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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.

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1. From : GLOBETROTTER (globetrotterworld@hotmail.com)
Url : http://
Date : 09:56 PM Sunday 10 August, 2003

Sorry about my few spelling mistakes in the previous post.....


2. From : GLOBETROTTER (globetrotterworld@hotmail.com)
Url : http://
Date : 06:44 AM Sunday 10 August, 2003

For both of those reasons, Robert, but there are many more.

Probably the most vital reason was having to wait so long for Pentax to advance its high-end areas of its systems. The LX has taken a back seat in my work and was mainly carried for extreme low light level photography or landscape work. My main volume of work had been done on the Z1p bodies, and occasionally also a Nikonos IVa or V on whitewater expeditions, such as down the Zambezi River.

I've almost changed systems on several occasions during the past, but kept with Pentax, a little in hope that a pro-level LX update would arrive, but probably even more because I had so much money tied up in the system. The Internet and Ebay has changed all that, allowing me to swiftly change systems within weeks - an almost impossible task if I had tried to sell it in the magazines or local papers without losing a substantial amount of money. I knew that if I did cross over to another system, I could easily change back (by re-selling through Ebay) if I didn't get on with the new system - and again without losing too much money.

I was in two minds for a long time whether to cross over to the canon system (mainly for its superb IS lenses) but the Nikon system, especially the F5, along with the compatibility with older manual lenses, swayed me away from the Eos1n or Eos1v. I'd owned one of te first EOS1 bodies for a while, but didn't like it, so had doubts that the upgraded bodies would be so much different. I like the RTS cameras and uset to own them, so I toyed with the idea. The Leica R cameras I used to have also, and although the lenses are superb, they are I think sometimes overrated and in no way are 'better' than most of the top-grade Pentax glass. The Leica R bodies were also SO basic that the LX just blew it away. (A short bit of news about Leica SLR's, they are bringing a new digital back for the R& & R8 SLR bodies next year! Maybe my notes mentioned a while back about making digital backs for 35mm SLR cameras is about to happen...maybe for the LX and F5 in the near future? - Though the £4,000 price tag for a Leica digital back is almost as scary as the Leica M7 prices!

I almost changed to the Pentax 645 some years back, but I found that I was getting so many double-page spreads and front covers published with images taken with the Pentax 35mm system that there was simply no need to go to larger format to produce top-notch quality photos. The Canon and Nikon companies are the biggest out there in the Pro-orientated 35mm SLR and DSLR fields, so they are often upgrading there technology, and at a much fster pace than Pentax. The F5 is certainly 'heavy', but it is built to an incredible standard, and I don't find it much larger than an LX fitted with motordrive and ni-cad pack, or when I used to use the Pentax Super A together with an A-motordrive (I often whished that the LX had a motordrive with ergonomics similar to the superb one fitted to the Super-A). But the integral drive of the F5 is certainly a different ball game. I think the biggest advantages the F5 system will give me will be with wildlife photography and adventure sports. Really, it has taken the place of my Pentax Z1p (I must say here that the Z1p is an amazing tool and able to match the F5 in many situations, except for autofocus speed, and build. The Z1p's metering was also superb, but probably not quite a match for the F5 in difficult lighting situations, especially with flash. I actually had more success with an earlier AF280T than the later 500FTZ, so I’m hoping for positive results from the Nikon flash). I’m now looking for a body in the Nikon line-up to take the place of the LX for my low-light level and after dark work – maybe the FM2n or F3. If I don’t find one that fits the bill, then I will seriously consider carrying a single LX body with a manual wide angle attached, to complement my F5.


3. From : Robert Clark (robertclark@vsnl.net)
Url : http://
Date : 03:32 AM Sunday 10 August, 2003

So Globetrotter, have you moved on for the speed of auto focus, or to have a more modern system compatible with digital bodies? Or both?

What I find most limiting about the Pentax LX is no facility for TTL (or even auto) fill-flash and the lack of professional quality zooms at a competetive price. I think it would drive me to Canon though for their new IS zooms.


