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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 : Ivan J. Eberle (
Url :
Date : 02:16 PM Tuesday 20 June, 2006

That's wonderful news re: Sony support for the KM scanners, Jay. Here's hoping that they keep upgrading the Scan Utility drivers and hosting downloads for free, too.

Reason being, I'm contemplating stepping to a 645 camera for some of my IR remotes. I already have my own wet color lab to run the E6, all the JOBO reels convert to MF, etc. I note that it's entirely possible to pick up at auction a complete Pentax or Bronica 645 system for less than a good LX body alone is going for these days!

But then the thought of questionable future KM scanner support hit me. I really like my MDSE 5400, and considered a MultiPro, but then I was looking at two different Silverfast AI drivers (one for each scanner, and then separate versions for future OS upgrades to either OSX Tiger or a dual Dual Core MacBook binary) When I started to add it all up it made me dizzy. Silverfast AI for the MDSE 5400 first edition/ OS X Tiger version--Minolta never having developed a Tiger driver for it-- is a relative bargain at only $217, but the MultiPro lists for either $418 US or $477 for the profiling option . Yikes, that's just for the scanner driver. Suddenly that bit of support was looking to be more expensive than what I had in mind to spend on the entire MF camera system hardware!!!

Fortunately, I've found later versions of Minolta Scan Utility to be pretty good... The bundled driver on the CD was bunk, though. Versions since about 1.13 have been mostly stable, I'm on v1.15 for OSX Panther now. Have download but not used v1.16 MSU isn't as sophisticated nor convenient as the Silverfast demo, would really like to see a version of MSU that has the automation to find the brightest pixels and give me the option of setting them all to output at the 254 level. But other than that, it does most everything I need and is much more economical than Silverfast (can't get much cheaper than free!)

2. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 02:11 PM Sunday 18 June, 2006

Forum information. For those of us with Konica Minolta Film Scanners. Sony now officially services these. There is some talk too of the line being manufactured, either by Sony or another company in the Sothwest of the USA. This division was profitable, so time will tell. --Jay

3. From : Mico (
Url : http://
Date : 08:54 AM Saturday 17 June, 2006

I agree with Jay, 3200 is quite high, even the Canon which is a leader in high ISO low-noise puts 3600 as an extended ISO setting on most of it cameras.
I have used 1600 and it is amazing, but after noise removing with programs like Neat Image or Noise Ninja. Otherwise, even without noise correction much better than film at 1600.M.

4. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 05:51 AM Saturday 17 June, 2006

Anton, If you can rent the Pentax DK100 antishake, and try it out first, it would be best. Noise accompanies high ISO settings, and 3200 is very high. There are post imaging programs to somewhat correct this, but higher
MP count too helps. Please share your findings if you are able to test run this camera. --Jay

5. From : Philip Ashman (genesisphil@hotmailcom)
Url : http://
Date : 03:45 PM Friday 16 June, 2006

Yes Anton, there is indeed a trend now to put convenience and speed before quality as people are becoming lazier and want instant gratification, no longer prepared to work at obtaining the best and certainly unprepared to accept that good things come to those who wait, learn the skills and input some toil.
It all reminds me of an old comedy series from way back called 'Never mind the quality, feel the width'.
It's not the actual advances in technology at fault, but the media and marketing which is so aggresive and allows the manufacturers to bewilder people with trickery and gadgetery that all too often does not perform as advertised.It is aimed at Joe Public's scramble to purchase what they mistakenly believe to be the cutting edge in technology, design and performance.
Sadly, most of them have very little understanding or knowledge of true quality and simply go happily with the flow, in serene and ignorant bliss.
It's the new age of the perpetual upgrade that has rendered longevity in build, performance and useability as no longer necessary in many mainstream products.


6. From : AB (
Url : http://
Date : 04:01 PM Thursday 15 June, 2006

I'm interested in the new Pentax cameras 3200 ISO and anti-shake combined with zero shooting costs makes sense for the low-light jazz club.

Are things in reverse, are they getting worse? The photos I get shown/handed these days are worse than some years back. The sound quality of music I am played is worse than some years back.

Being a singer with a big band, I get photographed a fair amount. I often get shown the photos on the next meeting they're usually not very good in terms of composition but the quality was usually ok or very good. In the digital age I get shown washed out noisy images printed on office paper, they hand them to me and within days they become crumpled, streaky due to water (wine!), if not they simply fade. A very recent trend is that I get shown them on a mobile phone - I struggle to make anything out! It seems to me that for the masses quality in photography is much worse today they seem happy to accept this dreadful output.

