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Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Pentax LX - Message Board/Guestbook

Industry wide indications and ceasing film body development by Pentax altogether in early 2003 more than suggest the manual focus Pentax LX will not be having an upgrade (except, perhaps for very rare Limited Edition Models hand assembled by special commission by the new HoyaPentax Corporation). In 2008 Pentax became a division of Hoya Corporation, which had together with Pentax released jointly developed professional grade optics (since 2005); Pentax has shifted its attention to development of auto focus Digital SLRs having build qualities constructed for the long run--now with weather seals--like the LX. You may use this site for common support and sharing of mutual users knowledge or experiences among yourselves. You may also use this message board as a guestbook for the advanced users Pentax SLR cameras from the LX forward, including many such auto focus film cameras, and Pentax digital SLR cameras. We keep the site going too for the WORD SEARCH FEATURE found here as to its magnificent K mount system user archives: as have been shared here for many years. Have an inquiry related to Pentax gear? First try KEYING IN YOUR KEY WORD(S) for a preexisting archived response on your subject of inquiry from this LX site. If your inquiry or sharing is from advanced users K10D, K20D, or K200D SLR needs, proceed on to t NEW PENTAX ADVANCED USERS K10D, K20D SLR site.

This LX site was specifically created for the great Pentax LX SLR camera model(s), and now has incorporated increased opportunity for an expanded interchange with the introductions of the Pentax K10D, K20D, and K200D SLRs to include advanced and professional digital user models. Interchange is encouraged with the intention to continue as a forum for advanced system users of past K-mount film based SLR systems and the mentioned Pentax DSLRs. With decreasing forum traffic here, and enthusiasts moving on with SLR digital imaging products futures, we hope the continued convenience of this site and its past Pentax advanced LX users data archives--provided by the database KEY WORD SEARCH FEATURE found here--can be very useful to you. Most past site user techniques, systems components, and lenses of Pentax advanced applications--as have been past examined by users on this site--are still of use regarding the newest Pentax SLRs. Please don't mail us with other than constructive suggestions or to rectify mistakes found within this site, thank you. Since this is a non-profitable resource site, maintained by professional and advanced system users, the developer of this site reserves the rights to censor or delete any inappropriate, unrelated, misleading or excessively hostile messages posted herein. If your intention is to dispose of your Pentax cameras or its accompanying accessories and/or you are looking for a used model, or even for any of its system components: please use a separate section with a higher volume of related traffic for these purposes: on the
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1. From : GLOBETROTTER (globetrotterworld@hotmail.com)
Url : http://globetrotterworld.co.uk
Date : 10:10 PM Tuesday 13 July, 2004

Quote: "...to understand its brevity and mention of caveats or stipulations for its comprehension and understanding..."

Fully comprehensive stuff, Jay! Many of us enjoy and read your ramblings, Jay; just as many ramble on a bit, including most of us, myself included! The world is full of differences of opinion, and I'm not just saying which medium I prefer to use at the moment, or even which is superior, because in my personal view neither is, unless of course it actually performs exactly how you want it to.

"...No DSLR I've used so far, and that includes Canons premier offering, EOS 1DS, really can deliver the exquisite details often deemed necessary for scenic landscape work. So this is still a domain in which film (and large format) prevails..." Bjørn Rørslett - I'd have to second that statement by Bjorn; even when we consider the updated versions by Canon, Nikon, Kodak and Fuji. I will reiterate that I agree that digital is the future of photography, but it is not yet the present. And at present, like most who read this website, and millions of other photographers worldwide, prefer the results obtained from film - whether that is based on quality, cost, or sheer love of tinkering with an LX at sunset, or all three. Keep the information coming, Jay, because in reality, I reckon that I agree with you far more than I actually disagree.


