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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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Url : http://
Date : 12:21 AM Friday 21 March, 2003

Sorry to hear news of your climbing accident. I hope you recover soon and, like your son, have plenty more mountains to climb.....

That reminds me of a time when a rainstorm lashed the side of a rugged rock-face that I was climbing with a friend in British Columbia, Canada. I kept slipping off the rock face and falling many feet before bouncing and dangling on the safety rope. In the end, following three attempts, my partner (who was already at the top of the cliff face) tied-off the rope so that I could absale back down, and then take the long, long, trek to the top the easy way. When my mate began wrapping up the coils of rope, he suddenly stopped and noticed a large nick in the fibres. He'd never witnessed anything like it in a lifetime of climbing with modern high-tech ropes. A close inspection revealed that there was only ONE single thin strand of fibre still holding the rope together. Swinging against the rock-face must have brushed it against a knife-sharp chunk of granite. If I'd tried to make that fourth attempt to the summit that day, I'd have not lived to see the digital age......

2. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 11:58 PM Thursday 20 March, 2003

By the way, I am stuck at home recooping from knee surgery from a climbing accident from 2-22. This happened up in the Flatirons with my 20 year old son (who will do Utah spires in a few days at month's end). A complete ACL replacement as grafted in and attached with a titanium bolt and button to parts cut from my hamstring in the right leg will require six weeks of learning to walk again. But it should be stronger than ever. Good to know old bodies can give new parts (human ans camera).

So, I've not much better to do than be a pudnut on things like digital formats, lenses, etc. --Jay

3. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 10:27 PM Thursday 20 March, 2003

Well, the obvious reasons to go with the transitional 35mm based K mount are cited by globetrotter. But what is assumed about the new pro format--that its digital based lens designs will have slow apertures--is mistaken. Apertures of the first prototype zooms for it are normally 2.8 or better. And they have even brightness,sharpness, and contrast across the image plane. Thus one may consider these differences in achieveable lens results an advancement. Zooms may truly replace single focal lengths for the first time as truly useful in size and handling in the model of the new format.

As for "me and my house" I'll wait to see how the new format walks its talk prior to committing to more than one digital K mount body. For me lens function, quality, adaptability and handling in the field is vital to future pro use. If the new format zooms truly replace single focal lengths without exhorbitant prices then the new format may free up the total bulk of my 16 K mount lens system. I think it is important for us to know the possibilities for our consideration. I don't know for certain until I see and try. Otherwise, in the meantime, "wherever their is an issue there is a multitude of opinion". It will be the practical ergonomics which will determine photo imaging's future professional tools use for me. --JH

Url : http://
Date : 04:22 PM Thursday 20 March, 2003

I understand what you are saying, but I do believe that Pentax will be sticking with the forward & backward compatability of its huge lens system. Two new Pentax DSLR lenses have been released, with many more to be released in the future. I believe that modern digital-design lenses will replace film-based design lenses on the 'new' market, but having the ability to use a 2005 design lens alongside 1985 design lens is a great boon for the working photographer. It also provides limitless opportunity to buy secondhand top-grade fast-aperture lenses at cheaper prices than some of the newest digital slow-aperture lenses.
I am already using digital cameras alongside film-based cameras, and being able to switch a particular lens from an LX to an LX*D (of the future!) is something that I think will continue for a long time to come - due of course to Pentax keeping the same bayonet mount for it's newest line of digital SLR bodies.
I also think it will be quite a few years into the future before someone can see a marked improvement between the results taken using something like, for example, a Pentax-A* 200mm f/4 ED macro lens on a modern DSLR, compared to a new-design digital lens used on that same camera body.

5. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 10:53 AM Thursday 20 March, 2003

Compatability, of existing lenses to new technology bodies is currently in our thinking. Will this change as our entire notion of professional image quality too changes with improvements in digital camera systems technology? Keep your LX for existing 35mm K mount lens film use, but consider another possibility to the Pentax D*ist, if your thinking of going totally digital in the next few years.

