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Pentax HD DA 21mm F3.2 Limited Lens
Posted By: runswithsizzers, 02-18-2016, 05:56 PM

$324.34
Amazon.com : Pentax SMCP-DA 21mm f/3.2 AL HD Limited Edition Lens - Silver, U.S.A. Warranty : Lcd Projector Supplies : Camera & Photo

There are several sellers listing this lens for $355 in black, and the silver version is often offered at $379. I was hoping to find a used one for around $300, so I was delighted to find this one in silver for $324. With my Amazon credit card, I got another $10 off.

I can't vouch for the seller (6ave), except to say the transaction for the one I bought was smooth. Normally, I would stick with sellers I know to be safe, like B&H, but I took a chance on this one and got a new lens at a used price.

The seller's description is somewhat contradictory: "Pentax SMCP-DA 21mm f/3.2 AL HD Limited Edition Lens"
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't "SMCP" usually used to describe the old (green stripe) version of this lens, and "HD" used to describe the newer red strip version? Anyway, I did receive the new red stripe HD version.

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02-18-2016, 06:18 PM   #2
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The SMC version would be the old one, yes. I guess we should trust the photo more than the description in this case.
02-18-2016, 08:00 PM   #3
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Purchased two lenses from them, including an HD 21mm. Both lenses were received just fine, no issues. However, the packing on both was crappy. Couple of air pillows in a box that was too large = lens box bouncing around inside. I emailed them on both occasions, letting them know that I had no damage or decentering issues, but was not happy with the packaging. They apologized both times, and thanked me for my feedback. Purchases were about 4 months apart.
02-19-2016, 04:21 PM   #4
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I seem to remember my 18-135 came from them through ebay the same way. Still fine luckily.

If its shipped prime then its amazon that packaged them carelessly not 5th ave. 5th ave should just be pentax with out a warrenty because theyre not authroized resellers.

02-19-2016, 06:30 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Greenneck Quote
I seem to remember my 18-135 came from them through ebay the same way. Still fine luckily.

If its shipped prime then its amazon that packaged them carelessly not 5th ave. 5th ave should just be pentax with out a warrenty because theyre not authroized resellers.
Mine was eBay, as well. 6th Ave. was the packager on both occasions. The lenses were of the smaller variety (HD 21mm & DA 50mm), so not a lot of weight slamming around. I would be a lot more nervous buying a larger lens (70-200, 60-250, etc.).
02-20-2016, 01:32 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The SMC version would be the old one, yes. I guess we should trust the photo more than the description in this case.
Besides the obvious color differences, what are the differences between the old and new one?

My 'old' one is not as sharp as I expected. Is that normal wide open?
02-20-2016, 01:52 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Theov39 Quote
Besides the obvious color differences, what are the differences between the old and new one?

My 'old' one is not as sharp as I expected. Is that normal wide open?
The only things that differ are the coatings and aperture blades (HD vs SMC, straight vs rounded). Sharpness should be the same

See:

HD vs. SMC Pentax Limited Primes Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

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02-20-2016, 08:33 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Greenneck Quote
I seem to remember my 18-135 came from them through ebay the same way. Still fine luckily.

If its shipped prime then its amazon that packaged them carelessly not 5th ave. 5th ave should just be pentax with out a warrenty because theyre not authroized resellers.
It was 6th Ave Express, fulfilled by Amazon, actually. Mind did come with a Pentax warranty card - not sure if that means Pentax would actually honor it. Since I was shopping for used when I saw this one, the warranty wasn't really on my mind.

Mine came in an Amazon box with one air pillow - which protected the lens box on ONE of it's 6 sides - but no harm done.

---------- Post added 02-20-16 at 10:11 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Theov39 Quote
Besides the obvious color differences, what are the differences between the old and new one?

My 'old' one is not as sharp as I expected. Is that normal wide open?
As already mentioned, it's mostlly the coatings that are different on the HD - unless you are one of those people who care about star-bursts.

Several reviews/tests mention this lens can be a bit soft wide open - haven't had mine long enough to comment. Some may be sharper than others, but that would be due to slight lens-to-lens variations introduced in manufacturing, and not an old vs new issue.

At the risk of steering this thread dangerously off-topic, here is an in-depth article explaining how lens quality is done (or not). Pentax is not mentioned at all in this article, so it's for general knowledge, only.
https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2016/02/optical-quality-assurance

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