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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 Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 04:46 AM Thursday 16 October, 2003

This seems a good entry point to begin to discuss scanning and its limits for Pentax LX photographers...

© 2003 Jay Hart, co-site maintainer (the Pentax LX Guestbook)

Pt 1A: Film and Digital File Originations: Exploring the Myth of Digital Scanning Quality Upgrade

We’ve all heard how a digital SLR will reveal the true optical quality of a mounted lens: that is that the imaging sensor array--found where film is found in a film camera--will unmask what the lens will or will not resolve as to detail, acceptable definition, and collecting scenic color. We’ve read too that the average so mounted consumer zoom lens will not be able to “hide” its deficiencies from the truth about its optical abilities when placed on the latest digital SLRs, as it may so hide using film SLRs. A lens thus makes possible image definition and detail which take on new meaning with today’s digital imaging originations formed by post-modern digital camera imaging sensors. This is telling of a technology shift reaching achieved levels of excellence now compelling many Professionals to merge away from film cameras to digital origination cameras as their primary medium for photographic imaging.

The past year has offered new digital imaging standards from small format SLRs which make the merge plausible. Prior to this, these upgraded standards were primarily found in medium and large format digital capture camera backs. Almost a decade ago the first $35,000 small format Kodak 35mm Nikon and Canon bodies to digital sensor camera adaptations were rated by their 1.3 MegaPixel imaging origination capture chips; today, as Globetrotter, co-site maintainer past cited, a Canon Rebel digital SLR has a 6+ Megapixel image origination capture chip—with a street price below $1,000. The Rebel SLR model has been marketed for the basic user of SLRs. Such sales targeting represents a paradigm shift toward how the committed Photographer will do his workflow, i.e. will go about buying SLR cameras, shooting, storing, manipulating, outputting, printing, and maintaining images. Pentax has released its first digital SLR to market, also a 6+ MegaPixel camera with more professional features than the Canon Rebel(perhaps an 8+ MP production model will later again surprise the marketplace using Sony’s latest CCD imaging chip. Tiff is an available digital file format on the Pentax, not the Rebel, where Canon uses a CMOS imaging chip not a CCD Sensor). For professionals, concerns like accurate color, definition, low sensor noise where user-adjusted ISO numbers can rise without changing the sensor array (or film), lowlight capacity, contrast, repeat shot burst rate, on-camera firmware features, histograms, post-capture image section viewing, output file size, image software processing upgrading, workflow, and image catalogue banking add to the imaging variables and confusion as to how to intelligently go for what is out there.


In-camera image origination capture sensors, unlike film origination slides or negatives used for film and print digital scanning, are not limited by “sampling” what is primarily presented by a film emulsion’s random construction limits and scanner sampling rating limits when composting a film source image with a scanner (scanners sample negatives, slides, or prints according to their own prescribed rendering technology). Each scanner has thereby its own rated digital capture maximum input standards. This is accomplished with precise alignment of the original image to the scanner’s computer encoding scan image capturing device(s) while so scanning. Even so, the high pixel or dots per inch rating numbers of scanners now available at the top of the heap can considerably mislead a user. No scanner can resolve more detail or greater sharpness than is already present on the presenting image media emulsion, no matter how large the Pixel or DPI (DPCM) rating of the scanner. Film emulsion, unlike the Digital Sensor array lightgahtering well, can scatter image sharpness projected from the taking lens. The latest marked improvement of scanners has really been more about adding color depth previously not possible (in spite of increased “per inch” or “per CM” rendering/sampling ratings.). Where a film original has its limits of detail and color, no matter how high the rating of a scanner’s sampling detail, those limits will become more apparent when using and viewing the resulting scanned digital file.

To the degree film media lacks initial subject-available sharpness and overall image evenness of detail it cannot be scanned by any scanner’s increased ability to make a greater gauged sampling measure and thereby cannot offer actual greater detail through increasing the scanner per inch or per centimeter input rating (in spite of resulting increased scanner captured file size output). In other words, where a grass section of a scene representing 1/100th of a 35mm slide lacks definition, and lacks shaped detail on enlargement, it will continue to even though scanned with the best and latest increased sampling size scanners...

I will expand and add more on this subject as it seems appropriate to this forum, the above being about 1/10th of what I have researched and written on the topic for the Guestbook Forum. I will post it in sections, hoping to stimulate conversation and insight from all participants. --Jay

2. From : Phil Ashman (
Url : http://
Date : 03:52 PM Sunday 12 October, 2003

Thanks Ian: I have toyed with the idea of getting a decent film scanner to replace my useless and hardly ever used flatbed, it's just the cost that is prohibitive at the moment. Take your point about PC'S and Mac's but I share the PC with my 2 lads who would probably mutiny if I suggested getting rid!! For the time being I think I will stop paying the extra to Fuji to have my slides all put onto disc when processed, especially as many never get looked at again, and just be more selective with sending off for cibachrome prints of those that really matter, until I can afford a good scanner. I do own a Nikon coolpix 775 digital camera that I bought for fun pics etc.. and to get an idea of digital photography and whilst only being 2.1 megapixels, the results are surprisingly good as long as you don't try to enlarge too much. I suppose I will end up going digital eventually, but will always keep my Pentax as long as they continue to make films. My opinion is that digital will vastly improve over the next few years and the prices will come down as well, just as happens with all new technology. I am happy to wait rather than commit myself right now.It's a bit like classic cars that although no match technologically with modern makes, still bring a look of jealousy from the man/woman in the street when they drive past. Also I feel a greater sense of achievement and pride if I produce an A1 slide from the single press of the shutter, rather than an A1 print that has been manipulated afterwards and assisted during exposure by a basic supercomputer built into the camera. I know to some people the end justifies the means but it's still not really the same. Phil

