Since the H.C. clearly has a true multi-coating, many have assumed that the pervious series only had 'single' coating. Nikon (and a lot of other makers too) was putting more than one layer of coatings on lenses for quite a while, (especially on interior element sets, usually so the operator wouldn't "clean" them) and even stated it in product info. The full-on multi layer came after Pentax started making it a marketing thing, and everyone else had to keep up. That said the additional coatings do help with color rendition and contrast in backlit shooting, but if you shoot mostly B&W and use a hood the early series are quite sharp and have a charming character, seems to pull more subtle tones out the shadows in B&W for me. Some of my Nikkor F series have a cooler color 'tone' when shooting in color, sometimes that can add to the image impact. If you can find the H.C for good price get that one, especially if you plan on doing more color work, if not the H can be gotten for silly money and is a solid lens.