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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 : Mico (
Url : http://
Date : 01:38 AM Sunday 19 October, 2003

Hi Jay, I am waiting for correction on my F*300/4.5 repair untill next friday. So, I they do not remove stains (those are two elements inside the lens, otherwise I would clean them properly in 30 seconds) and do not improve manual fucusing feeling, I will try Pentax US. I do not mind some extra costs, this lens is too valuable for me to give it up just like that. I have already paid 100US for repair. I was even thinking about purchasing Repair Manual for F*300, the only concern is if there is some special tool required for opening the lens. In one of your previous postings you asked me if I ever tried A35-105/3.5 and on some other lenses. Yes, I tried it, and it was very good, but for my news work F28-80/3.5-4.5 was more convenient. Also, I own FA28/2.8 AL and this is, by far, the best 28mm lens from Pentax. The only one close to it is K28/3.5. Zoom FA28-105/3.2-4.5 AL-IF is better than any 28-80or105 Pentax lens, except FA28-70/2.8. I had a chance to test it against FA28-70/4 AL and my F28-80/3.5-4.5 and it excels both of them. BTW, FA28-70/4.0 AL is better than F28-80/3.5-4.5 only at the long end, but build quality is 100% on the "F" lens side. That explains why I hesitate to part from it after all these years, but I am considering a purchase of FA28-105/3.2-4.5 AL-IF in a near future M.

2. From : Robert Clark (
Url : http://
Date : 08:49 PM Saturday 18 October, 2003

Hi Globetrotter, I was interested hearing your comments about using the AF280T off camera and would like to do the same. However, I have looked at the 4P synch cords A and B (in photos) and I am mystified how the 4 pin connector could possibly fit with the AF280T, so I assume aome sort of adapter (oh why?) is necessary. I know there are battery grips that fit the flash and have a 4 pin socket, but this seems a cumbersome solution for my purposes. I had hoped that a TTL cord with either hot shoe to hot shoe connection, or (flash) hot shoe to (camera) PC socket connection, might exist, but it seems that that solution would be too simple. Do you know of an elegant solution? Ideally I just want to hold the flash away from the camera - so a nice coiled wire connector with minnimal adapters would be good.

3. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 12:43 PM Saturday 18 October, 2003

Mico, If there is a residue on the elements discussed certainly there is a remedy, but if coating layers are compromised it is entirely another expensive matter. There must be someone in Canada who can remove residue. The exchange rate and shipping will wound a bit, I think. If residue they can help you here certainly. E-mail me you thoughts. I'll call them Monday (I think thet work on this one, but will ask). Do you have the 800 number, dialable toll free from there? Jay

4. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 12:29 PM Saturday 18 October, 2003

Robert, Sorry to hear of your delay. I understood that you said your first religion comments were about humor. Your earlier comments on Pentax seemed to cross a line into disrespect or contempt. All of us have to take cautions when buying used gear, hence the ancient notion cited, which translates, "let the buyer beware". If selling on e-bay one can list the positives and negatives of any piece of gear, as they choose, if so inclined. Few offer warranties, or return rights. The guidelines are that if anything is not as represented it can be returned. Otherwise it is wisdom to practice what I stated. I think all people groups have their own histories of excesses and successes. As I am married to a European I can appreciate some concerns about US assertion and assumptions, where so. I do not believe any professional camera system is superior to another. It depends on one's own uses, needs, finances, and preferences. I do not feel sardonic about any company's choices. I defended Pentax as it was being represented inaccurately. I do not feel superior in any way, but do hold to the principle of lively discussion being beneficial on any such topic. Detachment helps. We simply must not give way to any bully pulpit over such small matters. --Jay

5. From : Phil Ashman (
Url : http://
Date : 03:51 AM Saturday 18 October, 2003

Thanks to Anton and Globetrotter for the flash advice. The only problem is I don't understand(and I would ask you to forgive me for my ignorance)what is the difference with TTL flash taken care of by the LX and the somewhat cheap centon I use? With mine I have to calculate the distance, set the right aperture to match and then shoot on x speed. This where I can't quite get it right with the 105 macro. Funnily enough I was getting good results with the standard 50mm and extension tubes (even a whole stack of them)so I must have been doing something right. The macro is proving more difficult, although I thought it would have been the other way round. When you say let the LX do it with it's TTL flash capabilities, does that mean it will fire off the correct flash for whatever aperture you have set on whatever lens etc.. and do you still use x as the speed setting? Sorry guys but I just can't seem to grasp how it works. Phil