2. From : AB (handmaid@fsmail.net)
Url : http://
Date : 09:35 PM Tuesday 13 July, 2004

Well, my latest batch of prints arrived this morning and they were all so crap the only place that would accept them is the dustbin (trash can)! AB


3. From : Jay (ibcom@onebox.com)
Url : http://
Date : 08:32 PM Tuesday 13 July, 2004

"Now that it is all sorted out?" You lost me on that one. "A digital file can quite easily be adjusted to give a similar colour rendition as Velvia, but having to play on the computer and adjust almost every single exposure taking on a digital SLR just so that it looks sharp enough, or gives the correct colour balance that you require, is time most of us would rather spend out there shooting more exposures". Well, one thing that is sorted out is that Tony's standard of excellence is Velvia. My posting was on color as seen and rendered. It was not on nature photography, gaming photographer's preferences, nor on the obvious reasons why some magazines will continue to use transparencies. --Jay


4. From : GLOBETROTTER (globetrotterworld@hotmail.com)
Url : http://globetrotterworld.co.uk
Date : 05:19 PM Tuesday 13 July, 2004

Calm down, Jay...it’s only a commercial! There is no doubt that some magazines now accept digital files, as do some that I write for (although all still prefer colour transparencies), and a beautiful new USA wildlife magazine reproduces a lot of digital work, but all-in-all, the majority of high-quality magazines worldwide are still geared up for mainly using transparencies. So, in other words, the main requirement for a professional photographer to supply a constant flow of acceptable images to a wide variety of magazines worldwide, is to own a film-based camera and supply images made by such a camera, and not digital based – period.

Mind you, times they are a changing. Just look at the photography section shelves in major magazine shops and you will have noticed that the massive influx of new digital photography titles has almost swamped the film-based titles (although there seems to be an upsurge of defiance from the old film-based magazines, and even good ol’ Black & White film-based magazines are realising a short burst of new life). You are right in some areas about digital, Jay. One important thing I’ve noticed is the greater definition picked up by digital in the shadow areas. But this has always been a problem with some E6 films, especially Velvia 50 when compared to print film, yet, when we look at the most-used film on the market for landscape or wildlife subjects, it is that Velvia 50 which is being used – regardless of its narrow f/stop range. Our lives are so full of crud and lacklustre events that our minds and eyeballs crave for images that are vibrant, sharp and full of colour and rarely have any close relation to the real thing!

A digital file can quite easily be adjusted to give a similar colour rendition as Velvia, but having to play on the computer and adjust almost every single exposure taking on a digital SLR just so that it looks sharp enough, or gives the correct colour balance that you require, is time most of us would rather spend out there shooting more exposures.

There are far too many problems yet to iron out with digital SLRs, such as inability to do acceptable long-time exposures, or the horrendous problems with dust on the mirror (a problem that does not show up on film-based SLRs!), or the ultra-high consumption of battery power, or the need to take a variety of heavy different battery packs for each different camera body, or need to take memory discs, or compact flash cards, and download software and cables, and storage media, and laptop computer, and more cables, and all those extra batteries to run everything, etc, on long trips into the field; and a mule to carry everything – or a hanky to cry on when the batteries fail.

Yes, digital is definitely coming of age, and is improving at break-neck speed, but in reality, film is still king. The king is dead, long live the king. Now all that’s sorted, let’s pack our Pentax LX or Kodak Pro15mp and go out there and take some stunning ‘pictures’…because no matter what we think, or how much we pay, or which route we take to meet our goal; the most important fact is that we arrive. Mind you, some would argue that the journey is sometimes more exciting than the actual destination!


5. From : Jay (ibcom@onebox.com)
Url : http://
Date : 07:03 AM Tuesday 13 July, 2004

Also, it is obvious from the material quoted that its writer is still in the dark ages, not only on small format digital imaging file sizes, but knows nothing of medium and large format digital backs: which, currently, without pixel upgrading, can render up to an 80MB file origination (from the largest back available, FYI). He is then comparing a 4X5 inch film transparency, to be drum scanned for his magazine, with a small format Canon digital origination. This is ludicrous, period.

Other limits on digital originations are that TIFFs and RAWs need to be sharpened through imaging software to be useable at all. Period. This is just the reality of digital media. But, what comes out of the unsharp mask process is amazing, and takes literally less than one minute. This seems far less encumbering of technology than the time and effort of a drum scanner. A 4 X 5 drum scanner was not mentioned for comparison by the posting because of readership and readership use here. A 35mm scanner is much more likely to be in our camp.

