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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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Url : http://
Date : 06:17 PM Friday 15 August, 2003

I understand your points about digital, Jay, but having also read reports, and seen results of digital compared to film, there are no doubts that digital, even the latest EOS1Ds, Nikon D2 & D1x, Fuji S2 PRO and Kodak DSC PRO 14n still do not match Fuji Velvia on ALL counts. A considerable amount of professional photographers (including most on National Geographic) still carry mainly film-based bodies.

There are many other considerations to take into count other than sharpness (even though it needs at least 20MP to match film), including the fact that, unlike most DSLR images, most shots taken from Velvia do not need a lot of added time spent in Photo Adope to boost their colours up to your requirements. Another even bigger factor for me is that ALL the magazines that I work for worldwide STILL prefer to receive top quality transparencies rather than digital scans. Yet another important factor is that each magazine has its own scanners and they will scan my transparencies - without me needing to do it or pay to have it done. Yet another important fact is that not only can I easily scan every future transparency during the next few years - with results to match or exceed anything top DSLR's can produce, but I can also make scans of my complete 250,000 slide archive - therefore forward and backward compatibility. 35mm scanners are improving as fast as digital cameras, yet their prices are falling even faster - making them more affordable. This means that if I remain with film, I can easily upgrade my scanner every 5-years, rather than upgrade my DSLR every six months.

All the above is true, because I am getting paid for my work and this is what I am doing! For example, I've just had an email request for 3-5 photos to illustrate a new book in USA. I simply edited a handful of transparencies from my files, sent them in the morning post, and forget about them until the $1,000 US dollars cheque arrives in the post. These photos are going in a modern coffee-table large format book, yet they were taken using an LX camera almost a decade ago! Why do I, as a working professional, need to go out and buy a Canon EOS1d for £7,000, when I can go out and buy a mint Nikon F5 for a TENTH of the price?! (My latest 'mint' Nikon F5 was bought in UK for £695). I see no sense whatsoever to buy the latest and best DSLR, when those same models will be at considerable lower prices in 2-years time (and probably by that time absolute!), and the DSLR's of 2005 will have by then ironed out all the problems that existing DSLR models have - AND probably fallen in price by a VERY big margin. The more that I consider the positive and negative aspects of going completely digital this year, I come to realise that I have made the right decision in remaining with film, for at least a few more years. For most of my online Internet photos, my current 3.2 MP camera is more than enough.

2. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 10:58 AM Friday 15 August, 2003

Hi again, Welllll, Canon and Nikon are certainly prevalent professional systems, and I read with interest Globetrotter's choice. And that is what it represents, as to meeting his needs and plans for his use. But I disagree with his assessment of existing Digital SLRs, especially the Canon 1Ds, and the new Olympus 4/3rds system. There are many recent professional use reviews of the Canon system, offered in select periodicals by professionals in this country. These testify that when used intelligently, as to using on camera image capture controls while making on camera tweaks for predicted results, the results reveal that this body OUT RESOLVES EVEN 6x6 cm VELVIA. Fact.

Detail and edge resolution are made softer on Velvia film that captured with this Canon 11 MP image chip based system: which then overcomes the limits of film accordingly. An eleven mega pixel system can render a larger useable MegaBite file than those scanned of Velvia. Why? Because the image begins with a greater detailed resolution and edge sharpness than is possible with film by its inherent fogging of a 2D image by the very layering thickness of the primary negative or positive colors found forming its emulsion. These user reviewers mentioned above, and their published image results shared are those of regular editorial and advertising shooters, who are getting much larger prints than they got from 35mm transparencies, with improved latitude in shooting (better too than from 6X6Cm). Skin tones too are amazing, but primarily so only with intelligent tweaking of the way the camera would normally render them.

So, if studio commercial shooters and portrait outdoor shooters in NYC, Chicago, and LA are singing the song of the 1Ds, and the pictures are truly better than those of two professional formats, 35mm, and 6X6, I would disagree with some of what Globetrotter has stated. Reading this reviewer stuff now for six months, with improved visible detail and color side-by-side comparisons shown tells us something. Something has changed regarding imaging, and for the better.

Transparency scanners are great, I own two, but these do not render the finite detail and edge sharpness from film inherent of the 1Ds. Or, for that matter, of the Nikon D100, which offers a fairly noise free low light capacity. But it will not resolve for large print detail like the 1Ds because of its 6 MP limit. To even come close to the 1Ds with transparency film one has to process transparency scans results through computer program sharpening procedures, on programs like Photoshop. And one may have to deal with adjusting the histogram and other like image adjustments to improve them for advertising and publishing clients' demands.

Learning Photoshop for me, a long time film transparency shooter, took the sixth (now much improved seventh) editions of Photoshop to make me believe in the clear future of the movement toward digital. Also, the means to manage and compile image banks, with thousands of images at hand, are truly made at hand with these programs. The fifth editions backward did not make good use of largely available lower cost big memory bank abilities found in post modern era PCs and Macs, nor offer solutions to imaging problems such as distance convergance of parallel lined objects (like buildings, for such photography), color shifts, contrast lacks, etc., nor other problems resident of imaging original presenting sometimes of subjects with film or digital chips. Earlier programs limited the use of manipulation of images to a backward look to film as to imaging outcomes for various uses. It has now shifted from being a computer program era to manipulate the results of film, to an era to manage the results of digital files.

Epson and many other companies now make large print roll bubble jet printers with permanent inks, which create amazing prints from digital files, blowing away the old large prints one could see visiting National Geographics HQ through the mid 1990s. The large prints they could make in their resident lab then on site were the best I'd seen for the size, until the bubble jets went to 5, 6, and 7 basic inks for composting (and very high dpi scales). The fact is that snap, edge sharpness, and detail surpass so printed surpass any direct film processes for image printing.

