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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 : choeN (no@spam.please)
Url : http://
Date : 11:39 PM Friday 10 January, 2003

I suspect the Tokina ATX Pro 28-70 f2.8 is the same lens (with same optical formula) as the Pentax one. Can anyone verify this? Some Pentax AF lenses have been known to be rebadged versions of third party lenses. An example would be the Tamron 28-200 f3.8/'s a horrible thing that pretends to be a lens.

A problem with the Tokina lens is flare control. For certain images it can be pleasing, but not always. Also, it's weight- even if it's serious glass and metal construction it outweighs Pentax bodies so much that the lens-body combination (especially on light AF bodies) becomes nose heavy! Otherwise it's brilliant. And this is coming from someone who prefers primes over zooms.

£350 for the 85mm lens is still way too expensive for me. I don't make money out of my hobby and it's really hard to justify the cost.

Where can we see (some) of your work (preferably online), Globetrotter?

Url : http://
Date : 09:42 PM Friday 10 January, 2003

Just to add a correction to my last post (I do wish we were able to edit and correct spelling mistakes once a post is sent on this site!) - the SMCM* & SMC-A* 300mm manual lenses should have been typed as F/4 and not as f/4.5

Url : http://
Date : 09:34 PM Friday 10 January, 2003

The top-range lenses CAN be found relatively easy on places like where a mint Pentax FA IF* 85mm f/1.4 lens has recently sold for £350, and a mint Pentax FA IF* 24mm f/2 lens for £200. But even if these low prices are well above your budget, then superb quality Pentax original lenses can be bought second hand for very little money.
One of the cheapest, but sharpest lenses I've owned is the Pentax SMC M 135mm f/3.5 which is not only lightweight and useful as a portriat lens, but it also produces extremely good landscape shots. I also used it for taking photographs at night on a tripod near Bagdger sets; as well as for shots taken up close in Zoos. Two other extremely sharp, useful and above all cheap lenses, are the Pentax M or Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4 & f/1.7 lenses. Yet another very cheap but extremely sharp and lightweight lens is the Pentax SMC M 28mm f/2.8. Another crisp shooter is the SMC-A version of the same lens. An almost forgotten clasic is the Pentax K SMC 28mm f/3.5 lens that turns out extremely sharp photos. Other useful, relatively cheap Pentax lenses that deliver sharp performences are : SMC K 135mm f/2.5 (the 'Takumar' version of this lens is nowhere near as sharp), SMC M 200mm f/4, SMC K 200mm f/2.5, SMCM* & SMCA* 300mm f/4.5, SMC-A 20mm f/2.8 and SMC 15mm f/3.5.
The sharpest non-Pentax lens in Pentax mount that I've used (and still own) - is the superb and lightweight Sigma 400mm f/5.6 Macro.
Probably the worst lenses I've used - in terms of sharpness - are the ealier Pentax & Sigma versions of the 28mm-200 zooms. The results from these particular lenses were enough to scare me well away form most zoom lenses. There are of course, some well-made and sharp zoom lenses, such as the Pentax 24-80mm f4, FA*28mm-70mm f/2.8, FA*80mm-200 f/2.8 and the non Pentax versions on offer from the Sigma EX-Pro line and the Tokina-Pro line.

4. From : choeN (b@l.a)
Url : http://
Date : 08:46 PM Thursday 09 January, 2003

I don't own any of the top line Pentax lenses. Reason being, they're hard to find second hand (can't afford new ones), and when available, they're just way too expensive for a student pocket like mine.

I own about PK mount 10 lenses, most of them Pentax made. The worst lens for good resolution picture that I've used (and still own) is the Sigma UC 100-300 f4.5/6.7, but it's more than capable when I do my high grain high contrast photographs (usually of decay and age). This one usually stays in my bag (and only gets used when I need the lack of weight for certain 'expeditions').

I use all my other lenses quite evenly, though it seems that the FA 50 f1.4 and M 28 f2.8 gets used the most. The 50mm lens provides me with a large enough aperture, for I do mostly low light shooting. I like the Tokina AT-X 28-70 f2.8 a lot (it gives superb colour rendition and image resolution, though it has noticeable barrel distortion at wide end).

My dream lens would be at the focal length between 80 and 90, so it does look like the 85mm it is. Yet to find one at the right price. Why? There's a reason why I like the Tokina zoom lens- it provides me with a focal length longer than 50 but shorter than 100mm or the M 135 f3.5. I used to use the cheap plastic F 35-80 f4/5.6 a lot before I bought the Tokina, and I use the long end a lot.

I guess I don't have a favourite lens just yet, for the ones I own serve me really well at the moment.

