Pentax DA 560mm f/5.6 ED AW lens now shipping in the US

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Pentax-DA-560mm-f5.6-ED-AW-Lens

The new Pentax DA 560mm f/5.6 ED AW lens is now shipping in the US and is currently in stock at B&H. Some sample images taken with the lens can be found here. Lens technical specifications and unboxing video:

LENS PENTAX KAF3
ANGLE OF VIEW 2.9° (with PENTAX DSLR)
NUMBER OF DIAPHRAGM BLADES 9
MINIMUM FOCUSING DISTANCE 18.37’ (5.6m)
MAXIMUM MAGNIFICATION 0.10X
WEIGHT 107.2 oz (3040 g)
OBJECTIVE CAP Included
DIAPHRAGM CONTROL Fully automatic
APERTURE F5.6
MINIMUM APERTURE F45
FILTER DIAMETER 112mm (or 40.5mm in lens barrel filter holder)
DIMENSIONS 5.1” x 20.5” (130.3mm x 521.7mm)
CASE Included
HOOD Built-in, slide-out type
TRIPOD ADAPTER Yes
FOCAL LENGTH 560mm (35mm equivalent 859mm)

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  • xjxjxj

    There is a german saying, which goes like “shooting with cannons at sparrows”. Which is true in this case, looks like a huge lens for small birds…

    • http://www.facebook.com/zosxavius Zos Xavius

      This lens is perfect for birding. If I had 7 grand to blow I would certainly buy it. Its something like 800mm equivalent.

      • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

        If it’s the photos that matter to you, there’s always the Sigma 500mm f/4.5 EX DG APO HSM for $5000, or even the Sigma 800mm f/5.6 EX DG APO HSM for $6600. They’re both very good lenses. with 11 and 12 elements each, not 6 like the Pentax. Some shots from the 500 4.5 (around the same weight as the Pentax):
        http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Sigma+500mm+f%2F4.5&s=int&ss=2&z=e

        If you want to buy used, you can get the Canon 500mm f/4L IS (not the new Mk II) for ~$5000 used on the bay. A bargain for 1 stop more aperture (includes a ~90mm+ fluorite element and a ~125mm and ~100mm ultra low dispersion elements) and optical image stabilisation that you need with long lenses. It’ll leave you some spare cash to pick up a spare APS-C body if you need one too.

        But that’s only if you want to take photos :)

        • Alex

          Do you know what a telephoto design is, and how it is inherently more complex than a classic long lens design?

          The two Sigmas are telephoto lenses, physically shorter and more complex. The Pentax 560mm is a long lens, thus it doesn’t need that many elements.

          It’s also funny how you are comparing the price of a newly announced lens, which only now become available, with those of second hand lenses and lenses launched 7 years ago. By the way, the Canon 500mm II is “only” $10400 – excellence has its price.

          • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

            “Do you know what a telephoto design is, and how it is inherently more complex than a classic long lens design?”

            Alex, do you know how to use a web-browser? Before people go assuming things about what I know and don’t know, why can’t they ever bother to search? It’s only good for your credibility. Oh and this:
            http://photorumors.com/2012/08/31/pentax-da-560mm-f5-6-lens-to-be-announced-at-photokina/#comment-702791170

            “The two Sigmas are telephoto lenses, physically shorter and more complex. The Pentax 560mm is a long lens, thus it doesn’t need that many elements.”

            The reason why I mentioned the number of elements is to explain how the Pentax is overpriced for its construction. Glass is glass and if a telephoto design were to produce image quality comparable to a non-tele design it needs better glass too, doesn’t it?

            Also, if this is a proper non-telephoto lens, how can the barrel be only 521mm for an overall length of 567.16 and still focus to a maximum magnification of 0.1x? How is infinity focus possible in this length unless the optical center is only ~7mm from the front?

            “Canon 500mm II is “only” $10400 – excellence has its price.”

            Who asked?

          • Ronald

            “is overpriced for its construction”. True if you are from north korea. Only there prices for irrelevant luxury articles are based on cost or “construction”

          • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

            And only in North Korea a 560mm f/5.6 is an item of luxury :)

          • Alex

            A well known Pentax-hater/troll, doubting the credibility of
            others? Nice try; but every time they do it it’s only because they don’t have anything intelligent to say. Do you?

            I can’t be held responsible for your inability to formulate clear statements. It doesn’t matter much, as deriving either price or image quality from the element count are equally silly and invalid ideas.

            This lens, with fewer elements as it is, still have 2 ED elements – same as the Sigma 500mm f/4.5. It is also a lower volume unit (sold for one, low market share mount), it’s brand new, it’s OEM. If anything, the simpler optics made the $7000 MSRP possible.

            But if it’s telephoto, why isn’t it shorter? Anyway, that it’s using telescope-inspired optics and it requires less elements than your typical telephoto is official information, published on Pentax Japan website.

            Indeed, how could I dare bringing up the price of a new OEM lens, when talking about another new, OEM lens? Pentax lenses should only be compared with 7-years old Sigmas, and second hand OEM lenses!

          • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

            “A well known Pentax-hater/troll,”

            Yeah, anyone who has any criticism towards Pentax is a “Pentax-hater/troll”… sorry I didn’t even read the rest of the fanboy reply you made. Why? Because if you knew anything about the subject, you wouldn’t be a Pentax fanboy.

          • Alex

            Wrong, genotrollwriter, I’m specifically calling YOU a Pentax-hater/troll, based on your history here; because YOU are putting so much vitriol in your Pentax-related posts. There’s also that “What’s a Pentax”, but even both of you can’t be considered “anyone”. You are special… in the wrong way.

            Valid criticism is good, but comparing MSRP with second hand prices (which are half of that the current product costs) is not valid criticism.

          • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

            What I said wasn’t even a general comment. It was for Zos Xavius who sounded like they wanted a 800-equivalent lens for birding. Why exactly are you here defending Pentax? Oh yes… because you’re a Pentax fanboy.

            And I can’t say Pentax has produced many lenses that I’ve been interested in but tell me this… why should I just hate Pentax? I just checked and I have lenses from 10 top lens manufacturers… what about you? This is my point… anyone who has a criticism towards Pentax is automatically classified as a Pentax-hater by you, a.k.a. the Pentax fanboy.

          • Alex

            Lying is a troll’s weapon; and your claim that I’m classifying as haters “anyone who has a criticism towards Pentax” is a lie. As is your pretense of being impartial; you can’t hide your true nature.

            By the way, I’d like you to note how I’m not attacking other brands, nor am I stating silly things like “go with other brands, that’s if you care about taking pictures” ;)

          • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

            You have no knowledge of the subject and yet you come here to rant on like a boss… and I’m the liar? ROFL… the internet and its jokers like you are in the old testament days.

          • http://www.facebook.com/zosxavius Zos Xavius

            this was a fun read. I agree with much of what you say, even as a pentax “fanboy.” I believe the pentax lens collapses smaller than the sigma and is a bit lighter, but I could be wrong. It might actually be heavier. Not that it matters to me. I could buy a lot of lenses for $7k. Looking at this lens design, it clearly does look like they brought the old “telescope” long lens concept out of retirement. Pentax was never known for long lenses, but some of the ones they made were interesting and pretty most if not all of them were razor sharp. The sigma doesn’t have weather sealing either IIRC. That aside, the real problem is the amount they are producing. Sigma will produce many more 5 and 800mm lenses than pentax will ever produce of this lens since the sigma is sold on different mounts. All in all I don’t think the price is obscenely absurd compared to the competition’s offerings. The lens looks really long. I really wonder how hand holdable it is even though they claim it was designed for that. If I had tons of disposable cash I would probably buy one, but unfortunately I don’t have that problem. :P

          • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

            “All in all I don’t think the price is obscenely absurd compared to the competition’s offerings.”

            Maybe it is… maybe it’s not… but how is that helping you take photos? :)

          • Alex

            You’re looking for knowledge where there is none; only anti-Pentax rants.
            The 560mm is quite long, indeed; but it’s not collapsible (only the hood collapses). The weight is just over 3kg, basically identical (few grams lighter) to the Sigma 500 f/4.5.
            The initial production volume was 400 units/month, but we shouldn’t assume that’s a constant. Indeed, Pentax couldn’t stand a chance to make a highly complex telephoto design, and sell it in much lower volumes, at competitive prices.

          • http://www.facebook.com/zosxavius Zos Xavius

            this was a fun read. I agree with much of what you say, even as a pentax “fanboy.” I believe the pentax lens collapses smaller than the sigma and is a bit lighter, but I could be wrong. It might actually be heavier. Not that it matters to me. I could buy a lot of lenses for $7k. Looking at this lens design, it clearly does look like they brought the old “telescope” long lens concept out of retirement. Pentax was never known for long lenses, but some of the ones they made were interesting and pretty most if not all of them were razor sharp. The sigma doesn’t have weather sealing either IIRC. That aside, the real problem is the amount they are producing. Sigma will produce many more 5 and 800mm lenses than pentax will ever produce of this lens since the sigma is sold on different mounts. All in all I don’t think the price is obscenely absurd compared to the competition’s offerings. The lens looks really long. I really wonder how hand holdable it is even though they claim it was designed for that. If I had tons of disposable cash I would probably buy one, but unfortunately I don’t have that problem. :P

          • Alex

            A well known Pentax-hater/troll, doubting the credibility of
            others? Nice try; but every time they do it it’s only because they don’t have anything intelligent to say. Do you?

            I can’t be held responsible for your inability to formulate clear statements. It doesn’t matter much, as deriving either price or image quality from the element count are equally silly and invalid ideas.

            This lens, with fewer elements as it is, still have 2 ED elements – same as the Sigma 500mm f/4.5. It is also a lower volume unit (sold for one, low market share mount), it’s brand new, it’s OEM. If anything, the simpler optics made the $7000 MSRP possible.

            But if it’s telephoto, why isn’t it shorter? Anyway, that it’s using telescope-inspired optics and it requires less elements than your typical telephoto is official information, published on Pentax Japan website.

            Indeed, how could I dare bringing up the price of a new OEM lens, when talking about another new, OEM lens? Pentax lenses should only be compared with 7-years old Sigmas, and second hand OEM lenses!

          • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

            “A well known Pentax-hater/troll,”

            Yeah, anyone who has any criticism towards Pentax is a “Pentax-hater/troll”… sorry I didn’t even read the rest of the fanboy reply you made. Why? Because if you knew anything about the subject, you wouldn’t be a Pentax fanboy.

  • xjxjxj

    There is a german saying, which goes like “shooting with cannons at sparrows”. Which is true in this case, looks like a huge lens for small birds…

    • http://www.facebook.com/zosxavius Zos Xavius

      This lens is perfect for birding. If I had 7 grand to blow I would certainly buy it. Its something like 800mm equivalent.

  • Karol Wojdyna

    It is another APS-C lens.

    It looks that being so “years-smurfin’-late” with full-frame DSLR (if it comes at all) they will leave it’s customers with no lenses, actually (because 3 limited primes I wouldn’t count since the availibility is, as named – limited).

    Pity to say that, but it seems that people who switched brands, as me, saved not only a few years waiting for a FF camera (wchich is still not even announced), but will save more years waining for optics.

    I cannot understand how bad managers can turn the past market leader into such a complete outsider. That’s a shame.

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