My LR5 is exporting low res files for some weird reason. I figure it has to do with the fact that I recently started using the smart preview function. What made me almost 100% certain is has to do with this is the fact that I removed the hard drive that the files were linked to in LR, and then I was still able to export files. Now that in my mind shouldn't be as that file would be based on the smart preview created.
With all that said....any ideas on how to get around this?
You have to export with the original files linked to the Lightroom catalog.
The export feature is available when using smart previews. Sometimes users want to export images to post on the web or to give to clients for evaluation. You simply have to be aware of what you are doing.
When LR has a choice of using either the hi res original or the SP, it will always choose the original.