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11-01-2013, 10:26 AM   #1
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DA HD vs SMC built quality

Has anyone observed a difference in the built quality between the two series? I happened to fiddle a DA40 HD and was surprised how damped and smoothed the focus ring is. The whole lens seems to be built to tighter tolerances with little wobble if any. My good old DA40 SMC felt altogether looser (even when it was newly bought), similar to the rest of the SMC bunch. I am wondering if it is an issue with batch variation or that the HD's manufacturing process was indeed improved. I did recall going through three copies of the DA70 SMC to find a copy that has minimal wobble to the lens barrel though.


Last edited by scorpioh; 11-01-2013 at 11:10 AM. Reason: Lens barrel rather than focusing ring of the DA70
11-01-2013, 10:47 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by scorpioh Quote
Has anyone observed a difference in the built quality between the two series? I happened to fiddle a DA40 HD and was surprised how damped and smoothed the focus ring is. The whole lens seems to be built to tighter tolerances with little wobble if any. My good old DA40 SMC felt altogether looser (even when it was newly bought), similar to the rest of the SMC bunch. I am wondering if it is an issue with batch variation or that the HD's manufacturing process was indeed improved. I did recall going through three copies of the DA70 SMC to find a copy that has minimal wobble to the focusing ring though.
Really interesting... for me the one of the values of DA ltd is the intangible fun I have while using it. Might be a worthwhile upgrade if focusing ring is dampened!
11-01-2013, 10:57 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by scorpioh Quote
Has anyone observed a difference in the built quality between the two series? I happened to fiddle a DA40 HD and was surprised how damped and smoothed the focus ring is. The whole lens seems to be built to tighter tolerances with little wobble if any. My good old DA40 SMC felt altogether looser (even when it was newly bought), similar to the rest of the SMC bunch. I am wondering if it is an issue with batch variation or that the HD's manufacturing process was indeed improved. I did recall going through three copies of the DA70 SMC to find a copy that has minimal wobble to the focusing ring though.
This wasn't my impression after playing with the lenses, but then again, the demo models tend to get abuse. I'll have all 10 SMC/HD limiteds in hand next week to do some testing

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11-01-2013, 11:00 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
This wasn't my impression after playing with the lenses, but then again, the demo models tend to get abuse. I'll have all 10 SMC/HD limiteds in hand next week to do some testing
I see. I only had a brief touch on a relatively new demo copy of the HD40 and was immediately surprised by the apparent tight tolerances. Do keep us posted. Thanks!

11-01-2013, 11:10 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by scorpioh Quote
Has anyone observed a difference in the built quality between the two series? I happened to fiddle a DA40 HD and was surprised how damped and smoothed the focus ring is. The whole lens seems to be built to tighter tolerances with little wobble if any. My good old DA40 SMC felt altogether looser (even when it was newly bought), similar to the rest of the SMC bunch. I am wondering if it is an issue with batch variation or that the HD's manufacturing process was indeed improved. I did recall going through three copies of the DA70 SMC to find a copy that has minimal wobble to the focusing ring though.
My 40 Limited SMC and 70 Limited SMC are beautifully damped and smooth. Construction is of a very high standard on both. I bought both of them...new... within the past 18 months.
11-01-2013, 06:49 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
My 40 Limited SMC and 70 Limited SMC are beautifully damped and smooth. Construction is of a very high standard on both. I bought both of them...new... within the past 18 months.
I see. I got my mine like 4-5 years ago. Then Pentax could likely have improved their manufacturing and probably not due to the HD and SMC differences. Ok, apart from the subjectivity of "beautifully damped and smooth" though.
11-01-2013, 07:17 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by scorpioh Quote
I see. I got my mine like 4-5 years ago. Then Pentax could likely have improved their manufacturing and probably not due to the HD and SMC differences. Ok, apart from the subjectivity of "beautifully damped and smooth" though.
First thing I noticed when I got my 40 and 70 Limited was how tight they were.

Photo quality is very sharp with both my 40 and 70.
11-01-2013, 07:27 PM   #8
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Just to clarify, I only accept Takumars as the gold standard of "Dampened"

Compared to Taks the only AF lenses that I'd even consider decently "dampened" is Sigma 10-20mm and Nikon AFS 85mm 1.8.

DA 40 while not as bad as pentax's cheaper lenses, are nowhere close to taks.

11-02-2013, 01:55 AM   #9
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Maybe ur da 40 smc is not ok cos my da 40 is very smooth and well made lens...
11-02-2013, 05:25 AM   #10
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I could compare the 21 and 40 first hand at the Québec city photo expo yesterday and there was absolutely no difference between the two versions. The rep said only the coating and looks were different
11-02-2013, 01:29 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joojoo2010 Quote
Maybe ur da 40 smc is not ok cos my da 40 is very smooth and well made lens...
X 2...good point
11-02-2013, 01:53 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
This wasn't my impression after playing with the lenses, but then again, the demo models tend to get abuse. I'll have all 10 SMC/HD limiteds in hand next week to do some testing
You could as well do something else with those ten baby's



11-02-2013, 04:57 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I'll have all 10 SMC/HD limiteds in hand next week to do some testing
:O
Pleaase take a bunch of photos of them all lined up, that sounds really amazing

Last edited by Na Horuk; 11-03-2013 at 03:46 PM.
11-02-2013, 05:06 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
:O
Pleaase take a bunch of photos of them all lines up, that sounds really amazing
Will do The DA 70mm (SMC) is still on back-order but I'm hoping it'll be in before the HD's get here next week.

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11-20-2013, 05:03 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
This wasn't my impression after playing with the lenses, but then again, the demo models tend to get abuse. I'll have all 10 SMC/HD limiteds in hand next week to do some testing
now that will be a comparison test I'm looking forward too!
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