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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.

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1. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 02:53 PM Saturday 11 February, 2006

FYI, Reviews abound on the net on the Samsung release. Lenses and body from Pentax: rebranded (*ist DS2). Perhaps even, to some degree, made in Korea? I should correct that the Pro 815 Samsung I mention below was not a true SLR, having an electronic viewfinder...but it was clearly designed to be "SLR-like" and meet such competition (plus with a larger capacity pixel rendering than some). It failed to do this,having some limits. Whatever Pentax makes or licenses for Samsung also helps its own profitability and possibilities from Korea...all else written below standing. --Jay

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

P.A. and all,

What you are reporting is the first Samsung result of the tradeoff agreement between the Pentax and Samsung alliance. Samsung thereby moves to the given mount, body size, proven system etc., by that agreement, on into the DSLR interchangeable lens camera manufacturing namesake arena. Hopefully, what Pentax gave: the mount, the reasonable shooting recovery time of their own D bodies, and its lenses, was an opportunity to move away from the embarassing, bulky, and difficult to sell Samsung-German non-interchangeable lens DSLR marriage of last year (as being its first DSLR of their name. Face must be saved for that name.). In the tradeoff agreement that grants this first Samsung release, it would be interesting to know which corporation approached the other first. The whys are artfully obvious.

What we are now awaiting is the other side of the agreement to unveil. The side that moves Pentax into what was called, by press release, the "midrange DSLR market" through the sharings of this advertised alliance.

To date, Pentax has released cameras apparently very dependent on Sony for chip and sensor array technology. This was as Sony now emerges as more competition in the DSLR arena through self incorporating Konica-Minolta's own DSLR developments (I suspect they willingly incorporated KM, inspite of the poor KM profitability in certain product areas. Sony is a leader in digital camera sales. The fact remains that in order for Sony to get into the DSLR market, it could not obviously posture itself to be a threat by visible movements of intention regarding Nikon and Pentax--who are using sensor arrays Sony supplies).

By summer the first Pentax offerings of the alliance should emerge. What the former poster here bemoaned was the need for increased pixel and other capacities in order for the alliance to work for us. Pentax most likely will gain from Samsung the facilitation of its own development needs and research/market planned engineered designs (for exactly what was not found or appreciated of the coming Samsung namesake). A new source for sensor arrays of increased capacity, a chip manufacturer second to none, and a way to say "goodby Sony," while keeping it all facially friendly between these Asian giants. Look to Pentax posturing to gain for us from their side of the agreement what they need for their namesake soon in view. --Jay

3. From : Philip Ashman (
Url : http://
Date : 05:44 AM Saturday 11 February, 2006

Hi again Has anyone any views/opinions on the new Samsung GX-1S DSLR featured in the 'What's new' column of the March edition of Practical Photography (UK) magazine Unless I've missed something(quite likely)this is the first basic details released of the Samsung/Pentax partnership producing a DSLR. However, from the little info available, although it has the Pentax KAF mount, it appears to be no real advance upon the *istd series, with 6 megapixel, APS sensor size, large 3 inch LCD, 1/4000th to 3 sec shutter, 95% field of view, low weight of 505g and modest UK price of £550 TBC.

Can't myself see why they have released this one as any Pentax users wanting a DSLR with the features mentioned, for around the price indicated, would surely by now have bought the *istd or one of the follow up releases - DS or DL. Would have thought they would have at least upped the capacity to around 8, or even 10, megapixels to go against the Canon 20D, or Nikon D200.

Obviously with limited info yet available, it may have some other features that improve upon the *istd series, but for me at least it seems a missed opportunity to launch into the mid DSLR range, rather than the low end market that Canon and Nikon already have tied up. When it comes to the new SLR user, they are unlikely to be tempted by a Samsung with Pentax mount. This is especially as Sigma, Tamron and Tokina are virtually now only concentrating on the Canon and Nikon mounts for many of their new lenses. Philip

4. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 04:57 AM Saturday 11 February, 2006

Pat, I have been offered the 24-90 more than once, new, at camera stores for less than USD 200. The reason being that it was discontinued as a product in 2004. Its build quality is similar to the Tamron you mention, image quality is slightly better than the Tamron--with a much more attractive tele end maximum aperture. It would not be greatly useful for the AP size digital cameras, so it is not being purchased by current market clients. You may be able to purchase a demo from Pentax UK, or make an offer at a camera store with new/old stock.

