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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 : Mico (micolx@netscape.net)
Url : http://
Date : 08:38 PM Sunday 30 May, 2004

I have been using mainly silver oxide and stacked lithium batteries in my LXs, rarely alkalines. Many years ago, before mercury cells had been discontinued, one pair of these outperformed all I have ever used. Silvers are the most reliable stuff as I can say, lithiums are claimed to be most suitable for extreme cold conditions, their ONLY advantage over silver (even for LX, "Pentax Familly" issue, 1987), but my Canadian experience does not say so... Lithiums tend to show false low-battery warning at extreme colds, silvers do not. I had disposed a couple of lithium sets before I realised that battery was good and recovered from cold after a while. Alkalines are very good performers, but a set of spare ones is a must for serious use. I have not seen false meter reading just before low battery warning (even after) with any battery type. For AUTO speeds, it is hard to say, but it is not wise to use Auto in such case. 1,55 V silver batteries are quite good, there is some extra margin for long life. M.


2. From : AB (handmaid@fsmail.net)
Url : http://
Date : 11:44 PM Saturday 29 May, 2004

Yup, I've been talking rubbish. Just checked and I've been using stacked lithiums in a number of LX's a KX and an MX for the past several years with no apparent problems and reasonable longevity. AB


3. From : Dan (dgrimes@unlv.nevada.edu)
Url : http://
Date : 12:29 AM Saturday 29 May, 2004

Thanks, folks; your information is great. Although I might be dwelling too much on this area, I might actually do some testing using an LX body, an ME Super body, and an external battery compartment accessory to plot my own characteristic curves including metering levels at voltage levels. I've already ordered lithium, silver oxide, and alkaline batteries. Sometimes I hate being an engineer--I get too technical! Something tells me I will never get around to it; but if I do, I'll share the information. Thanks again for your insight- Dan


4. From : rick oleson (rick_oleson@yahoo.com)
Url : http://rick_oleson.tripod.com
Date : 12:04 AM Saturday 29 May, 2004

Hi! I'm not an LXer but I've tinkered with batteries a bit, due to a need to keep a couple of dozen old mercury-powered cameras running. If the system was designed for silver cells, you're unlikely to find any other battery that works as well. Lithiums that substitute for a stacked pair of silver cells do not have the same flat voltage curve, they drop off almost similarly to alkalines. Zinc/Air cells are probably the best substitute available for the discontinued 1.35v mercury cells, but their voltage is substantially below that of a silver cell and they will almost never give satisfactory performance in a system designed for silver.

There is variation among silver cells as well; some, for instance, have a higher current capacity than others of the same size. on that subject, this makes informative reading: http://olympus.dementia.org/Hardware/357_batteries.html

rick (from over at the olympus page at: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/messageboard/olympusom1n2/index.php3) :)=


5. From : GLOBETROTTER (globetrotterworld@hotmail.com)
Url : http://globetrotterworld.co.uk
Date : 08:57 PM Friday 28 May, 2004

"...Is a consistance voltage critical to the LX?..." YES, it is. There can be slight inconsistancy in exposure prior to the 'low-battery' indicator coming on, so I would advise you to regularly change the batteries for new ones if you have been using the LX for prolonged periods, especially when operating in auto-mering mode for many long-time exposures in low light. At least change those batteries as soon as you notice a slight flicker in the red diode (and preferably before it happens).

The 'low-battery' diode wil flicker when the voltage falls to 2.5V, but the meter of the LX will indicate one full stop extra exposure as soon as voltage drops to 2.8V (which is before the actual 'low-battery' indication).


6. From : Ian (ian@ity.co.uk)
Url : http://
Date : 06:14 AM Friday 28 May, 2004

Dan, interesting data. IMO your asking for trouble using zinc/air cells. Their long term storage is only facilitated if you arrest the "air" - reseal the cell after removing it from the camera. Also their lower nominal voltage is bordering on "low battery" warnings. The LX low battery warning kicks in at or below 2.72 volts (measured unloaded). - Ian.


