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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 : 10:03 PM Friday 20 February, 2004

A modified #3 approach seems practical. Here is a case where incident readings are called for, at the source, i.e. the model. So, say you have a key or main light at 20-30 degrees off the model axis, left or right. Flash it, for an incident reading, turn it off, do the same for the fill. Turn it off, do the same for the background or hair light--depending on the effect desired. Now, compare the readings of each individual source. The key or main gives the most light, the fill 1 to 1/2 stop less, again depending on its placement and effect, and the backlight 1 to 1/2 stops less than the fill. Sorry you have no time to experiment, but reflected readings are completely unnecessary off the card. The incident readings are more accurate, and will provide perfect results. But here is the catch--after you have each light set separately, flash them all for a final incident reading pointing the meter toward the camera immediately in front of the subject's face, being careful not to have a hand, arm, or your body in the way of its lightgathering. This may mean bending down and holding your hand up point toward the lens. The first individual readings are for setting up a rough ratio triad approach--for 3D lighting. The last one is for your exposure. As I usually use power packs for what I do on location, I am assurred of the same light with each exposure, on recycle. You have to ensure that the units recycle each time on manual, which may take several seconds as the batteries wain over the duration.

I hope this has been helpful. Good shooting. --Jay PS, as for how much to subdue the backlight, that depends on desired affect, and the other lights setting. But the main should be so, then the fill, then the backlight. It can be subtle differences of output, or greater, depending on how you want the outcome. Previsualization of effect is a matter, unfortunately, of experience, Polaroid preexposure, or a digital back. I usually rely on experience, which you are building. Also, remember that shadows are "pushed down" by lights being at a higher plane, aimed down, than even with the face of the subject. The control of background shadows then too is keyed by the angle of entry to the subject. This is why TV studios have lights using the basic triangle, but with many on grids, over and over, to push down and wash out undesireable shadows in the studio environment. Still work is not so interested in washing out or ridding of all shadows, but in controlling their effect so as to not have any harsh shadows on the face or neck of the subject. Umbrellas have the unique ability to "wrap" light around a subject for a limited subject size and distance. Remember that there gathering point, when setting up, is their center, controlled effectively by aiming and angling their center point from the back. With dual use--key and fill, a lot of background separation lighting is usually not required. But, with a white background, certainly there must be light on it for separation and dimension, and to wash distracting shadows, where so. The angle of light entry of subject illumination is the angle of its exit on direct lighting, less a factor when using diffused lighting, as with umbrellas. Good shooting!

2. From : AB (
Url : http://
Date : 09:20 PM Friday 20 February, 2004


Url :
Date : 07:06 PM Friday 20 February, 2004

AB - Anton - what is your website address? I've lost it somehow!

4. From : AB (
Url : http://
Date : 04:45 PM Friday 20 February, 2004

Ian, thanks for your comment on the Land Rover pic. It was taken at my sister's 'ranch' up in Lincolnshire; I used the SMC 500mm f4.5 and had to shout directions to Janet. You can see the apparent foreshortening of perspective in the way the Land Rover seems to squash up behind her. I took a few with that lens and I rate it a useful portrait lens for outdoors.

I have the SMC-M 35-70 f2.8 zoom. It's a gentle lens with a modest range. There's a bit of barrel and pin at the extremes and the one touch zoom on my well-used example is a little sloppy. I have some good cat portraits with this lens and every hair is visible. You have to be careful with flare via the large front element, I don't have the lens hood but I suspect it wouldn't be much use, as it would be designed for the 35mm end. As a reasonably compact, nice to operate replacement for a standard lens I can recommend it. For critical work I can't.

I am due to take what will hopefully be the album cover shots of Kaz (my ex-student who has just done her first album) she wants colour and I'm going with print film as I'm used to that and it's forgiving. Some shots will be outside (weather permitting) inside I shall be using flash. I plan on a brace of LX, the 12 Ni-MH's for the TR Power Packs are charged and ready to unleash their considerable current (the Ni-MH batteries don't half zap the flash capacitors - more than the alkalines). I know that the two AF400T's bounced into Umbrella Boxes will give reliable results with TTL - you get flat, shadow less beauty lighting, my problem is the hair light and/or background light - I know we've been through this before, Jay but this is upon me now and I have to use what I have and what I'm used to, now is not the time to experiment.

