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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.

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1. From : Jay Hart (ibcom@onebox.com)
Url : http://
Date : 04:52 AM Thursday 27 March, 2003

So, Robert, you have a focus alignment rest problem, whether accurately represented to you at point of sales, or not. If scammed, or camera unit misrepresented (and there is no way really to prevent such actions), your unit may develop sticky mirror syndrome in time (if not actually repaired by Pentax USA). I think if I was in this situation I'd still call the Pentax USA repair facility Colorado 800 number to get the repair records on whatever serial number is represented by the bottom plate. Share with them the history as you know it, and see if their records, computer kept there, verify what the guy represented. If not, perhaps there are still legal actions you can take. And, if so, then you'll know the state of repair of the unit (serial number actuality holding, not being swapped by the seller that is).

Any repair shop would be able to align focus and add the necessary rubber rest shiming accordingly. Sometimes, in order to bring units "up to original specifications" Pentax will do more than really necessary, e.g. almost always cracking into the body and replacing key parts like the meter variable resistor (which, in their defense, is a good preventative measure, when not directly called for, adding years of prospective life to the individual body).

The shutters were built for 500,000 exposures, but that is without bearing lubrication being hurt by dust, little use, or abuse. In actuality few shutters last that long, though the shutter is one of the sturdiest ever made for any camera. The problem is these parts are becoming scarce. Also, unlike the latest vetical shutters, when imaging/capturing moving vehicle wheels, they will render wheels accurately in shape.--Later, JH


2. From : Robert Clark (robertclark@vsnl.net)
Url : http://
Date : 04:14 AM Thursday 27 March, 2003

Jay, what you said about the swapping of the bottom plate did indeed happen. As far as I remember from the documentation, and this was certainly the claim made by the seller, Pentax Colorado had damaged the bottom plate the second time they had the camera.(after they had bodged the first repair and had the camera returned) Apparently they had scored the plate and had therefore replaced it under the warranty of their repair.

As I said, I no longer have the paperwork, so cannot check this. I hope I was not shafted by the seller in some sort of scam. Having said that it is only this focus misalignment that seems to stem from the compressed rubber rest under the mirror that is an issue.


3. From : Anton (handmaid@fsmail.net)
Url : http://
Date : 03:15 PM Wednesday 26 March, 2003

Hello Robert, it does sound like the mirror resting too low (I too had this and managed to fix it my self by replacing the elastic rest but it was a tatty LX and I got lucky getting the new rest exactly right - I would not recommend it).

Have you tried placing a ruler in front and pointing away from the tripod-mounted camera but at a slight incline so you can see the markings. Focus on a particular marking with a short tele wide open - for minimum depth of field (use a macro lens if you have one). Get the film developed and see if the area of sharpest focus is on the same mark. This is quite a revealing experiment, when doing this I realised that my 85 1.4 wide-open and focussing close has a depth of field of only a few millimetres. If the focus is accurate with this critical experiment then it will surely be accurate enough for all practical purposes.

In closing, I have a 35 2.8 that won't focus at infinity, on any camera body, It is a problem with the lens. Being a wide-ish angle it has sufficient depth of field even wide open for this not to matter but still, it is strange. Anton


4. From : Jay Hart (ibcom@onebox.com)
Url : http://
Date : 12:22 PM Wednesday 26 March, 2003

Robert, If what you say is so, regarding infinity, and you have the documentation from Pentax as to correcting some repairs made in the past two years, even though the warranty is for one, I would write them, asking how to proceed, and forward copies of the documentation. They have a track record of going beyond warranty periods to uphold their reputation.

I have had only good results from the national service center, for, they have a complete set of LX calibration instruments, factory made for its specs. Private repair services do not, and do not deal with the gaskets replacements for moisture resistance at all. And, they verbally informed me more than once of the possibilities for any necessary additional adjustments displayed by use after their repairs.

FYI, some long lenses do not have a fixed "infinity" setting because of cold and heat and humidity expansion and contraction of the lens groups themselves, as mounted in barrels. This is true for all manufacturers. Infinity thereby, with these longer lenses, can differ on each outting. Check your lenses for fungus, barrel grease on elements (if in high heat or humidity locations, or from them), or on diaphragm blades, and inner element group surface "haze" (which can be deposited going from heat to cold, or vice-versa, leaving a condensation-dried deposit on element surfaces). Part of environment application handling of equipment is to take steps to prevent these possibilities. Used lenses can come with such maladies--UNSEEN FROM AUCTION SPECS, OR, UNLESS FOUND BY FOCUSING A FLASHLIGHT BEAM THROUGH A LENS AND NOTING SUCH INSIDE ON ELEMENT GROUP SURFACES. Also, have you dropped the screen frame and ensured the screen Is in it evenly? I wonder what screen you are using, and if you have others to try? Read the number on the tab. Have you shot results on a low speed film with a lens or two set at infinity mounted on a tripod to see if it is only a focus indication problem?