Use the search feature of our site, as our contributors from the UK often have mentioned contact information with both Pentax repair, UK, and various camera stores there (use key words and search).

Althought the lens you mention from Tamron has good reviews, I know nothing of it. Look it up on the site for user reviews. Holding one, it seems to extend a little precariously to me.--Jay

5. From : Pat (
Url : http://
Date : 04:22 AM Saturday 11 February, 2006

Just a few quick items. 1. Can someone let me have contact details for the UK LX service/repair guy who seems to be well recommended on this site. 2. Does anyone know this lens well? Tamron SP 24-135 3.4-5.6 macro In the absence of a Pentax 24-90 (can't find a good used one) I'm looking to use this lens on my mz-s for general carry about use. Any comments on image quality?

6. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 04:19 AM Saturday 11 February, 2006

For those of us with Minolta scanners and lightmeters, accessories are drying up, even directly from the KM site. I would suggest that if you need any film holders, or extensions of the meters get on it while the getting is good. --Jay

7. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 03:42 AM Saturday 11 February, 2006

So, we have three outstanding responses to the prior posted, and reposted questions which follow now for others participation here.

So, what will now be your system gear use, upgrade, and sales strategies? What have been your LX pet peeves, and how have you overcome these? What needs fixing, can be fixed, and what looks like it is unfeasible to mess with it? Where is your own photography headed? What newer series lenses, than K and M series, do you hope to incorporate into your LX use (and other K mount bodies into this century)? What has surprised you about the old gear, with positive and negative comments, and the new? Lets open up these kind of expressions to the forum. --Jay

8. From : Ivan J. Eberle (
Url :
Date : 12:42 AM Saturday 11 February, 2006

Jay, I used my LX gear professionally for 18 years without but one service for sticky mirror/mirror stop replacement (oh, yeah-- nearly forgot my own NiCD cell replacement). Picked up all manner of system pieces over the years incl a motordrive and a winder, FB1/FC1, F4P cord, 280T flash, 100mm SMC-A f/2.8 macro, 24mm etc.

Swore that I'd never buy another piece of Pentax gear back in 1989 when a factory demo A* 300 f/2.8 lens came up and was about to buy it, when it came back from a CLA and focusing helix adj at Englewood, CO with aluminum shards visible inside. (immediately bought a Tamron SP 300 f/2.8 with Adaptall mount thinking I'd move to Nikon shortly thereafter. Only took another 16 years until I did!)

Bought a PZ-1 first week they came out in 1992 for the synch speed and the spotmeter. Used it with manual focus K mount lenses, don't own any Pentax AF lenses. Too bad Pentax never released an LXX. The LX's lack of spotmeter, daylight-balanced fill flash, and the HyperManual mode, found me using the PZ-1 more and more but not enjoying it half as much. The environmental seals haven't been there on any of the more recent flagship bodies. While the MZ-S looked promising but was clearly an amateur offering with a sub-par synch speed, 2 FPS winder, etc.

I'm still enamored of the LX for a couple of things. The macro capabilities with the 100mm f/2.8 for available-light MLU work at 1:1 is unparalleled. The FB-1/FC-1 combo means I get low angle shots others don't and it's given me a competitive edge The extremely low shutter propagation time was wonderful for motorsports, breaching orcas, rodeo work etc (versus a very aggrevating delay on a PZ-1 body, it was 75ms for the LX vs ~200ms for the PZ-1, IIRC).

Now, my LX is just got tired. (motordrive totally died. Ditto the 280T). TTL flash-synch became unreleable. MLU lever is finicky and doesn't always want to stay in the up position. Shutter lock button doesn't work. The exposure compensation dial got flakey. When I got sniped and outbid on some pristine LX bodies and then finally snookered on a beater LX and motor that I took a bath on, I stepped back and took stock of what I don't like about it, (1/75 synch, no spotmeter, no 1/3 stop aperatures, no daylight fill flash, diminishing support), I decided to jump ship.

