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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 : 12:56 PM Sunday 31 August, 2003

Stagnated, perhaps...but I think the leapfrog approach to releasing cameras with technological advances and marketing driven bells and whistles is being used. Whether one likes the new non-digital SLR or not, because of name, lack of a traditional aperture ring, plastic, or whatever, it does contain some autofocus, ergonomic size, and exposure meter upgrades. Looking at what is out there gone to market, for Pentax it is a calculated release. Will Pentax upgrade the MZ-S? It is a high quality body, but lacks some Professional features. Recall that the original PZ-1 was later upgraded to double the motor drive speed, and added some other features (while losing some original features). Is Pentax listening? And, where so, to what? Since most industry trend writers are saying that film will be out of the picture by 2008, except for rare usage, what will Pentax do? I guess I'm hearing moaning from some who want the viability of existing gear to stay the same when the horizon is clearly digital, and clearly of change based on electronics and modular manufacturing doing more and more what mechanical linkages and controls once did. Canon, not Pentax, was the inventor of the Plastic barrel consumer zoom (which all now produce).

But you love your glass, and want it to pass back to the future. Have Canon and Nikon maintained all past lens compatablity? So why do we think Pentax should? Is this the last Pentax DSLR, which has been assigned now so much considered built-up grief? I'm not certain what or who has stagnated. It is simply too soon to bury Pentax, as to its future professional releases, whole system quality, or what it will or will not do. There is still a catalogue of available primes, along with the development of consumer "plastic" zooms without aperture rings. And there are some quality zooms. Zooms are being panned by the folks who disclaimed in the past their professional use instead of primes. Pentax HSMs will come forth. I feel it is the focus of the moaning, in not being clear about future use of past technology, which is kind of like letting off steam train whistle blasts: where the boiler has been overstoked with expectation, it could explode unless the engineer pulls the ventilating whistle. So pull, then get the engine going toward its destination. --Jay

Url : http://
Date : 05:19 PM Saturday 30 August, 2003

"......Yes, not only has Pentax stagnated in 35mm - refusing to build on the excellence of the LX, they are now abandoning all their old, up till now faithful, customers. What this means, of course, is that old customers wanting to upgrade their camera to professional levels or to digital will no longer be constrained into buying Pentax because of their investment in their fine, older lenses. Faced with a free choice, who in their right mind would actually choose Pentax now? Not only has the company kicked their older customers in the face, they can offer no IS lenses, no top level bodies, only poorly made plastic lenses (apart from a few), truly AWFUL zooms (apart from two) and really awful after buy service. I would recommend anyone nowadays to go Nikon or Canon and reap the benefit of quality innovation....."

I agree with most of what has been said above. I have been using Pentax equipment on a professional level for decades, and during the last decade the problem of finding high-grade 35mm bodies and lenses to continue my work has become more and more difficult.
Pentax has a large following of pro photographers using the medium and large formats (645 & 67) - so almost all of their upgrades have been in that arena. I do feel however that Pentax needs to keep a professional level 35mm SLR or DSLR in their line-up. Not only do many beginners & amateurs who have started with cheaper low/medium grade cameras eventually become professionals, but almost all of them look for a top-grade pro SLR or DSLR to aspire to in that same company's line-up. If a camera company does not have an up-to-date Pro SLR system in their line-up, then they cannot expect even large numbers of amateurs and beginners to enter their folds. Another important fact is that many thousands of Pentax 645 and Pentax 67 owners first began with the Pentax 35mm SLR cameras, and eventually decided to move up to medium or large format. How can Pentax possibly think of losing these extremely important future customers?

Many of you already know that I have changed my main camera system to Nikon during recent months (Nikon F5 system), simply because after years of waiting and hoping for Pentax to come out with an upgraded pro-level SLR (or even DSLR!), I finally gave-up waiting (Like thousands of other Pentax professional photographers have also done during the past two years).
I feel very upset and sad to have done this, but feel that Nikon will fulfil most of my pro-work at the present 35mm SLR level, and into the future at DSLR level (Canon could of course also fulfil those needs).
Having said all this, I still have a very soft spot for the Pentax LX (and indeed the wonderful Z1p). This goes beyond just memories of good times, because having just sold all my LX system, I've quickly come to realise that none of the Nikon cameras actually have a camera to match the LX for low-light and night photography. This means that I am seriously considering buying again a PENTAX LX body + lens to carry with me for night photography (if I find over the coming months that the Nikon FM3a or FA do not satisfy my low light level photography).
This last fact, that I could seriously consider owning a Pentax LX again after an expensive change to another camera brand's system, truly shows how much I regard the Pentax OTF-IDM system in the legendary LX…….a feature that I find hard to comprehend was never used in any other Pentax cameras after 1980.