1. Should I stick a snoot on an AF280T and use on a boom above her head and continue to let TTL sort the lot? (This has worked before but aiming the hair light is problematic and if it spills onto her face I'm in trouble.

2. Should I forget the hair light and simply blast a pair of 280's at the background (white paper roll) Kaz will likely be filling the frame so the blast from the white background shouldn't influence exposure too much (oh! for spot metering in the LX) this does worry me a bit though.

3. Should I put all guns on manual, fire them with the Gossen spot/flash meter and take readings off a grey card, balancing the results by reducing the output or moving the flashes further away - Sadly the 280's and 400's don't have variable output via the ISO scale, that scale is a dummy and simply shows ranges and suggested apertures. The 400's have a limited choice of reduced outputs. This strikes me as the most reliable way of doing things but I've never done it before so it's a big risk.

My worry is that the hair and/or background lights will over influence the exposure, I wonder about putting the AF 280T's on MS-L (this is manual low power) so they give a set low power blast whilst the main guns are on TTL but I've never done this.
Perhaps I should just stick to the two main lights and let the background take care of itself; the trouble with this is that the background tends to come out an unappealing grey colour but I can be confident that the subject will be spot-on.

I've got to go with the 2 X 400 + 2 X 280 set up so any suggestions advice appreciated.


5. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 02:37 PM Friday 20 February, 2004

The 35-70 M series was a good, sharp lens with good contrast. It has a limited range, but is probably obtainable at a good price. It has a good build quality, but after twenty five years or so, I'd take a close look at the aperture blades for any wear which put debris onto nearby lens surfaces. Shine a flashlight through it, look for separation indication (unlikely unless subject to heat), oil, debris, and/or fungus, dust, etc.

There is a chance that once all straight K mount cameras die, as they certainly are by attrition, the lens will not work on more modern bodies needing the program contacts other than at limited apertures. Is it worth then, the investment? This is determined by use and price and entirely subjective intentions. I always opted for greater zoom range, or primes, personally.--Jay

6. From : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 08:55 AM Friday 20 February, 2004

Hi guy's. My good friend Neil, is contemplating the purchase of a M-Series 35-70 2.8/3.5 zoom. I have no experience of this lens. Your thoughts gentlemen, if you please. Many thanks - Ian.

7. From : Mico (
Url : http://
Date : 08:58 AM Wednesday 18 February, 2004

Robert, there is 1.1 firmware upgrade for Ist-D which solves K and M lenses compatibility problem. Not the best possible solution, but much better than drilling the hole, which was the only way arround before upgrade.

Url :
Date : 02:02 AM Tuesday 17 February, 2004

I've just heard that Nikon may be bringing out a new F5/F6 camera with both film-based and digital capabilites in the same body....time will tell!

I wonder if Pentax will call the new digital Pro-version the "LX-2"??? (better than Ist*-2..methinks!).

9. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 10:24 PM Monday 16 February, 2004

Robert, What you heard is correct. The Bojidar Dimitrov Pentax K mount site covers this and possible workarounds. In addition, in ng back and reading postings here on the subject, appearing late last summer and in the fall, there was given one person offering a drilled hole insertion of an indexing insulator in the old K mount to fool a mount sensor on the KAFdg mount for limited K mount A type interface. This person was in the USA and charged $20 plus shipping and insurance.

The camera has held up, and is considered as good as the Nikon D-100 in application. It would be wise to wait for the Pentax Pro DSLR coming out late 2005, for insiders say it will be a full sized sensor, with the lack of crippled mount. Time will tell. --Jabez

10. From : Robert Clark (
Url : http://
Date : 08:57 PM Monday 16 February, 2004

What is the latest on the crippled mount of the IST-D. The last I heard is that it can't read the aperture settings of pre-A lenses? Is that now confirmed as correct? Are there any SIMPLE workarounds that do not involve post production software?

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