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Pentax Coatings: Ghostless, SP & Aero Bright
Posted By: Blue, 06-16-2010, 07:43 AM

Has anyone besides me noticed how little information there is available on some of the specialty coatings used by Pentax? The SMC coating is also limited and apparently had undergone numerous revisions since the early 70s. Some rumors say it was originally designed at the request of Japanese police for traffic cameras.

The Ghostless Coating was announced in 1992 and is considered a milestone for Pentax. It was apparently 1st used in 1997 on the the FA 43mm ltd and all subsequent limited lenses as well as certain * lenses. However, besides the LTD lenses, the other lens it was used on is unclear.

SP Coating The front surface of the optics is treated with the Pentax-original Super Protect (SP) coating. Applying a special fluorine compound to the lens surface through a vapor deposition process, this coating effectively repels dust, water and grease, making it easy to wipe off annoying stains such as fingerprints and cosmetic marks.

The Aero Bright Coating enhances image-description performance by effectively reducing reflections over a wider wavelength range. Compared to conventional multi-coatings, this new coating greatly improves light transmittance in the lens, while drastically reducing flare and ghost images that deteriorate image quality. It is an original lens coating using a silica aerogel with uniform porous structure as a base material to produce clear high-quality images by assuring and outstanding anti-reflection performance over a broad range of wavelengths. It is currently used on internal elements of the DA* 55mm for improved light transmission and reduced flaring and ghosting. Apparently the DA* 60-250mm also has the A.B. It is used on the new 645D lenses as well.

Update as of 2012:

Pentax released a new coating called the HD coating, which offers better reflectance (i.e. less ghosting/flare) compared to SMC, and it is more durable than Aero Bright and thus suitable for use on the front element as well as other elements.

 SMCHDAero Bright
Reflectance-+++
Durability++-
Cost+++-
That is all I've turned up on these. However, Pentax has been close to the vest on Coatings all the way back to the 50s. This info is from Pentax Imaging, Dimitrov and Pentax press releases.

Last edited by Blue; 04-16-2013 at 05:56 AM.
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06-16-2010, 09:32 AM   #2
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nice info. thanks!
06-16-2010, 04:42 PM   #3
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The FA 28-105, f3.2-4.5 has the ghostless coating.
06-16-2010, 04:54 PM   #4
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The Ghostless Coating is based on the development,for the Tokyo and the british Traffic Police Unit.
Used in Cameras for photos of License plates from a great distance.
Fuji is using a similar coatingtype.Pentax and Fuji equip their military binoculars for the Japanese Army and Navy.

Best regards,Andy

06-16-2010, 06:32 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom in Delaware Quote
The FA 28-105, f3.2-4.5 has the ghostless coating.
Apparently the FA 24-90mm did as well.
10-26-2010, 09:47 PM   #6
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Bump on this thread. I would still like to sleuth out more info on these coatings. The FA 35/2 AL had the Ghostless Coating and so does the new DA 35/2.4 AL.


http://www.pentax.jp/english/news/2010/201015.html

QuoteQuote:
Incorporating a hybrid aspherical optical element in its optics, this new lens delivers high-quality images with enhanced sharpness and contrast — from minimum focusing distance to infinity — and assures exceptional image-resolving power with outstanding brightness levels even at the edges — even at an open aperture — while effectively compensating various aberrations to a minimum. It is also treated with the PENTAX-original Ghostless Coating to minimize the adverse effects of flare and ghost images, assuring true-to-life images even under demanding conditions such as harsh backlighting.
The FA 35/2 AL was released in 1999 and isn't that old.

QuoteQuote:
aspherical element(s), ghostless coating
06-14-2011, 03:11 PM   #7
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Bump to keep this thread alive.


The recent DA 35mm/2.4 AL lens has a similar design as the FA 35/2. Like the FA, it has the Ghostless Coating which as ZackSpeed pointed out was developed in part for traffic cameras. It also has the SP on the front element.

