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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 : O-Rings (
Url : http://
Date : 11:14 PM Monday 24 February, 2003

Yeah, yeah yeah ... " unless Pentax brings out an irresitable LX equivalent DSLR..." if only it is price the same with an old LX huh ? I will donate mine to the charity.. Swear - I will honor my words. But I know mine can only exchange for a modern P&S Digital, so I am keeping mine.

Url : http://
Date : 10:49 PM Sunday 23 February, 2003

The LX bodies I have used on expeditions worldwide have helped to produce some of my very best work, and those images have made enough money in reproduction payments to repay the price of my LX equipment many, many times over. The LX (like all other cameras) does have some things that could have been improved on, but all-in-all it is a superb tool. Even today, I regard the metering system on the LX the very best for working in low-light or after dark photography. I have used and abused many LX bodies and NEVER experienced sticky mirror syndrome.
This is not to say that I am ONLY using the LX. I use autofocus and other features not found in an LX, so I also use modern Pentax camera bodies as well as the old ones. I also see myself turning fully digital once the prices fall and the results match colour quality of Fuji Velvia. Fuji are bringing out a faster 100ISO speed Velvia film, so I might even stay with film for a while longer! Mind you, if someone brought out a viable digital back to fit the LX, then I'd probably keep them forever!

3. From : Anton Browne (
Url : http://
Date : 04:13 PM Sunday 23 February, 2003

Whoa... I didn't mean to trash the LX, I currently have a number of them and I have no intention of being without a good few, it will remain my main camera - unless Pentax brings out an irresitable LX equivalent DSLR.

Sticky mirror etc. is par for the course. I've had K1000, KX & MX they all had rotting foam in the mirror box and around the back. Simple, get it replaced. I use Bose PA speakers at £1400 a pair, each speaker has 8 drive units, after 10 - 30 years (depending on conditions) the foam on the driver surrounds falls apart. I had to replace all 8 drivers in one speaker at £60 per driver. That's £480! I live in the knowledge that I have 24 drivers to go some day but... at the moment they're okay. The bottom line is I really like the Bose speakers, for me they're the best so there's no where to go and once fixed that's it for err well maybe forever as the new units don't use foam. So, I don't blame Pentax or the LX for rotting foam or mirror rests or whatever, foam rots. Get it fixed and that'll be the end of it.

My problem is very specific and is the only problem (sticky mirror aside) that I've had with any of them. It is a problem that most will never encounter and if you do, the easy work around is to use manual, so let's get this in perspective. The LX is no junk king.

It seems to me the reason my problem is worrying is that this has been a 'hidden' problem and thus a bit of a shock when you discover it in your beauty. It also seems to be un-fixable although Mico has had success. Also Pentax seem to deny it or avoid it. Let us remember we are dealing with a late '70s computer and firmware here, my money says it's something to do with that.

My advice. Check your LX Mico's way: Set to Auto on 3200 ISO, leave the body cap on and fire 50 exposures - you'll need to take it off Auto to end each exposure unless... it fires a fast-un. It will be obvious. If you get no fast exposures GREAT. If you do try on 1600 and 800 just in case. In other words get to know how your particular camera works, then simply work around it and be happy.


4. From : O-Rings (
Url : http://
Date : 12:42 PM Sunday 23 February, 2003

Ooi ... kind of funny. What is wrong with all your LXs ? I had mine and has been using it happily for the last 9 years and has no problems with it. I am saying it is a great camera but it is very reliabble. I am living in a ocean surround island (HOT and salty with high humidity environment etc..) and occationally, I have been using it in a under-water housing for my casual dives too (switched to an AF Canon for this use 3 years back because AF in underwater is much easier). Overall, I don't think I am a very caring camera user but this little camera does provide and serve my needs. Personally, my Canon does not seemed to adapt that well under these condition and has gone for clinical checkcouts twice by sending it to Hong Kong. Well, does it mean all these Japanese camera makers like Nikon, Pentax, Canon etc produce varying degree in quality spect for different countries ? Some how, Mico has a point in his posting there, regardless it is a AF EOS1 D or v, Nikon F5, D1x, MZ-5, PZ1 etc. needs more human attentive care than older mechanical bodies... I don't intend to tussle in a debate but come to think of it, why would we need technologies to assist us by simply taking a photograph ? Self confidence is at bay ? Not entirely true. Most modern SLRs provides a level of convenience, responsiveness that is hard to match by older MF bodies, but the only one thing I hate to see is its ever rising entry cost to own a camera. Say whatever you like, for leisure photography - I stick to cheaper, older but more reliable oldies. I have just bought an Program A for my son, he enjoys it... partly knowing his oldman cannot afford a D60 or D100 for him but he learns things along the way as well. So, at least the next time, when a bypasser in the park gives him a Yashica FX-3 to take a picture for him, he will know where the focusing ring is.... Peace.

5. From : Mico (
Url : http://
Date : 12:37 PM Sunday 23 February, 2003


I agree with you on current problems that 10-20 years old LX is showing. I had the same erratic exposure problem (at some point) on each of many LX bodies I own(ed) for the last two decades.. That is the fact, including the one brand new, sitting on the shelf for 6 years, used only for shutter exercise. I tryed to say that here, we are talking about the old-timer. Properly serviced, it will work fine for the next 5-10 years. Mico


6. From : choeN (
Url : http://
Date : 12:09 PM Sunday 23 February, 2003

Mico, I am merely stating how things are beginning to look. Don't need to get all so defensive about the camera. Like you and others here, I love the LX. However, I am not going to allow my love for it to blind me to some of it's jarring design weaknesses. And if you are honest to yourself, you'll know what particular weaknesses I mean.