4. From : GLOBETROTTER (globetrotterworld@hotmail.com)
Url : http://
Date : 05:52 AM Saturday 09 August, 2003

It was nice to read Anton’s thoughts about the gear he uses to capture magic moments of his passion – Jazz music. The mention of a lens out there being called - ‘Globetrotter’s 50mm f1.2’ brought a smile, and maybe a tear or two, because it’s been hard letting go of special lenses during the past.
There has been more than mere tears being shed during the last month though…because I’ve let go of some of my most loved items of equipment – my complete Pentax LX and Z1p systems along with a load of manual and autofocus lenses, plus flashes, bellows, infrared remotes, macro equipment etc. The only thing I have left is my sturdy Manfrotto tripod…but I can’t earn much from my professional work with only a tripod, but no camera and lens!

So?….you may ask “What digital system did you eventually go for?”. To cut a very long story short, I have decided not to go completely digital and remain with film-based equipment. Why? – Because after months looking very seriously at results with ALL the pro-grade major DSLRs on the market, none yet match Fuji Velvia transparencies scanned with a high quality scanner. Pure and simple! It would take a DSLR with at least 30MP to match Velvia, and even then, the most important criterion of vibrant colour and other factors (without the need for added hours working with Photo Adobe) need yet to be met by current digital cameras. I believe it will take a few more years for the Japanese boffins to iron out the teething problems with digital (which include: long-time exposure problems for low-light shots or night photography, high battery drain, extremely high prices, etc). Until that date, I will remain with film, and at least I should be able to use most of my current lenses when, and if, I go completely over to digital DSLR bodies.
The forward and backward compatibility of Pentax bodies and lenses has been a major PLUS advantage during my many years using the system. Sometimes I ‘lust’ to own a certain object that I don’t necessarily need. The Pentax* 135mm f1.8 was one such object of desire. I’d wanted one for more than a decade, but finding one in top-notch condition at a reasonable price became more and more difficult. I almost bought a mint one 8-years ago for £300, but someone got to it first. Recently on Ebay, a similar condition Pentax 135mm f1.8 went for £1,000! However, very, very occasionally a decent 135mm f1.8 passes through Ebay and sells for well under £400, but that is extremely rare and you need to be very lucky (like Anton!) to make a winning bid at this low price. But after so many years of searching for such a lens, I finally lost the ‘lust’ – mainly due to me realising that my Pentax FA 100mm f2.8 provided everything and more than the 135mm could provide. But one thing that Anton mentions – a certain ‘thing’, a certain visual and physical quality – is missing from many of the latest autofocus lenses. It is that certain something that most of the Pentax A* lenses had, - which is why I bought, but later sold, later bought again, sold again, then bought again the wonderful Pentax A* 200 f2.8ED. Just like a wonderful woman – it was love and passion – I just couldn’t say goodbye forever!

The Pentax LX has this certain ‘something’ that is hard to put a finger on. My head tells me that it is the wonderful low-light metering that it pocesses…but my heart tells me it must be more, because there are so many things that I hate about the LX…a bit too much like a love-hate relationship I think! The worst aspects about the LX are some of its elderly add-ons, such as the ‘horrible’ motordrive (that was completely useless for mounting on a tripod! Etc) But, and there is a big BUT, the LX is probably now deeply embedded in my soul.
The Pentax Z1p is a far, far better tool for doing most things in photography, but it just couldn’t hold a candle (excuse the pun) to the legendary LX when light levels fell into that magic period between dusk and dawn.

Pentax’s forward and backward compatibility with both autofocus and hundreds of superb manual lenses – and the ‘lust’ for something similar, is what eventually swung me away from Canon towards Nikon. There, I’ve let it slip; I’m now using Nikon!

