Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW

Started Mar 28, 2013 | Discussions
viking79
viking79 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,137
Re: Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW

awaldram wrote:

Tom Lusk wrote:

Hi Eric:

Looks like I was confused by the wording.

I'm with you on the "equivalent" deal.

Whenever I read that someone needs more "reach", so prefers not to use a full frame camera with the same size lens, I shake my head.

Given pixel density and sensor size the statement holds water.

You need a 36mp FF to achieve the same 'reach' as a 16mp aps-c with the same lens @ the same resolution.

This lens appears to be a non-starter for me.

My Sigma 500 doesn't require using f8-11 for maximum sharpness, which is a good thing since I rarely get good enough light to shoot such apertures and maintain an appropriate shutter speed.

You must have a special version then, The only lens I've ever come across that isn't at peak 1-2 stops down form max aperture is the da 40 Limited a unique trait of that one lens.

If a lens peaks at diffraction limit, that is not a good thing. That means it is aberration limited before that.  Yes, most lenses peak 1-4 stops down, unless it is already near diffraction limit wide open (some Q lenses), or like you say, some lenses are just good wide open (this is good).

Looking at the samples for the 560 on their review site, f/8 is definitely better than f/16 in the center, but not sure that f/8 is better than f/11?  At f/11 it is definitely diffraction limited, so the lens doesn't appear to be performing that well if it is peaking at diffraction limit for f/11.  Most APS-C lenses should peak around f/6.3-7.1. It does look decent at f/8.

Any lens is about at the "minimum decency level" at f/16 on APS-C, f/22 on almost any lens is too soft, and f/5.6 looks about like f/16.  That isn't great, that is saying the lens is barely decent at f/5.6, but it isn't unusual for a lens to perform about as well wide open as at f/16, although I would hope for better from such a "slow" lens.

The CA as exhibited in some of the sample shots would be a pain and, as I don't use a tripod, the comment about the balance of the lens is discouraging.

Sigma are the masters of CA control whereas Pentax always are weak in this area.

Maybe too general of a statement.  I have seen plenty bad CA from Sigma lenses.

I think they'll have to drop the price significantly, in order to get a decent amount of sales.

No price will achieve decent sales they can sell 1 or 2 @$7000 or 1 or 2 @$5000 it already at the low end for an OEM telephoto, to low and its into the 3rd party range so would lose all the prestige buyers.

It's a niche product and not price critical.

Exactly, they probably don't plan on selling a lot of them.

As someone said, I would expect to see some BIF shots etc from a lens such as this.  Sort of defeats the purpose of the review.  Test charts are certainly too close for this lens to be at its optimum, and even the cactus might be too close too.  Don't know how far away it is.

Eric

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OP brandrx Forum Pro • Posts: 28,337
Re: Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW
1

I don't care what charts and theory says about stopping down from wide open to obtain best sharpness. I will not hesitate using my Sigma 500/4.5 wide open at any time. And when I do I will not be doing any deep peeping. I guess that must be why I will never be a professional shooter but I sure as hell will always have fun doing my kind of shooting.

Cheers.

Ron

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paulkienitz
paulkienitz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,266
Re: Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW

Tom Lusk wrote:

Whenever I read that someone needs more "reach", so prefers not to use a full frame camera with the same size lens, I shake my head.

What's to headshake?  A 300mm on a K-5 has more reach than a 300mm on a D600... not because the format is smaller, but because the pixel density is higher.  I don't think there's anything wrong with saying that my Q has more reach than my K10D, because with the latter, I was taking lots of bird shots that ended up getting cropped down to the size of the Q's sensor, and at that size it has less than two megapixels.

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leopold Forum Pro • Posts: 14,083
Re: Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW

Good lens but maybe not up with the best, it's not labeled DA*, so meybe it's why it doesn't reach excellence ???

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lpammann Senior Member • Posts: 2,458
Re: Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW

I haven't looked through everything yet, but I did look at the cactus shots that are part of the sharpness section. What I saw with the f/5.6 image was that it was slightly over-exposed compared to the f/8 shot and so there is some loss of color contrast in the cactus at f/5.6. If I had shot that image, I would have lowered the exposure somewhat during raw conversion and then finished with high pixel radius USM (radius=50, amount=12, threshold=0). Doing only USM to the jpeg gets it very close to the f/8 image.

LPA

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dane dawg
dane dawg Contributing Member • Posts: 859
Re: Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW

When this less reaches 4K and probably will since some websites offer it well below 7K allredy, I think it will be a great buy..

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Zvonimir Tosic
Zvonimir Tosic Senior Member • Posts: 2,563
Pentax Forums may not posses required experience for testing
1

From the initial 'test' reports on the DA560 and posted by PF, it was obvious that they lacked required experience for testing of such telephoto lenses in general.

To be truly fair and evaluate the value of the lens well, several similar lenses from Nikon and Canon range should be tested side by side, using equivalent cameras, and include detailed sharpness results together with falloff maps for each of them too.

