'SMC' to 'HD' potential marketing disaster?


Link Posted 12/09/2012 - 23:20
Amongst the flurry of recent announcements, I can't help but feel that the one that could have the most impact on the future of Pentax is the apparent decision to henceforth replace the iconic 'SMC' on their lenses with the much more generic and 'downmarket' 'HD' which has been so over-used by every marketing Tom , Dick and 'Arry that it has become totally devalued and meaningless.

Even before I bought my first Pentax product (a Kx nearly 2 years ago), I was aware of the 'SMC' trade mark on their optical products. This has come to be internationally recognised as a synonym for top quality optical performance. It brings a certain cachet to any product bearing it and in my opinion has helped the brand Pentax position itself as an 'affordable luxury' brand, classy and well designed, old fashioned quality married to high tech and all at a price that made it
seem to be 'almost too good to be true'.

Unless there is a legal angle to this that means it is impossible for 'SMC' to be retained, I can't for the life of me understand the rationale behind this marketing decision. The 'nano coating' thing all sounds very impressive but other people are doing this too...they could have kept SMC and merely enhanced it in an understated kind of way by adding a '+' or 'super' or an asterix as in 'DA*'.

Anyway, rant over...what does anyone else think?


Link Posted 12/09/2012 - 23:26
Hadn't thought about it... But guess I have to agree with you...
Pentax K5- Vivitar 19mm 3.8; FA35mm f2; D-Xenon 100mm macro f2.8; DA50-200mm WR...
Yongnuo YN-560; Vivitar 285HV; Cactus V4 triggers...
Pentax-MX & M50mm f1.4; Spottie & 55mm f1.8; MG & M40mm 2.8...



Link Posted 12/09/2012 - 23:34
I think it is trying to appeal to the uninformed masses - HD is more widely understood than SMC. It's only us anoraks that 'get' SMC.
... just another middle-aged guy with a hobby. I have an extreme macro learning site at extreme-macro.co.uk - Pentax-centric, your feedback and comments would be appreciated!


Link Posted 12/09/2012 - 23:46
Super Multi Coating made sense back in the day. High Definition abbreviated to HD mostly means current TV resolution (much lower than our cameras can achieve for stills) so not sure what the idea is here. Personally if it works better than before I'm not too bothered.


Link Posted 12/09/2012 - 23:47
I doubt that this will make a scrap of difference. In any event, many lenses will continue to be SMC. HD should appeal to those who understand what it means and probably everyone else won't really notice.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 13/09/2012 - 08:29
What abaout SMC HD. This would keep everyone happy.


Link Posted 13/09/2012 - 08:49
SMC was only significant when Pentax developed ground breaking Super Multi Coating. I can't imagine any manufacturer producing lenses without something very similar.
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -


Link Posted 13/09/2012 - 08:57
Samsung have FULL HD on their cameras

I would expect a legal challenge HD is probably a trademark

Why not call them iPod coated or just Digital
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff



Link Posted 13/09/2012 - 15:31
Thanks for your comments chaps. Wasn't expecting any replies so soon after I posted it but four insomniacs proved me wrong!

Time will tell whether or not it was a smart move. I still have my doubts though. In all likelihood the last surviving 'smc' lenses may well outlast their owners.
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