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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 : Michael (mrworkwood@verizon.net)
Url : http://
Date : 09:46 AM Friday 02 April, 2004

Hello gentleman. I have been perusing your postings for sometime now as I am a collector/user of Pentax 35mm cameras. I very much enjoy what you do and compliment you in maintaining this resource. As such, I was hoping that you could help me. After years of Pentax collecting, I recently took the leap and purchased my very first Pentax LX. I was fortunate in that the unit that I finally purchased was in like new condition and I was informed by the owner that it had never been used. It did not have a mark on it and I was thrilled to find it. Shortly after receiving it, however, I recognized the presence of the "sticky mirror syndrome". (My familiarity of which was enhanced by your postings.) I immediately set out on finding someone to repair my LX which I found to be no easy task. After scouring this site, and the entire internet, I settled on a west coast repair shop that, after speaking with them, convinced me that they had the intimate familiarity and experience with this model to assure that the job be done with the level of perfection that I believe that I, and this camera, deserved. I received my valued and like new LX yesterday and am quite unsettled by what I believe to have been a novice attempt to service this camera. I would appreciate it if any of you might consider making an opinion as to whether or not I am being too picky. (I am one who buys cameras as much for what they are as for what they do.) Upon unwrapping and using the camera, I noticed the following: 1]That the front covers, right and left were peeling off at the edges. 2]Further visual inspection showed that there was a "hump" under the left front surface. Since the cover was already peeling, I peeled it back further and noticed that the Shutter Rod Cover (part A8) was bent and distorted and was not glued back into place as is specified in the LX repair manual. 3] The mirror bumper replacement was not a Pentax replacement nor was it cut in the pattern of the one it replaced. The tech had glued in a standard strip of light seal foam in a shape suited to the K1000. As such, there is little foam to stop the mirror and too much foam obstructing the focusing screen frame clip. Even when the frame drops down, the focusing screen itself gets hung up on the foam. 4] A SCRATCH! Over 1/4" long on the black painted band and the bottom (front left) - I can only assume a slip of the screw driver used to pry up the vinyl cover. This really hurts as this unit was in rare, like new condition. 5] The reflex mirror had traces of shutter oil on it and a smudge. Doesn't CLA mean clean, lube and adjust? 6] The blue shutter speed flag is not aligned as it was. It rides higher than the speed numbers themselves and this misalignment is most significant at the higher speed and "A" settings. I would especially appreciate it if you could tell me if there is an adjustment that was not done correctly for the speed indicator flag. Finally, there are obvious specks of dirt to be seen when I look through the view finder. I assumed that the finder image would be pristine. I have intentionally refrained from noting what repair firm had actually done the service as they have been very good to deal with and have offered to send the body to Pentax with no additional charge to me. My most important question is, should I take them up on this? Is Pentax USA the best avenue for righting the apparent wrongs of this repair center. Did they bite off more than they could chew? If Pentax USA is not your favorite repair facility, than who is?
Thank you in advance for any assistance that you may provide. I am quite devistated at this point as I forked out some significant money to get one in pristine cosmetic condition and would be comforted if those LX devotees amoung you could make opinion on my situation. Thanks!


2. From : Jay (ibcom@onebox.com)
Url : http://
Date : 07:29 AM Sunday 28 March, 2004

Globetrotter, I recall a conversation I held with Galen at Yosemite, perhaps in 1986 or 1987, asking diplomatically about what seemed to be a lack of sharpness in his prints displayed there at the time. He acknowledged that as such. The posters you refer us to on the internet are 4 image ganged, the largest image thus ends up 9 X 12 US inches. These were about as big as he went for his own critical sharpness, as you have pointed out, sufficient for magazines (for those occasional two page spreads in a total article). I have seen some wonderful prints from 35mm transparencies when National Geographic had its own lab active in Maryland at its HQ in the early 1980s. These were generally printed off large format internegatives. No one questions Galen's photography as to an accomplished presence.

As this is a forum largely maintained for old school 35mm photographers using the quality LX Professional system, it is good to discuss all the angles on evolving phototechniques from lenses, tripods, AF, film use, lighting, etc. as we often do. --Jay


3. From : AB (handmaid@fsmail.net)
Url : http://
Date : 12:04 AM Sunday 28 March, 2004

Errr that should read errors - not deliberate I promise.


4. From : AB (handmaid@fsmail.net)
Url : http://
Date : 05:59 AM Saturday 27 March, 2004

You guys using Spellcheck these days? Many lengthy and enjoyable posts and no erros! Good work. AB


5. From : GLOBETROTTER (globetrtterworld@hotmail.com)
Url : http://globetrotterworld.co.uk
Date : 05:25 AM Saturday 27 March, 2004

Jay - I did not say "...that AF is necessary for landscapes..." Far from it! The majority of my landscapes have been taken with manual lenses and manual focus.

What I said, and meant, was that on certain occasions I use autofocus to help me obtain sharp focus on a subject that is difficult to obtain by looking through a viewfinder in dull conditions. An autofocus lens gives you the options to use both manual focus or autofocus, or both (sometimes it is also nice to gain initial quick autofocus with the press of a button, then add a "tweak" of manual focus where, and if, necessary) - A manual lens only gives you one option.