I suggest, take those tests with a good amount of doubt.

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MightyMike Forum Pro • Posts: 37,043
Re: Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW

I shoot my 500/4.5 wide open 99% of the time and i know the difference between crappy results and decent results and amazing results. I think the reviewer is over exaggerating the weakness in quality at F5.6, i'm willing to bet it may not be as good as F8.0 but its likely better then a bigma at F8.0. all in all i blame the reviewer for a poor job reviewing this lens and they need to back up their statement with numbers that are cross comparable to other similar lenses

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jamesm007 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,641
Re: Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW

For sure not a truly scientific measurement of the lens. Its only a subjective review with no hard data. But again lens are to make pics...

In making pics its great. Yes its corners may be soft at f/5.6 but one stop and they are tack sharp.  Its not a fast lens but a long lens. The color and contrast are rich; a Pentax hallmark. IMO the lens is great! But the price. Well I don't know how much it cost to make this lens. Perhaps its more of a statement from Pentax. It would fly off the shelf at the right price, and I don't think its at the right price. But that's just from my point of view. Its out of my budget.

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garyknrd Contributing Member • Posts: 769
Re: Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW

I'll keep my Sigma 500 mm f4.5. That is for sure.

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Greyser Veteran Member • Posts: 4,935
Re: Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW

The 100% crops of birds shots look good to very good.

My Sigma 500/4.5 is softer wide open. However, I don't even care about it. To obtain decent DOF, especially for medium to large BIF shots, I shoot mostly at f/6.3-f/8. The recommended f/8-f/11 of 560/5.6 is slower, indeed. There might be an issue with isolating the subject.

Fast and accurate focus is a plus

It may be balanced well enough. However, while I'm comfortable with hand holding of much shorter Sigma 500/4.5, I'm not sure about 560/5.6 when extrapolating my Sigma holding experience. And I am 6'2" tall. I trust MightyMike that the lens is OK for holding, but my technique might be deferent.

All in all the good new is the lens has been developed and released. So far, I don't see very convincing reasons why the 560/5.6 have to be chosen over cheaper, but excellent Sigma 500/4.5, however.

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MightyMike Forum Pro • Posts: 37,043
Re: Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW

Greyser wrote:

It may be balanced well enough. However, while I'm comfortable with hand holding of much shorter Sigma 500/4.5, I'm not sure about 560/5.6 when extrapolating my Sigma holding experience. And I am 6'2" tall. I trust MightyMike that the lens is OK for holding, but my technique might be deferent.

After doing a little measuring the place we'd hold the Sigma 500/4.5 is within an inch either way of where you'd hold the 560/5.6 therefore at the same weight and similar weight distribution it'll be about the same in ergonomics as the 500/4.5

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Greyser Veteran Member • Posts: 4,935
Re: Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW

MightyMike wrote:

Greyser wrote:

It may be balanced well enough. However, while I'm comfortable with hand holding of much shorter Sigma 500/4.5, I'm not sure about 560/5.6 when extrapolating my Sigma holding experience. And I am 6'2" tall. I trust MightyMike that the lens is OK for holding, but my technique might be deferent.

After doing a little measuring the place we'd hold the Sigma 500/4.5 is within an inch either way of where you'd hold the 560/5.6 therefore at the same weight and similar weight distribution it'll be about the same in ergonomics as the 500/4.5

Mike, I have a tripod mount rotated 90o clockwise. I hold the lens placing my left palm between tripod mount short extension and the lens body. So, my left palm is positioned somewhst vertically, not supporting the lens horizontally. Instead the weight of the lens is supported by my thumb and external side of the palm. I also have a soft small supporting pad on the tip of the mount extension  to get easy on my palm..

I carry the lens using CarrySpeed FS-Pro sling strap with two loops and found that this technique helps me to pull the rig and start shooting very quickly.

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leopold Forum Pro • Posts: 14,083
Ron...
1

brandrx wrote:

I don't care what charts and theory says about stopping down from wide open to obtain best sharpness. I will not hesitate using my Sigma 500/4.5 wide open at any time. And when I do I will not be doing any deep peeping. I guess that must be why I will never be a professional shooter but I sure as hell will always have fun doing my kind of shooting.

Cheers.

Ron

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Hi,

i think we tend to pixel peep too much and wanted too much about this lens being superb for the price. It's only one review and some test shots. Shooting with the lens remains the best way to make yourself an opinion, but in that case it's hard to try one out before purchasing

If the price drop to 5500$ like in some stores that people reported it may become a good choice, my main complaint is still the long minimum focusing distance, sure an ext. tubes can be used but having a lens that focuses close all by itself is always better.

As for handholding i would always use that kind of lens on a solid tripod anyway.

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HozicEmir Contributing Member • Posts: 731
Re: Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW
4

Lately on other forum are harsh in equipment reviews. Just browse other reviews and will see that lenses that perform flawless in practice are reviewed like lenses with flaws.