Just as Canon Replaced the D 60 within months of its release due to sensor technology improvements (radically so for once limited CMOS sensors), Olympus, with Kodak and Fuji, will introduce a whole new digital sensor size, as a professional format, and whole new smaller professional SLR systems built around it: with new resulting related SLR lenses optimized for that sensor's size true in-line to sensor light ray receptivity. These won't be based on the AF 35mm film size bodies or lenses currently being adapted as DSLRs. If you are a pro shooter, read on, this is important.

Existing lenses really are not optimized for digital sensors "digital well in-line receptivity" for the thousands of tiny lined up sensor receptors involved. 35mm lenses captured image light rays are now directed to film within a mounted lens by internal lens element groups and optically ground shapes. However, these render images image light ray bending and scattering limits inherent to 35mm lens design possibilities: as manufactured for the 35 mm film size film/shutter box of 35mm cameras. This presents certain lens design limits set for 35mm. What the new smaller size system sensor will do is change our notion of acceptable image quality as based on our 35mm lenses use historical roots. Its lenses will be optimized for digital sensor reception, and that sensor's size alone.

A newly achieved across the digital image uniform brightness and in line light ray conformity (achieved from the new size of sensor based entire camera system dedicated lenses) could render existing lenses designs image capture results and limits obsolete, as to being considered "professional" in outcome. How so?, as to then old images made by any 35mm SLR optics no longer being regarded as professional in quality when compared to those captured by the new dedicated to digital sensor sized lenses (optimized for the new smaller sensor and its whole smaller SLR camera lens systems). Images thus captured will be more "professional" where the new system size dedicated optical designs give--unseen to date from any interchangeable lens-- uniform brightness, sharpness, and contrast (digital image edge to image edge). We've not seen this before in 35mm system lenses (as a design possibility, all 35mm lenses have light fall-off from lens center to edge).

These will be lean machines, abandoning some of the optical design limits of 35mm lens systems (now all with inherent light fall-off from a lens' center point, and UWA front group sphere limiting filtering for true polarization across the image plane--as previously discussed). Image quality from the smaller systems probably will exceed 35mm sized image sensor cameras (e.g. even full frame units now made by Canon, Kodak, and Contax). This is because such lens designs are not limited by adapting digital sensors to the 35mm film/shutter box, its focal point, film aperture, and backfocus distance. Olympus will release the first such new SLR system this summer.

The value then of our for film analogue lenses--of lenses designed and evolving from those made for 35mm film cameras--may be just for today's DSLR cameras (made as such for 35mm autofocus units as remade for digital sensor adaptation to the 35mm film/shutter box). These transitional technology units, like the *ist DSLR, will be eclipsed by the new smaller digital sensor sized whole SLR systems.

There is little comfort in the fact that even what Pentax soon releases as a DSLR is strictly transistional technology derived from 35 mm roots. So, if you wish to use your existing 35mm lenses in the digital future buy the transitional DSLR. But, if you're thinking of changing systems altogether for any reason, including new zooms with uniform brightness, sharpness and contrast, wait for the new standard, with its radical lens system design improvements just ahead. --Jay

6. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 02:07 AM Tuesday 18 March, 2003

From the chat we see trends on repair parts availability. I am sure Sweden has acted based on parts alone. Further, they serve a small market in Scandinavia and in Upper Eastern Europe.

As for the longevity of a camera, it depends on the actual unit. My LXs have lasted from 14 to 20 years to date, prior to needing adjustments. In the right climate, with considered use, a unit should last 15 to 25 years without adjustment. This, then, is a different value than retention for collection. Recently a new "old stock" LX went for over $800 on ebay, a worn body for around $200. Worn bodies really have little predictability of true life left. The time will come when these will be bought to part out.

Pentax USA, until a little over a year back, had a service lobby shop where one could walk in and buy about any part, and/or revamped various camera and lens models (some fixed, discontinued, one of a kind). Up until a year ago they had an annual factory warehouse by invitation sale. As did Lowe Alpine systems have a like direct to the public sales system here--both have discontinued all such to the public access (their dealers were complaining, and these were no longer bringing in the customers which once literally lined up outside to be open doors in the wee hours for these events).