6. From : Mico (
Url : http://
Date : 01:21 AM Saturday 18 October, 2003


Url : http://
Date : 11:31 PM Friday 17 October, 2003

Robert & Jay - let's end all this here - It is not getting anyone anywhere. We have worked hard to keep this a friendly, informative website. Abuse hurled at each other is not the correct line to take. I understand both your notes, and I'm sure we all want honest, friendly exchanges, whether it is to sell & buy equipment, or offer & obtain advice. Personal feelings and harsh words are better kept to private Emails between you both.

Let's take it that you both agree to disagree - and we can now move on to more positive notes.

8. From : Robert Clark (
Url : http://
Date : 08:04 PM Friday 17 October, 2003

Jay, for some reason I have not been able to log into this page for the last week, so hence the delay in replying to your little defence of yourself.

Far from having anything to do with religion, I would have thought that selling something on to an unsuspecting buyer, that you know is faulty, is the typical sort of action of a scuzzbag. A sleazy act, lacking in all integrity, and, of course, mature responsibility. Ian claims to be 'old-school' on this, another way of looking at it is that he knows how to behave with others like a simple, decent human being.

I normally hang out on the Leica forum, where many of the members sell stuff to each other. One of the great things there is that people, from different continents, can trust each other. It works - there have been no reports of any members selling dubious or not-working gear to each other. This creates a very positive atmosphere in terms of sales, and it means people get good, fairly priced equipment.

With your logic, and selfish pragmatism (something many Americans seem keen to export round the world) this could not work; no one would trust anyone else and probably rightly so.

I have no doubt that your level of ethics(?) is in the ascendant and that your excuse is childhood memories of being ripped off, but I find it staggering that you are so proud of yourself for it.

Url : http://
Date : 06:13 PM Friday 17 October, 2003

Phil - I would follow Anton's advice and use TTL control when using your 105mm lens. I would also advise you to look out for a second-hand Pentax AF280T flash to use for your macro subjects rather than the Centon ringflash. I have had superb results with the LX combined with 50mm macro and 100mm macro lenses (or equivalent prime lenses matched with extension tubes) using the AF280T off camera with a TTL cord. If you are only using one flash, then the use of a card to bounce light back onto the other side of the subject can help, although I've found that for extreme close-ups one flash is often enough. For difficult lighting conditions you may also need to use a second AF280T flash. Both flashes can be placed on extending arms and each connected by a TTL cord, but I've also had good results by simply placing one flash in the LX's hotshoe, and the other flash on an extending arm (or held in your hand) connected via TTL cord fitted to the TTL socket on the LX's body.
In all the situations given above, there is rarely need to compensate for flash burst error, because the LX's onboard computer will control both flash's output automatically. Another advantage when using the TTL flash at tighter and tighter distances to the subject is that the flash burst become shorter and shorter automatically and sometimes freezing fast subjects - such as a dragonfly or butterfly hovering over a flower.
I know that you are trying to keep costs down, but I've seen Pentax AF280T flashes and TTL cords selling for very low prices on Ebay.