My main camera body is the Nikon F5, along with a Nikon AFD 20mm f2.8, a Sigma AFD FG 24mm f1.8 macro, a Nikon 200mm f4 Micro (manual version), and a Nikon AF 300mm f4 EDIF, plus a SB-28 flash, TTL off camera cord, and the Nikon ML-3 infrared remote system (which allows not only remote release without cords, but also a ‘beam breaker’ that not only fires the camera when a subject passes through it, but also focuses remotely on the subject – a vitally important item for a lot of my work).
These are my first ‘basic’ items of equipment that I’ve bought this month (money from sales of my Pentax equipment). I will probably add other lenses and equipment in the near future, but I want to try these to see how much I ‘get on’ with the Nikon equipment.
I have owned most major brand cameras during the past – so it will hopefully be not too traumatic a change. Talking about traumatic…I received the 24mm f/1.8 this week, took it immediately out into the woods to run a few films through the Nikon F5 and to test the lens. I got home at dusk, placed the camera on the table, and then accidentally knocked it off…. The heavy bundle hit the floor with an almighty thud, and the brand new lens almost broke in half! The Nikon F5 wasn’t dented at all… in fact, it wasn’t even scratched, and continued to work perfectly! I was devastated about the lens though! Should I buy a Nikon 24mm instead? I then thought long about it and thought that even a Nikon lens would probably not have survived such a heavy fall. I really liked the way the Sigma handled (similar to my previous Pentax FA* 24mm f2) so I decided to dig deep and buy another Sigma 1.4 and give it another try. Paying twice for the same lens was not my intention though!

Have I completely deserted the Pentax system? Well, I’m not quite sure. The F5 is an incredible chunk of machinery, and I have no doubts that it will far exceed the PZ1-P in fast action situations and for wildlife work with long telephoto lenses. But for other subjects such as macro and landscapes I’m not so sure. The F5 has mirror lock-up (a vital component for my professional landscape work), but it ONLY works with manual metering! Not a problem during unchanging light conditions, but auto-exposure is needed when light is quickly changing just AFTER you lock the mirror up – a thing the LX does without a thought…And another problem might be long exposures at dusk or at night. The F5 can be programmed to open the shutter for up to 30 minutes (or even 9,999 hours when using the Mf-28 back!) but not only does this draw a lot of battery power during each long-time exposure, but unlike the petite Pentax LX, it does not meter exposures beyond 30-seconds. I do a heck of a lot of low-light work, and although I can easily do the longest exposures with the ‘B’ or ‘Time’ setting on the F5, I would definitely prefer the ease of use and low-light metering of my beloved LX.
I need at least a second or third back-up camera in my Nikon system. The ones I have though of are: another F5, an F100 (no mirror lock-up!), an F4, an F3, an FM2n, or an FE2……or, an LX! If I do choose to have an LX as a back-up camera, it would mean I would need another wide-angle lens to go with it!
I’m off to Spain next month, and then to USA again in October. I’ll let you know how I get on with my new equipment, and, maybe, if I’ve fallen back in ‘love’ with a ‘new’ LX!


5. From : Jose R. Rodriguez (jrrodriguez@cox-internet.com)
Url : http://
Date : 10:53 PM Friday 08 August, 2003

Ron, The Pentax Parts Department in Englewood, Colorado (1-800-877-0155) still has the LX Winder Battery Holder in stock (Part# 65519-0Y401) for $9.42 + tax/shipping. I have bought several parts from them in the past. They are very helpful and they now take MasterCard/Visa. Give them a call. Regards,Jose R. Rodriguez


6. From : Anton (handmaid@fsmail.net)
Url : http://
Date : 07:34 AM Friday 08 August, 2003

I have been very lucky (and patient, observant, consistent and dedicated - not blowing my own trumpet here but just explaining) resulting in my acquiring the 85 A* and 135 A* for ridiculously low prices - this did take three years with no let-up. These lenses suit me perfectly. I haven't done any tests (I have sold my 135 f3.5, my SMC 135 f2.5 is currently on eBay) but for my jazz club purposes the f1.8 is the one to have and the results - for me - are fantastic, visit: www.spicejazz.co.uk click on pictures and then choose from the scroll for some results from these lenses. The close-in pictures are the 135, slightly further away are the 85, a few are Globetrotters 50 1.2 and some the K 28 f2 (a rare and very nice lens).