I often get played songs on MP3 players, recently I ran a test, iPod versus Sony Professional Walkman (serious cassette Walkman from the 80's). Cassette was clearly better. A recent trend is to play me stuff via the speaker of a mobile phone. Sound quality is truly appalling yet people seem happy with this.

I hear DAB digital radio is about to sweep the UK, a commentator in the hi-fi press tried to put the brakes on the euphoria by noting that the already established FM was capable of much higher sound quality.

Is our civilisation on the way out? We seem to have reached a turning point in terms of quality, output is worse (in some cases much worse) than a few years ago, surely it's not supposed to be this way, with all this technology things are meant to get better... no?


Url :
Date : 05:26 AM Wednesday 14 June, 2006

The simple fact is that, as a pro photographer I prefer to continue to use transparency film for all my serious work (and that is just a personal choice). The equipment used and the end results make it worthwhile. Yes, I do own and use high-end digital cameras, but film cameras are my main choice for serious shooting. I like to use the very best that money can buy, and I know that I can own ten Nikon F5 or LX systems for the price of a single D2X system.
I can match digital images taken with a Nikon D2X or EOS1D by scanning images taken with a film camera.
I can take a selection of transparencies and show them on a very large screen via a quality (yet cheap) Kodak slide projector to a very large paying audience. Slide Talks (without serious expense) are just not possible with digital images.
I can let my Pentax or Nikon camera viewfinders become covered in dust, and change lenses regularly in the worst of environment without fear of having dust on the actual image. If I have any marks or dust on old images taken with film cameras 10 or 20 years ago, I can simply scan them and clean with Ice and improve via Photoshop CS2. During 2006, I regularly sold images taken with film cameras this year, combined with images taken many years ago…without the buyer ever asking when they were captured and with what cameras.

A film camera, whether it is a Pentax K1000, MX, LX, Nikon F1,F2,F3,F4,F5,F6, Canon F1 etc will still be able to produce top class images for decades to come.

The latest digital cameras are wonderful tools for the photographer…but so are cameras such as the Z1p, LX, MX, RTS, F1, EOS1v, Dynax 9, F1-F6…and I’m happy enough to continue using film for a while longer, because I don’t know of any digital SLR system made that could offer me the same results with the same positive advantages and at the same price, yet maintain the highest level of build and professional quality.
Maybe one day all my equipment will be digital…but not yet.

8. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 02:22 AM Wednesday 14 June, 2006

As Philip and Mico have messages which have made it to posting, I will address these, though there are other very interesting and informative messages not yet posted which I cannot thus respond to. I agree that all media is a continuum, and each offers its strengths and weaknesses. As I only use JPEG as a transfer tranlation file type from shot original RAW or TIFFs, for sending compressed work over the net, I wonder if it is 16 bit or 8 bit color? I wonder too, seeing that it has image information loss in an image opening and closing each time on the computer, if Mico's test should be shot TIFF or RAW instead (for consistency of image each time it is opened on a computer). I admire the testing, being a fan of such myself. I probably have parted with a good ten lenses over the years because they tested not up to par (by the way, some were replaced with exactly the same lens, which tested differently).

And this brings up a current frustration. Notice the back slashes appearing in our postings--where there are quotation marks or apostrophies? The fact is that I can get into the administrator area of this site, for message editing purposes, but can only delete there my own and other longer messages. Shorter messages I can edit, then click on a workable "UPGRADE" the message choice, but for long messages, and my own messages, only the "DELETE" choice is active and orchestratable. What to do about this? So, this means, unlike those less long winded, I can write something and it sits in the wings of this stage after its casting call--so to speak--because it won't post with the selectable edit posting choice (it does not respond in such instances of administrator choice at all from here). I cannot even remove the nonkeyed-in backslashes that mysteriously appear as just described on this forum. To edit and then nothing happens on hitting "UPGRADE" is an Administrator's slow nightmare from which it is impossible to awaken. In this case, my own. Moan and grumble as to spying out, tilling, and planting the land. --Jay

9. From : Ivan J. Eberle (
Url :
Date : 11:04 PM Tuesday 13 June, 2006

In my reply to AB a few posts ago, I mentioned that the PZ-1 when used with the 500 FTZ might offer flash exposure compensation. I've since learned it doesn't. And though I haven't used it for this in awhile, I also emembered how I worked around this, by setting the PZ-1 on manual or hyper manual and using the in-camera exposure compensation to fool the OTF metering with my AF280T. Really annoying was that there was no scale showing exposure compensation set in the viewfinder itself, only on the top-mounted LCD, and I'd too often forget that I'd set it at -1.3 or -1.7 when I switched back to available light shooting. Later heard that someone else (Minolta?) held the patent at the time on such an in-finder exp comp scale, and didn't come to a licensing agreement with Pentax until the PZ-1p came out. Due to that fact, I'd have to agree that the PZ-1p would probably be better for fill-flash, sticking with Pentax.

