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12-06-2013, 10:12 PM   #1
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Help….DA 21….SMC or HD?

I'm looking for some help in deciding on which DA21 Limited to get, the new HD or SMC. I have a HD DA15 and HD DA40 and am looking to get a DA21 now and then possibly a bit down the road (next year some time) getting a HD DA70 and then maybe a FA31LTD to round things out for my prime phase.

Anyway, I think I should have got a SMC DA15 but I didn't, I got the HD one. So now I'm wondering if the DA21 should be a SMC so I can get the better start burst effect from time to time when I'm looking for it. I anticipate that the DA21 will be on my camera 60% of the time as a general walk around etc. At the same time some people have said the HD DA21 is superior to the SMC version for bright/harsh light conditions. I do won't the best daylight photo quality as I will be using the DA21 as my holiday walk around.

Any thoughts that can help?….Thanks

Price difference isn't a major consideration (about $100 more for HD in Aussie)

12-06-2013, 10:49 PM   #2
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I would give the recent review of SMC vs HD limiteds a read, then decide from there. I am all for HD, more efficient light transmission, less ghosting, etc.

Last edited by calculator01; 12-06-2013 at 10:54 PM.
12-06-2013, 11:02 PM   #3
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The 15 is the only one known for it's starbursts, and the only one where you might still want the SMC version. All the others are a little better with the HD.
12-06-2013, 11:44 PM   #4
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I'd go for the HD if you don't mind paying a little extra for it.


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12-07-2013, 03:24 AM   #5
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Keep a look out for specials at CRK/pentax australia webstore on the pentax price watch page. Considering the lovely harsh lighting we have in Aus the HD version is probably a plus.
12-07-2013, 05:58 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
The 15 is the only one known for it's starbursts, and the only one where you might still want the SMC version. All the others are a little better with the HD.
No starbursts with the SMC DA21 ?



Last edited by kh1234567890; 12-07-2013 at 06:04 AM.
12-07-2013, 06:37 AM   #7
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I would take less flare and reclections than bigger starburst, even in da15. Just look lens test review, with new HD sky is more black as it should me. Starburst is overvalued here...
12-07-2013, 07:12 AM   #8
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I would buy the older SMC version. My DA 21 produces incredible starbursts one of the reasons I purchased it. I saw the starburst photos Adam listed between the HD and SMC DA 21 lens. There is no question the SMC is much better in that regard. I've heard tell on this forum that the DA21 actually produces better starbursts than the DA 15.

12-07-2013, 07:25 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Take a look at the images coming from both. I had the SMC version for 5 years. Loved it. It was a good walk-around lens. If you are wondering about starburst with SMC version. It has that propensity.


12-07-2013, 09:31 AM   #10
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Not the best picture, but the Starbursts are clearly evident.

url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/92395202@N07/11165224765/][/url]
12-07-2013, 10:11 AM   #11
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The Limiteds are all very, very good. I understand the HD is handling flare and choosing somewhat better, but not a whole lot. Only you can decide if that is worth the 100 bucks extra. FWIW it wasn't for me.

Starbursts are nice, but can easily be over used. And the HD lenses still do bursts, even if the SMC ones make them more distinct.

I got the SMC version of the 70 as well. I found the difference not worth the extra for the HD. Others will prefer the rounded blades for this lens, though.
12-07-2013, 03:41 PM   #12
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Thanks for your thoughts.....in the end I'm for mage quality over starburts so will go for the HD. Now....can one get away without a DA70 in their light walkaround prime kit? ....a coupe of zooms and your mostly covered.....but this prime bug just keeps on giving!
12-07-2013, 03:47 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by robjmitchell Quote
Keep a look out for specials at CRK/pentax australia webstore on the pentax price watch page. Considering the lovely harsh lighting we have in Aus the HD version is probably a plus.
dcxpert on ebay sells them at a good price here in Australia see. Pentax HD DA 21mm F3 2 AL Limited Black | eBay

The last one I got from them (DA40) was shipped direct from CR Kennedy.
12-08-2013, 04:30 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
...but this prime bug just keeps on giving!
Exactly! It will never end. Right now I'm happy with my lineup of 15-21-35-50-70-100 (and manual 8 and 28), but I know the prime bug will bite again eventually. (Did I hear F28?)

Happy hunting!
12-08-2013, 03:25 PM   #15
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I agree with getting the SMC version, the SMC21 does great star bursts





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