I haven't made any enlargements, as the web is the destination (a bit of a waste in some ways!). I have used the 85 and 135 for portraits and they are very good. The SMC PENTAX-A* 1:1.4 85mm has a wonderful creamy quality and it is my favourite (I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't measure very well in scientific tests but it has some kind of soul - as does my Zorki 50mm). There is a lot of 'expectation' about these lenses and if I were to abandon the romance I reckon the 'lesser' Pentax lenses could do just as well in the right hands... but let me be in love for a while. I work as a musician (singer, instrumentalist and teacher) and in some ways making 'work' out of my passion has ruined it. A friend/client recently asked me why I don't begin the process of going rather more pro with photography. I thought about it and I realised that I like being an amateur photographer (in the best sense of the word, meaning lover). I like being able to say no to a 'job' because it doesn't excite me. I like the fact that if my ideas don't work out I can apologise and walk away because they weren’t really paying me anyway. I like using my LX's even though they sometimes give me trouble on a shoot (so I have to take a few of them along for spares) To be honest, if I were pro I couldn't rely on the elderly LX's, I'd have to go to Nikon or Canon and buy new. Basically I can indulge my likes - my hobby - to the full and if my LX plays up and ruins the shoot it's not a disaster. I can't afford to be so relaxed with my music because my income depends on it. A bit of a shame really... Anton


7. From : Robert Clark (robertclark@vsnl.com)
Url : http://
Date : 04:29 AM Friday 08 August, 2003

Well Anton, I hadn't realised that you were using that beast of a 135mm down to f1.8. Can you actually use such a narrow depth of field usefully? What is it like at this aperture? Is it acceptable for enlargements? How does it compare to the SMC 135 f2.5 wide open? The monopod sounds like a very good idea.

I might sound a little awed, since I know how limited the depth of field is on a 75mm at F1.4 - it's not easy to use, and with SLR focusing in the gloom of a nightclub! I'd be interested to see some of your results, Cheers, R.


8. From : Anton (handmaid@fsmail.net)
Url : http://
Date : 01:30 AM Friday 08 August, 2003

Thanks for the suggestion Robert. Ignoring the cost!! I'm not sure that a Leica rangefinder kit would do the job, I use mostly 85 & 135 lenses and I frame quite tightly, RF viewfinder error would make this difficult I suspect. With care and a monopod I can take the LX down to 1/60 with the 135 at f 1.8 and 1600 film. I have an old Zorki 4K (a Russian Leica copy) and despite not being as smooth as the leica (I assume as I've never handled a Leica) there is less vibration than the LX so I shall take it along and experiment; I only have the 50 mm lens for it. Thank you for reminding me about the camera as the last time I used it I was blown away by the special luminous quality that the lens gave to the pictures and I've been meaning to give it a good try out but got lost in the joys of the LX. I'm going to the country - on retreat - in a couple of days and I shall take it with me. AB


9. From : Robert Clark (robertclark@vsnl.net)
Url : http://
Date : 10:25 PM Wednesday 06 August, 2003

Anton, I know this is an LX site - I have and use an LX myself - I can't help responding to one of your previous posts. Why don't you use a rangefinder for shooting at low levels in the jazz club? They produce far fewer vibrations when the shutter is released. I have and use Leica M6's for just this sort of thing: whereas unless I use a 60th or more on the LX I cannot get critically sharp photos (up to 10"x12") with a 50mm, with the Leica I can go down to a 15th pretty reliably. Of course at 75mm this goes up to a 30th, but with the 85 on the LX it goes up to 125th. In other words, you get another extra stop and sometimes two stops over an SLR (almost any SLR, not just the LX)

Of course if the subject is moving then it will rarely if ever be sharp at these low speeds, but with practice, even with a moving subject there are 'moments' of stillness and the immediacy of the Leica's shutter helps with capturing that moment too.(It's broader viewfinder even gives a wider sense of prediction as to when that might happen). Another noticeable difference is that the Leica glass is very much better at these wide open, low light apertures - sharper in the centre and much better at the edges.


10. From : Anton (handmaid@fsmail.net)
Url : http://
Date : 04:45 AM Wednesday 06 August, 2003

Ron, what's happened to your holder? Has it broken (they are quite flimsy) are you sure you can't fix it? Modern adhesives are very good, you make also be able to link broken bits with thin straps of metal held in place with glue and small rivets subsequently filed flat (ish).

Next suggestion: Keep an eye out for a broken winder on eBay - they occasionally come up - check with the seller that the battery holder is okay before bidding. Ring round independent repairers who may have a parts bin. Good luck Anton


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