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06-23-2020, 11:00 AM   #1
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Pentax 70mm HD Limited vs the cheaper SMC version

Has anyone owned or tried both of these lenses? I know the build is better with HD but Iím more concern on the quality of images. I read that the HD has better contrast, less flare and less ghosting on images? But is it really worth paying that bit extra for the HD version, or does standard version still produce quality images too?


Last edited by spikebebop; 06-23-2020 at 11:30 AM.
06-23-2020, 11:32 AM - 1 Like   #2
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The build quality is identical on both. It's really only the coatings and diaphragm blades that differ (they're rounded on the HD version).

I don't own any of the SMC versions, but I have all of the HD DA Limited lenses, and yes - they're all very contrasty and flare-resistant. I'm a fan of the HD coatings
06-23-2020, 12:47 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I only have the SMC limiteds so I can't compare them but

if you are interested, there is an " in depth " review you can read:

QuoteQuote:
HD vs. SMC Pentax Limited Primes
Introduction
At Photokina 2012, Pentax announced a brand new lens coating which they named the "HD Coating". This coating is slowly starting to replace the conventional "Super Multi Coating" (SMC) on high-end Pentax glass. According to Pentax, the new HD coating greatly reduces reflectance without making any sacrifices in terms of durability. This kind of coating isn't new to the industry, however: Pentax digital medium format lenses have been treated with a slightly less durable variant called Aero Bright coating ever since their debut, and other manufacturers have been using "nano" coatings on their premium lenses for several years.

The modern SMC coating that DA lenses have been using for about a decade now isn't the same as the SMC coating that Pentax originally launched in the 1970's. In fact, most DA lenses have been said to have a "ghostless" coating, so while we don't expect the difference between SMC and HD coating to be be a game-changer, it should certainly still be easy to observe . . .
Read more at: HD vs. SMC Pentax Limited Primes Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

QuoteQuote:
HD vs. SMC Pentax Limited Primes
Conclusion
So, which lens series is better: the old SMC or the new HD Limiteds? It turns out that most of the changes made between these two lineups can only be compared subjectively, including the external appearance, bokeh, and star burst effects. What we can objectively conclude is that the HD lenses do a much better job of suppressing ghosting, and in harsh lighting they may produce images with more contrast. Although ghosting is never fully eliminated, in some cases it is so hard to spot with HD lenses that you won't need to have to apply any post-processing whatsoever to your photos. . . .
Read more at: https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/hd-pentax-limited-primes/conclusion.html#ixzz6QDhchhSH
07-01-2020, 09:21 PM   #4
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It is probably difficult to get hold of new lenses in SMC version as they are no longer manufactured. The HD version has replaced SMC version.

07-09-2020, 06:41 AM   #5
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I don't own the 70mm HD, or SMC, but my HD lenses perform much better at night than the SMC versions which tend to break up when bright lights such as car headlights are pointed at them. And I'm talking about SMC-Limiteds.

Last edited by hjoseph7; 07-18-2020 at 04:11 PM.
07-09-2020, 07:13 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Can't base a judgement of HD vs SMC without talking about the specific lens design in question. 40mm Ltd HD / SMC comparisons don't fit for the 15, 70, etc. This website's comparison of both SMC and HD versions was pretty exhaustive, has good example images, and should be considered an excellent resource for this information.
07-09-2020, 07:15 AM   #7
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What you've heard is probably correct, though the differences will be very minor as the SMC coating on the original version was already very good indeed.

Personally, I wouldn't pay more than a very small amount extra for the HD version if I had to replace my SMC version.
07-18-2020, 04:06 AM   #8
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Well, I don't have this particular DA 70 mm lens but I once had a DA 55-300 mm f/4-5.8 that wasn't too extraordinary and that I gave to my daughter (along with a K10 body and DA 18-55 mm lens) when I got my K3 (which didn't get along very well with the 55-300 mm because of generally unsatisfactory sharpness and dismal performance over 240 mm). I bought a new "used" DA 55-300 mm f/4-5.8 HD WR copy on eBay from Japan last winter and the performance of this new version is spectacular, very sharp at all focal lengths, even on a demanding 24 Mpx sensor. One would be led to believe it's a totally different lens.

Regards

07-18-2020, 07:51 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RICHARD L. Quote
Well, I don't have this particular DA 70 mm lens but I once had a DA 55-300 mm f/4-5.8 that wasn't too extraordinary and that I gave to my daughter (along with a K10 body and DA 18-55 mm lens) when I got my K3 (which didn't get along very well with the 55-300 mm because of generally unsatisfactory sharpness and dismal performance over 240 mm). I bought a new "used" DA 55-300 mm f/4-5.8 HD WR copy on eBay from Japan last winter and the performance of this new version is spectacular, very sharp at all focal lengths, even on a demanding 24 Mpx sensor. One would be led to believe it's a totally different lens.

Regards
I think that's very likely copy variation rather than anything to do with the coatings.
07-18-2020, 08:31 AM   #10
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At one point I had all the SMC DA Limiteds. I have the HD versions now. The HD colors are somewhat brighter and there is noticeably less flare and higher contrast on the HD versions.

Some people will argue adding 9 aperture blades to the HD 15/4 reduced the star flare pattern when shot into bright light, which those people consider a negative.

I kept my SMC DA35/2.8 Macro Limited because Mike Johnston reviewed it once AND I bought it afterward, and he SUPPOSEDLY hinted that particular lens might be The Greatest Lens Ever

Last edited by monochrome; 07-18-2020 at 08:57 AM.
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