The majority of Galen's work was for publication in magazines, and the maximum blow-up would be a full double-page spread – and his work certainly was good enough for this. If he made a living off huge blow-ups alone, then he’d have probably stuck with large format or medium format cameras…although I know he tried for a while but went back to 35mm. Granted some of his work may not be sharp for some eyes to be used as a large calendar or poster...although he certainly sold, and continues to sell after his death, a lot of such large-sized blow-ups from 35mm photos taken handheld. To me, an exciting, exhilarating photograph that is ‘sharp’ at 8X10 or 20X30, but not quite fully sharp at massive blow-ups, is far better than a boring photo that is pin-sharp at advertising poster-size.
For an idea of what Galen achieved in his photography as posters, go to: http://www.allposters.com/gallery.asp?aid=747936&c=a&search=Rowell%2C+Galen

To see more of Galen Rowell’s outstanding outdoor photography, visit: http://www.mountainlight.com/

I will repeat, that certainly 35mm will deliver better results when a sturdy tripod is used, in conjunction with mirror lock-up (which I try to do as much as possible) - but a tripod often is a burden to not only carry but also place securely for certain photos, and sometimes (and I mean ‘sometimes’) those handheld landscape shots, if you use the correct techniques, can turn out to be outstanding.

To go back to the subject of manual focus with landscape photography - The most important thing for me is a bright viewfinder. This is why my favourite all-time set-up is the LX with FB1 System & FD-1 Magni-eyepiece (or sometimes with the FC-1 Action finder when I leave the camera on a tripod for long periods and am waiting for animals to appear in-frame, or for the light to change, or for the times when I prefer ‘overhead’ viewing.


6. From : Ian (ian@ity.co.uk)
Url : http://
Date : 10:58 PM Friday 26 March, 2004

Jay, many thanks for the 20mm info. I guess it'll come down to price and availability. But it's nice to know your happy with both lenses. I was eyeing up a shopping mall interior yesterday and had a craving for a 15mm. However I agree, a 15 is sadly too likely to sit in a box (and I can't afford one anyway). If you happen to have an example shot (pref architecture), I'd love to see it (A or M). My concern is for barrel distortion, If they perform better than my 24-35 I'll be happy (that's not a complaint). Thanks - Ian.


7. From : Jay (ibcom@onebox.com)
Url : http://
Date : 10:29 PM Friday 26 March, 2004

Galen's prints, compared to those of many others, did not stand up well to enlargement. Go to his gallery if you question this. The point was to ask what else added to snap and exceptional photography. I have to differ with you about what to focus on for portraits, and, that AF is necessary for landscapes. Often people complain about this or that telephoto lens being not critically sharp wide open, where, in many instances of use the depth of field is very limited and AF can result in auto out of focus, when manual focus will have resolved the focusing descrepancy of question. This complaint is common to Canon, Nikon, and PentaxAF users. Even the most expensive cameras can search and not find on occasion. --Jay


8. From : GLOBETROTTER (globetrotterworld@hotmail.com)
Url : http://globetrotterworld.co.uk
Date : 06:16 PM Friday 26 March, 2004

I've looked at a lot of Galen's work over the years. I would certainly say that the majority of his shots are very sharp. For example, take a look at his double-page spread of Sequoia National Park published on pages 24-25 of the first issue of Nature's Best magazine. This photo was taken handheld at a slow enough shutter speed to soften the water, yet the results were a superb, sharp photo with great depth, atmosphere and emotional impact - always my criteria in taking a good landscape photo. That photo was taken many years ago with a Nikkormat FTN, 24mm lens and Kodachrome 64. I think if I were in the same place today and shot the same scene with an LX or Z1p or F5 loaded with Velvia plus sturdy Manfrotto tripod, I might possibly of gained a fraction more depth, colour and sharpness...but would I? That particular photo was taken after a long hike and climb, and the shot was taken in a place where you wouldn't fit, never mind carry, a tripod. I ALWAYS try to use a tripod when I can for landscape photography, but often I cannot due to the location of the photo - such as halfway up a mountain or hanging to a cliff, or simply because the light is often enough for a higher shutter speed.

I also don't particularly agree that you need a manual camera with a manual-focus lens for landscape photography. An autofocus lens can be used as a manual lens, so you always have both options. Sometimes in dim or difficult light - for example when photographing a scene in the murk of a dense rainforest with a 24mm lens, I might use the autofocus to help gain that initial focus when it is often difficult to judge via the viewfinder. Regarding wildlife, and indeed portraits of humans, the eye is normally the prime sharpness point, but in certain cases this is not always needed or indeed possible - and sometimes a slight movement in the photo can add much-needed atmosphere.


9. From : Jay (ibcom@onebox.com)
Url : http://
Date : 12:47 PM Friday 26 March, 2004

Ian, I have both of these, and both are great 20mm performers. I reviewed these for other websites in the past and found others also found these optics favorable. It helps to have a thin profile polarizer for the f 2.8 A series. But I almost always carry the f 4 M series along with outdoor gear into landscape environments. What to say? Both handle and focus well, both are deep glass look SMC lenses' both have their own unique quality color and snap. I think this is a case where the M is slightly more saturated f stop for f stop. It is probably true that the 2.8 has to be used a little more carefully regarding possible distortion and other off-axis indicators of shooting with a UWA. The Sigma 20-40mm zoom has had great response, even more so than the single focal length EX 20,24, and 28 wide aperture lenses, so, see if a shop will let you expose some frames outside their store area, and compare the results with the current FA 2.8, the same optical formula as the A (but not the build quality of it). Going any wider than this would be for industrial interiors mostly: otherwise going wider usually sits in cases for years. --Jay


10. From : Ian (ian@ity.co.uk)
Url : http://
Date : 11:28 AM Friday 26 March, 2004

It's time for me to expand my lens line (unless I find another LX body first). I feel like a 20mm. So that'll be an A or an M? I'm guessing at the 20 f2.8 A. Advise please. Thanks guys. - Ian.


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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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