(Q: did Pentax ever make another film camera with 1/250 synch?)

Will also mention that my Nikon F5 and SB-800 flash greatly simplify fill-flash compensation ratios, making it greatly preferable to using either the LX or the PZ-1 for this.


10. From : Ivan J. Eberle (
Url :
Date : 10:37 PM Tuesday 13 June, 2006

Jay, I'm looking forward to that anti-shake 10MP Pentax body too, so I can use it with my sharp, manual focus 300mm f/2.8 Tamron SP ED-IF, and particularly my manual focus SMC-A 100mm f/2.8 macro, which have together provided me most of the body of work that I am still scanning and selling gallery prints from many years later.

(If the definition of a pro is making a profit--and it is, it truly is--then one definitely prefers to save $4K or so whenever and wherever it's practical to do so. One could hope that Pentax someday offer a level of support and repair turn-around that Nikon and Canon do for pros.

Mico, I like film and a sure miss the days of handing off a handful of exposed film to the client at the end of the shoot, and collecting the check before the film was ever developed. I'm thinking of a relationship I still have with an ad agency in particular who truly loves my work. But the confidence factor of immediate feedback means the bar is now raised by digital technology. Forget about handing off undeveloped film to a client anymore, unless you already have such an established relationship.

Philip, if you long for Cibachromes of yore, I think you might be surprised and pleased with the output of a LightJet or Chromira print. I say this coming from the background of making and selling Ilfochrome wildlife and landscape prints for 7 years prior to making the digital printing leap a couple of years ago.

With a LightJet, you get your choice of paper stocks, as this is basically a large film recorder writing back out to large sheet sizes at 304.8 dpi. Fuji Crystal Archive Supergloss resin-based media has the look and feel of Ilfochrome/Cibachrome, including the metallic glow from the base. Wilhelm suggests it lasts as long as Ciba/Ilfo. Doesn't work for all shots, but it's quite amazing nonetheless.

For most things, I'm happy with the results from Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper and my R1800. There are certainly issues to be resolved, like outgassing, but it's not as though there weren't a zillion things to work out in the wet darkroom printing process, either, or things you just had to live with.

Nowadays, every exhibition print is a custom print, and damn near perfect, or it is just not going to fly... I look at my darkroom work from 1997 and immediately see things that I could today clean up easily in Photoshop, things that were just a part of the film-based reality but now make me cringe. For instance, a couple of units blue-shifted color-cross in the shadows after doing a contrast mask with Pan Masking Film. Certain colors being really hard to hit accurately, like saturated reds.

Then there were the major aggravations like a small scratch where I smeared scratch-remover on the slide perhaps, and in doing so entrained some dust. Or having to try to keep dust off of 4 film surfaces on those slide-mask sandwiches in the carrier, when making 8 prints one after another. And certain masked 16x20s requiring 45 minutes exposure under the enlarger... Or some slides that just defied printing, no matter what I did. could go on and on.

I still shoot film. I know how to expose for the highlights and pull detail out of the shadows later, I like having the archival film chip as my backup, I like knowing that I could drum scan my very best work from my LX of F5s and simply blow away the output of any current 35mm sensor regardless of brand or cost. So I'm content to straddle both film and digital worlds for now. My wildlife never requires immediate feedback to show a client (though I certainly wouldn't mind knowing I nailed the shot when using flash, sometimes, and will soon pick up a digital body for this).

For the majority of my images, the MDSE 5400 scanner and Fujichrome Astia 100F seem capable of resolving as much detail as my lenses and good technique allow. If I needed much more than a 16x24 (almost never), I'd want to step up to at least a 645, anyway, but then I'd surely get a film camera lens and back for well under $1000 complete, and have the film drum scanned, for what I do, rather than drop $20K or more for a digital counterpart that would not be it's equal.


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