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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 : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 09:52 AM Friday 21 November, 2003

Jay, many thanks. Much appreciated. I'll let you know my plans 35-105/states. Hopefully I'll find one at the right price here soon. On another note, I see that Nikon have stated that they do not intend to stop compact camera (film) production. Not quite a retraction, and not disputing the original Japanese news article. Merely an apology to they're customers. I assume they've fired the appropriate member of staff. - Ian

2. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 02:44 AM Friday 21 November, 2003

On teleconverters and handheld--but supported--results. The Sigma 1.4X APO converter is indeed an excellent optic, and is physically small. It only works on AF with f4 lens and faster, which do not have a rear element which hits its front element. Since I already had the 1.4Xs Pentax rear converter-A (A very good performer), I compared the results. Identical, except the Sigma is slightly less in saturated color contrast.

The Sigma contacts are indeed identical to FA lens contacts, so my risky purchase worked out. What really amazes is stacking the two 1.4X converters together and shooting my 300 or 400 mm lenses (handle the 300 carefully so as not to contact the front element of the Sigma converter). The results are difficult to distinguish from the Pentax A 600mm f5.6 lens results. The combo with, for example, the A* 300mm F 4. is handholdable, but must be proped or supported to not have camera shake and unsharp pictures. Good contrast, detail, and color--and a very small package for stacking and singling the converters. Further, getting the 2.8 X results of stacked high image correction only costs two f stops (a 3X is not even to be considered because of light loss, poor depth of field, and poor results). I will try this on a *ist D soon. --Jay

Url : http://
Date : 04:55 PM Thursday 20 November, 2003

Thank you Jay.

I've been so busy lately, that I'm beginning to fall behind in keeping schedule for most of the magazine deadlines at the moment. Just arrived back from USA, and my publisher has suddenly fallen ill, so I've had to book a quick flight out to Holland to help out with the layout and production of the book next week - due out in late Jan.

Stories of my work and encounters on the Colorado River?......Well, last time I was working on the main Colorado (Grand Canyon, Black Canyon, Topock Gorge etc) I dropped a new Pentax LX combined with FB1 & Fd2 finder, plus new 28mm f/2 over the edge of the canyon wall.......imagine a scene from Roadrunner & the Coyote and you'll get the idea......the LX equipment, although tough, didn't quite manage to survive a 1,000ft drop and was blown into tiny fragments! A few days later I was photographing in the spellbinding wilderness of Yosemite, and then later that night whilst sleeping in a car near a lake about 30-miles outside of Fresno, I was shot in the head!
It was a drive-by shooting at 03:00 in the middle of a quit night, and they fired two massive .45 Magnum bullets that went through my car like cheese-wire. One through the engine, and one unfortunately hit the back of my head and almost threw me, from a laying down position, with enough force to almost chuck me forward through the windscreen. Fortunately (!), the bullet only managed to scrape the edges of my skull, so I survived (Full story is explained, with photos, in the book).

This recent USA trip to the Texas Colorado was not so dramatic, although one incident was quite scary.....
One night I was bitten, twice, on the same foot by something (we think it was either a large spider-tarantula or a large poisonous centipede). The fangs crunched twice through the top of my bear foot. I seemed OK for a while, then I took on a bad fever, and a few hours later I had an extreme attack of hives and was covered from head to toe in large red swellings and blotches. We were far from a hospital, so I decided to sweat it out and hope for my body to fight the poison. Luckily, after a couple of days I was OK.
Apart from that, it was the same old mundane expedition.....!

4. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 12:53 PM Thursday 20 November, 2003

Thanks Tony for the lens reports; I've wanted to hear on the Sigma 24 ex especially, as I was considering this in AF, and was considering the Pentax as well. It is good to hear of your use of gear comparisons and contrasts in the field. I look forward to reading more of your comments on other arising questions coming up here as well. Welcome back, when the dust settles tell us about shooting on the banks of the Colorado River. You must have some interesting story or two.

Ian, If you watch e-bay this lens can come up too. One just sold with an ME camera attached for $160, FYI. If you are coming state side anytime let me know and I'll see if there are any 35-105 A's in some of the consignment shops in this area to coincide with your being in the states. Priority mail for mailing a lens within the states is about $6.00 or so FYI.

The other bit of information on Nikon stopping the development of film based cameras is not surprizing. Was this of consumer point and shoots, of SLRs, or both? Consumer point and shoots have not sold well as film cameras for a few years, so I could understand that side of a business being reassessed and going totally digital. I believe that we have about five years before film based SLRs will be irrelevant to imaging's future.

Ian, You might also look for the lens Mico mentioned, if it interests at all, as an A series lens. I see this up for sale about monthly at auctions (28-85 A f 3.5-4.5). I must admit that I love the 35-105 and respect its abilities as well as trust them. Having just shot the LX system again this week for the outdoor products industry, for a pack and tent catalogue from a manufacturer HQ'd in Colorado, I found it worked well with the gear when modeled on folks in and outdoors. It runs true for power pack studio lighting f stops as well. --Jay

5. From : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 10:28 AM Thursday 20 November, 2003

Nice one Anton. Thanks for checking. I've been looking for prices, yep, they're a bit thin on the ground. Still looking. They seem to fetch £125ish in the states (which I'd pay). I maybe in the states again soon, but it'll be Daphne (Gulf), doubt I'll find one down there. I'll wait for now. Gotta have one though. - Ian.

