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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 Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 12:28 PM Monday 22 September, 2003

Folks and Globetrotter, Although I know we are disappointed regarding the move toward the electronically controlled lens functions and the resulting mount in the latest two Pentax bodies, and that we cannot say whether there ever will be future digital SLR bodies from Pentax which will permit open aperture and taking aperture meter readings from pre A series lenses, I think we need to compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges. By this, I mean, comparing the lens compatability of Nikon Nikkors for the F5 body to the *ist D is not really applicable. Perhaps if it is compared systemically to the D-100 it may be, but what's the point?

As written in the past Tony (Gloetrotter) has made his choice for his best use, and with some regrets. He still acclaims Pentax optics, in most instances (except cheap consumer variety zooms), but has made a move based on a system use choice. He still writes about regrets regarding letting go of the LX, its built-in long exposure low light capabilities, and, writes occasionally, longing for certain primes he owned and has used throughout the years. Some of you, when ventilating about the emerging Pentax DSLR's differences in design direction regarding lens use, have been ready to write off the David, Pentax, for the other Goliaths, Canon and Nikon. But, I must ask, when film cameras were the clear future, prior to all the emerging and enlarging ditial camera technologies, what held you to Pentax? I still hold onto a few LXs, and related gear because I like to use it, and its optics, not because of what Goliath is up to or has in his arsenal. I am a little sad for differing reasons than Globetrotter. I've been researching and writing an article I intend to post here on digital camera originations vs. 35mm film scans, and it is alarming. We are definitely at a crossroads regarding photography and its technology. This will shift almost all notions of the subject rapidly in this and the next five years from film based image originations to digital in-camera sensor image originations. The reasons surprized me, and enlightened me at the same time. When we hold on to the past, in one sense we are not being teleological (future progress looking ahead) in outlook, hoping that positive past experience will represent what photography will "feel like" in the future. But it won't. Photography, like fishing, has its numerous endless gadgets and approaches, and endless variables to be mastered for gratification in using its tools. There is some lore and satisfaction in that. But too it is an ever-advancing, and evolving, worldly reality. This side of heaven, it can be pure pleasure, challenging the user to accomplish image problem solving with some pride, and, in doing so, builds its loyal equipment following on the way. Leica owners love Leica, Canon Canon, etc.

What this proves is that we must examine how one's loyalities are formed and work, and it is not entirely by objective criteria, but, is a bit by the companionship we have known through our lives by the memories photography and its cameras have offered. Tony seems to want us to jump with him into a Nikon metamorphosis, and fault find Pentax as steps to the way of it. It just doesn't wash, it is highly subjective, these kinds of moves. And it is based on what one's shooting needs need be. Canon has made the steps Pentax is making fifteen years ago, but with, at the time, different technology. Their system has its good, bad, and ugly optics too. Pentax has made the changes it is making based on staying afloat as David against Goliath, but too with its own company history, cultural assumptions, and definitions of what nitch it holds. The *ist series are about a multicultural world now here, and about how people want to push buttons to make things happen quickly, then go on to something else. The beauty of the *ist D is that it embraces the possiblity of mastering more variables, permanently among us, as the histogram, the memory card, the file system, battery management, and these tools obvious linkages to the computer for each and every person's own use. Sensitive materials have changed and are changing, sensitive and loyal fans of systems seem to have a harder time changing. We hold on to what is because it has had a life of its own connected to our own stories, our own formation and integration into our own spheres of challenge, pleasure, and influence. There are lores and myths about cameras, and about each one's story so attached. What is useful in our situations and choices will always be linked to the heart, and the soul of self expression, the freedom to travel and explore, and the fact that most memories are recalled as still images, not as fluid and flowing motion pictures. I will enjoy Pentax, along with other manufacturer's gear in other formats, because I have chosen to do so. RSVP. --Jay

Url : http://
Date : 09:04 PM Sunday 21 September, 2003

Well, Jay, a quick look at the Pentax *ist DSLR review:
.....just confirms that I was correct not to wait any longer to buy one.......and as for loosing compatibility with all those lovely SMC lenses of the past, I find it very sad. I'm sure that a major company like Pentax could have found a way in the advanced 21st Century to continue 100% forward and backward compatibility with its huge range of top-class optics.

Some of the older Nikon lenses do not allow the advanced 'colour' metering to work with my F5, but they do work perfectly well in normal average metering (like the good 'ol LX does) - and if I really need the more advanced metering with an older 200-400 f/4 or my 200 f/2 or 200 f/4 micro, I can always just get the micro-chip fitted cheaply - although working in 'average' metering mode poses no problems for me, so I can't really se me having to have the chips fitted (and as for having to drill holes in expensive Pentax SMC fast prime lenses......AaaaaGH!). May the SMC, SMC-M*, SMC-A*, SMC-F*, and SMC-FA* robustly built barrels holding high-quality chunks of magnificent glass, long out-live the cheap plastic lenses of the future.
Like it was with the legendary Pentax LX, it is becoming just too expensive to produce extremely robust camera bodies and lenses made of 'bomb'-proof materials. At least we can smile in knowing that a Pentax LX with an SMC-A* 85mm f/1.4 lens or veteran SMC-K 200mm f/2.5 lens attached, will be working, and surviving, long after the *ist name is gathering dust in the cupboard of memories. Just scan that old Kodachrome or Velvia transparency taken with your favourite Pentax LX, by using an Ultra-modern 500MP scanner made in March 2009, and bring vibrant memories and magic moments in time, back to stunning vibrant and colourful life!