Url : http://
Date : 04:35 PM Thursday 09 January, 2003

The Pentax-A* 85mm f/1.4 is indeed a superb high-quality lens, Anton, with ultra-sharp glass. I've just recently sold the autofocus version (FA*85mm IF f/1.4) although was in two minds whether to keep it or let it go - for it too was a fab lens to work with. My reason for selling it was that I use the FA 100mm F2.8 macro a whole lot more in my line of work (wildlife/landscape/fishing/adventure photography). I realised last year that I owned just too many lenses, and often was forced to leave some behind on my expeditions due to weight restrictions.
I've owned a lot of Pentax lenses that have been my firm favourites for periods of time, including: SMC M 28mm F/2; SMC 28mm F/3.5 Shift; SMC-A* 200mm F/2.8; SMC-A* 300mm F/4; SMCP 500mm F/4.5 - but all have been sold (sorry, I tell a lie, because actually I accidently dropped the 28mm f/2 off the side of the Grand Canyon!).
I suppose if I were to choose the favourite lens inside my camera bags at the moment, it would have to be the one I use the most, and that is the Pentax 24mm FA*IF f/2 wide-angle lens. This particular lens has probably provided me with more saleable photos (including numerous magazine front covers) than any other lens in my armoury. It is an absolute superb lens to use, with quick and easy shift from atoufocus to manual focus, and provides images of biting sharpness. I just love it!
Are there any Pentax lenses that I haven't owned, but would like to use? Well, maybe at least two: the SMC-A* 135mm f/1.8, and the SMC-A* 300mm F/2.8.....mainly for nostalga, really - because my 100mm could take most of the photos that the 135mm could do, and the FA*IF 300mm F/2.8 is faster to use and just as sharp as the manual version. But few of the autofocus lenses of today have quite the same look, feel and that certain "something" about them which sets them apart from other lenses - that certain something that makes us almost 'fall in love with them'.... I doubt that any future lenses will match the Pentax SMC-A* manual lenses for their unbeatable 'love-factor'!

6. From : Anton Browne (
Url : http://
Date : 06:10 AM Thursday 09 January, 2003

Ahhhh! Chris Edwards, prepare yourself for over-excitement. Here are the sites for you. Anton

7. From : Chris Edwards (
Url : http://
Date : 05:00 AM Thursday 09 January, 2003

I have just come across this message board and am excited that there is a following for the Pentax LX. I purchased mine back in '82. Sadly to say, it has sat in the bottom of my camera bag for the last six or seven years. Upon dusting it off and installing new batteries, I appear to have developed the sticky mirror problem. I am in the Washington DC area, can anyone recommend a good shop to have the body serviced. Also I am totally out of touch with the lenses that are currently available for it. I would like to get either a 400mm or 500mm fixed length lens. Recommendations are welcome, thanks

8. From : Anton Browne (
Url : http://
Date : 04:46 AM Thursday 09 January, 2003

And The Next One Please:

Okay, I'm on a roll. My favourite lens is the SMC Pentax-A* 85mm f1.4 It's squat and fat and has a monster front element and a way OTT lens hood with a leather lens hat... how cool is that. Folk that I photograph with it find it mesmerising (which doesn't always make for the best expression). Never mind all that! It simply has a wonderful, wonderful quality. I bought an old non-MLU (which means it's circa 1975!!!) 6X7 kit with four lenses and stuff and yes the medium format has zero grain (for normal size) and wonderful gradation and much as it's beautiful... I miss the '85' - now if only Pentax made the self same lens for 6X7 - so I often use 35mm for portraits.

Okay, to try and describe the qualities: The viewfinder is bright of course, thanks to 1.4, there seems to be a romantic softening with a luminousity but it's still sharp. It's extremely flattering on female - and I guess male - faces. I've never used it at anything smaller than f2.8 but I understand it's extremely sharp and the smaller apertures. I use 1.4, 2.0 & 2.8 Focussing is a tactile joy. I love the feeling that - combined with an LX - I'm using something that someone or rather some people didn't muck about with, they were trying to do the job properly, no corners were cut, some guy/s (no offence but I bet they were male, I can almost smell it in the thinking behind the items) sat down and carefully thought it all through with the idea of getting it right never mind the cost... almost.

I've gone on enough; the '85' truly gets 10/10 from me. The LX 8/10

Happy New Year

9. From : Anton Browne (
Url : http://
Date : 04:25 AM Thursday 09 January, 2003

Andrew, before you take the camera to any technician try a new battery (I suggest the Duracell DL1/3N 3 volt lithium - this is a single battery that replaces the two 1.5s) clean the contacts in the camera body with ethyl alchohol or similar and don't touch the battery directly with your skin.

I feel guilty, I got a couple of LX's cheap (from a 'junk' shop) because they had exactly the fault you describe, I got them cheap enough to make it worth getting them repaired. When I got them home neither of them had batteries in them!!! I put batteries in and hey presto! And this behavior can happen even though the LED's show the battery is okay.

Give it a try.
Regards, Anton.

Url : http://
Date : 10:02 PM Wednesday 08 January, 2003

Andrew - Look at the very bottom of the main LX index page on this website and click on 'other Pentax site'. This will take you to the LX digital studio website and there is plenty of advice on LX problems. Another option is to log onto and then type in "Pentax LX camera repair" in the search box. You will find many repair centres able to repair your Pentax. Try to remember that some repairs can be quite expensive, so if it is going to cost a lot it can be sometimes be cheaper to find a good bargain LX on the seconhand market, or Ebay.

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