Sudden ultra-slow importing issue in LR5.2 - possibly smart collection related?

I've been using LR for almost two years now, and have never seen this before:
This evening I wanted to import a series of images from my card reader using LR (just updated to 5.2 from the 5.2RC); I have ~240 images to import. I always have LR set to convert to DNG on import, and also to save a backup of the original raw file (NEF) onto a separate HDD at the same time. LR has always been pretty fast to carry out this process: normally just a few minutes are required for that amount of images (not including rendering previews once the DNGs are imported). However, today it's suddenly become painfully slow - as I type this, it's so far managed to import a mere 58 images, having so far taken about an hour and twenty minutes! Each image is being added one at a time, with a long pause before the next one clocks up in the 'current import' folder. I've never seen such slow performance with LR before.
I wonder if this is a bug connected to the final release of 5.2? I doubt it, as I would have expected to have heard about this by now, but you never know...
I have recently - in the past few days - set up a number (at least 80) of new smart collections that pick up raw images taken at specific focal lengths, as well as another set picking up specific apertures used for each raw shot in the catalogue (unlike the majority of my pre-existing smart collections, these new collections are purely there for interest really - nice to see which focal lengths are the most used for example - but don't serve as an aid to any specific workflow). In short, I've greatly increased the number of smart collections running in my catalogue. Would having a significant number of smart collections slow down the image ingestion process? For example, is LR updating individual smart collections on the fly as images are imported, and thus having to pick through each collection in order to complete the import (I'd always assumed that this would all be added to a central index in the catalogue that the smart collections feed from, but perhaps there are multiple indexes, one for each smart collection)?
I guess the other possible cause could be a corrupt catalogue, although both the catalogue integrity check and optimisation complete without a hitch and everything else seems to be fine.
I'm on Win7 x64, running the LR catalogue and previews from an SSD (with images stored on a separate HDD), with an i7 3770K CPU, 16GB RAM, and an AMD 5850 Radeon graphics card.
I'd be most grateful to hear the opinions of other LR users.
M

This just started happening to me as well. EVerything was fine and import was what I consider normal until 2 days ago. Had trouble with one camera which kept losing connection. I import from the camera directly...copy as DNG to an internal hard drive. Now all my cameras are importing at a ridiculously slow rate of speed. As far as I know I changed nothing to make this happen. Very odd and cannot find anything about it except for your post. Anyone else out there experiencing this?

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