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 Free Trade Zone site instead. The Photography In Malaysia sites sponsor has no Guestbook standing on its own, because it is an integral part of the MIR site. But if you want to leave a note on your experience of visiting our site and its service, you may use the MIR's Guestbook found at another new window by clicking on the Guestbook Link.
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1. From : AB (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Url : http://
Date : 02:19 AM Thursday 12 January, 2006
Yes, it's difficult to know if one is being a grumpy old git or whether there is something to it. My friend's boyfriend got himself a £100 Samsung digital and he takes thousands of shots... literally. Our group of friends has got used to him flashing away at parties, in the pub, everywhere. The camera has an atrocious half-second delay so he never quite knows what he's going to get. Most of the shots are awful but a tiny percentage is very good. My friend loves her cat Molly and he takes hundreds of the feline, one day he just held the camera up to a roof where he knew Molly was and just rattled off a string of shots. One of them is fantastic, Molly just happened to be doing a twist on her back and staring straight at the lens when the lethargic camera got round to taking a shot. The photo has been accepted by some cat charity as photo of the month. He didn't even know what he had until some time after he'd taken it, as he couldn't look at the screen or even see the cat when he took it.
Unless you are mad or a millionaire (you'd probably have to be both) there's no way you would fire off so much film with abandon. My beautiful (in my opinion) portrait of Molly (LX - NPZ 800 - 135 1.8 - natural light) didn't get a look in. A Scenario: Say you had four digital cameras strapped to your body, front back and each side and you left them firing away once every few seconds every day for a week. When you sorted the thousands of shots you had two really fantastic photos, would these photos be worth less because of the way they were captured? This is what digital has done; you can take thousands for free and even if you're hopeless...
I think we (us LXers) enjoy tools made by craftsmen for craftsmen, I think we enjoy considering exposure and the ramifications of shutter speed versus aperture, I think we enjoy considering precisely where we are focussing, I think we enjoy being manually involved in all this. I appreciate the LX Auto setting but almost never use it! It pains me to say that a digital on Program may come up with an equivalent result - though it may have to take 100 times as many. I guess it's the process we enjoy.
Long live manual cameras - which probably means film as well. AB2. From : Philip Ashman (email@example.com)
Url : http://
Date : 06:39 PM Wednesday 11 January, 2006
I agree entirely that today's 'tech' products and cars (bikes in my case) seem to be made with a 'throwaway' factor built in, due to the scramble by maufacturers and customers wanting to be at the cutting edge of design and technology at all times. This often leaves build quality and longevity no longer important in the knowledge that a replacement will be bought as soon as possible from the next release 6-12 months down the line with bigger, faster, inevitably cheaper and wads of 'pose factor' rendering last years model an embarrassment to be seen with! This seems to particularly apply to those who simply dabble in the latest fashion/hobby trends jumping from one 'interest' to the next in order to impress people.
To go with my 2 LX bodies and collection of lenses built up over many years I did buy an *istds last year and do indeed enjoy using it, but I must admit I still prefer to be out with my LX's (or my Nikon F4 and 3 lenses)with a roll of Velvia or Provia loaded. When I am out with the LX or F4 I feel somehow much more an individual out on my own practising my craft with the best tools available, learning and discovering for myself at my own pace and unaffected by the latest trends/technological advances available. A real sense of purpose, well being, belonging and gratitude at discovering many years ago a creative hobby (for me) that I truly enjoy to the fullest.
Although I also of course enjoy taking out the DSLR (it does produce fine pictures) I do at times feel just like one of a crowd enjoying the new photography fashions and not so much an individual dedicated to my interest and using my skills to their best.
It's difficult to describe this accurately but at times I wish that the digital age had never happened and photography was still a specialised art form reserved for those who truly wanted to learn a craft that neccessitated dedication and skills, rather than becoming a computer driven 'available to anyone' instant pastime, if you spend a few hundred pounds and let the technology take care of everything.
Maybe I'm just a grumpy old man, selfish and jealous that in this decade you have so many technological advances in camera design opening up the art to people who, unlike me, do not need to spend years slowly learning how it all works and can get results within a few months of buying a DSLR that took me a few years to master with film and equipment that forced you to practice and practice to master. Acquiring a wide angle lens, or short fixed telephoto for the first time was a once every year or so and then I could spend a long time learning how to use it before the next lens was bought slowly building up my equipment and knowledge. Most people new to 35mm DSLR's now acquire a lens range from very wide angle through to long telephoto with their very first purchase!
