A beauty and a beast. I get to test the Pentax 560mm, f/5.6 lens.

I have been shooting with Pentax equipment
 since I got my Spotmatic F, back in 1974.
(I still have it and it is in working condition!)
This body, although with no rear branding is my “go-to” K3ii.
Usually it is fitted with a Sigma 50-500mm, f/5.6 lens.
As a wild life photographer, this has been my kit lens when I head off into the bush.
Until recently…
When I was fortunate to be able to get my hand on THIS beautiful beast!
This 560mm on full frame becomes an 840mm on a cropped sensor body like the K series.
Measuring 650mm and weighing in at 3kg, it is not a lens that can be used for macro photography.
That being said it can be used hand held or on a mono-pod.
And it is a lens that DOES attract attention from fellow photographers on a game drive vehicle,
or in a photographic hide.
Looks aside, it delivered pin sharp images when required 
and in a variety of lighting situations.
It is a lens that is primarily designed for nature photography.
and although it can be unwieldy to use in certain confined spaces,
it makes up for that in image quality.
If I have a complaint, it is the fact that the lens is not correctly balanced.
The centre of gravity is way off making long hand held sessions awkward and tiring.
I have included images that I shot in a variety of conditions and at varying ISO ratings and speeds. 
My overall opinion of the lens…
If you are into nature photography professionally then this is certainly the lens for you.
Because of its size, it can be cumbersome in certain circumstances,
 in which case a 50-500mm as back up is recommended.
Warthog. 1/500s, ISO 200

White Rhino. 1/500s, ISO 200
Cheetah…very early morning. 1/250s ISO 800

Zebra. 1/500s, ISO 400
For bird photography, this lens is a must!
The definition on the feathers is crystal clear and pin sharp
African Spoonbill. 1/500s,ISO 400

Although this croc did not want to turn around, the details on the scales is superb.
1/640s, ISO 400
This is where the lens justifies its price(y) tag.
The top image was not cropped, while the bottom was.
Although the poses might be slightly different, 
both images were taken from exactly the same distance.
Black Rhino. 1/1000s, ISO 200
The lighting on this Bee-eater was not exactly what I wanted,
but the final image was.
1/400s, ISO 400.

Shooting the moon is never easy.
I shot hand held!
1/250s. ISO 200

Although I was shooting in low early morning light, 
this image was usable without too much manipulation. 
1/200s, ISO 800

The lens is slightly slow when it comes to capturing motion,
but part of the job description of a nature photographer is anticipation.
Hippo and youngster. 1/400s, ISO 200

One of my favourite shots that captures the capability of this 560mm lens.
A gree-backed Heron. 1/400s, ISO 200
Not quite macro photography, but excellent quality and sharpness on all the items here.
1/400s, ISO 200
And finally, to prove that anticipation and patience DOES pay off.
A Little Grebe (Dabchick) 1/1000s, ISO 400.
“Travel & Things” relies on Pentax  cameras and lenses
supplied by:


When last did you actually print a photograph?
“Travel & Things” images are printed 
at their store in Cresta.
Great service, friendly staff
and more importantly awesome prints.
To find their current specials
or to locate a store nearest to you:

When I head off to the bush, I like to feel comfortable and look good.
I can achieve both in clothing supplied by:
My first pair of “vellies”…
Check out their website:
and their Facebook page:
You can order on-line and their delivery
 turn around is the best!


 Cool Ideals is my service provider of choice.
They enable me to ensure that my articles
and images are sent fast and effortlessly.
Not to mention all the other benefits that FTTH offers…
Like stability and affordability!
GammaTek is my powerbank supplier of choice.
One of my problems is often lack of battery power
 if I have been using the camera on my phone.
I have tried many “powerbanks”,
but the majority drain before they can fully recharge my device.
This is where this Powerbank has the edge…
it can recharge my phone up to 7 times,
before it needs to be recharged.
To find out more:
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