Back to the subject of using film instead of digital - I'm surprised at Jay's mention that most publishers are now using images straight from digital cameras (sent on CD's) because I have not found this so - although certain areas, such as news reporting, are almost solely using it. For my own examples, I have just had articles and photos this week published in Italian, Czech Republic, German, English, and Dutch magazines. Other photos are at this moment undergoing layout in an American large format 'coffee-table' size book, and also for my own book being published in Holland. Almost every single photo used by editors or publishers these past weeks were obtained by using Pentax LX & Pentax Z1p bodies combined with Pentax lenses and Fuji colour transparency film (mainly Velvia & Sensia).
I must confess (and this is not meant to give self praise) that looking through most of the work I have published in magazines, that my photos stand out as clearly superior in sharpness, colour saturation (and may I say.....vivid emotion? sorry!) when compared to most other work supplied by digital photographers. This may of course be more to do with each magazine still being 'geared up' to make the best from colour transparencies, and not yet printing digital submissions at their full value.......but the simple fact is that many, many magazines (and books!) are still almost 100% involved with making the very best results on the printed page with submissions from slide-based submissions, rather than digital.
If anybody takes a quick stroll through the vast selection of magazines on the shelves of major shops (such as WH Smith) you will quickly notice that is now a vast selection of new 'Digital Photography' magazines vying for their piece of a fast-growing market. Yet, if you pick up a few 'digital-photography' glossy magazines and flick through the pages, and then do the same with a few 'film-based' photography magazines, you will soon notice that the majority of top-quality film-based magazines are displaying vastly superior photos. Probably the most noticeable thing about the 'digital-based' photography magazines is that almost every photo has that 'clinical-look' with washed-out colours when compared to those taken with film.
Let's pick up one glossy magazine with high quality reproduction for an example - "Outdoor Photography" (I could pick a hundred similar mags). Ou of 23-features in that magazine, 22 of the photographers are using film-based equipment (either SLR, medium or large formats). Of the 8-pages displaying superb photos in the "Portfolio" showcase, 100% of the photos were taken using film-based equipment; one photo was taken on Fuji Provia and ALL the rest on Fiji Velvia 50. I could pick up fifty other similar magazines and show a similar result on the photos submitted and published in their pages.
I've mentioned before, that there is not one single DSLR on the market at the moment that could produce results to exceed the results of an SLR used with film.
I do not see need for further argument of which is better - because in reality, either method of obtaining images can be both good or bad - depending on the person using the camera equipment.
I have no doubts that I will soon be using a pro-DSLR alongside my Pro SLRs for obtaining saleable images (at the moment I only use digital cameras for photos displayed on the Internet as jpg files) - but for the moment, like millions of others, the ancient (?) SLR is truly good enough for me.

Please don't take this as meaning that I don't value your input on digital, Jay. Your work is very thoughtfully given with a vast amount of research, and the majority of your pointers I agree with. Keep those valued thoughts appearing on these pages!

Yes, I’m back from France, Jay……..but my bags are packed again because I fly out to USA this weekend. So I’ll be away from this forum for at least the next 4-weeks. I hope you don’t miss me too much! I’ll miss all this absorbing chat! Mind you, I’ll be out there in the wilds this next month, doing what I love best – fishing, and of course photographing the beautiful landscapes, wildlife and autumn (fall) splendour.

For those of you who earlier asked about my forth-coming new book: It is called - GLOBETROTTER’S QUEST - and hopefully will go to print, in hardback form with around 290 high-quality colour photographs to illustrate 28 chapters, sometime in Jan/Feb.
Please Email me for more information (although remember I will be away until mid-November).

10. From : Mico (
Url : http://
Date : 12:19 PM Friday 17 October, 2003

Hi Jay,
I have a problem and you might help me... Recently I had my F*300/4.5 repaired for some minor mechanical problem. That was done fine, but for exchange I have got two others! First, manual focusing is too stiff and uneven (AF is fine, I have tryed it with screw-driver, it is very smooth) and the second one is even worse: they have cleaned two internal optical elements, one in front and
one behind the aperture blades, but so badly that remaining stains from cleaning liquid are totaly compromising SMC layer. Normaly, SMC lens is 100% transparent, but when you look at mine there is a reflexion "wall" coming from those two surfaces.
I complained, they accepted, but without any promise it could be repaired properly. I am waiting for the outcome, but do you think that people from Pentax-Colorado (joke) would be able to fix that? And would they take a product outside US (Canada)? I am so mad, that it is hard to explain... Also, on Pentax USA web, among Discontinued Service Items is a note "...almost all SMC-F lenses".
There is no need for parts, it is just a metter of adjusting and cleaning. I do not want to abuse you, I was just wandering if you have somebody there who can give you that information strightaway. If not,I am going to contact them officialy. M.

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