Hmmm.. just looked out of the window and the morning light is gorgeous today, so I'm off out with one of my film cameras. LOL.
Philip3. From : Ian (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Url : http://
Date : 12:58 PM Wednesday 11 January, 2006
AB, I completely agree. What I meant to say was Porsche, not Mercedes. I'm still thinking back to when Mercedes still had that, well, Mercedes feel. A chassis that felt like an anvil, and a door close second to none. I am of course assuming that modern Porsches are still as were. I've not played with a "new" one. I was down at a friends Garage recently, and noticed that the Porsche 911 (a 1985?) they were working on had titanium wheel nuts. Now that's what I call attention to detail! Some say that Lexus have taken over the role of quality, but I find them lacking in character, and well, soulless. Here in the South (Daphne, AL), it's nice to see that there are so many old things appreshiated and maintained. It's just a pitty that does not apply to photographic equipment. There is but one independant camera store left (and that's in Mobile), and as for quality used gear, not a chance. Good job I have both my LX bodies and all my lovely Pentax glass with me. Now all I have to do is find some excellent 70's and 80's Hi-Fi. All in good time. - Ian.4. From : AB (email@example.com)
Url : http://
Date : 08:54 PM Tuesday 10 January, 2006
I'm not sure Mercedes are in that category, about fifteen years ago they announced that they were going to stop 'over-engineering' their cars. Since then I have read criticisms of them being unreliable and a recent report that they are going to up the quality.
It seems to me that we simply wouldn't be able to afford superior build - not all of us. My hi-fi equipment is superbly built, sounds great and is massive and heavy. I don't earn a lot so how can I afford it... simple! It was made in the late seventies/early eighties. There's no way I could afford something built like that today (it does exist but costs tens of thousands). I can enjoy this quality for a few hundreds; some items less than a hundred. I have to spend some on servicing but the right guy can bring it up to scratch and then I get years of service before something goes.
I recently bought a 1979 bass guitar amplifier (containing the original '79 valves/tubes) it works perfectly sounds great and is hand wired and thus very easy to fix - no ICs. It cost £260. How much would a hand wired substantially built amp cost new today!
All these beautifully built items are big, heavy, labour-intensive, expensive to ship and use more of the planets increasingly scarce resources, there's no way we can all own them new. Those of us in the know can enjoy these incredible bargains - LX, MX etc. included whilst the bulk of the world is distracted by flashing lights. The only price we pay is that we must maintain them.
A repairer once told me that a repair to an old amp would cost £100, he said I could buy a new amp for less than the cost of the repair but a new amp of the same quality would cost over £500. Crucially he told me that the repaired old amp (already twenty five years old) would likely out-last the new purchase anyway. He has been proved right time and again. Where's the profit for a company that produces an amp (or anything) that goes for thirty years before a failure and then can be easily fixed and go another thirty years... We will all need to change our thinking if we want to encourage this sort of business.
How much would an MX cost today? £3000? I play with my friends' DSLRs, I look at their tiny, dull, distant screens and then think of the glorious high quality compositional tool that is the screen of the MX. What gives here? This is 2006 why are the DSLR screens so much worse? We know the answer; big bright, silvered glass prisms are expensive (and heavy - shipping costs are a factor).
Environmentally, massive heavy over-build is a no-no (longevity isn't though) but seeing as these things already exist I feel no guilt in owning them and maintaining them.
FILM: I'm sure we're going to lose many. Kodak alone at one time had at least three C-41 400 ISO black & white films; I couldn't tell the difference. I hope I don't lose my Fuji NPZ 800 but if I do I'll have to get used to something else. I'm sure we won't lose them all but maybe a thinning out was in order anyway, it just hurts a bit for a while when you lose your favourite.
AB5. From : Ian (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Url : http://
Date : 01:23 PM Tuesday 10 January, 2006
Jay, well said. I agree with many of your comments. Although not a team sports fan or spectator (I'm into solo sports like motor bike trials and skateboarding), I found your football observations most excellent. Also, thanks for the Agfa info, although sadly I had already heard that they had split the company in an attempt to limit damage and yet still managed to go bust.