50-135  got 8.0

according to that da 560 is better than 50-135 and that is very, very good, for me at least, because 50-135 make great images in real life.

DAVID MANZE Veteran Member • Posts: 4,629
Re: Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW

MightyMike wrote:

There comments on weight distribution don't match my experience with this lens, i'd say its quite comparable to the Sigma 500mm F4.5 in weight distribution... the reviewer may not be accustomed to large telephoto lenses therefore may not be providing an accurate assessment of its handling.

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Mike from Canada

-  Hi Mike,

You say "their comments on weight distribution don't match my experience with this lens". Have you tried the lens? if you have OK, but I'm still surprised that it's possible to hand hold(with a half decent success rate), being lighter and longer and more prone to be affected by the wind. I'm already struggling @ 300mm. I know you've mastered the technique, but us ordinary guys might find not so easy.

Dave's clichés

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leopold Forum Pro • Posts: 14,083
David....
1

I also prefer to use a tripod for photography with all my lenses and especially with telephoto lenses. It's so much easier to compose, and you're keepers are higher because you get sharper images. Even with SR or IS a tripod is better to get sharp photos.

If you handhold such lenses all day at the end of the day you wil not be as steady as in the morning.

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Jim Beverlin Veteran Member • Posts: 4,249
Re: David....

leopold wrote:

I also prefer to use a tripod for photography with all my lenses and especially with telephoto lenses. It's so much easier to compose, and you're keepers are higher because you get sharper images. Even with SR or IS a tripod is better to get sharp photos.

If you handhold such lenses all day at the end of the day you wil not be as steady as in the morning.

Completely agree with the statement on using a tripod.  Next in line would be a monopod but I have never used a monopod on a lens longer than a 70-210.

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JRB

MightyMike Forum Pro • Posts: 37,043
Re: Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW
1

Yes i tried it at a local camera show last year, hand holding is quite possible despite what huge numbers of people believe or were told. sure strong wind is a pain but if you have that same amount of wind the typical tripod is useless too. it takes practice! you aren't going to get the feel of it the first few times but if you're used to looking through long lenses when holding them to your eye you train your body on how to stay more steady. your body essentially trains itself, the less you try the less successful you'll be.

1) you need to be able to find the subject in the VF, if not whats the point, the faster you find the subject the sooner you get the shot and the less strain on the arms, the more you do it the better you get and the more you're used to the weight.

2) you need to be able to hold the lens relatively steady, again practice makes perfect and your body over time automatically figures out how to handle the situation from breathing to stance.

the vast majority of the people who say it can't be done have never tried it for themselves, i came across a guy the other day who said you need a tripod for any good results on a medium format camera like my 6x9 Fuji GSW690III, i let him have his opinion because there are people out their that think the only way you can get a good shot is with a tripod, however if you just follow the 1/focal length rule you're fine, i did my first 2 rolls on the 6x9 all hand held no issues, the images are sharp and are full of detail.

So at 560mm (840mm) 1/800th sec is pushing your luck without SR, but you could do 1/1000th sec comfortably, with SR turned on i trust to to be effective at 1 stop (approx. 1/400th sec) and mostly effective at 2 stops (approx. 1/200th sec) but not effective at 3 stops. I shoot my Sigma 500/4.5 with the 1.4x TC hand held all the time, that give 700mm F6.3, or 1050mm on FF equiv. I shoot a lot at 1/500th sec (about 1 stop), sometimes at 1/250th sec but rarely anything lower.

Don't believe the people that say it can't be done or its too hard until you try it for yourself, I may be above average height for a person approx. 6' 2" which makes my arms longer and somewhat better to hand hold further out but i'd place myself as being below average strength to be honest, i'm not fit and certainly not known for strength, i probably could barely do a push-up or a chin-up so if i can handhold a big long lens then most people can. those who say it can't be done are either chicken or are believing the mis-information fed to them year after year.

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"I am not a great photographer! God is a great creator! All I do is capture His creation with the tools He has provided me."
'I like to think so far outside the box that it would require a telephoto lens just to see the box!' ~ 'My Quote :)'
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OP brandrx Forum Pro • Posts: 28,337
Re: Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW
3

I agree with Mike. I am 70 years young and I would rather handhold if I can. Especially when shooting at the birds. You can aquire the image and get the shot so much quicker handholding.

I can and do hanhold my Sigma 500mm f4.5 with or without a 1.4X teleconverter. However, I do not go on long waks as Mike and Greyser does. My camera and lens sits beside me in the seat of my Jeep and when I see something I grab it and take the shot. If I am by the water shooting at the birds, I will have the setup on my tripod. However, if I see birds in flight coming I quickly take it off the tripod and shoot handheld. I have tried shooting BIFs from a tripod and for me it is very, very difficult to do.

Cheers.

Ron

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Ron - 'We don't have time to go take pics this afternoon Carl.'
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'Keep your eyes looking forward. However, glance back now and then to see where you've come from. It will put a smile on your face.' ~ brandrx

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