About the DA 35/2.4 AL

QuoteQuote:
Incorporating a hybrid aspherical optical element in its optics, this new lens delivers high-quality images with enhanced sharpness and contrast — from minimum focusing distance to infinity — and assures exceptional image-resolving power with outstanding brightness levels even at the edges — even at an open aperture — while effectively compensating various aberrations to a minimum. It is also treated with the PENTAX-original Ghostless Coating to minimize the adverse effects of flare and ghost images, assuring true-to-life images even under demanding conditions such as harsh backlighting.
smc PENTAX-DA35mmF2.4AL An interchangeable standard lens for exclusive use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras


The Aero Bright Coating still seems to be an enigma. However, in addition to the DA* 55 and 60-250, Pentax uses it on the D FA 25/4 AL AW and D FA 55mm/2.8 AL IF AW 645 lenses.

From Pentax lens documentation:

QuoteQuote:
The lens is treated with Pentax’s own Aero Bright Coating, which delivers brilliant, high-quality images by preventing annoying flare and ghost images more effectively than ever before. Born out of Pentax’s advanced nanotechnology, this exclusive coating effectively reduces lens reflectance and greatly increases light transmittance by forming a silica aerogel layer with uniform pores on the surface of optical elements.
QuoteQuote:
The front surface of the lens is treated with Pentax's SP (Special Protect) coating, which applies a fluorine compound to the lens surface through a vapor deposition process. This SP coating effectively repels dust, water and grease, and also makes it easy to wipe off fingerprints and cosmetics.

Last edited by Blue; 06-14-2011 at 03:28 PM.
04-18-2012, 05:15 PM   #8
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Bump.

Brief Information on Aero Bright.

QuoteQuote:
Adding the PENTAX Aero Bright coating on internal lens elements offers ultra high refraction index for improved light transmission with minimal ghosting and flaring


04-18-2012, 05:57 PM   #9
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Yeah good info on "aero bright" coating is hard to find, there's deffinitly more to the story than the brief info they give us....
04-18-2012, 05:59 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Yeah good info on "aero bright" coating is hard to find, there's deffinitly more to the story than the brief info they give us....
I started this thread to try to keep track of coating info. These companies are amazingly good at guarding this info.
04-19-2012, 08:03 PM   #11
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Trade secrets are their life, and Pentax has very few genuine assets other than a few key staff and these secrets. Thanks for your dilligence in tracking this information.
05-20-2012, 08:08 PM   #12
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I wonder if the Aero Bright coating is the same or similar to Nikon's Nano coating.
05-20-2012, 08:12 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bossa Quote
I wonder if the Aero Bright coating is the same or similar to Nikon's Nano coating.
They are both nano technology. I would assume there are enough differences to deal with patent issues. Nikon calls their Nano Crystal Coat.

QuoteQuote:
Nikon's exclusive Nano Crystal Coat nearly eliminates the ghosting and flare seen with some wide-angle lenses for improved clarity and contrast. Impressive on both FX- and DX-format cameras,
06-20-2012, 08:14 AM   #14
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Here is some comparative stuff from Nikon. The Nanon Crystal coat would be Nikon's version of Aero Bright.

QuoteQuote:
Super Integrated Coating and Nano Crystal Coat


Nikon Super Integrated Coating is Nikon's term for its multilayer coating of the optical elements in NIKKOR lenses. This multilayer coating helps reduce lens flare (the appearance on the image of the distinctive shape of the lens diaphragm, caused when non-image-forming light enters the lens and hits the camera's sensor) and ghosting (bright spots of reflected light that appear on the image, the result of the camera being pointed at a bright light source). Nikon's Super Integrated Coating is especially effective for lenses with a large number of elements, and the multilayer coating process is tailored to the design of each particular NIKKOR. The number of coatings applied to each lens element is carefully calculated to match the lens type and glass used, and also to assure uniform color balance.


Nano Crystal Coat is an antireflective coating that virtually eliminates internal lens element reflections across a wide range of wavelengths, and is particularly effective in reducing ghost and flare peculiar to ultra-wide-angle lenses. Nano Crystal Coat employs multiple layers of Nikonís extra-low refractive index coating, which features ultra-fine crystallized particles of nanometer size.

06-20-2012, 08:31 AM   #15
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interesting stuff Blue I imagine they leveraged the SP coating in the eyeglass lens division before it was parceled off to Seiko (where from looking at the current offerings it is essentially using seiko tech now)
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