Does anyone reading here shoot for any of the big Italian Fashion rags? They use 645, often Bronica, for most of what you see printed, on larger pages than Arizona Highways. Arizona Higways just has its own way of doing things, as does any other enterprize. Period. --Jay


6. From : Jay (ibcom@onebox.com)
Url : http://
Date : 06:39 AM Tuesday 13 July, 2004

Tony, Well, as you said, it is important to compare information accurately. The use by Arizona Highways of 4X5 originations is not compared at all as to color seen and rendered by my wordy writing (I always vow to myself to find time to edit before posting, but seldom does time permit). It was clearly a comparison of digital color rendering by 35mm film to professional small format digital color originations. Arizona Highways is a lovely magazine, but, from what you shared, does not seem applicable to what was being stated. Most magazines do not require 4X5 film originals: they are one of the few.

The new Kodak body small format professional, released in June, not the one you wrote about recently, is a 14-15 MP body, differing from the 11 MP Body you stated at the top of the heap. The article though, is not about view camera magazine reproduction, nor such a magazine's slant on such. I can name dozens of magazines using digital original images. From much smaller formats than 4 X 5. I hesitated to post what I did, but the principles hold as to rendering color information accurately in small format use(what it was about).

And, I can assure you that my own 14.5 MP 645 back has been published in many annual reports of outdoor product companies, and other magazine like reproductions with often greater detail than I see in many nature image based magazines.

The posting was about the technology of color capture actually, and how that plays out by the two one reading here may currently use. I suggest you see the Fred Miranda site to view imagry from the pro glass on digital small format. As I stated, a scan from a piece of small format film does not give as much color information as from a profession digital small format camera, in spite of generating a larger file size. Read it and weep. My posting then, was not about magazine publishing at all, but about color rendering from a scene by specific technology. --Jay


7. From : GLOBETROTTER (globetrotterworld@hotmail.com)
Url : http://globetrotterworld.co.uk
Date : 05:08 AM Tuesday 13 July, 2004

Yes "a lot to mull over", Jay - maybe sometimes a few too many words in each sentence to explain the actual point - but certainly a lot of useful information to extract from the chaff.

I think we all know that digital is the future of photography, Jay, but not now...and for a lot of people, a long time into the future.

Consider what a leading magazine - reproducing high-quality stunning images on a monthly basis, and receiving thousands of images on a daily basis - actually accepts for publication. Here is a snippet from one such magazine's acceptance notes:
“…As technology advancements in digital photography race to the shelves of camera stores, one of the hottest discussion topics among photographers is the image-quality comparison of photographs shot on film vs. that of digital-capture. Indeed, there are some advantages in shooting with a digital camera: seeing your photographs immediately; editing as you shoot, saving only the best for printing; and the ability to make your own high-quality color enlargements on an inexpensive digital printer. But is the image quality of digital-capture high enough for large reproductions in a magazine like Arizona Highways that is known for the quality of its photography?
Presently, the answer is "no."
One of the most-asked questions Arizona Highways readers pose to the magazine’s photography editors is, "Why, with all these advancements in digital cameras, does the magazine’s photography submission policy exclude digital-capture photographs?" They reason that their digital photographs make beautiful 8x10 or even 11x14 photographic prints on their digital printers, so their digital photographs should also make beautiful reproductions printed in a magazine. This is where the discussion of image quality diverges. Suddenly the comparison becomes apples and oranges, color photographic prints vs. four-color reproduction printing.
The best of the current generation of digital cameras records image files a little more than 11 megapixels, quite a leap in size from the 5- and 6-megapixel cameras that were state-of-the-art just a couple of years ago. Even less-expensive cameras recording images at far less than 11 megapixels will yield 13x19-inch digital prints of excellent quality and resolution. But an 11-megapixel capture is not nearly large enough for the sharp, high-resolution full-page reproductions we strive for on the printed pages of Arizona Highways magazine at 300 dots per inch….”
"...An 11-megapixel capture made with a top-of-the-line digital camera is roughly equivalent to a 31-megabyte digital file. When Arizona Highways prepares a 4x5 transparency for reproduction in the magazine at 300 dpi, the film is scanned on a drum scanner, and a digital file is created at about 75 megabytes for a 12x18-inch reproduction, about the size of a two-page spread in Arizona Highways. A simple comparison here is made much more complicated by press profiles and variables such as file-size conversion and red/green/blue (RGB) conversion to cyan/magenta/yellow/black (CMYK) color mode. But simply stated, digital-capture with even the latest camera equipment does not contain enough information for large magazine reproductions at 300 dpi, not to mention the complicated steps of preparing captured digital files for submission according to the prescribed profiles for magazine printing….”Peter Ensenberger

