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01-19-2018, 04:47 AM   #2671
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I remember a test showing that HD coating was indeed an improvement, even for the DA Limiteds - for lenses with higher elements count, the difference should be larger.

01-19-2018, 04:54 AM   #2672
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I have to say that I thought that change to HD coating was more of a marketing gimmick than anything else. It may have better light transmission, but I don't know that I could pick out the difference between images of, say a DA 40 and HD 40 out of a line up. But it was something that allowed them to re-release a bunch of older lenses with the only changes being a slightly different coating (which actually was cheaper to apply) and rounded aperture blades.
I've never shot the SMC Limited lenses, but the SMC vs HD review here on the forums made the following comments:

"The HD coating improves contrast in backlit situations where flare is present or is a risk."

"It is evident that the HD lens has better contrast and much less flare. There is a good level of flare across most of the frame from the SMC lens."

"The performance of the 15 mm lenses, HD as well as smc, is amazing. Flare and ghosting is exceptionally well controlled. For the other lenses the HD versions control flare and ghosting significantly better than their smc counterparts."

"The HD coating controls flare and ghosting better than the SMC coating. HD coating also enhances contrast. The difference between HD and SMC is somewhat lens dependent and practically non-exisitng for the 15 mm lens."


The enhanced contrast is interesting, but I wonder how helpful it is in normal shooting. There are times when I find a bit less contrast quite useful, especially in scenes with wide dynamic range. Still, I've been very happy with my HD Limited lenses so far...
01-19-2018, 05:22 AM - 1 Like   #2673
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I have original SMC DA70 and my friend have HD DA70, compared side by side,as far as sharpness and overall "magic" is the same, contrast is noticeably better on HD. Its clearly seen even in RAW files, colors are richer and a bit warmer (even for dullness of unedited RAW).In my opinion FA limited would only benefit from that kind of coating update, especialy in terms of CA handling, still it is probably not only the coating involved but also a glass chemistry used to make blanks for the HD versions.HD DA40 also features Super protect layer on front element, feature that SMC DA40 don't have(sole exception from DA SMC limiteds).
01-19-2018, 07:15 AM   #2674
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I am under the impression that my HD lenses have a far better microcontrast, which improves perceived sharpness. That is a plus for landscapes and architecture.
The older smc's on the other hand I experience as "warmer" and more "friendly", which I like for people photography.

But all this could be my imagination playing tricks on me. No way to substantiate my claims.

01-19-2018, 07:23 AM - 1 Like   #2675
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
The enhanced contrast is interesting, but I wonder how helpful it is in normal shooting.
From my observations, a bit of micro-contrast improvement can be observed pixel peeping but would probably make almost no difference to a print. Especially in 30mm type lenses where the difference between DA 35 2.4 plastic wonder and a more expensive 35 tends to be minimal. It's nice to have that bit of extra micro contrast, but I doubt you would notice it day to day. I know my Tamron90 has roughly the same lw/ph and slightly better micro contrast at 90mm than my DA*60-250, but the 60-250 is already excellent, and it wouldn't be worth my while to take it off the camera to shoot with the 90 unless I wanted macro.

So my answer would be, small difference in micro contrast are probably barely visible to the naked eye. Throw in a lens like my Sigma 70-300 and then you'll actually see the difference, but you might still like the 70-300 image. Differences in quality are much more noticeable in telephoto lenses. A DA 35 produces some really good images, and that's fairly typical of the wide end. You're not going to improve that much on the images taken with your 30-55mm lenses going from cheap to expensive.

We can only hope the new 50 1.4 breaks the trend and is noticeably better than the old 50 1.4. It certainly looks to be a very good lens. But that's a tough focal length to improve based on what's already out there. Given the expected price it may well be the big improvements will be in adding water resistance and the new silent motor. I'm expecting a slightly improved DA*55 1.4. I do find it slightly disingenuous of Pentax to be hinting that the 55 is obsolete so soon after it's release. If it was the greatest thing since sliced bread a couple years ago, how can it be so bad now?
01-19-2018, 07:51 AM - 1 Like   #2676
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I never saw Pentax mention that the DA*55 is obsolete with this lens. Canon doesn't do that with their range of available 50mm primes, why would Ricoh? The DA*55 has created some beautiful images here. I hope I can become good enough to "deserve", if that's the right word, a lens like that.

I've not used the FA 50 1.4. But if it's like my M 50 1.4 (and I know they are quite similar, deep down) then this move is quite nice for those that can afford it / can rationalize it. Why not let them? I'm happy with my cheap & cheerful gear. If Pentax can field a 50mm that makes people forget about the Sigma 50 Art, and say with a straight face that they once again have a Zeiss beating optic, that's not a problem in my book.
01-19-2018, 08:13 AM - 1 Like   #2677
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
The enhanced contrast is interesting, but I wonder how helpful it is in normal shooting. There are times when I find a bit less contrast quite useful, especially in scenes with wide dynamic range.
In the palm tree example from your link, it looks like the loss of contrast is from more veiling flare in the smc-version. In other words, it's not picking up more information out of the shadow areas to help with a high dynamic range scene, but light randomly bouncing around inside is causing a randomish lifting of brightness. All things equal I'd take the more contrasty coatings as this veiling flare degradation can be added in post (or with an off camera light aimed at the front element) more easily than contrast can be added naturally.
01-19-2018, 08:42 AM - 2 Likes   #2678
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
The enhanced contrast is interesting, but I wonder how helpful it is in normal shooting. There are times when I find a bit less contrast quite useful, especially in scenes with wide dynamic range. Still, I've been very happy with my HD Limited lenses so far...
It depends on your particular definition of "normal shooting." The approximate grouping of photographic styles that are more or less affected is:

