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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 (jaych.1@juno.com)
Url : http://
Date : 03:09 PM Saturday 14 March, 2009

Hoya-Pentax announced "extraordinary losses" in the fourth quarter, ending this month, paralleling the world economic trends and currency exchange realities. This climate will be monitored here, but, most resulting enterprise cuts were in human resources, through retirements, cutbacks, division layoffs, and plant closures. This is so too where consolidation requirements have prevailed through the now one year incorporation. All other digital imaging related manufacturers too have noted difficult fourth quarter losses compared to a year ago. At the height of quality technology manufacturing, and advances on all digital imaging fronts, we may now see a decline in what is possible, due to the interrelationships of all economies, manufacturers, resources, R & D and design potentials.

Downsizing is a certain, but, thankfully, this came after at least 12MP advanced user cameras were produced as a norm (on up to 24MP camera systems in what used to be called the miniature formats). So, digital SLR imaging has reached a detail and quality level which is excellent prior to the uncertainties of establishing ever increasing betterment of photo gear while the world's interrelated advanced economies take a toll.

Some of the so-called greatest journalism and documentary photography has emerged from some of the testiest seasons on humanity on the planet, literally, socially, politically, and economically. It is the human condition which has developed themes of sometimes haunting imaging which have endured the tests of time over the long run. How photography as an independent business and/or art for many will endure remains to be seen. Digital imaging though should offer its own thrift to advanced users.

The prosumer camera from Pentax, the X70, is to be reasonably priced, and CCD based, with its incredible zoom range. If it has imaging quality holding up to Canon and Panasonic in this type of camera, as priced, it likely will sell in spite of the slow down. Its HD capturing ability though is limited to 15fps, for motion uses not good for much of anything, and its motion HD pixel frame resolution, again, is 2/3rds that of the Canon SX1 prosumer super zoom alike still resolution 10MP CMOS camera (which is almost twice the base price of the Pentax CCD based 12MP CCD X70). The Pentax does have quite the zoom range, and 12 MP, but may be entering a shakey world market with uncertain sales quotas. Again, time, comparisons to alike as specified camera offers by other companies, and the reviews will tell its future. If you were planning on a K20D as your own, now the risk of such a purchase will be not related to its quality, which is excellent, but to the company's future, and what the price will be of the smaller up to date featured flagship DSLR as was scheduled to be released this year. If it looked for any reason that H-P was not going to do well on survival as a manufacturer, getting the K20D now for an existing lens arsenal would be a good hedge, but, where H-P succeeds, the newer smaller flagship camera's greater features will demonstrate the next wave of APS-C imaging and color depth. What to do?


2. From : Jay (jaych.1@juno.com)
Url : http://
Date : 01:37 AM Tuesday 03 March, 2009

As Samsung first released news of the hybrid NX camera, with electronic viewfinder, APS-C sensor, and interchangeable lenses, a day prior to PMA, perhaps we will soon know if the K mount is carried with this announcement, and whether or not Pentax and Samsung will have a similar body in their line-up. MIDMARCH UPDATE. It is to be a Samsung exclusive release, with their own components and new mount. There is talk of a K mount adapter, but, retaining autofocus except for in motor DA lenses is doubtful.


3. From : Jay (jaych.1@juno.com)
Url : http://
Date : 08:04 AM Thursday 26 February, 2009

UPDATE TO PMA SPECULATION, BELOW. Actually only 2 new DSLRs were shown by anyone at PMA this year, and one of those, the Oly, was released prior to the PMA. Sources at Pentax informed that the introduction of the superzoom prosumer camera was held for the show (though one coverage group slipped out the news a day early on the 1st). Any releases I mentioned will come later in the year, where Pentax wishes for once to have the release announcements and availability as simultaneous events (most promising is the 30D replacement release announcement coming later in the year). The pricing of the K series cameras were dropped once in January, then, once more, the K20D to come in at under USD 800.00, body only, in late February. A 15mm DA with focus motor in the lens was also announced. The development of a 30mm DA SDM is underway. Canon announced a number of lenses for their systems. Any future Pentax announcements will undoubtedly watch the international marketing conditions; in the EU DSLR sales grew more than 25% prior to the mid September financial "Melt down." No one really can say how 2009 will affect all advanced users camera sales and releases according to my source at Pentax. The same source gave the earlier information, where, he too was not precisely informed of what PMA would do with the strategic update plans of Hoya-Pentax. So, I do not feel too badly on writing what I have shared. Continue to watch the equipment horizons, which may become clouded by economic news. It will be a year of uncertainty, so it is back to system use advising on this website.

