Pentax 560mm lens now listed on Adorama...any takers!

Started Nov 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
falcon_wizard Regular Member • Posts: 316
Re: Overpriced product - just buy Sigma 500/4.5

To be fair, I think we should not compare street price of a product that been on the market for years with the MSRP of a brand new product that is not out yet. Comparing MSRPs, the difference is 1000$ between the two lenses.

I think a better assessment will be made once we have a chance to see the performance of the lens. If the 560 offers a measurable jump in IQ over the sigma, which is certainly realistic to expect, then the product will hold its own and customers who actually are on the market for such lens will have the nice problem of choosing their favorite weapon...

I have worked with the 500/4.5 for a few years now and can say that it is a great lens, but there is also room for improvement. The IQ at 4.5 is ok, but really starts to be great from 5.6 and for that reason I never shoot it wider than 5.6. Being an older design, I think that current technologies should be able to achieve an overall better IQ. You can look at the MTFs between the old and new 500 mm lens from Canon to get a sense of the evolution in the last 7 years or so.

Relative to TCs, my experience with the Sig 500*4.5 is as follows: I only use the 1.4 TC in bright conditions, forget about dawn and dusk, which is already border line at 500mm if you want a half decent shutter speed and maintain good sharpness.

As far as I am concerned, if there is a significant IQ gain with the 560 over my sigma, I will certainly consider switching to the 560. As I said, the aperture difference does not buy me much in the field. The only thing I might miss is the shorter MFD.  If I can get a bit more reach with better IQ than the 500/4.5 at 5.6, this may alleviate the need to use a TC in most cases, where you take a hit in changing lenses, light and IQ. Using the 1.4 on the Sigma, I set the aperture at 6.3 to maintain sharpness, so f/9 effective. That's 1.3 Stops darker than 5.6. Adding in the resolution potential of a higher resolution or AA filter-less sensor, there is definitely some potential there.

Unless one has used a high quality fixed supertele, it may be hard to justify or understand the price delta between say a 1500$ sigma super zoom and a 6-8k Fixed telephoto. I can sincerely say that these lenses are in completely different classes, and that zooms like the 50-500, which is an incredible price-quality ratio, don't come anywhere close to them IQ wise.

I think both ranges of products are needed, and cater to different needs, customers and budgets, and that's absolutely fine. There are people however who do seek the utmost image quality and are willing/able to make the associated investments to that aim. Such a product is aimed at a customer base who demands this level of optics and is willing to pay for it. People who don't see/have a need for carrying and paying for such glass are simply not in the target market, and that's absolutely fine... there's no shame (or pride) in that, simply different tools for different needs, interests and priorities...

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