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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 : Anton Browne (
Url :
Date : 01:42 AM Friday 30 May, 2003

I hope this isn't an improper use of this excellent site but I'm selling the 'Pentax LX System' book by Geoffrey Crawley. It will surely be of interest to visitors here. Details at: Anton

2. From : John Harrison (
Url : http://
Date : 02:44 AM Thursday 29 May, 2003

Hi Jay: Many thanks for the info and the websites to look at. When I spoke of "moving up" it was perhaps a bit tongue in cheek. what I meant was getting away from the auto everything slr's to a camera that makes me think about my picture making. My first "real camera" was a Pentax MX which I sold 10 years ago, but strangely I seem to remember my photography being more fun then. Thanks again for the info.

3. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 05:33 AM Wednesday 28 May, 2003

John, PS, I forgot to mention, look up "Digital Imaging Studio, the Pentax LX" for detailed information. They have posted too some other links which humm on the subject. Also see Peter Spiro's website, Photodo Photonews reviews, the Photozone website, and the Camerareview website. --JH

4. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 05:20 AM Wednesday 28 May, 2003

John H., There is quite an extensive discussion of lenses and lens preferences by various chat contributors: just read back through the past 100 or so postings below. Are you wanting vintage K, M, and A series lenses (manual focus with various optical advances, still fitting the LX)? These are mentioned alot in the chat over the past three months. These seem to hold up forever.

On the macro use, some photographers use traditional long lenses at a distance, to compress and isolate subjects, some use specialized macro lenses, of which Pentax has made three focal lengths, all excellent (50, 100, and 200mm). Some say the 200 macro is the best lens they ever constructed, giving brilliant results. I like the 100 mm for step back distance.

On wideangles: it depends on your personal preferences. Pentax optics were made to be relatively small in size, ideal for field use, yet big in image impact. I like either the 28mm f2 or f2.8 M or A series as a starting point for outdoor imaging. I use the 135mm f 3.5 M as much as any for telephoto landscape use.

Such lenses, if intelligently sought, by reading photolens test websites, can give great blow-ups, and great color. These are among the best available. Most of the contributors here have thoughts on their own preferred optics. Many are published photographers. As these optics are outstanding don't hesitate to email a chat contributor for insight into a particular lens.

On buying an LX, I do not think there is much written on our site, but the chat shows what to avoid. I'd look for a unit with the raised shutter collar, that switches on the meter from the two switches placement, not just from one, and has not much paint or other wear. Ask the seller if the gearing from any autowinder or motordrive use still functions well in the body (with such attached). On Ebay such an LX can be found from $200 to $950, depending on how it is advertised and how savvy the seller is about what they have on hand.

It is always edifying to get a value, some local shops have let go of the notion of making much more than $300 or $400 off an in good shape unit, whereas mail order used shops seem to want the highest price possible for whatever they have on hand (regardless of condition). Finding a unit without the sticky mirror syndrome, or an erratic shutter speed is clued in the chat. A unit should last a good ten to fifteen years, if gotten in the right condition up-front.

It is a bit mysterious, talking of "moving up" to manual focus from such autofocus gear as you discuss...but the simplicity of use and reliability of the LX system makes it so. --Jay Hart

5. From : Kim HChuan (
Url : http://
Date : 06:07 PM Tuesday 27 May, 2003

Hello. I like this LX site, good, very good. I enjoy reading all the messages. I am from Korea, soeery for bad english.

6. From : John Harrison (
Url : http://
Date : 02:58 AM Tuesday 27 May, 2003

I'm considering upgrading my autofocus Nikon kit for a classic manual focus camera such as the Pentax LX and would appreciate any advice as to what to look out for in buying an LX and whixh are THE lenses to get with it. My interest range from landscape to people shots and nature macro shots.

7. From : Anton (
Url : http://
Date : 11:59 PM Thursday 22 May, 2003

Mike, I have an LX I've been meaning to sell for some time. I think this will only be worth doing if you're in the UK. If you're interested send me an email and put PENTAX LX in the title. I get so much spam that I bulk delete them and sometimes I might ditch a genuine one if the heading doesn't mean anything to me. Anton

8. From : Mike Metallo (
Url : http://
Date : 08:31 PM Thursday 22 May, 2003

Does anyone have a Pentax LX they are interested in selling?

9. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 08:09 AM Sunday 18 May, 2003

Note, once again I am having my primary e-mail use account purged, please use this address above for awhile: until they clean up my normal address server interface responsiveness; then I'll repost it as active again.

