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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 : AB (nuzzlemuff@fsmail.net)
Url : http://
Date : 05:01 AM Wednesday 09 May, 2007

Greetings One and All

I have suffered some ruined LX exposures. The big band I sing with finally got to make an album, the band leader who is reasonably well off decided to fund the project - not cheap as there are 19 of us and the studio had to be large. The leader asked me to take black & white photographs of each band member and some general shots. The general shots were on 3200 ISO but for the individual shots I used Tri-X (400 ISO) and a 400T flash on TTL..

The initial flash shots are fine but randomly towards the end of the roll, a number of shots are black with just an exposed slit to the right hand end of the print. It's as if the camera fired at 1/2000. The camera was set on Auto and all indicators in the viewfinder behaved normally. Robin (my camera tech) said this is very strange, he hadn't come across it before. I tried to run some tests (without film) but found it difficult to get anything meaningful, I was about to put a test film through when I noticed that the LEDs flickered when the shutter held a long exposure although they were fine when just taking a reading, I assumed that the current draw to hold the shutter open was sufficient to dip the battery. I replaced the battery - which turned out to be a single 3v lithium - and the LEDs were steady at all times.

Is it possible that the current draw that triggers the flash dipped the failing battery enough to mess up the TTL and cause the shutter to fire at 1/2000 or similar? My only worry is that an LX on Auto without battery power, locks up the mirror. This didn't happen but maybe if the power just dips, who knows how it will respond.

I'm hoping the battery was the problem, I have ordered some Silver Oxides as there have been questions about using Lithiums in the older cameras, I've heard that they don't discharge in quite the same way. In future I shall use the LX on 1/75 X instead of Auto as I assume there's no way the shutter will fire any faster as it's a mechanically controlled speed.

Any ideas on this?

AB


2. From : Jay (ibcom@onebox.com)
Url : http://
Date : 11:44 PM Monday 16 April, 2007

John, For the cost of careful shipment, your cameras can be given a no cost, no obligation repair estimate and authorization by Pentax Imaging USA. Send to Pentax Service Department, 1200 Zuni St.,
Suite 100B, Westminster, Colorado 80234. Leave out straps, cases, battery or the like. Just pack the cameras with adequate packing material all around each one, keep a record of the serial number(s), enclose a note on what is needed plus your return physical address, e-mail address, and phone number. For any parts or other direct information, ask for Customer Service at 800-877-0155. It may be wise to phone to see what can and cannot be serviced prior to sending in any past Pentax product. Recall too that the LX has moisture proofing seals which cost a little more to install, and are always necessary along with whatever other LX repair protocols are established. For proper calibration of an LX, and for the organization that uses factory alignment tools, to return a body to original specifications, this is the service to use. --Jay


3. From : John (hopirn@yahoo.com)
Url : http://
Date : 06:09 PM Sunday 15 April, 2007

Hello, I have 2 LX bodies in need of service.
Any advice as to where to send these camera's for a check up in the US. On Ebay, I found a service, ID name "pentaxrepairs" Has anybody used this. Thanks


4. From : Jay (ibcom@onebox.com)
Url : http://
Date : 06:14 AM Friday 13 April, 2007

All: FYI Pentax and Hoya have delayed their 2007 merger. The Pentax Corp board was divided over the plan, and Hoya continues to offer to mend the proposed outcome to please all parties. FYI, Pentax was in the red until 2003, only then going to profitability in shifting development away from point and shoots to medical instruments and DSLR development (since 2000). So, the profitability of SLRs will continue to influence most Pentax Corporation strategic and tactical development plans. Perhaps the professional grade DSLR which Ivan, I and others seek to find from Pentax will emerge later in this year. Perhaps Hoya and Pentax will help further define the future for their conjoint mutual interests in becoming team relevant and innovative future Camera and imaging industry players. Time will tell. --Jay


5. From : Jay (ibcom@onebox.com)
Url : http://
Date : 11:59 AM Tuesday 10 April, 2007

Ivan,

Your thoughts are succint and exacting. My primary LX uses were as thought out below your posting, and, include your posting items #1 and #3 (backpacking is especially valuable due to its compact handheld, low battery need nature). A good film camera, with an accurate meter, and excellent optics fill primarily the need for edge to edge detail, without tradeoffs over background details which set the natural environment (mentioned as leaves and grass). For poster size or life-sized model prints or store window fillers Velvia and Provi Fuji films still excel. We will embrace the new Fuji Velvia 50, without any closeted ghosts, or other ghosts. --Jay