I too feel that there is a downward spiral of general build quality in consumer products, carefully covered up with suggestive advertising. For the moment at least, all is not lost. We still have companies like Mercedes, Apple and one or more camera companies (Nikon, Canon etc.) still making impressively engineered equipment. It seems the days when a mid market product like the Pentax MX was also made to exceptional standards, have gone. - Ian.6. From : Jay (email@example.com)
Url : http://
Date : 12:45 PM Monday 09 January, 2006
Ian, I watch the BBC and the German Television nightly news often here in Boulder, Colorado. Last week the German news, economic report, mentioned the closing of Agfa film plants and the end of an era. As I only caught part of the program, I think I heard the announcer say the consumer film part of Agfa's enterprises had gone out of business. The German economy also has been struggling in many arenas of competition and change since reunification (something economists said would affect that economy for thirty to fifty years after reunification). Kodak too closed many of its own similar film plants a couple of years ago. Perhaps this is why you cannot purchase your preference of films?
We can expect more of the same, including, as you wrote, quick low to medium quality digital imagery being the building blocks of many magazines--which once held to more exacting, even designer quality standards. It amazes me to see typography these days in magazines which is visibly pixelated (with white square gaps in each letter)and what would be past-labeled as poor large dot screened graphics, found printed alike in magazine presentations (even on their covers). What is offered as much recorded pop music now too is up for musicality loss leader grabs. But, then, little which is made these days has the certainty of much permanency, or artistic fine art intention (so much is objectified from the alienation, consumerism, and speed of urbanized lifestyles alone).
Not much--as is hyped as to what is in style now--indeed lasts very long, nor retains the consumer quality of equipment and materials that once endured as the anchor standards references (like your favorite vehicle). Such a sense of permanency seems passing, passing. Homes too have moved to become smaller, less estate-like in provision, space, and intention (but, in my lifetime homes now require half of one's monthly income for purchasing instead of a quarter of it). These, then, are overpopulation, resource limitation, and inflation results--which lower the quality of life for many.
How many clerks in retail stores at present look you in the eye when paying for casual products? Is the unspoken linkage in the human family, soul-to-soul going totally consumer speed in its presentation (as to revealing its own intrinsic value)?
It is good Tony is riding herd on Nikon's latest DSLR, and mentions still wanting/waiting for something more. This clarifies and helps hone the professional vision of those of us used to a considered excellence in gear. Still, part of a working photographer's kit must include gear that grants same-day or part-of-day turnaround (without encumbering multiple processes). Handing a client a site-burned disc or other form of stored digital image file is an expectation of expediency in our global and digital information business climate.
American football--which most often abruptly stops and starts in its own movements toward goal making and winning--differs in fluidity and outworking from European football. Watching either game from the overhead POV of a Goodyear blimp, one wonders how the American game can gain so many avid fans by its very flaws of execution toward maintaining ongoing movement toward game resolution indeed (unless beer is in the mix). Watching the European and international standard other game, with its usual ongoing beauty of orchestrated, fluid, and spontaneous movement toward goals, one longs for such a flow of athletic expression and orchestration here without these new-world-football type interruptions.
I fear the New York Madison Avenue realities of media placed but limited engagement "spot" advertising--as can be correlated in play here as similar to the organization and the movements of our own football--are slowly taking over the world's conscious regard in the arena of all visually based communications. Like those appearing now of the magazines mentioned, is not most advertising based communication now and again abrupt?
Magazines cannot be without sponsors, nor can football. Is it thereby a vicious circle, as now takes our fare, the coming of the pixel play, then stopping, and restarting the next play for the going? --Jay7. From : Ian (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Url : http://
Date : 11:04 AM Monday 09 January, 2006
Regarding this issue of digital in-camera sourcing vs Film/scanners. I'm still finding that the 12-bit Bayer-interpolated signal from SLR bodies does not render certain subject qualities very well (anything out-of-focus, to mention one, I'm sick of seeing that "oil-painting" look). If in-body sharpening and colour saturation boosting are turned off, I feel that many chips are, well, poor.
I'm also noticing an alarming number of high quality glossy magazines (fashion etc) who are allowing their photographers to master in the JPG format. Just today in fact I witnessed some very well staged outdoor fashion photos expressed in a magazine at full page and spread. I considered them well below par. The spacial compression coupled with way too much sharpening made for a very shoddy look. I do hope this doesn't become an acceptable trend with editors and art directors. Maybe they are just too young and inexperienced to know the difference? I'm finding the art of saying "oh look, that was shot digitally" tiresome. I should not be able to tell the difference.