7. From : Dan (dgrimes@unlv.nevada.edu)
Url : http://
Date : 01:29 AM Friday 28 May, 2004

I just did an extensive search of batteries. More manufacturers exist beyond my list, but I focused on the most available ones. If you don't want the data, read my conclusions/questions at the end. Here is some data:

Alkaline/Manganese Dioxide (all 1.5 volts, 11.6mm x 5.4mm, IEC LR44):
Energizer A76 (150mAh@7.5Kohms)
Kodak KA76 (125mAh@5.6Kohms)
Duracell PX76A/675A (card label=76A)(No Data)

Silver Oxide (all 1.55 volts, 11.6mm x 5.4mm, IEC SR44):
Kodak KS76 (145mAh@5.6Kohms)
Ray-O-Vac 303/357-1W (No Data)
Varta V76PX (145mAh@5.6Kohms)
Varta V13GS (155mAh@5.6Kohms)
Varta V303 (170mAh@5.6Kohms)
Varta V357 (165mAh@5.6Kohms)
Varta V357HS (180mAh@5.6Kohms)
Energixer EPX76 (200mAh@6.5Kohms)
Energizer 357 (175mAh@5.6Kohms)
Energizer 303 (175mAh@5.6Kohms)
Duracell MS76 (180mAh@1.5Kohms)

Zinc-Air (all 1.4v, 11.6mm x 5.4mm, IEC PR44):
Duracell 675 (600mAh@620ohms)
Energizer AC675 (635mAh@625ohms)
Varta p675 (650mAh)

Lithium/Manganese Dioxide (all 3v, 11.6mmx 10.8mm, IEC CR11108):
Kodak K58L (160mAh@2.mA; 180mAh@2Kohms)
Varta CR1/3N (170mAh@5.6Kohms)
Duracell 1/3N (Data not comparable)
Energizer 2L76 (160mAh@15Kohms)

Mercury (all 1.4v)
No data found.

Conclusions:
1. Silver oxide batteries have better capacities and have excellant flat discharge voltages. The voltage falls off very little until the are expended. They do not come in a stacked form.
2. The only stacked battery (totalling 11.6mm x 10.8mm) is the lithium batteries. These do not have any advantage in power capacity and the voltage falls off as it discharges. They do have the advantage of one less contact to inhibit proper voltage.
3. Zinc/Air has an incredible storage capacity, but at a lower voltage. This will create a higher current draw, but the zinc/air allows for it.

Questions:
Is a consistance voltage critical to the LX?
Has anyone tried zinc/air batteries? Is the 1.5 volts critical?
What batteries are LX users using?

I think I might experiment with an old ME Super body to see if there are reactions to different batteries. Dan Grimes


8. From : Ian (ian@ity.co.uk)
Url : http://
Date : 11:54 PM Thursday 27 May, 2004

Dan: The official choice of battery for the LX are Silver Oxide or Alkaline (quoting from the manual) - 357 / SR44 size. The Silver Oxide's are preferable as they maintain a linear (and higher) output voltage far better than Alkaline cells. You can also use a CR(DL)1/3N which is a single double height Lithium (NON-rechargeable) cell. In theory, the Lithium will give you the best performance results although I've heard that they actually don't last as long as Silver Oxide. I currently use the Lithium cell in both my LX bodies, but have no conclusive results on longevity to pass on. If you use Alkaline (cheap and easy to acquire), pack a second set as I've found that in prolonged continuous use they have a habit of falling below the "low battery" voltage threshold right when you need them most (rest them for half an hour if you don't have a spare set in the field). Merely my opinions, many here have much more experience with LX's and their findings may differ. - Ian.


9. From : AB (handmaid@fsmail.net)
Url : http://
Date : 03:54 PM Thursday 27 May, 2004

Dan: I think you're best off sticking to the recommended type of battery (I remember reading somwhere that other battery compositions behave in different ways). I use the double Duracell battery as this eliminates two contact surfaces and I have been happy with them. I remember thinking about lithium when I was running a fair few LX's as it seemed to be the saviour of the battery users world. I did some research and can't remember the exact results but I do remember concluding that it wasn't right for the LX. AB


10. From : Dan (dgrimes@unlv.nevada.edu)
Url : http://
Date : 01:05 PM Thursday 27 May, 2004

I like to use eBay to check out what things are worth by searching completed transactions. Unfortunately, things can sell too low on eBay. bhphotovideo.com has a lot of used gear and you can check out rated used pricing. My McKeown's price guide (2001-2002 edition) gives the following values to your list:

Penax LX with FA1 finder $400-600
SMC-A Pentax 50mm F1.4 $65-100
SMC-A Pentax 24mm F2.8 $175-250
SMC-M Pentax 35mm F2.8 $80-120
SMC-A Pentax 70-210mm f4 $120-180

These prices compare to what I have seen them at bhphotovideo, but a private sale will not fetch these amounts. I have seen systems like yours in the classified ads for $900. Dan


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