6. From : Ivan J. Eberle (Pupfish@starband.net)
Url : http://www.ivaneberle.com
Date : 02:35 AM Tuesday 10 April, 2007

Jay,

The LX is perhaps today economically relevant not so much for picture taking as an fine classic example near the pinnacle of rugged compact film-based camera systems from the late 70's and early 80's. Fine enough examples to actually use commercially are rapidly getting to be rare collector's items now and probably would be best put away in climate-controlled storage. I expect one could cherry-pick mint ones and hold onto them for a few years, turn around and sell them, and outperform a lot of other photographic equipment investments.

Heck, I could probably sell my 20+ year old beater LX for close to what I bought it for, then. (But at the risk of my 100.0% ebay rating, however! It would not be a great value to the buyer.).

There's an abundance of well-loved and worn-out LX examples on the market that have perhaps lasted several times longer than other camera bodies of the era held together, but the majority of these are nevertheless worn out. To shoot commercially or critically with such an LX as a primary body is no longer economically viable, since certain critical spare parts are no longer available.

Nikon F5 and EOS film bodies being quite rugged, and dirt cheap nowadays (available new or nearly so for the past couple of years for new with AF, integral MD, and 1/300s fill-flash synch for much less than what the elusive and rarified mint LX would go at auction for) accounts for why I personally have diminishing interest in my LX for paying work. Rather ironically, one of the main factors in choosing Pentax 30 years ago as my brand was the availability of a flagship model that supported a wide line of lenses; it represented a lot of bang for the buck.

Truly, the LX was the last flagship Pentax worthy of the title. For whatever reason, development of pro level 35mm film gear ground to a halt at Pentax after the LX. They made some very nice prosumer models but never a pro model afterwards. Not with the PZ-1 (closest to the mark and might have been more significant for them if they'd just gone the last 5% with it, ie if it had been more weather sealed, and just a bit more of a system, like having a 5 fps vertical grip battery booster that used AAs instead of a $12 lithium cell). Missed the mark entirely with the MZ-S. And even with the K10D, sorry. Nice cameras all, just not very pro.

Which is rather surprising considering they've kept a toe in the pro market and had a bit of a following withing medium format arena; MF gear that is very cost-competitive with a solid array of lenses.

But in 35mm, AF coreless motor lenses with optical image stabilization from Canon and Nikon left Pentax in the dust more than a decade ago.

A more reasonable approach as a professional, I find, is to keep my beater LX around for the less time-critical tasks at which it excels. For me, these are:

1). available light slow-ISO macro work at 1:1 with the 100mm f/2.8 SMC-A off a focusing rail with MLU. The swivelling FB-1/FC-1 finder is really wonderful for low angle work with bugs. If there's ever been a better available light macro system, I've yet to find it. Unfortunately, the demise of Kodachrome 25 and dealt a serious blow to the usefulness of the LX for flash-lit macros, as the 1/75s synch is prone to ghosting with ISO 100 film stocks.

and

2). time exposure night scenes and wide-field astronomical work (meteors, comets). Modern Fujichrome E6 stocks have very little reciprocity failure compensation required.

and

3). as a knockabout dusty conditions backpacking and trekking camera.

and,

(come to think of it, that's about it. Ever since I figured out how to wake up an F5 and a couple of flashes from sleep, the LX is no longer my ultimate long-term IR beam triggered wildlife camera as it's power requirements with two off camera flashes at the ready is too great.)

Long live the Pentax LX (especially mine).


7. From : Jay (ibcom@onebox.com)
Url : http://
Date : 02:28 PM Sunday 08 April, 2007

All:

I've mentioned in the past using both digital origination and film for professional work (the latter now normally converted to exhibition sized needs for large digital files). In the USA, in 2005, commercial processors and photo printers work was 35% digitally based and 65% film based; in 2006 this statistic reversed. Finally the digital work flow has been streamlined by most camera manufacturers, and local print processors, even if JPEG and a half dozen memory card systems are a basis for incorporating such quickly into Windows and Mac machines for preexisting picture file management outputs and uses (as is setup within the Operating Systems).

