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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 : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 12:55 AM Friday 26 March, 2004

For me the subject of focus depends upon the subject. Portraits, whether of animals or people, must have eyes first and primarily in sharp pinpoint focus. It is then not always the stuff of manual vs/or autofocus, but the stuff of watching the finder for such during shooting. I have seen many unsharp photos of animals published, I guess, simply as rare subjects or subjects exhibiting rare behavior. This remains an occasional surprizing and unprofessional choice of some magazines and publishers--including some photography type magazines. So, it sounds like improvements in AF since the PZ-1, which would include the MZ-S for certain, and the *ist and *ist D, would be a good option for the outdoor photographer's needed spontaneous action tools, not so much for landscapes or in-studio needs. It is then the outdoor spontaneous nature and sports type photographers who will benefit the most from these options. Other, more methodical subject shooters, are not needing such.

Galen Rowell used to say he viewed his 35mm camera as a miniature viewcamera, and composed usually very methodically and slowly. Even so, if you see his large prints at Yosemite, many of his pictures lacked critical sharpness because he only started using tripods in the last few years of his life. What else adds snap to LX photos? Certainly the quality of optics, and coatings for one thing. --Jay

Url :
Date : 10:12 PM Wednesday 24 March, 2004

When I first bought the Z1p, I tended to use manual focus a great deal, especially following so many years focussing with manual lenses, and I swapped back and forth with both manual and autofocus lenses on my two Z1p bodies and three LX bodies. However, as the years went by, I found myself using the autofocus more and more on the Z1p. At first I thought that I was just being lazy (and maybe it was at first), but gradually I found myself wanting it more and more in many situations. In my fishing photography there are often times when I need to hand one of my cameras to someone else to photograph me, and the autofocus at least gives me more security knowing that they will not cock-up an important photo by manually focussing incorrectly (although I tend to prefer to place the camera on a tripod combined with infrared remote trap-focus for self portraits when alone in wild locations). With wildlife photography I tended to rely more on manual focus rather than autofocus, especially with long telephotos. I well remember trying to take handheld photos of vultures flying straight at me in a canyon in Upstate New York with a Z1p and Sigma APO 400mm Macro during fairly changeable and low light levels of late evening. The birds were soaring on spiralling thermals and I was snapping off shots as they flew past me (wedged to a rock at the edge of the cliff and being buffeted by high winds). Not the best or easiest conditions to photograph action, but I managed to get a few decent photos. One of these is shown on page 199 of my new book. The only sure way of keeping focus on the tiny head of the vulture was to keep the lens on ‘continuous autofocus’ and pan the lens as the birds swept passed. Although I was happy with some of the results, I was not happy with most of the stunning shots that “should-have-been” because they were not bang-on focus. Some of these would have been not sharp no matter what combination body & lens was used due to low shutter speeds, but sometimes the sun peeked out behind clouds giving me a window of a few seconds to shoot at decent shutter speeds, yet the autofocus of the Z1p and Sigma couldn’t cope. It was at times like this that I longed for the more powerful autofocus lens speed of something like the F5 or EOS. When I did eventually buy into the F5 system, I actually bought a number of autofocus and manual lenses. I soon found that the enhanced autofocus of the F5 over the Z1p, made me use autofocus even more. I use manual a lot with macro subjects, but I also use autofocus quite frequently, but soon became frustrated using the manual version Nikon 200mm ED macro, and decided to sell it on Ebay.

To answer your question simply, is to look at the lenses I now use today. There is not a single manual lens in my camera bags (a fact that I would have scoffed at a few years ago). I think it is far better to be able to flick the lens into autofocus or manual, depending on the situation, rather than not having that option with a manual-only lens. The only real reservations with modern autofocus lenses are not their quality of elements or sharpness of glass, but their build quality, especially the outer barrel and tripod mounts. The Nikon AF300mm f/4 ED was the last of a very solid breed of lenses (with outer barrel based on the tank-like construction of the 300mm f/2.8 version) and so I decided to buy one, with no latter regrets. As mentioned in earlier posts on this forum, I really loved the quality, handling and sharpness of the Pentax AF 24mm f/2 IF wide angle lens, and because I couldn’t bayonet that particular lens onto my F5, I needed to find a placement. The Sigma AF 24mm f/1.8 EX has taken its place. I would have preferred that the Sigma had a more solid (albeit heavier) outer barrel material, although it has yet to let me down on many expeditions. The Sigma lenses are a motley bunch, with low-grade up to extremely high-grade glass. The results taken with lenses such as the older 300mm f/4 Macro APO, 400mm f/5.6 APO Macro, and the latest EX range have made me confident of buying from their range in the future.

3. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 07:46 PM Wednesday 24 March, 2004

Globetrotter, I am curious how often you find yourself using autofocus with your new system? It is obviously useful when a subject essentially fills the frame; what about other times? --JH

Url :
Date : 07:18 PM Tuesday 23 March, 2004

The extra meter switch also comes in handy when you are taking vertical shots with a motordrive attached.

5. From : John Bailey (
Url : http://
Date : 08:52 AM Tuesday 23 March, 2004

Anyone, I was wondering why the later LXen were equipped with a left hand meter switch in the prism release and I came up with this answer. If using the special prisms and cable release with the camera on a tripod the meter can be switched on while focusing and composing through the viewfinder. Am I way off base? Thanks, John

6. From : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 09:43 AM Saturday 20 March, 2004

Yep, that shit happens. I hate it too. The last commercial shoot I remember, was of a very pretty ex-versace model in a Roger Dean set in 1998. It was for a shoot to recreate a previously published piece (from the same book I was first published in, so I remember it well). I hated the results, the client did too after I opened my big mouth. But I got paid. Anton, you have the advantage that you liked your work. I love that sensation. Don't beat yourself up. Sometimes clients are wrong. - Ian.

7. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 03:52 AM Friday 19 March, 2004

Leaf as in leaf shutter.

I think the bummer that comes from doing your best and having it invalidated by a customer takes time, self-talk, and other affirmations. Sharing this painful news stimulated like feelings here from other situations, though not usually photographic in undertaking. Such customer relations just does not permit what was probably a good session ending as a good time. Frankly, from what you shared, you do not deserve this. Pub time? Or should we send you something complimentary from the wine website wanting to list us? Write them back, granting permission and asking for a sample to be sent to you with all our blessings. It sounds though like there was some redemption in the shoot coming together after all the variables discussed and taken on earlier. A background system is always and forever useful too. Just getting the background on the female person takes time and acquaintance--something you were working on. --Jay

8. From : Club Delivery (
Url :
Date : 12:10 AM Friday 19 March, 2004

We appreciate your approach and want to link this with our Wine site :

Url :
Date : 06:16 PM Thursday 18 March, 2004

A women is rarely satisfied with her own photo, unless it looks completely differnt than she actually is - either younger, less wrinkles, smoother skinned, more tanned, longer legged, slimmer, or at least something similar to what she last dreamed she might be...

10. From : AB (
Url : http://
Date : 02:39 AM Thursday 18 March, 2004

'And where does "leaf" fit in to all this?' Okay I give up, illuminate. Hey, why are there no/so few women folk on this board? Took a knock recently, did the photos of my young singer friend for her album, some ex-model friends did the make up and styling. I went out an bought a background system etc. The shots came back from Peak Imaging and I was really pleased, my best yet I though. The friends who helped liked them and were excited but... my singer friend didn't... she said they just weren't her. I thought about selling my gear and trying scuba diving but I've recovered now. In the process of trying to sort it out and offering a re-shoot. Bummer :-(

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