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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 (ch@e.n)
Url : http://
Date : 07:00 AM Wednesday 20 November, 2002

The LX I own is 5249734...

That makes it pre 82. Must say the previous owner is a very careful one...the only signs of use is visible on the multi function button and a scratch (by thumb nail properly) near the film advance lever.

I've yet to send it in to Pentax UK for the repair and service it needs. I've expected much much more from this Pentax classic (simplicity, ruggedness, precision, durability) but so far I must say I am very disappointed.

Just before I bought this LX I picked up a very beat up Nikon FM2n from a photojournalist...even with 2 screws missing that camera is like clockwork (though the meter underexposes by maybe half or one stop but that can be worked around)! It's so much more dependable...

Again I sound like I am spitting on my favourite system. But if the current top of the line Pentax cameras are as fragile as the LX (!) then I will be sorry indeed because I will switch systems.

Now Anton, if the LX cameras kept failing you why did you keep buying them?

2. From : Anton Browne (
Url : http://
Date : 02:56 AM Wednesday 20 November, 2002

Due to my LX troubles I have kinda ended up with four of them - I only wanted two and actually only have two) but one is at Pentax Europe as you know and the other is also in repair somewhere!?? I bought it to replace the troublesome one but when it arrived it had the same trouble plus sticky mirror and more, I sent it back for refund but now they're repairing it - I think. This left me with one camera so when a one owner '89 with 50mm 1.4 came up in a private ad (no bidding) for £325 I nabbed it and it is fine. It looks though as if the other two will be coming back to me. However, to the point:

My Lx's numberings and features are as follows:

Pentax LX 5299045 - Hollow Lock, Film Roller, Meter Activation, but no dots missing on shutter blind, so early shutter (& no erratic shutter incidentally) this camera functions well.

Pentax LX 5338347 - All current spec (oh troublesome one)

Pentax LX 5342083 - All current spec (the '89)

Pentax LX 5352499 - All current spec (the newest and puchased as replacement but found to have erratic shutter and sticky mirror and a couple of other minor faults, current fate unkown).

There are apparently, any number of internal mods that I know not of.


3. From : Peter (
Url : http://
Date : 01:16 AM Wednesday 20 November, 2002

Many times eBay-sellers do not no how old an LX really is. Could serial numbers be a way to find out if an LX belongs to "the very latest series of Pentax LX camera bodies"? According to the list on the following site it should be at least 535xx or (preferably) higher:

4. From : Mico (
Url : http://
Date : 01:17 AM Tuesday 19 November, 2002


As I`ve mentioned in my E-mail to you, Pentax does not always offer good and uniform service from each of
it`s service facilities. Pentax Europe was the first class compared to enything I`ve experienced from Pentax so far. Now, in Canada, it is close to dissaster. And that explains why my camera was sent from Montreal to Toronto to INDEPENDENT service company (AMT) authorised by Pentax, rather than to Pentax Canada which is, by the way, just a few streets from AMT service in Toronto! And the old Chinese gentleman ("Master of LX") I`ve also mentioned to you, said to me that AMT has MORE (about 100 pieces) of equipment for LX`s set up and repair than Pentax Canada. Weird, ha?! Even more, his cousin who works at AMT in Toronto, was trained by him to repair LX, and that also proves that it is not only the equipment that matters.
Good luck with Pentax Europe, I think it will be O.K. this time.

5. From : Anton Browne (
Url : http://
Date : 02:10 AM Monday 18 November, 2002

The guy at Pentax UK suggested that Pentax Europe had the facilities to completely strip the camera and replace even significant parts. I asked about the cost of this and he said there'd be no extra charge. I do wonder about this but time will tell.

Robin at Harrow Technical suspects that Pentax UK actually farm the repairs out. This would explain the absence of a screwdriver. Maybe Pentax Europe do their own servicing. I notice their in Hamburg, Germany so maybe a bit of that German engineering thoroughness will finally sort it?


Url : http://
Date : 01:00 AM Monday 18 November, 2002

I entirely get your drift, Anton! I've had the same problem with Pentax Denmark and sometimes even Pentax Europe.....Strange..but some Pentax repair techs are very good, but others have more screws loose than the camera the're trying to fix (and lack of proper tools!).

I cannot honestly understand how sending it to Pentax Europe could possibly help improve matters...and it certainly doesn't place The UK Pentax in a good light!

If you do not receive your LX body back in full-working 100% order, or at least a full refund for your troubles, then I would certainly make a full complaint to Pentax and give your full story - and take it further if you get no joy.

In the meantime....enjoy your newly bought '89 LX body!

7. From : Anton Browne (
Url : http://
Date : 11:32 PM Sunday 17 November, 2002

Howdy Folks

Just back from a round trip this weekend. Out to Pentax UK in Slough, down to Poole for a gig (I'm a jazz singer/guitarist) slept in my van overnight (I'm a bit old for that really but hey!) on to Littlehampton the next morning to buy an '89 LX with 50mm A 1.4 in good nick and no erratic shutter SO FAR! then on to visit female friend in Brighton for a splendid time, today, back home to Croydon - nice.