On the subject of film availability. A few weeks ago I was about to order my all-time favorite colour negative 35mm stock, Agfa Ultra 100. I discovered that B&H no longer listed it (as mentioned in an earlier posting). No problem, Adorama had it. Anyway, I got distracted by going out and buying my all-time favorite car, an old Range Rover. Since I've not owned one for sixteen years, I spent a few days (ok, two weeks) enjoying my new toy. At which point I asked Lynne to order me some Ultra 100. It's gone from Adorama. And, I now find, it's no longer listed via several other sources. This had better not be the start of the end. Oh, and SX-70 is due to cease production early 2006 too. One is not impressed. - Ian.8. From : GLOBETROTTER (email@example.com)
Url : http://www.pinkkipperpublishing.co.uk
Date : 06:05 AM Sunday 08 January, 2006
Jay, I have seen results from the D200 and it does not interest me so much (although I have been keeping a very close eye on improvements in the pro DSLR world). I will continue to use the F5 plus LX cameras filled with Velvia film, matched with drum scanners, or the superb Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400 and Photoshop CS2 for some time to come.
Of more interest has been the launch of the new Canon XL-H1 Professional camcorder, which shows dramatic improvements over my present XL1s, and the XL2, although at the moment the £7,000 price tag is too high for my pocket! I also use my Nikkor ED-IF lenses on the XL Canon via an adapter.9. From : Jay (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Url : http://
Date : 07:55 PM Saturday 07 January, 2006
For those of us once using the Minolta 5400 slide scanner, and comparing it on the Photozone review site with the Nikon scanners, one could not help but notice more sharpness, contrast, and shadow/highlight detail with the Nikon--even though it was a lesser pixel resolution unit. The primary reason was that the Nikon used white LED illumination, and Minolta cold flourescent illumination (which Minolta had for many years perfected and retained as its illumination choice, where there used to be advantages. It was even more expensive to develop and make than the then emerging white LED light sources for film scanners, but was then faster in use.). The second reason Nikon scanners excelled was the slightly better translation of grain to pixels by the Nikon software and its contracted DIGITAL ICE film image clean-up exclusive agreements to employ the most recent releases of this software feature over the competition.
But this has now changed, and Konica Minolta, with its new film scanner, now employs the latest Digital ICE, and many other software automatic image correction software features. Even the way the new unit translates grain to pixels has much improved over the original and more expensive 5400, and, most likely over Nikon scanners too (though, to date, there are no direct comparison tests yet available). The user-friendly and professional options for the 5400II are excellent, and a noticeable upgrade over the software processing features of the original 5400 has occurred, as I can attest by personal use.
I now use the Konica-Minolta 5400II, which equals the color, highlight and shadow detail, and resolution of the 5400--but with other technology upgrade, speed of use, and image-filing advantages. Abandoning the cold flourescent illumination source of Minolta, Konica Minolta now employs a better LED illumintation system than the Nikon scanner compared on the Photozone site to the original 5400. This essentially means that, when coupled with its software changes with abundant on-board use choices--especially choices for multiscan 16 bit renders with automatic highlight and shadow detail multiple scan corrections--it can do a scan at a third to forty percent speed gain over the original 5400. And so with noticeable details and apparent contrast and sharpness improved over the old Nikon scanner visible advantage.
I have, in the past, advocated Minolta's lesser film scanner for most renders, in its Dimage IV release. Why? Because, at the time, even though it did not offer 5400 PPI, its large pixel capacity more than sufficed, and Photoshop or other programs could duplicate the 5400's available DIGITAL ICE not offered on the Di IV. Also, it was advocated because it was and is a true bargain. It is still better at scanning, is 16 bit, and has greater scan depth, than many other brands of film scanners on the market.
There is now an advantage to the newer 5400II, enough to consider it as a technical edge over both the original 5400 and the DImage IV. Konica Minolta has truly improved the capabilities of the film scanner, over its past and present other offerings. It does not now offer, however, a batch transparency processor for the new scanner. The transparency insert does accurately handle four slides at once, in a very easy and software-addressed straightforward manner. However, agencies and magazines will long for a transparency batch add on mechanical processor-feeder for the film scanner. Perhaps Konica Minolta will offer one in the future?