Anton and others have recommended getting a MZ-M "replacement screen" for better and brighter viewing with the LX (NEEDS CAREFUL PLACEMENT IN THE DROP DOWN SCREEN FRAME, a slighty different size). Sometimes, when folks sell used gear they can swap bottoms, and thereby serial numbers between bodies prior to sales. See if the number correlates with the top of camera meter on switch types, the ASA indicator range, and the shutter button collar, for the series serial number on the bottom plate. There are published serial number correlation features on the internet. Also, the screen can make a difference as to type in relationship to lens apertures. Some are made for certain apertures, and even for certain focal lengths, and some are made for others. I have, for example, a 100% microprism screen made for longer focal length long lenses; it works well only with them. Test these possibilities, and then draw conclusions accordingly. --Jay Hart


5. From : Robert Clark (robertclark@vsnl.net)
Url : http://
Date : 05:09 AM Wednesday 26 March, 2003

A second query: I have had the LX for a year now. I bought it from someone who had recently sent it a few times to Pentax in Colarado with frustrating results. They did a CLA but also bodged and then rectified a few other things. I have seen the documentation and the apologies, so I know that it is genuine. Anyway the issue that concerns, or should I say, puzzles me is this: One thing they did not fix was correct focus at infinity - through the viewfinder it does not show focus at infinity when the lens is focused there (in the viewfinder it does not quite get there - worse with longer focal lengths).

As far as I can work out, this means that the mirror is set a little too low (the rubber rest is too thin) and the lens should be focussing a little beyond where I focus it with the viewfinder. However, I have tested all my lenses on a tripod wide open at various distances and can find no failure of focus - does this mean my testing is not rigorous enough, or is my thinking on this matter wrong? Naturally, in a year's worth of picture taking I have had good results or it would have gone straight back to the seller and of course this pleases me; it's just that I can't understand why it works.


6. From : Robert Clark (robertclark@vsnl.net)
Url : http://
Date : 04:58 AM Wednesday 26 March, 2003

I'm finding, quite consistently, that with a 50mm lens I get camera shake when I shoot at anything less than 1/60 hand-held. I know that this should not be earth-shattering, but I find that, with care, I can hand-hold the Leica M6 down to 1/15 and my old ME Super down to 1/30.

Is the LX more shake prone in your experience? Hand-holding with a 24mm I found that 1/8 was better than 1/15, could this just be variation in my own handling abilities or is there a more pronounced clunk at 1/15?


7. From : Anton (handmaid@fsmail.net)
Url : http://
Date : 01:45 AM Wednesday 26 March, 2003

Thanks for the tip Mico, I will investigate the MZ-M eyecup. The Jessops version is no good for me, it was promising but when fitted it is quite thick and keeps my eye too far away from the finder so I can't see the entire screen.

choeN, there's no need for me to record the sound, my cameras are the same - though they vary. With the loudest one, the ping rings on for nearly one second. The camera with the late shutter (two dots missing) is the quietest but the ping is still there. I'm sure yours is okay.

Anton


8. From : Mico (micolx@netscape.net)
Url : http://
Date : 01:31 AM Wednesday 26 March, 2003

Anton,
You could not be more right about eyecup M. I it is the pain in the neck, and I`ve lost a dozen of them over the years. Try MZ-M`s (again!) eyecup Fh, and you will solv all your problems. It will not be on the way when you want to open the camera`s back, and it won`t fall off . Once you put it on, it will become the integral part of the finder. One backdraw is that it is not as deep as LX`s, and the second one is - the price. Pentax charges as it is a SMC filter! In Canada it costs 25CDN $, or five MZ-M`s focusing screens... But at least you won`t lose it. Try one at the local store, so you will see if it is right for you.
Mico




9. From : choeN (yada@ya.da)
Url : http://
Date : 09:05 PM Tuesday 25 March, 2003

Anton,

I think I can imagine the sound of your camera already, because mine does the same thing: a certain ring after the shutter. IF this sound is recordable...it's not that loud is it? It's just high pitched, and very very obvious when the surrounding is dead quiet.

I actually locked up the mirror, opened the back, and released the shutter just to see where the sound may come from. I may be wrong but the sound seem to be coming from the aperture stop down lever. Heck, without the lens on, the sound is even louder than usual.

-choeN


10. From : Anton (handmaid@fsmail.net)
Url : http://
Date : 08:50 PM Tuesday 25 March, 2003

choeN

I'll see if I can record the sound of a couple of LX shutters and send them to you as an mp3 (should be quite small as it won't be long) to either put your mind at rest or cause you to return the camera.

Anton

p.s. mine certainly have a kind of ring at the end of the main shutter slap.


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Maintainers for Pentax LX Series SLR Camera Models Message Board:
Tony Davies-Patrick (Globetrotter) (globetrotterworld@hotmail.com); Mico Smiljanic (micolx@netscape.net);
Jay Hart (ibcom@onebox.com); Philip Ashman (genesisphil@hotmail.com)

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