Camera controls Part II
Pentax LX - Modern Classic SLRs Series

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Advance stroke.jpg (11k) Lug.jpg (8k)
Many of the LX controls found in the camera are packed with truly original idea and they are well thought out features, which aims for a greater degree of versatility and handling ease for the photographer in control.

The 120° film wind angle with partial wind capability, for instance, has been thoroughly redesigned as compared with other Pentax model for improved operation and durability. It has a winding angle of 120° plus a 25° standoff angle, and any amount of partial winding (Multiple small strokes until it cocks the shutter) is possible. The winding mechanism moves on eight ball bearings, giving it an improved smooth action. The LX wind lever is also extra tough - capable of withstanding pressures
up to 30kg. I can't say the LX's winding mechanism is the smoothest among all professional class SLRs, for an instance, the Nikon F3 was still far supeior in this area, but in comparison, the LX winding torque is much better designed than the even stiffer Canon New F-1. Its shutter release button is well placed for user's fast and comfortable access with the right index finger naturally rests onto when holding the camera. A light gentle touch will activate the metering (after un-locking), a common "new" feature found in most SLR camera introduced during the '80. At the bulb ("B") position, the shutter release button can be locked in the down position with the shutter release lock lever for long time exposures.

Frame Counter
The exposure counter is another very well designed feature. It is an additive type with scale that indexed from exposure 1 to 38, where at frame 12, 20, 24, 36 marked in Red. It keeps track of exposures even while rewinding, so it is easy to check when motorized rewinding has finished.

Due to the LX has no assigned multiple exposre lever like those found in the Nikons, but since multiple exposure feature is almost an essential feature requires for profeesional usage, the accuracy of the LX counter was given special attention and resulting in the photographer can wind back to any frame for precise multiple exposures.

When you need to perform the task of multiple exposures, the LX offers with two ways to operate that capability. The first way is to advance the film wind lever while pressing the film rewind button to release the film take-up spool and sprocket gear. This keeps the film in position for additional exposures. The second is simply to rewind to several frames before the frame to be exposed a second time and shoot blank shots up to that frame. The LX's accurate exposure counter may not to too convenient, but the process can help to make this procedure simple but at exacting, precise registration.

If you wish to make double exposures on the remaining frames, or again on the same frame, you must press the film rewind/multiple exposure button once again for each additional exposure. To return to the original frame without exposing the images already on film, cover the lens with the lens cap and advance the rapid wind lever until the 15 index appears in the exposure counter window. You will return to the original position on the frame within a 0.2mm tolerance.

After taking the first exposure, simply press the film rewind/multiple exposure button at the base of the camera to disengage the film transport mechanism and exposure counter. Advance the rapid wind lever to cock the shutter, adjust the exposure as required and press the shutter release to take the second exposure. Press the rewind/multiple exposure button once again for each additional exposure on the same frame.

The random access feature of the LX camera's twoway exposure counter enables you to produce multiple exposures on any frame as long as the film has not been wound off the take-up spool. As an exlirnple, let's say after reaching frame 15 you decide to double expose the image on frame 10. To do so,

    1. a) Push the film rewind/multiple exposure button.
    2. b) Lift the film rewind crank and wind the film back until the 9 index appears in the exposure counter window.
    3. c) Cover the lens with the lens cap, advance the rapid wind lever, set the shutter dial to a manual speed to avoid long exposures and press the shutter release button.
    4. d) Advance the rapid wind lever until the "10" appears in the exposure counter window and make the second exposure.

ASA setting.jpg
The film speed setting dial is located at the base of the film rewind crank. It features a reliable locking mechanism (the locking lever is located beside the dial) that prevents accidental movement of the dial.

Virtually any 35mm film on the market is covered by a relatively good film speed range of ISO 6 to 3200. Well, you can still combine with the exposure compensation dial to do further enhancement.

| Next | Detailing ways how to handle the Exposure Compensation Dial, the triple function Self Timer/Depth-of-Field Preview/Mirror Lockup lever and the interesting but highly innovative shoulder strap lug system in the LX.