3. From : Mico (
Url : http://
Date : 02:13 AM Saturday 30 August, 2003

Digital *IST was my last hope that Pentax will take the right course, but it seems that time for changing the camp is coming. Also, if the whole priject with IST D sales do not fill Pentax expectations ( and they did almost everything to achive that, starting with the weird name), company will sink to the bottom in the 35mm market. Their only hope for decent *IST D sales record were
old customers owning fine older and recent older lenses. Waiting more than 10 years for LX upgrade, which has never happened, was quite enought for me. *IST D is the latest and final disappointment.

4. From : Robert Clark (
Url : http://
Date : 10:31 PM Friday 29 August, 2003

Yes, not only has Pentax stagnated in 35mm - refusing to build on the excellence of the LX, they are now abandoning all their old, up till now faithful, customers. What this means, of course, is that old customers wanting to upgrade their camera to professional levels or to digital will no longer be constrained into buying Pentax because of their investment in their fine, older lenses. Faced with a free choice, who in their right mind would actually choose Pentax now? Not only has the company kicked their older customers in the face, they can offer no IS lenses, no top level bodies, only poorly made plastic lenses (apart from a few), truly AWFUL zooms (apart from two) and really awful after buy service. I would recommend anyone nowadays to go Nikon or Canon and reap the benefit of quality innovation.

Url : http://
Date : 08:16 PM Friday 29 August, 2003

I was told that the Ist*D allowed meter coupling similar to a Z1p body with manual K and KA lenses.......It will be strange for NO compatabilty with K lenses...! ...So, it's a good job that I've just received a prototype Pentax Pro LX-D full-frame 20MP DSLR to try out................. ...only kidding!

6. From : Mico (
Url : http://
Date : 11:16 AM Friday 29 August, 2003

Jay, when I put K or M lens on film *IST, there is No metering at all! The display only blinks, and it is normal since camera can not get any information from the lens and consequently can not process metering data. The only way to meter with *IST and K/M lenses is to put max.aperture. But, you also have to enable coresponding function, even for that extremely limited lens use. Without lens coupler lever, I can not see any other option for *IST D, other than maybe "direct" operation e.g. no function has to be enabled/disabled. So, what we are going to lose: K 15/3.5, K 18/3.5, M 20/4, K&M 28/2.0, K 85/1.8, K 200/2.5, M 300*/4, K 500/4.5 just to mention ones that hurts the most. I have a couple more, that are not so "famous" but I am so disapointed to se that "cripled" Ka-mount taking them away from digital use. Cuting corners is popular these days, just look at the recent Nikon D bodies, abandoning all AI and older lenses.

Url : http://
Date : 06:51 PM Wednesday 27 August, 2003

For Pentax film-based users who are still unsure which way to jump (or remain fimly rooted!)in the DSLR race, a very good sample and description of just how good film-based scans are, plus the added detail in larger format film-scans, take a look her:

Url : http://
Date : 06:39 PM Wednesday 27 August, 2003

For a review of the new Canon Rebel DSLR look here: Pity its a cheap plastic tool......but it should satisfy a lot of photographers who can't afford the upper-tier of Pro DSLRs, but would like top-quality results.

9. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 05:57 AM Wednesday 27 August, 2003

Mico, et. al., The D body supports A series lenses upward with information transfer functions, M and K downward with "limited function". It does have a depth of field preview function, but I did not look for the mechanical aperture transfer coupler,found in earlier bodies close to the mount inner edge within the on body mount, apparently Mico's concern. Certainly from the A series upward we have had "limited function" on K, M, and S series lenses. Meaning that electronic functions for uses such as "program" for the camera controlling metering aperture choices could not be transfered for functioning from the prior to A series lenses, and in the S series, the lens could not be an autodiaphragm lens on K mount bodies upward. Mico seems to be concerned as to whether or not K's and M's will be autodiaphragm coupled. This is something I should have looked at, and the pictures on the test site are unclear about, sorry. This is a "moral" failure for a website "maintainer". Soon we will know for certain. --Jay

10. From : mico (
Url : http://
Date : 05:10 AM Wednesday 27 August, 2003

So, finally, there is no lens aperture coupler on IST D, that is obvious from the detailed bayonet close-up picture on How they are going to "support" K( and even screw mount!)lenses - it is not clear to me. Just puting K mount lens on the IST D will not be enought, and I do not like that.

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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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