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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 : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 02:27 AM Wednesday 23 November, 2005

AB, I am curious how your A macro 100 F2.8 performs at infinity. Some of my infinity shots with this lens seem less sharp than some other primes, some not. RSVP --Jay

2. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 02:24 AM Wednesday 23 November, 2005

Tradeoffs. The larger the aperture, usually, unless having special glass, the more difficult it is to achieve all the correction criteria of a good optic. Yes, all Pentax normals are very good, excepting the last A f2 releases. I would concur with Mico, first the f1.7 (I have two As and one F in this, and used to have an M: all excellent), then the f1.4 (which is very close to the 1.7s, then the others (45mm, and the f1.2). All the tests I reviewed on the 1.2 were lesser at given apertures than the others listed, excepting the f2s. Since these used are very inexpensive, go for the 1.7 or 1.4. --Jay

3. From : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 12:17 AM Wednesday 23 November, 2005

Phil, regarding 50mm standard lenses. Many moons ago when I was at a primo college studying commercial photography (sorry, Art School - the Principle was fickle about such terms - it's now a university, times change) I used a Pentax MX and M-series 50mm f/1.7 lens which my father bought me. I regularly used that lens at any aperture, often wide open. It never occurred to me that many lenses performed poorly wide open. Years later I now know that that particular lens (and variations) is arguably the finest ever, when used wide-open (in comparison to others wide-open). I was spoilt rotten without ever knowing.

Another lens you might consider is the Pentax 43mm f/1.9 Limited. I have seen stunning results from it, although sadly I have never managed to use one myself - yet! This lens, together with it's sisters, the 31mm f/1.8 and 77mm f/1.8 have quite a following. All are considered exemplary in optical performance and handling. The 43mm of course being the "perfect" (numerically) standard lens. The measurement is taken from the diagonal of the film - as is the normal way of ascertaining "standard" with any film format. BTW, all three Limited's are available in (drum roll, please) silver or black.

I disagree with the idea that the Pentax 50mm f/1.2 is soft. Indeed, it is soft by comparison when approaching wide-open, but I find it still produces beautiful images due to it's lovely bokeh. When compared to say, a Canon f/1.0, it appears noticeably (and I say acceptably) sharper. The 1.2 needs to be used carefully when wide-open, the scene should have a clearly defined focal-point, so as to utilize the focus differential with impact. Sure, shooting a landscape at infinity wide-open would emphasize the softness of the lens. I would also like to point out that the f/1.2 lens when stopped-down to f/8, is very sharp across the field. I've seen several tests claiming 98 lppm, and I have no reason to dispute that from my own use (mine is an early K).

With the exception of true macro lenses, almost any 50mm lens (from almost any brand) will usually out-perform any other lenses you may have in your collection. I also have the A-series 1.7, and although it's performs brilliantly (optically), the build quality is very poor - particularly the operation of the aperture ring, I totally agree with Mico on that. So much so, I never use it. The Pentax 50mm f/1.4's (K,M,A) are often considered the ultimate compromise between weight/size/quality. The f/1.4 and f/1.2 are the only lenses left that still have the curved doublet in their construction (presumably considered unnecessarily expensive by other brands). And is extremely difficult to find in any other brand (including Zeiss). This now rare feature aids in producing better bokeh (for readers unaccustomed with this term - the shape of the circles of confusion - or quality of out-of-focus - Boke or "Bokeh").

So Phil, you may consider the f/1.4's an upgrade if your itching to buy new (used) glass! Or maybe spash-out (yeah go on, you deserve it) on a 43mm Limited - Ian.

4. From : AB (
Url : http://
Date : 04:28 PM Tuesday 22 November, 2005

Wait for it... They also had an A* 135 1.8... and a 100 2.8 Macro (A) I made them an offer for all three that worked out at £110 each! I couldn't believe it. Over the following months I cleaned out the rest of their Pentax stuff at a good price as it wasn't shifting.

Just one of those things, never seen deals like it before or since. Right place, right time, dealing with the right person (didn't know what the stuff was). Lucky me.


5. From : ian (
Url : http://
Date : 02:56 AM Tuesday 22 November, 2005

Anton, WOW! A* 85mm f/1.4 nice find! I almost never bother with cash-converter stores. A mistake, obviously. Enjoy!

6. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 04:22 AM Saturday 19 November, 2005

Thanks Pat for being specific. Yes both the black, catalogue #28007, and the silver finish, catalogue #27997 are optically and mechanically identical. The first unit does not currently appear in No. American wholesale by distributor catalogues, as, with laptop computers, the trend is toward silver. Though it is found less often available, they are the same. Aesthetics often compose resale value as much as specifications, FYI.--Jay

7. From : Pat (
Url : http://
Date : 03:51 AM Saturday 19 November, 2005

Jay - thanks for the detailed post.

I think I may have started the recent dialogue about the
28-105 AL (IF) f 3.2-4.5

It was the most recent model that was the point of my original question as I have seen the black version go for 3 times the price of the silver - yes, I am talking about the same lens!

I just wanted to know if there was any difference in performance between the two versions of this lens - it is my understanding that they are the same apart from colour of finish - correct?

8. From : JAY (
Url : http://
Date : 07:40 PM Friday 18 November, 2005

And, to further obsfucation, the current release can be found in black in some Pentax wholesale distributors catalogues. One of the earlier 28-105s can also be found in silver. --Jay

9. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 07:16 PM Friday 18 November, 2005

So, just to clear up any ongoing fog of confusion, I am writing about the 28-105 AL (IF). This lens is a current release, and is made in VietNam. It has an attractive aperture range of f 3.2-4.5. It is silver in finish, and uses the ghostless coatings, developed after SMC. It is compact for its range. Earlier versions of the 28-105 were made elsewhere, and are generally f (4)4.5-5.6. They are black. They were produced in Japan, and the Phillipines. There have been three of these black units made, with the power zoom feature being on the original FA. Watch the filter size and vintage, regarding price on ebay. The Japanese original is certainly going for more, and some of these were optically and even mechanically better than others.

Personally I was not attracted to the power zooms, excepting in long range lenses, as they were very bulky. It is said that one of the 28-105s of recent vintage, prior to the current silver release, was made by Tamron (perhaps so, and was optically very good. And one model in particular--in the ever-changing offers of this range--was very good. Perhaps it is the knowledge of these earlier black releases, held by their devoted users of the same, which has some units going for more on ebay than others.

I was, at one time, attracted to the current release, for its size, filter accessory compatablity with what I have on hand in Pentax optics, and its attractive aperture range. That was until I ran some resolution tests at the tele end, and found that the original Pentax SMC F 28-80, f3.5-4.5 (also with an attractive and useable aperture range, as 5.6 in these focal length ranges seems inappropriate and limited to me) was a superior optic (the size too is easy to use). The existing 28-105 AL (IF) lens gets soft as to detail in its portrait range. Even my original 85mm f2 M series is very much sharper, and is not considered by some to be sharp at all (but its color is excellent, and it can be stopped down, so it remains in the kit). This softness on the tele end of the latest 28-105 was disappointing, as its package and footprint were so attractive.

The one thing negative to watch for on the original 28-80 f herein mentioned, is that the lens barrel filter receptor can, where the filter is screwed on tightly, eventually form a "fault" crack, as with all the original f series lenses. Its plastic resin composite body can develop this problem, if one is not careful in the filter handling. I still use the lens for my rare autofocus as necessary applications.

Recall that the original Fs and FAs were all made in Japan, with impecable quality control and careful assembly. What has happened since these releases, not only of so-called consumer zooms (zooms with an attactive wide angle to tele range, with generally slow and variable apertures, and plastic modular construction), but in the more expensive units, is a trend toward cheaper assembly and construction.

So, it struck me that the original issue discussed here by others on used price for the lens discussed was not comparing oranges to oranges, because of the size and aperture differences over the years of the lens offered by Pentax of the 28-105mm range. I hope that this clears up even the humor of the blackness of outward appearances. --jay

10. From : Pat (
Url : http://
Date : 04:39 AM Friday 18 November, 2005

The black version costs three times more because black was the color of Ashai's true love's hair. --Jay

Does the black hide the silver of age?

Watching some similar age/condition 28-105's on Ebay recently - silver went for £50, black went for £157!

With my silver came wisdom (or so I would like to believe) and even though black would match my mz-s better I think the price for silver makes it the wise choice.

Is the gold version even better value?

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