Bought into Nikon entirely due to the the 200-400 VR lens, which is amazing but a little off-topic. Picked up two Nikkon F5 bodies each for less than I just saw a mint used LX and winder go for last week on eBay! (and one of my F5s, incidentally, WAS BRAND NEW with a 3 year Nikon USA warranty!). Love the F5s with the big anti-shake zoom, just got a 17-35mm f/2.8 AFS, too.

Where the new gear lets me down is in it's battery dependence, it won't sit there on keep-alive all night on a set of NiMH batteries, when hooked up to an IR beam interrupt trigger for my wildlife shots.Back to the LX.

Can't bear to part with it just yet, but two repair people locally in Monterey CA have demonstrated they can't or won't work on them. Certain critical components are unavailable new. As mentioned, I have zero confidence in Pentax service after that long-ago bad experience.

So I jumped in last week and bought a 15-watt soldering iron and some black silicone sealant and so far have cannibalized the beater body for a good replacement exposure compensation pot, and a viewfinder-release latch, and managed to get my origianl LX all back together, working. Next order of business is to do the shutter lock button swap out, but I know the offending cam is buried deep in the body, as is the MLU mechanism.

I'm bummed that certain parts are now unattainable new, and that most old LXs tend to all have the same issues. Just hoping that I can cobbled it together for awhile yet, and that I can find a macro system that works for me when the day comes I can't.

9. From : Philip Ashman (
Url : http://
Date : 05:27 PM Friday 10 February, 2006

I'm not so technically minded about the why's and wherefores as to what equipment I use, but just go with whatever I find I enjoy using and need to create my images. Hence I, somewhat lazily, rely on the good advice and guidance found on this site and others when researching my needs, be it for new equipment or problem solving.

Accordingly I have, I suppose, hedged my bets on the future by delving into the digital world with the acquisition of a *istds to use with my collection of Pentax primes (28mm, 35mm & lately 300mm) plus Pentax 1.7 converter. However, as the 28 & 35mm are both manual SMC M's, I do not use them with the *istds, although the 300m is an FA IF ED and fully compatible. I also have a selection of Sigma Pentax fit that are all fully compatible with both my LX bodies and the *istds. These range from 15mm, 105mm, 400mm, 20-40mm & 70-200mm. In addition I have a Sigma EX 1.4x converter and a pentax ringflash. Just about covers all my needs and at present I would say that I enjoy most using the LX's with film and will still do so whilst film remains readily available and at an acceptable cost. The ease of use and benefits cost wise of a DSLR do indeed make it a very attractive proposition and I am learning the DSLR skills with the *istds whilst awaiting to see if a much more superior model is indeed designed and released.
The other day, however, I also invested in a Dimage Scan Elite 5400, that I understand have now also been discontinued, and this investment can be seen as my commitment to film alongside digital for the foreseeable future.
Finally, as well as my love of Pentax, I also have a Nikon F4 with a few lenses and a very enjoyable Contax G2 rangefinder kit with 28mm, 45mm and 90mm lenses, that I enjoy using on those days when you just feel like going back to carrying little equipment along with you and really honing your skills!
I've never used any format other than 35mm, but must admit I would love to do so and if money was no object then perhaps a
Hasselblad H1, or maybe a Mamiya 7.


10. From : AB (
Url : http://
Date : 04:18 PM Friday 10 February, 2006

My response to Jay's question is simple. I'm going to stay with the LX (and my KX and MX for fun and 6X7 for monster quality). Currently all cameras are working as they should (with the usual exception of LX shutter timing when set to Auto at high ISO). I have sufficient high quality Pentax primes - and one SMCA 35-105 zoom.

Over some years I have built up a system around the LX that suits my needs, from flash to viewfinders and winders, all the cables and bits & bobs etc. In time this ageing equipment will become unreliable. I don't know what I shall do at that time. My guess is that with a good repairer and the acceptance that I may have spend some money and buy some cameras to cannibalise I may be all right for another 10 years or so. By then, global warming, shortages of oil and gas, increased religious intolerance and violence will mean the world will be a very different place.

I'm staying put with Pentax manual focus - despite improved performance after a firmware upgrade, I scarcely use my 750Z digital; I don't enjoy it, handle it, enthuse over it.


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