As an unrelated anticipation, I am wondering if the new Dslr and slr film bodies, which have a new autofocus sensor, will be noticeably more responsive than the old ones. This represents even a sensor update from the MZ-S, which is a very nice camera, but only with the same shutter advance speed as these new SLRs (appx. 2.5 fps). Judging from the specs, I anticipate the film camera will be in the pricerange of the current ZX 5n (MZ 5n), or Europe's MZ 3. Perhaps these then too will be among those discontinued from the SLR line? Are the Z cameras thereby, becoming an "older" line with these introductions? later, JH

7. From : Peter (
Url : http://
Date : 10:08 PM Monday 17 March, 2003

How long time do you think the LX's around will still be up and running as fully functional cameras and not just as collectors items in the display closets? Pentax Sweden for instance is already sending LX's to the Netherland for CLA's. They claim it's due to the shortage of spare parts - they have 'pooled' them in Holland for large parts of Europe they say - although it might also be because of lack of repair competence.

8. From : Doug (
Url : http://
Date : 10:27 AM Monday 17 March, 2003

My pentax lx has developed sticky mirrow. I need it serviced and repaired. Can anyone tell me of a good shop or person that
does this work. I love my LX and miss it. I need help

9. From : Jay Hart (
Url : http://
Date : 03:37 PM Sunday 16 March, 2003

So, what I shared about the shutter parts was aired by repair persons for the distributor here. This reminds me of others long ago there who shared their fact of buying used cameras for parts toward the end of various series lifespans, or after a model's discontinuance, to keep promised repairs going for warranty work.

Some contractors who keep on building after power tools show, for example, signs of wearing bearings, can "pawn" these to recapture some part of their investment. This works for them, but not for an unsuspecting buyer who purchases the then abandoned as worn pawned tool. No one feels great empathy for the stuck with the bad tool pawn shop, which charges exorbitant interest to their borrowers for receipt anyway. What begins to concern is the possible true life left in our retained classic LXs. Lenses are more easily universally repaired, last longer, and can even be moved to the new technology bodies. Pentax has more of this transferability in its historical K mount based lenses than any other manuracturer. Unless preserved from real use, environmental presence, and wear, no LX will be useful beyond its repairability. But we have ours because we like their invested usefulness, not on the shelf beauty.

The M series lenses upward are still amazing, in most instances. Prior to the total "takeover" of the common zoom for its marketability, and multiple focal length inclusive price, concerns like sharpness, contrast, image enlargeability, and color fidelity at most lens settings were the talk being walked. Now one thinks of "throwaway",'disposable', "acceptable" AND, "Pawnable". The new consumer lines are not the stuff of the old consumer lens lines.

Going fishing in the southern US now would indeed beat waiting out the social and economic stressors in home cities which will wear on Europe and elsewhere from the fallout from complexities of wars and their rumors. What attracts about outdoor nature photography is its very serenity. --Jay

10. From : Mico (
Url : http://
Date : 06:00 AM Sunday 16 March, 2003

On Jay`s notion about LX parts: not only parts for shutter are running out of stock, some services does not have even simple things like rubber rests (worth 50cents par piece) .A few weeks ago I`ve ordered a set of them, just in case. These parts are: B115 ,main mirror rest, tiny square piece of rubber located on the left side of mirror box. It causes false distance reading on infinity and contributes to "sticky mirror" syndrome. Than, B82, round piece of rubber sitting on the oposite side of B115. Additonal support for mirror "landing" after exposure, but not as critical as B115. Both of them could be repalced by LX owners with good and non-shaking hands.
And finally, B28 also rubber piece, hardly visible from outside. Is serves as the elastic rest for the lever that stops-down the lens during exposure. The same lever goes up while mirror locks up. From my experience,
that part is the culprit NO.1 for" sticky mirror" syndrome, together with some dirty joints related to the lever that sits on it. Lever gets "glued" to that part which, over years, deteriorates to the point when it acts like the hot chewing gum. Add a dirty lever joints - and mirror simply can not get-off since the lever has the interlock
with the shutter and mirror so camera can not finish the complete cycle.
Few days ago I`ve solved the " sticky mirror" problem on one of my LX cameras by replacing that part and by cleaning lever mechanism.
I hope that Pentax will keep the promise to provide the parts for LX for the next 10 years...
Too optimistic?

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