Url : http://
Date : 02:12 AM Wednesday 19 November, 2003


7. From : Anton (
Url : http://
Date : 03:52 PM Tuesday 18 November, 2003

Ian, Westcliff Photographic have two 35-105's listed at present ( ) they are both mint- but quite expensive at £199 I have seen them go cheaper so you may want to wait. Anton

8. From : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 09:42 AM Tuesday 18 November, 2003

Welcome back Globetrotter! Mico, thanks for the info, I'll take yours and Jays advice and keep looking for the 35-105. I've finally (postal strike) had my Kodachrome 200 back from Switzerland. Impressive. Grain is about as large as I can tolerate from a colour film. However, perceived sharpness is excellent. I'll be using more of this stock. Exposures are about what I expected from the LX, maybe a little under, I'm not sure. Since I'm having trouble with my 5400 scanner (OS problem), tranny analysis is not my focus right now. I'll put another roll (tranny) through soon (theres a roll of Tri-X in it for night stuff at the moment), and perform manually judged exposures before I finally judge the LX's meter. Looking good so far though. Later... - Ian

Url : http://
Date : 09:07 PM Monday 17 November, 2003

Hi all........just arrived back from 4-week trip to USA. I spent most of my time camping on islands of the big lakes of Arkansas, or on the Colorado River system of Texas.

How am I getting on with my Nikon gear compared to my previous Pentax systems? Well, the Nikon F5 I'm begining to fall in love with, and although everything is not quite 'second-nature' I'm getting there, and things are starting to flow smoothly without me having to 'think' about the operations or which dial and button does which (it took me far longer to master the Pentax Z1p, which was one of my favourite all-time cameras for a lot of my work). The Nikon speedlight SB-28 is absolutely superb and exceeds the Pentax 500FTZ in many ways. My most used lens was again the 24mm. This time I've been using the Sigma AF 24mm f/1.8D EX DG aspherical. How does it compare to the wonderful Pentax AF24mm F/2 IF? Well, first results from a batch of films used on my earlier trips to Holland, France and Italy gave back outstanding results, with crisp photos of edge-to-edge sharpness. No vignetting with filters (I used the B-W 77E 010 1X UV filter and Tiffin circular polarizer in 77mm thread) and no need for step-up filter-ring as when used with the Pentax 24mm f/2. Probably the only thing I've found so far that can cause problems is the flare. The Pentax 24mm F/2 coped a lot better with flare when a bright sun was close to the scene's outer frame, probably due to that wonderful SMC coating, but as long as you watched for this when shooting against the sun, the Sigma coped well. I was a bit sceptical about build-quality of the EX Sigma after completely smashing one after dropping it on the floor (!), but this second new Sigma has coped well so far, although I still think it isn't quite as good as the Pentax f/2 model for robustness. The Sigma petal lens hood works better than the Pentax hood (I rarely used the Pentax one). The Sigma also has a simple-to-use system for changing from autofocus to manual focus by pulling back the wide focus ring (similar to the Pentax model). The hood also fits neatly backwards on the lens with a secure bayonet mount - again, very similar to the Pentax 24mm f/2 model. All-in-all, I reckon the Sigma will nicely replace the Pentax 24mm as becoming one of my most-used lenses. Another good thing is the extremely low price of the 24mm F/1.8, especially when you compare it to the price of the Canon model! The Sigma 24mm alomst made my new Nikon AF 20mm F/2.8 redundant and I only used the 200mm for a few shots, so I'm even thinking of selling the 20mm Nikon.

I didn't get much chance with macro subjects to use the Nikon Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4, but although a great lens, I did miss the faster working I had with my earlier Pentax AF 100mm f2.8 macro lens. Although the Nikon micro does work OK with TTL, I found myself missing the full AFD matrix TTL capabilities that a AFD 200mm f/4 micro would offer over the earlier manual-focus version. I even found myself sometimes using the ultra-close focussing of the Sigma 24mm combined with the TTL off-camera cord for some macro subjects!

The only other lens in my Nikon line-up which I truly fell in-love with, was the AF Nikkor 300mm f/4 ED. A fantastic lens with absolute top-class robust construction - certainly a lens that has prompted me to forget thinking about the need to buy a f/2.8 version. I haven't really been offered the opportunities for a lot of low-light or night-time photography during this recent trip, so the need to use my Nikon F5 beyond the 1-minute exposure times hasn't risen, so it is a feature I'll still need to try out - so I'm still not sure whether to buy another Pentax LX body for low-light & night photography. I noted Anton's mention that Nikon were completely halting production of film-based cameras. I think this may be true of ALL major camera brands in the future (although I doubt the too-soon "April" time factor). I see the F5 becoming my main source of income for a few years yet, so I hope that Fuji keep the Velvia in production for at least another 3-5 years. By then, I'll probably have matched my F5s with a Pro digital version, although I hope by then the digital boffins have overcome the severe problems with trying to use digital cameras in extreme-low light levels or long-time exposures - a realm where film emulsion still reigns supreme. I noticed that John bailey asked a while back about the Pentax FB1 finder base along with the FD1 & Fd2 and if it was a worthwhile buy. I used the FB1 a heck of lot on the Pentax LX, and I'm sure that John would be able to put them to good use.

10. From : Mico (
Url : http://
Date : 09:31 AM Monday 17 November, 2003

Hi Ian, I do not think that A 28-135/4.0 is a great lens. In fact, it is huge (although perfect mechanicaly) and not so good optically, both end. Lots of distortion and not very sharp. Wide-open results are close to useless, any focal length. Many years ago I tested it and was dissapointed. If you prefer 35-105 range, be patient and wait, but I can recommend SMC-F 28-80/3.5-4.5, one that is my and Jay`s favorite in that range. It does not have constant aperture, but is very good optically and built to last, unlike modern 28-80-or-so zooms. And, it usually a bargain, you should find it for the half a price of A 35-105/3.3 Just, stay away from non-SMC versions (Takumar, Pentax-A). M.

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