The Technical Supervisor at Pentax UK seemed a little surprised to see me, anyway I set the camera up and within seconds it displayed the fault (this is the only time I've been thrilled to hear it fire off a fast-un). He took the camera and repeated the procedure and every fifth shot or so it did a fast-un. He fiddled about with the film (with leader cut off so it didn't wind through) that I'd loaded and eventually accepted that indeed there was a fault. *** Why is that we seem unable to apologise these days? I had sent this camera in twice, spent £140 was told there was not a fault and to effectively clear-off. I went to the trouble of turning up with the camera with all documentation including the final letter from this same Technical Supervisor stating that the camera is working to spec... end of story. When I demonstrate that the camera is clearly not working to spec and all you have to do to prove it is follow the full instructions that I supplied when I first sent the camera in (there were even fuller instructions when I sent it straight back return of post) the guy doesn't even apologise. Why couldn't he say "oh I see now what you mean, we missed that, I'm sorry we've put you to so much trouble, we'll sort it out or refund your money". But no, he doesn't say anything, just fiddles with the camera and mutters.***

Okay, enough of that. Pentax UK have decided to send the camera to Pentax Europe!?!?... will let you know the outcome. (Hey, perhaps Europe will send it to Canada and Canada to USA and then back to UK and so on, till I get fed up and give up... a good ploy no?)

One last moan. I wanted to remove my strap when I realised they were going to keep the camera (I was expecting a refund). The Technical Supervisor at Pentax UK was unable to lay hand on a screwdriver. Can you belive that? He returned with sharp pointed tweesers!!! I had a go but stopped when it looked likely that I would either stab my fingers (I had to play guitar later remember) or rip a scratch down the camera. To his dubious credit the Supervisor managed the task without mishap but you get my drift?

Anton Browne

8. From : choeN (c@ho.en)
Url : http://
Date : 07:12 PM Saturday 16 November, 2002

Anton, how did the visit to the Pentax centre turn out?

Url : http://
Date : 06:24 PM Saturday 16 November, 2002

15 years ago, while on one of my expeditions to North America, I had a fabulous chance to obtain an incredible photo of a Great White Sturgeon leaping clear of the Columbia River. I had pre-focussed on a spot on the surface of the river and luckily the giant fish leaped clear of the water and gave me the opportunity of a full-frame shot - with gills flaring and buckets full of water being thrown clear of its mouth. I pressed the shutter button when the complete sturgeon was free of the water...but at that precise moment the mirror decided to lock up! I grabbed another LX out of the bag, but although I got the chance to take some more great photos that week, and subsequently some wonderful leaping sturgeon shots during the following 15-years, I never did get the chance again to repeat such a perfect 'magic' moment again - when everything was 'perfect' -in frame. There was a fresh battery in that camera body, so that wasn't the problem. The mirror lock-up happened twice during that expedition, and it wasn't 'sticky mirror' syndrome. I sent the problem camera To a Pentax repair specialist (twice!) and eventually it needed some new circuitry, including a new base plate + new flash contacts + fresh seals on ISO dial. The flash and film speeds had always worked perfectly on this camera, but if just one part of the inner electronic circuitry is damaged inside a camera body, it may adversely affect numerous other parts. Since the repair, the LX didn't miss a beat; an in fact went with me on my 5-week African expedition last month.
After 15-years of faultless work with that particular body, if asked - would I buy a similar LX body again? - My answer would be "No". The reason is, that that LX was almost 'transformed' by adding new and more recent LX circuitry and mechanical parts. I was also lucky that the hefty repairs bills for this particular LX body were covered by a special 1-year warranty. During subsequent years, I have had a lot of different Pentax LX bodies, and used them to photograph in more than 50-countries Worldwide. It soon became apparent to me that the very latest series of Pentax LX camera bodies were installed with the best mechanical and electronic circuitry + seals to overcome most of the previous LX problems witnessed in early 1980's models. It seems to me pointless to pay for expensive repairs on an early edition LX, when you can often buy an almost pristine latest edition LX on the second-hand market for extremely cheap prices (except for maybe the 2000 'Special edition' model, and the gold-plated or titanium collectors models).
'Magic moments' are fleeting fractions of a second during our lifetimes, and we have only 'one chance' to capture it on film (or digital chip!), so I will always make sure that the camera equipment that I carry is as 100% reliable as it is possible to attain.... and in my opinion, the latest produced LX bodies - with high finger guard, and meter switch-on capabilities with a touch of the ISO release button - are definitely the ones to buy.

10. From : Mico (
Url : http://
Date : 07:39 AM Saturday 16 November, 2002

Hello Anton,

Sorry for delay, I was in a mess this week. But, finaly, I tested all my cameras. Result is a bit surprising, even for me. All of them has performed well on 3600 ISO ( about 100 shutter releasing with each camera.) With body cap on, they all kept shutter open for at least 100 sec. including the ex-trouble-maker I`ve just got from the service. By the way, your sugested procedure for testing is 100% replica how I usually test my cameras for erratic exposure. Very often, I use camera with cap on, without the lens, and than test is error -proof. From my experience, no specific ISO setting was critical more than other. Maybe you use 3600 ISO very often, and thou it is more in your focus. For me, the worst setting while I had erratic AUTO mode, was between 100 and 400 ISO. Particularly bad was 200 ISO! About the dirtu ISO resistor, sugested by Rob Studdert ( I had some correspondence with him two years ago about the same problem) - in that case camera meter reading
would be erratic too. But it is not. And cleaning the ISO resistor was the first task I performed in order to fix the problem, some five years ago. In fact, I`ve penetrated LX`s interior many times, pretty deep, including cleaning at least 10 to 15 different contacts inside the camera. No effect, of course. I would always stop when removing mirror box was on the way. That was too dangerous for me...My opinion after all this time is that combination of micro-dust and oxyde on some contacts plus internal camera vibration during exposure, could cause some of these contacts to loose and lost proper conection with the rest of the LX`s "brain". And that is quite enought for sensitive IDM system to "skip" the correct exposure on AUTO. Some times, instead of ultra fast shutter speed (1/2000) LX just lock up the mirror, like the battery is drain. That is not so often, but is one of the symptoms.This is a real "bug", since you can newer know when your camera will decide to go mad, and than to be well again.

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