In the traveling art show booths found this summer around Colorado, with at least a dozen fine art photographer's presenting and selling their prints at these shows (which include many other booths of other types of craftspeople and artists)80% were doing their prints at home or through a bureau from digital files using such bubblejet printers. Colors leaped out at one from these prints. Snap then, is no longer limited to lens families.

This too is the beauty of it all going this way, e.g., the capacity to do a labless process, in one's workspace. Colorwork in particular gains so much from the freedom of PC or Mac processing. Increasingly not only are publishers working directly from digital files from CDRs or DVDs, but the whole way of printing is managed only as to digital file input and output.

Nostalgia is around as to using film, but the results of digital chip image capture, as on the Kodak back for 6X6 and 6X4.5, has moved beyond what film is capable of doing by its emulsion composition limits.

Frankly the F5 has the most controls for film shooting, but has gotten to be quite large accordingly. It has more features and capability for film use than the F100. But, with all the variables for photography and its technology, and with all those which remain constant, the abilities of digital file imagry to go beyond the capacities of film lead me to plan an imaging use future accordingly. Both cameras mentioned herein are future winners. --Jay Hart

Url : http://
Date : 03:51 PM Thursday 14 August, 2003

Hi Mico - yes, I was thinking about the FM3a, but my main reason for wanting a second back-up camera different to my F5 is to have a body that will meter on long exposures for dusk-night-dawn photography. Despite what Ken Rockwell says on his website about the nikon manual bodies opening their shutter for up to a few minutes, AND metering, I very much doubt if this is true, because they do not have the sensitive EV meters with OTF readouts that both the LX and OM2 or OM4 cameras have.

I will need to think more seriously and check out the cameras themselves in detail before making a decision. At the moment, it looks like I'm going to be looking around to buy another LX body.

4. From : mico (
Url : http://
Date : 09:17 AM Thursday 14 August, 2003

Globetrotter, why not FM3A? I still prefer LX to any FMs, but since you have gone Nikon, maybe it is the camera closest to LX. FA is very nice camera, but very old, almost as old as LX. I had it at some point, while I was tempted to try Nikon system, and it was great. Again, FMs are also great cameras, but not as smooth as LX. Not to mention MUCH darker finder, something that even F3 was not able to match with LX.

Url : http://
Date : 11:30 PM Wednesday 13 August, 2003

I'm glad you enjoy visiting the website - and hope you also enjoy entering the wonderful world of photography and the Pentax LX. It's a wonderful world out there - with all its negative & positive aspects, go out and capture some special moments, like your father did; and above all, enjoy doing it.

6. From : Cécile M (
Url : http://
Date : 09:47 PM Wednesday 13 August, 2003

Thank you for preparing this site. I have got a camera (lx) from my dad who left us this with a few lenses. Do not know how to make use of it, I am using babefish to translate all the pages for my mum to read and make good use of the camera too (as well as all the 50 pages from this forum). Once again, thank you to everyone for sharing all the experience you have - this site is really special. - love from Nice -

Url : http://
Date : 11:38 PM Tuesday 12 August, 2003



8. From : GLOBETROTTER - Tony Davies-Patrick (
Url : http://
Date : 08:20 PM Monday 11 August, 2003

I've just been looking closely at the Nikon FA again for long-time exposures. It seems that it will open the shutter AND read the the metering for the scene in light that needs 1-2 minute exposures (it does NOT state this in the brochure!).....but, there will be a problem in situations where the light changes DURING the exposure, because the Nikon FA reads the exposure just prior to tripping the shutter, and does not change, as the LX can, DURING the long exposure. It looks like the LX is my ONLY viable option at the moment....... The only problem is having to own two sets of differnt lenses with same wide-angle focal lengths......!

Url : http://
Date : 05:22 PM Monday 11 August, 2003

Robert – I think that you mean the Nikon FM3a (they did not make a Nikon FM3n, although the do have a Nikon FM2n). On the website, he mentions that the Nikon FE holds its shutters open AND meters accurately for exposures of two minutes – although I have my doubts, as the Nikon does not have such a sensitive meter as in the Pentax LX or Olympus OM4t. He also mentions that both the Nikon FA and FM3a are able to work on long-time exposures way beyond the stated 8-seconds on A or P modes. The FA also has the added advantage of Matrix metering with all Nikon lenses (except the horrible plastic ‘G’ consumer lenses!). I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has experience with using any of the Nikon bodies for long-time exposures on automatic settings.

I’m not so interested in the flash capabilities for my low-light landscape work, Robert (For most flash work I will be using the F5). When I do need flash for landscape night photography using the Pentax LX, then I simply walk around firing off short flash bursts with a handheld flash by pressing the ‘Test-flash’ button; or I more often use a small penlight torch or LED torch to ‘paint’ the scene. The LX will automatically close the shutter when enough light has hit the film (I often also set the compensation dial to +1 or +2 to obtain slightly longer exposure so as to cope with RF colour changes during long exposures). Would any of the Nikon cameras be able to do the same thing? I somehow doubt it.

10. From : Robert Clark (
Url : http://
Date : 11:37 PM Sunday 10 August, 2003

Hi Globetrotter, I'm not trying to influence you at all, but since you've gone Nikon, wouldn't the FM3n make sense for you? In some ways it is like the LX in the sense that it has a hybrid shutter which will work at all speeds without batteries. I've handled it and it does not seem to be as well built as the LX, but who knows, you might think differently. One thing it does have is a very simple and straightforward way of doing fill flash - something Pentax really ought to have worked out for the LX. It is also about the same size as the LX, which given the heft of the F5 you might find as a nice relief.

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