I corresponded by e-mail with Keith about his color fringing problem. FYI, the 300mm SMC he was not appreciating has a fixed rear element, unlike his other third party optics not showing the fringing problem during his use of them (the SMC lens has a Pentax designed "FREE" system fixed rear established element to correct aberration and color fringing tendencies in telephotos and zooms, by the way. It is quite ingenious by design. Such exists in about a quarter of the 35mm lenses I own.). His lenses are being mounted as scopes to a scope convertor for their primary employment as telescopes, with a CCD for image capture being placed in its telescope type eyepiece viewing lens socket. The other lenses he used resolved all colors OK, while this one presented some banding/fringing at the yellow and purple ends of the color spectrum, showing on the CCD when viewing an illuminated moon. In corresponding< it seems that the scope adoption rear K mount mounted lens to CCD distance differed slightly from that to the film plane in K mount cameras (his other lenses sucessfully adapted were third party screw mounts). As he adapted a K mount to his scope use scope viewer transitional device--apparently self constructed from some camera and manufactured parts--alignment, centering, and back focus at infinity distance was not quite the same as such set by K mount camera bodies' tolerances. This only showed its face when using the Pentax FREE optical formula lens in his unique set-up.

The 300mm with the fixed rear element focused differently than his other optics because its lens exiting image projection to CCD distance was not adjustable purely by lens focusing, as with other non-fixed rear element optics (which could, in their way of focusing, adjust for any minor film plane to lens infinity focus misalignment in this particular set up, and establish acceptable subject color sharpness accordingly [with inner element groups moving forward and backward to focus, images came to sharpness without an in-line FREE system rear fixed element predetermining a lens' infinity focus limits). With Pentax's fixed rear element compensator type optical formula inclusive in this 300mm lens, the precise alignment and focal plane resolution issues become critical as to it rendering sharpness accurately-- primarily set by the exact Pentax factory determined rear K mount to camera film plane distance. The result of our interchange is that Keith is working on his own system design recalibration and its own elements of precision, and no longer is convinced the lens itself has a color fringing problem. In fact it is its very inherent demand for precise alignment and accurate back focus to the focal plane which may have come into the spotlight by his inquiry and use. He pointed his evolving discovery out to me with apologies to Pentax's reputation.--JH

PS. It was interesting to see how directing his inquiry to the mounting system itself evolved with disclosure about non-camera use and its own unique complexities. So, continue to have faith in Pentax optical formulas, manufacturing, longevity, and design quality regarding most preowned optics and the LX.

10. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 09:36 AM Friday 16 May, 2003

Anton, Yes, current photos are an improvement: in film color balance and gambit, detail, greater shadow detail, with finer grain and sharpness offered at higher speeds than a decade ago. Yet the subjects, capture strategy, establishing a personal style and interface, and lighting are not any greater challenge. And definition, not color gambit or contrast, are improved by high end CCDs, CMOS, and expensive glass, etc. This improvement too depends on the vintage of the chip.

Subject edges are noticably sharper in higher megapixel system rendered master images (over film)--even over slide scanned images. This fits well with doing your own prints or communication series images stemming of computer files manipulated in your own space. But, sure, it is just another way of doing the same old same old. I think the lenses you mention stay outstanding because they reflect an era of Japanese competition for excellence, quality,and complete coverage system lineage, not market share. For me photography involves a passion for involvement with the subject, less so the gear, though that is important. These lenses and the LX work well for that purpose.

One of my sons is a US Olympic cycling coach, and we bike. The team is trained in Colorado. He loved the long rides prior to getting hit by a car. Just like anything else, it depends on your application as to how to view evolution of technology as the primary factor of involvement. You're right it is not.

Suspension is for off-road, not road use. Full bike suspension, front and back, can actually use up forward motion cycler energy, losing efficiency. So, the off-road racing trend is to just go with front suspension, to gain rear frame peddling energy momentum. Durango humms all summer with the off-road competition. Europe is made for road racing, even if an American tops the heap just now.

For road use it is newer overall lighter materials which have given a racing edge. And more gearing has improved the capability to hill climb, sprint, etc. with a wider gearing range possible from given new ratio cluster/deralier(Fr. word-origin)systems. This seems a bit like tele zooms, slowly advancing over primes (the Sigma 100-300mm ex f 2.8, for example).

But for most of us the honed click-stop lightweight gear clusters and deraliers of ten years back are sufficient. It did take some years to get the shifter system bugs out and settle down into micro-gearing. It is like with any other sport these days: with annual manufacturer competition models for even the shifting system, brakes, etc. Skis, for example, improved with the Parabolics (but the design reality tradeoffs were known for years before these became the rage. New materials formed the weight factor necessary for the shift; after the mid 90s slump in the Austrian Ski industry required such new life to have an industry at all. Now China makes most "Austrian namebrand" skis). But, do we need annual models for this imaging stuff?

Photo equipment has not yet gotten so vain in appeal for appearance and for holding the latest/greatest in-vogue gear, but it is closing in on going to the annual model idea--new exterior grills, with a few technolgy tweaks--route. --Jay

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