3. From : J. Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 03:52 PM Sunday 21 September, 2003

Sorry to take up so much space, but I thought too you would like to know that the review site gives a "drill your own second K mount locking index anchoring hole" solution to using existing lenses with TTL metering on the * ist D. He mentions too the hope for HSM and IS lenses as a result of the Pentax lens mount changes. We can look forward to Mico finding the best way and on the mount point to do this reindexing in the future.

Canon did what Pentax is doing to the Kaf2 mount some time back. Its system survived and thrived. Controlling lens aperture on the camera body has been done in some cameras for decades. --JH

4. From : J Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 02:10 PM Sunday 21 September, 2003

I could mention more than one spelling error in my postings, but I trust readers to realize that these are typing errors. Otherwise all of us will have to keep reposing and reposting. THe meaning of it all is discernable. BY the way, read the digital SLR comparision site below, for, the Pentax has a spot meter, Canon does not. Once the firmware is firmed up for next month's release too, I think you'll see some further advantage of the Pentax (for devoted SLR users). The Canon recycles faster for burst use than the Pentax because of the type of sensor it uses. It takes less technology to manufacture the Canon sensor, but its early difficulties--such as hot spots and low contrast--have been resolved in this its fourth edition.

Pentax is using the same Sony sensor as the Nikon D-100. What I do not like about either using this sensor is that ISO begins at 200, not 100. I do not yet know if the newly released 8 MP Sony sensor, which will be in next year's cameras, has the lower ISO rating. A lower rating should grant better detailed results, as noise is less inherent in its lesser ISO image rendering/encoding color mode. No ,at this juncture, the Canon sensor has better color for outdoor and flash work (it is smoother with color changes). The D100 though, using the Pentax sensor, is no slouch. The histogram is with us now and forevermore. To quote the review from the source below "If you still want a digital SLR, you should be prepared for further investments: higher insurance, a really wide lens, rechargeable batteries, battery charger, large-capacity CF cards or a MicroDrive, CF card-reader, a more powerful computer, a better printer, Photoshop. And do not ignore the learning curve...". --Jay

5. From : J. Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 01:22 PM Sunday 21 September, 2003

As with the time recently I held and mainipulated the next month to be released Pentax *ist D,imaging outcomes due to software (firmware) restrictions in place at the time, are involved with its assessment and comparison with the new Canon D10 in the following posting. Since it is by one of the most reliable K mount reviewers giving his take on the unit's use, and comparative value to the Canon System, I post this lead for all of you to enjoy reading:

6. From : J. Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 07:41 PM Saturday 20 September, 2003

And, would not 4.8 be a more representative designation for a half stop between f4 and f5.6 than a 4.7 or 4.5? We do occasionally see 3.5 and 6.3, what are these about? What do they really designate? A thirst for widest aperture light beyond f 4 in the first instance, and beyond f 8 in the second (for those considerate of such when buying glass). In long lenses especially there is a difference in hand held use between 4 and 4.5 as to quirks of actual use. As Tony Davis once pointed out here, when the 300 f4 A* is fully extended for close focus it is most likely a 4.5, when nearer infinity it is most likely a 4.0. One thing that internal focusing has accomplished, as with the F and FA 300 f4.5, in addition to giving non rotating front barrels for mounting a polarizer, is maintaining a fairly accurate and nonchanging widest aperture rating. But what to do about those light robbing internal air to glass surfaces in complex and high element count zoom lens designs? --Jay

I think it is important to look at the other light qualifiers about lenses I previously listed which makes all this theoretical f stop optical formula business too weird anyway. Again, I would reiterate that designating T stops would serve us all better, for these valurs would have to rate actual light transmission values for a given lens, especially at widest aperture. --Jay

7. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 04:37 AM Saturday 20 September, 2003

Bonjour, Mico. Some decades ago, when the scale for making lens apertures was established, then became, by negotiation, an international reference scale, 4.5 was chosen to represent a different f stop designation than 4.0. Like focal lengths published and advertised as such (like 210mm at the long end of a zoom, or 200mm on a prime) these can be close approximations, rather than literal actuals. As for the difference between 4.0 and 4.5 there are many close approximates to what these came to mean out there. Some are more literal as to theory than others in application. No where on the scale was 4.7 decided on as an indicator. --Jay

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

Curt, Jay is right about MX-LX screen difference, but it is only 1/3 of F. stop. So, since it is more and more difficult to find decent MX screen (I suppose that your is damaged too...)LX`s would do good.
Just adjust the ASA setting to + 1/3, or leave it well, in most cases you will not see any difference.
Also, if you have someone who can calibrate your MX afterwards, order MZ-M`s focusing screen (from Pentax, cca.7$US, no authorised dealer can do that) and you will be fascinated how bright your MX`s viewfinder will be. M.

9. From : J. Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 11:05 AM Friday 19 September, 2003

Try Adorama's used section on the net for a current list of MX and LX screens, but stick to the MX series, or your meter will be off. THe LX series are multicoated and transmit more light. The MX series have a single coating and the MX light meters are calibrated for these.

10. From : Curt Briscar (
Url :
Date : 04:33 AM Friday 19 September, 2003

I am in need of a focus screen for my Pentax MX If anyone can point me to one I would be very greatfull

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