Jay, I think we are sometimes also talking about apples and oranges here. Our main aim is not to record merely the exact copy of the subject, but to record something that emits a similar emotion to what our eyes absorbed.
A simple landscape image taken on a cheap large format 4X5 camera and Velvia film, then scanned in a high quality drum scanner, will yield an image to outstrip anything possible in the very best digital SLR, as would the same with a Pentax 6X7, or even Pentax 645n, or dare I say it…yeah, why not?!…. - Even on a simple LX camera!

Another important note about the difference between film and digital…. is that actual DIFFERENCE! – Yes, an image from film actually LOOKS different from an image originating from film.
Let’s take it even further…An image taken of a dramatic landscape scene on a camera - straight, with no help from vibrant film or filters - generally gives a recording of that particular scene, but does not record the actual emotion and visual 3-D impact that the human eye has absorbed from that scene. Take the same scene with a vibrant Velvia film, plus a neutral density filter, plus a polarizer, and then – Pow! – The camera produces an image that has nothing relating to a scientific recording of the correct colours of that scene….but, it does give us an image that relates more to what our eyes actually recorded – an the emotional impact that such a colourful landscape had originally transmitted to our eyes and brain.


8. From : GLOBETROTTER (globetrotterworld@hotmail.com)
Url : http://globetrotterworld.co.uk
Date : 12:25 AM Tuesday 13 July, 2004

Talk of the devil....

I've just noticed an SMC Pentax-A 135mm F1.8 Lens with Rear Cap,Leather Case in excellent condition, on auction with opening bids no less than $1,695.00 (£911.00)!

Looks like your 135mm 1.8 is rising faster than your savings account, Anton!

I had the chance to buy a 135mm F/1.8 in mint condition for only £285.00 a few years back. Talk about lost chances!


9. From : GLOBETROTTER (globetrotterworld@hotmail.com)
Url : http://globetrotterworld.co.uk
Date : 11:15 PM Monday 12 July, 2004

Pentax will be launching their new DSLR at the Photokina - an entry-level budget model cheaper than the ist*D, but it seems the hoped-for upgraded *istD Pro-level version will have to wait until next year.

On the LX front, second-hand items seem still to be falling (except for the 2000 LX model!), although pro-level manual Pentax classics are still climbing in price. Recently an LX body + drive + lens sold for £1,035 ($1,925.00)! This is way over the normal price for this selection of kit (used), but there is no doubt that the much sought after lens as part of this kit: Pentax A* 85mm f/1.4 - was the reason for plenty of active bidding in the auction.(I think I was mad to sell my old Pentax FA 85mm F/1.4 for under £300 in mint condition!).
The other lens that really fetches a high prices at auction (especially mint examples) is the legendary Pentax A* 135mm F/1.8.


10. From : Mico (micolx@netscape.net)
Url : http://
Date : 05:45 AM Monday 12 July, 2004

Neil, I was not called for answer here, but I am curious before Jay takes over: which digital camera you are talking about (Point-and Shoot, Digicam or DSLR)? I am not pro-digital(on the contrary), but unlike film cameras, digital cameras are much more different regarding final image quality. M.


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Maintainers for Pentax LX Series SLR Camera Models Message Board:
Tony Davies-Patrick (Globetrotter) (globetrotterworld@hotmail.com); Mico Smiljanic (micolx@netscape.net);
Jay Hart (ibcom@onebox.com); Philip Ashman (genesisphil@hotmail.com)

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