3. From : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 08:34 AM Sunday 12 October, 2003

Phil, If your staying with silver, I'd suggest you bite the bullet, and get yourself a damn good film scanner. My recommendation is the Minolta 5400, I own one, and I'm fussy (yes, It's very good, the best I could find short of a (real) drum scanner). Else a used Nikon Coolscan IV / LS 40 etc. Photoshop your scans as necessary. If your here for the duration, sell your virus prone PC and buy a Macintosh (OS X compliant (G4), if your buying second-hand, else a G5 - Upload your results to Kodak or similar on-line. The 12x8's arrive in the post. Happy as larry!. Job done. I used to print Cibachromes, and love them more than any other print process in history. If you can do that, that's very cool, way-to-go! I'd rarther just have damn good prints, and more of them. As usual, a question of money and time. Knock yourself out! - Ian.

4. From : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 07:28 AM Sunday 12 October, 2003

Jay, LOL, I'm giggling here, but I'll be damned if I know why that's funny. But it's funny. Since when did hammer-heads become out-of date? Actually don't bother answering, I guess I'm just getting old. I'm also guessing I should keep quiet about my preferred use of Kodachrome. I'm digging a hole here. Shut-up Ian. I'll get my coat.

5. From : Phil Ashman (
Url : http://
Date : 05:19 PM Saturday 11 October, 2003

Hello all, I now have the test results back that I took with the Sigma 400 and Sigma 1.4 on Fuji sensia 100. I am very pleased to say that they are (in my humble opinion) excellent. The subjects I chose were wading birds in bright conditions, taken on a sandy/pebble beach against rolling surf. They are perfectly well exposed and the sharpness/colour and saturation are extreamly good. No sign of them going off at the edges and clearly the lens and converter (as expected) match perfectly. This is of course only my opinion but that's all that matters to me and I will definitely be keeping the converter despite the odd readouts the meter gives(which I can live with and will indeed help me improve using manual settings and my hand held meter more often to gain experience). I will still await with interest what the boffins at Sigma have to say about compatability and keep you posted. The only other thing is that I had the images from the slides put onto disc by Fuji, at the same time, and although acceptable when viwing on my PC, they are nowhere near as good as the slides. I suppose this is to be expected until such time as they improve the transfer from slide to CD process. I can get a resonable print from my HP7350 (using optimum 4800dpi) but for anything serious I want on a print I will get done on cibachrome (albeit costly). Thanks again for all the helpful advice. Phil

6. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 10:08 AM Saturday 11 October, 2003

Ian, You are very brave. I wouldn't admit to anyone that I had a hammerhead. Just kidding, 1/60th and X as you gave it will do flash sync. --Jay

7. From : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 07:26 AM Saturday 11 October, 2003

Sorry to keep firing questions. On the subject of flash, I believe that the LX can shoot and sync in auto up to 1/30th sec. Or of course at X (1/75th I think). have I got that right? I have an old National hammer-head, two auto settings and a flat-out manual setting, and obviously no dedication. - Ian.

8. From : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 07:18 AM Saturday 11 October, 2003

Thanks for the advice Mico. Yes it's the booby-traps that would stop me from doing it. Unless I had no choice. Since discovering the warranty thing, I'll go have a chat with the manager (who I get along with very well). I'll have some fun first and then maybe book it in. Maybe a month or so from now. I'm very impressed with the warranty (in concept). They will actually repair stuff, I guess I just expected grief and maybe a credit-note at best. Thanks again for everyones advice.

9. From : Mico (
Url : http://
Date : 12:20 AM Saturday 11 October, 2003

Ian, if you can use you warranty, go and do that. If not, I can help you with a few tips, but i can not be responsible for final results...Firs, LX was not calibrated for any particular emulsion, and it is was not done that way, there is a electronic calibration instrument for AUTO speeds. If you have another, good LX, I have developed a method for AUTO speeds calibration ("Heresy!!", screems average, trained LX technician). As I told you before, metering system has other variable resitor as a calibration point. On mirror-lock/DOF etc., yes you can go in, but first, you have to remove: left and right top plates, bottom plate, and finaly the body front panel,(which includes K-mount and PART of the left and right side of the camera) on which DOF is attached. Sounds scarry? Well, it should be, since it took me a couple of years to gradualy master all bobby-traps on my way there. I would not recommend that, not at all. And, again, do not worry about the colour of the film emulsion, LX is doing that fine anyway.

10. From : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 09:20 PM Friday 10 October, 2003

Ahhhh! Service manual. I didn't realise there was such a thing (available outside Pentax). Actually, why wouldn't there be? Nice one Jay, thanks for that. Frankly I should just grow up and use the warranty (loath to lose the camera for six weeks). There's no pleasing some people! (lol). Thanks again.

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Maintainers for Pentax LX Series SLR Camera Models Message Board:
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Jay Hart (; Philip Ashman (

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