Like you said, other similar class cameras of it's generation too have their own problems. I am not going to disagree with you on that. I've seen many dead examples of them too, but only because they've gone through 20 years of abuse and hardship. Like those cameras, LX have it's own unique strengths. Granted that I've just acquired an LX a few months ago, and it is one in a condition that still have the plastic coverings on it's baseplate. But the shutter is erratic, nevermind the sticky mirror. The LX is THE camera I've coveted for many years, just imagine my disappointment when I eventually bought one.

During a recent visit to a honourable camera shop, I can't help but notice this erratic shutter in most of the units on sale I inspected and they're supposedly serviced units. With Anton's problems with his LX's I can't help but form the idea that the LX is unreliable. This is of course totally subjective. And let me clarify- no, I am not calling the LX king of junks. It'd would make a very bad king of junks- there are far worse junks out there. What I said is, with the unreliability issue currently surfacing, the LX is in the DANGER of getting into the temple of junks. OK?

7. From : Mico (
Url : http://
Date : 09:07 AM Sunday 23 February, 2003

ChoeN, I must disagree with your letter, that claims LX to be the "king of all junks". Over the past 20 years, I've seen much more Nikon F3 and equal number (to LX) of Canon F1n bodies with different kinds of problems. Not to mention Olympus OM-4Ti... Electro-mechanical shutter is just TOO EXPENSIVE to be put in any of todays gee-vizzz cameras, and demands HUMAN HANDS to be assembled, no robot production line can do that. What do you think - why Nikon FM3a is so expensive (overpriced...)? Because somebody has to take the screw driver to put it together! And during last 4-5 years of production, new LX was about 75% more expensive than in early 90-ies, not to mention the amount of time when it was introduced. No, inflation was not 75% over that period in any western country, including Japan. Camera was simply too expensive for Pentax to produce, mainly because of the extensive amount of human labor used in the production. Other fact is, 90% of LX owners just wait too long, or do not perform CLA until something gets wrong. Me first. O.K., CLA for LX starts at 150US$, but do you expect a professional camera to work smooth for 15-20 years without seeing a "doctor"? And a number of technicians trained to reparer LX is minute. Others can only make things worse. So, if you want to drive 1981 "Porche" 911 Targa, and enjoy its full performance, be ready to spend some many on it. Otherwise, we all should switch to 2003 Honda Accord ! Mico

8. From : choeN (
Url : http://
Date : 05:44 AM Sunday 23 February, 2003

Gosh Anton, that suddenly puts the LX into the 'pantheon' of unreliable cameras. Others will just call them junks. Wouldn't it be great if someone here actually have contact with the original LX designers? Surely there must have been some design issues they never did solve at the time they released this product (hence the silent 'upgrades' over the years). It could also explain a bit why this type of meter and shutter concept was never really put into products after the LX. Of course, this is my personal view and mere speculation.

I just bought myself a MZ-3. It works like a 80's camera, except it has AF (which fails completely with horizontal and vertical images) and automatic film advance and rewind. Bought it so that I could put my pre-A lenses to good use on a modern body. You guys read about the new SLR release from Pentax yet? It's called the *ist and looks like a departure from the MZ line of cameras due to it's completely different shell and chassis. It has a pretty impressive spec, but nothing that a low/mid level Canon or Nikon hadn't done before. Released with it are a couple of aperture ring-less lenses, like those Nikkor G lenses. Another sign yet that Pentax is finally closing it's doors to the older customers who already have a large pool of pre-A lenses. Hopefully the Pentax DSLR will prove to be something good (though the target market is 'cheap and affordable digital SLR'). :/

9. From : Anton Browne (
Url : http://
Date : 01:49 AM Sunday 23 February, 2003

Sorry to hog the board. I can report that the centre split of the MZ-M screen in my LX does not black out with a 400mm f5.6 lens, whereas the original screen does. AB

10. From : Anton Browne (
Url : http://
Date : 10:36 PM Saturday 22 February, 2003

I finally received my erratic-shutter LX back from Pentax Europe with the erratic shutter still fully in evidence. I took it in to Pentax UK in slough and confronted the Technical Supervisor once agtain, he tested the camera and confirmed the behaviour he then said there's nothing we can do, Pentax Europe is the end of the line. He offered me an 'upgrade' to an MZ-S or a refund. I didn't even ask what the upgrade offer was but simply accepted the refund.

I have used my current excess of LX's to run some tests and 50% of them have this behaviour, there is no rhyme or reason that I can figure. The oldest and the latest models have the fault/bug so it's not serial number related. The guys on the PDML ran the test and the result was roughly 50% One guy was dismayed that all three of his behaved this way, another Italian member had four LX's and none of his misbehaved. I now simply use the camera on manual if I'm on 3200 or 1600 (the fault can occur on 1600 occasionally) or I'll use a camera that doesn't display this behaviour. It remains a mystery. This camera went to Harrow technical and was kept for 3/4 months whilst Robin swapped CPU's, ASA resistors, timing switches etc. etc. then he gave it to a colleague... no joy. It then went to Pentax UK and then to Pentax UK again, and then to Pentax UK yet again... they sent it to Pentax Europe... still not fixed. It works very well and has had all sorts of parts replaced but what is it that causes this problem? Surely if they systematically replaced evry part in the camera they'd find it... but they've near as damn it done that. Dunno Anton

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