Less affected by coating quality:
* front-lit studio work such as portraits, products, macro
* interiors w/ indirect lighting (no bright windows in the frame)
* moonless astrophotography
* low-key photography (if there's no intense points of light in the scene)

May be affected by coating quality:
* street
* exterior architecture
* wedding
* high-key photography (if you want detailed blacks in the scene)
* (it depends on whether the subject is in shadow & the amount of sky/sun in the frame)

Most affected by coating quality:
* back-lit objects (unless you like the foggy look)
* dark interiors with bright windows in the frame
* back-lit forests
* any image with the sun in the frame (unless you like the foggy look)
* HDR

The quality of the coatings affects the fogging of the image by all the light in the scene. So whether coatings affect an image depends on the required dynamic range range (i.e., lifting detail out of the shadows) and the total light is in the scene (especially blown highlights & bright light sources).

Of course, there's a lot that can be done in post processing to control contrast either to reduce the contrast of images taken with high-quality coatings or to try to recover dark details in a fogged image. But a poor-quality lens with a brightly back-lit or HDR scene will have a DR that is much lower than the sensor's DR -- dark detail in the fogged shadows will be unrecoverable.

If your normal photography depends in the high DR of most Pentax cameras, then higher-quality coatings may be important in back-lit scenes.

01-19-2018, 09:26 AM   #2679
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
I never saw Pentax mention that the DA*55 is obsolete with this lens. Canon doesn't do that with their range of available 50mm primes, why would Ricoh? The DA*55 has created some beautiful images here. I hope I can become good enough to "deserve", if that's the right word, a lens like that.

I've not used the FA 50 1.4. But if it's like my M 50 1.4 (and I know they are quite similar, deep down) then this move is quite nice for those that can afford it / can rationalize it. Why not let them? I'm happy with my cheap & cheerful gear. If Pentax can field a 50mm that makes people forget about the Sigma 50 Art, and say with a straight face that they once again have a Zeiss beating optic, that's not a problem in my book.
Consider it isn't Pentax that is being disingenuous.
01-19-2018, 10:58 AM   #2680
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Consider it isn't Pentax that is being disingenuous.
??
01-19-2018, 12:11 PM   #2681
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OK since we're getting snotty here, Kenspo who I assume is trotting out the Pentax party line, said some where that the 50 1.4 was needed when there was a 55 1.4.because we needed modern glass for modern sensors. He didn't actually say the 55 is obsolete;te, but he did imply we need better. Sorry if I simplified so much your complex brain couldn't comprehend.

No one from Pentax has bothered to clarify which lenses are modern lenses for modern sensors, the new coming lenses definitely are. They've left it up to us to interpret. That being the case, I'm offering my interpretation.

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Consider it isn't Pentax that is being disingenuous.
A little name calling to spice up your day?

Are you 5 years old?
01-19-2018, 12:19 PM - 3 Likes   #2682
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OK folks - sorry to have to do this, but it's not like I haven't asked nicely several times over the days and weeks...

Any further back-handed / snide remarks and responses in kind within this thread will result in infractions and thread bans. I'm not deleting and unwinding what's already been said by various parties, but let's end this here and go back to friendly, constructive and helpful discussion.

Thanks in advance
01-19-2018, 12:47 PM   #2683
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Pentax HD coatings are a landscape photographers delight.

Deeper microcontrast allows for more beautiful rendering of skies and textures and also helps with bigger prints as the increased contrast helps greatly with perceived sharpness.

For those that can analyse graphs compare the SMC vs HD light wavelength throughput graphs. I remember seeing them on the net somewhere. The HD coatings allow more of the light at all visible wavelengths to pass through, I think from memory a lot more wavelengths towards the red end... which is why many legacy SMC lenses give lovely blues and greens (the reds are more blocked).

I have the HD DA15 & HD DA 20-40 Ltds... My main mountain landscape kit. The HD really works 😉
01-19-2018, 01:33 PM - 1 Like   #2684
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Just looking at the wildlife works of David Yarrow. If I was a professional like him, I'd be long gone away from Pentax. With regards to Ricoh, it is completely ridiculous to launch a new camera format and be stuck at making a 50mm prime. For a system to get maximum adoption, it needs to have a nice selection of lenses so that everyone can combine the system that suit him the best.
01-19-2018, 01:42 PM   #2685
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
ust looking at the wildlife works of David Yarrow.
I still keep up even at my age. If someone were to offer me a big wildfire job tomorrow my first trip would be to Henry's Toronto. I love my Pentax gear, but if dollars are on the line, you gotta do what you gotta do.
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