet and in doing so give some malicious delight to Pentaxians, who know that Pentax disappearing from the camera market might not even be noticed at all by many. It has its benefits to be "too small to fail"...
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-12-2019, 11:43 AM  
Sigma stops K-Mount support
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 707
Views: 34,960
Actually, thinking this through properly, it is your fault that Sigma dropped K-mount support, your fault and every Pentaxian's fault.

Let me explain: Sigma dropped K-mount support, because sales of Sigma k-mount lenses were insufficient to make it commercially interesting. Now who buys K-mount lenses...? Right: Pentaxians do. Or, actually...., they didn't, or at least, not enough. So I concur: Pentax is off the hook, Ricoh is off the hook, Sigma is.... off the hook. But you aren't.

I hope you're not offended by my jest, it contains a grain of truth I believe...

disclaimer: I bought the Sigma 500mm f4.5 k-mount. So I believe I'm off the hook, or sort off.
Forum: Lens Clubs 10-23-2019, 01:27 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 33,877
Views: 3,305,601
I sold the DA560 when I moved to Canon, because it seemed to make no sense to have two of these expensive super telelens systems. I would not sell it as easily again though. The DA560 is a highly specialized lens and not appealing to the vast majority of Pentax shooters, but it enables a system with the very good IQ of the K3 and the 1.4TC, that can keep the iso down in lesser light and that at the same time performs exceptionally well in harsh very bright light. The DA560 has only few lens elements, and perhaps that is what contributed to the relatively low iso values when eg. compared to my new Canon set-up, and also the special type of clarity in the DA560 shots. So as a system it enables me to keep from going to the very expensive 500/4 and 600/4 lenses, and still get images in all types of light that are rewarding, despite it only being a F5.6 lens.

When you easily get forced into iso 1600-3200 in lesser light, the images quickly loose their appeal. In situations where you are reach limited, and I almost always am because I don't shoot from hides or cars, but always hike and cycle, the DA560 with the 1.4TC on a very good APS-C sensor ends up on the right side of a delicate balance.
Forum: Lens Clubs 10-19-2019, 08:04 AM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Chris Mak
Replies: 33,877
Views: 3,305,601
One more from the Grasshopper warbler. First light of day.
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