As a Quality Assurance basis for digital originations too, most cameras above US$ 150 are offering 6MP as a normal sensor pixel count. This can translate into a good letter sized or larger print, or a good power point slide image. Although the tradeoffs between image smoothing and loss of detail and noise are apparent when offering higher ISO in-camera ratings, most digital images shot above ISO 200 have visible noise, or artifacts often requiring treatment in computer software post. Even so, digital ISO up to 3200 is out there, often along with 400, 800, 1600 deteriorating possible good results. All of these realities have pushed film origination into the margins of normal uses, and revealed that it still holds fast in the fast film speed heat and as to scenic details too as to quality results.

If one has to shoot say 20 to 40 rolls of film a day to obtain a good ratio of field results when on a safari, one will be more and more attracted to the new bases and norms of a digital work flow (at a low ISO rating). A Safari then could cost say US$2,000 to US$4,000 just for film and processing, so digital originations become a common sense no brainer as to economy (even with the bases costs of memory cards, means of field transfer for image storage, software, and computers it does not take very long under such circumstances for a shooter to want to put film money into equipment and travel, not into film and its handling). Field editing too is here to stay.

2007 continues the almost total shift to digital use. Where then does LX prime film gear excel? It seems, in landscape particulars establishment and frame-filling subject details (e.g. with renders containing details of leaves and grass), for edge-to-edge image detail rendering, for fixed focal length extra sharp detail applications (e.g. even for people photography), and for great color fidelity within the 5 to 6 stop exposure to contrast range of a well illuminated film or sensor captured scene. One way to keep the LX system relevant for negative film users is to shoot a low ISO film, and just have the negatives processed along with an index print of them (which is economical, and to choose those pictures with a loup for later digital film scans). This is similar to what slide shooters have done on light tables for years. Some film scanners too offer 16 bit color depth per color channel from so scanned negatives and slides. Even without the JPEG-TIFF-RAW and upcoming Microsoft dedicated image lossless compression file extension debate, color fidelity and detail on film has not been yet eclipsed. It is primarily the work flow methodology which has been eclipsed.

The new Canon EOS Professional D1S III has pared back down to the 10MP standard which Pentax also has embraced (allbeit with a larger Canon sensor), which tells one something about the industry settling down a little, and systems approaches too finding a lesser than constantly changing foundation. Part of this is due to a sifting out of the apparent angle of acceptance of sensor pixel elements proving to be a trade off between the best qualities for capturing detail and color by sensor pixel population size. The question now becomes, for the advanced user, when, where, and why to sell the film approach to imaging over the digital origination approach? Even digital projectors have advanced in faithful reproduction well beyond the drop-in hassels of jambed slides as arranged from trays....so, with no related technology turning back, how now to retrofit the workflow to the LX system? When and where does it apply?

The radical traffic drop off at this chat site tells us that our photographic attention and knowledge acquisition is now elsewhere directed, as with most people shifting away from film processing to digital, in looking away from film uses to the conveniences of an in the field, in office, and at home work flow. Still, with stills, edge sharpness, mentioned landscape and subject detail, and color fidelity will test the waters of the new Velvia's (ISO 50 II) commercial lifespan. This year, when I go to Norwegian wilds, I will still carry transparency film for the landscapes; all other uses and subjects will assume that a digital body too be readily available there. --Jay



8. From : Koen Ivens (ivens@tiscali.it)
Url : http://
Date : 09:01 PM Friday 23 March, 2007

I have a tele zoom lens SMC Pentax K 135-600/6.7 . It has a close-up lens that takes min focus from 6 to 3 meters. It is in its original alu case with Pentax tag and keys to close the case. The lens is in perfect condition and works great. I live in Italy (Rome) and would like to sell this lens in order to get a Pentax spotting scope. I think it's worth about 600$. If anyone is interested or has some questions, let me know, I could send some pictures of it.

Koen


9. From : Ian Thompson-Yates (ian@ity.co.uk)
Url : http://
Date : 12:46 PM Wednesday 14 March, 2007

Hi Guys Hot off the press, Apple Aperture now supports the K10D in RAW mode. As of tonight. The upgrade is the OS itself, so it's system wide, not just Aperture. Mac OS X 10.4.9. More later... (sorry this is off topic, but it's real important news).

Ian


10. From : Jane ardito (janeardito@yahoo.com)
Url : http://
Date : 11:13 AM Tuesday 06 March, 2007

I love this site


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