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Latest Review Posted SMC Pentax-A* 600mm F5.6 ED [IF]
I've used this lens for about a year and a half. It is a joy to use. For a 600mm lens that is not a mirror lens it is light weight at something a bit over 3200g. It is easy to focus, and wonderfully sharp, much more than my Sigma 150-500 f6.3.

As others have noted you want to use a long quick release plate with it otherwise it tends not to balance well. I also added a battery pack at one point to balance, but found with the longer plate it wasn't necessary

I used it with a Jobu Gimble head for a while. Personally I didn't like the combination. While it balanced well I had trouble getting really steep shots of birds. Also as this is a manual focus lens I need one hand to focus and one to move the lens to my subject, the Gimble, IMHO is better for autofocus lenses. I have been using an older Markins head, like the Q10 (their smaller ballhead) and it has worked beautifully. I do use a larger Carbon fiber Gitzo legs (can't recall the actual name)

I use the lens occasionally with a 1.4X-L teleconvertor and I find the combination acceptable but not as sharp as without the TC.

It comes in its own case. I either transport it in the case or a Lowepro Pro Nature Trekker AWII. You cannot fit the camera on the lens while you travel, but that's not a big deal. A very nice comfortable combo.

I did have an element come loose inside. It was an easy fix for my local camera guy.

One great lens.

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