What past critics wrote of cold flourescent illumination slightly scattering the light and frustrating color gathering qualities over the then available white LED illumination of the Nikon film scan units is no longer a Konica Minolta 5400II unit factor, for--as you may have noticed with recent LED flashlights over those originating a year or two ago--white LED illumination has radically improved. The LEDs now made are brighter, more focused, and truer white. Their lifespan is greater, and many more types of these are now being manufactured. Konica Minolta took notice and made a good thing of the original 5400 much better (speed gain primarily, over the past once-brighter cold flourescent tubes, then the development of better software, and with better grain to pixel transfer).
However, one other recent technology leap has occurred, which woos one toward digital in-camera originations more than transparency to film digital captures...color and subject shadow/highlight accuracy. The latest digital sensor arrays and in-camera processors are about a third better at gaining true and accurate color than a 5400II film scanner or other film scanner capture (excepting some drum scanners). The scanner cannot reach up to the color accuracy level of the 10+ MP new Nikon Digital SLR body, nor the 12+ MP Canon Bodies. For the film scan to catch-up to the original renders from these latest bodies, it is necessary to go through a 16 bit image manipulation program, such as Photoshop CS and CS2. So, the speed advantages of the Nikon and Canon bodies now available for quick in-camera origination renders is outdistancing the once strong advantage of the pixel count quantity capture of film scanner renders. The new Nikon DSLR release too solves some of the dust problems associated with changing lenses, camera body tightness, and digital SLR sensor arrays.
As we know, there once was an advantage to Velvia 50 going through the film scanner for an excellent result. Now, with the death of Velvia 50, and the surrealistic colors of the two Velvia 100 emulsions, professionals have every reason to shift to in camera digital renders for 95% of subject matter out there. The New Nikon D200 10+ MP and $1700 body list price (which will go down and be discounted)offers a much better color accuracy with useable sharpness and detail over using the new Fuji films, and thereafter the tedious time-consuming scanner and image manipulation software processes (for the Nikon DSLR to get up to a high resolution 22 X 36 inkjet print).
Over and above this size, there are trade-offs and advantages and disadvantages between film scans and digital in-camera originations. Even so, image manipulation programs which can upgrade (the available number of) pixel counts for digital in-camera originations are generally quicker to use than the multiple image correction steps from film scan files made necessary to equal the imaged color and in-camera accuracy of the latest sensor arrays. Time spent on film scan manipulation to gain what the latest sensor array, in-camera processors can turn out matter-of-factly is lost time, lost efficency, and poor efficacy.
The lingering-remaining advantage of film scans is for very large reproductions. I suspect even Globetrotter will purchase a D200 body and give us a report from the field. He already has many lenses. --Jay
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Url : http://
Date : 11:19 AM Thursday 05 January, 2006
Pentax has announced a new DA 10-17mm F 3.5 - 4.5. It is said to increase the line, and be of similar quality to other such releases.20% of Pentax Corp. has been purchased by share acquisition by a Japanese Asset Management and Investment group. Although it is an attractive capitalization, it will not affect actual design and management.Pentax Corp. continues to expand its own Corporate acquisitions: away from its past camera plants (Hong Kong and the Phillipines have, to great measure, downsized) toward computer software and electronics firms in South Korea. So. VietNam is still the most active lens plant. They are designing and gearing up for a new digital SLR with Samsung later in the year.
E-bay shows strong gain over two years agi on the used sales of A series SMC lens families forward, and even on some K and M series exotic optics. The price for an MZ-3 or MZ-5n has held at $125.00 upwards. MZ-s bodies of good condition have sold for the same prices as used LX bodies of good condition. Good condition LX bodies are selling between $375.00 to $ 700.00. Film bodies of practical useage then have a market, though the MZ 3, and 5n are a bargain for folks who do not require the *ist SLR fast autofocusing features. Yes, it may be a happy new year for SMC lens users.
Kodak continues to make its extra color ISO 100 transparency film for the time being--not quite as fine grain as the newer Fuji Velvia 100 emulsions, but way better color rendering. Remember to purchase Velvia 50 while you can, as it will disappear this year from the marketplace.
In the arena of flash units, Pentax is holding back release of the newest and latest FG unit--to make it compatable with the existing Professional Power Pack already in its line-up. May the force be with these movements.
Maintainers for Pentax LX Series SLR Camera Models Message Board:
Tony Davies-Patrick (Globetrotter) (firstname.lastname@example.org); Mico Smiljanic (email@example.com);
Jay Hart (firstname.lastname@example.org); Philip Ashman (email@example.com)
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