Early PMA Speculations: not known until the updated Pentax DSLRs emerge; expect updates of existing cameras, especially the once flagship K20D to advance to a new smaller version to be more competitive, and with newer interfaces with HDTV, a more active live view, perhaps movie features, etc. Pixel count upward? Hard to say, as to market sales if not increased, but time will tell. Don't expect what is announced at PMA to be in stores before summer.

No full frame from Pentax this year. But increased APS-C image quality and noise reduction management. Expect Pentax to diversify some sensor sources and the in camera imaging engine, but a primary Pentax/Samsung connection. With less than 2% market share, a commitment to photography is first and foremost. Nikon and Canon were owed $40 million from the USA Ritz camera stores when they recently filed for bankruptcy. Camera store dealers can be down on Pentax because of not extending such business risk credit, along with cooperative advertising funding for store ads--as with the big two. Yet as business solvency becomes an issue at the retail level with the uncertain economy, will the big two's accounts receivables cause them massive employee layoffs? What of the other smaller companies?

Pentax is diversified in Asia as to manufacturing, with R & D partners and horizontal suppliers, and conservative as to cooperative sales marketing, but, the risk of this trade off is that dealers can eliminate their line from dealer shelves without more cooperative marketing at the retail level. Look for the new upgradings to have a new bell and whistle or two to hook in the DSLR users. Full frame quality with a lesser entry price, without full frame. Original LX owners are in the right age demographic group for such Pentax advanced user innovations. Is all this worth waiting for as potential buyers own personal solvency becomes shakey?

It is more likely Samsung would use the K20D body next year for a full frame entry, with a different lens supplier than Pentax, and diversify from Pentax in the far future. Pentax would still then have their wholesale supplier business regarding aspects of such a body.

Pentax DAs are here to stay. There have been some in lens motor failures on some of the DA stars requiring Pentax to go the extra mile to extend its warranty for the sake of its reputation of reliability. Most recently they are upgrading the in lens motor designs because of these anomalies.--Jay



4. From : Jay (jaych.1@juno.com)
Url : http://
Date : 05:05 AM Wednesday 25 February, 2009

Anton, How did your rebuilt lens test out?


5. From : Jay (jaych.1@juno.com)
Url : http://
Date : 06:15 AM Tuesday 17 February, 2009

So, All said below, what were the joint claims in March of last year when the Samsung/Pentax sensor came out? Find them below. Do these still hold?

"This CMOS image sensor has finally been developed after two years of effort, from 2006. It has the advantages of using a battery for extended time of use, with low power consumption and noise reduction at high sensitivity. Moreover, the CMOS image sensor can express clear images with high definition and excellent reliability in color by improving the amount of light received per unit area through the refinement of the circuit process. Even though Samsung encountered many obstacles when designing the CMOS, we overcame those and improved its efficiency. Samsung will show the world its technologies once again by having technologies and equipment that enable the production of the CMOS with the highest number of pixels in any camera of its kind.

The GX-20 can support a high sensitivity ISO 3200 and produce optimal image quality under any circumstances through the equipped upgraded image correction technologies, such as the HDR (High Dynamic Range) function for broader expressions, by expanding the expression range of bright and dark areas. This product also provides professionals with an X sync for connection with an external flash, a one-touch RAW & JPEG conversion button and high class RAW format conversion software. Moreover, as per the customers’ requests for a large LCD, the GX-20 is equipped with a high quality, 6.86cm (2.7 inch) LCD, and shot images can be checked with more clarity and brightness. A live-view function also provides the convenience of being able to shoot subjects by directly looking at the LCD screen rather than through the viewfinder".

Yes, these claims still hold because the sensor and processing engine reveal better image quality than some now higher pixeled CMOS sensors released since the above information came out.


6. From : Jay (jaych.1@juno.com)
Url : http://
Date : 09:28 AM Friday 13 February, 2009

I mentioned in another post here a likely spring announcement of the latest Pentax/Samsung DSLR developments. [MIDMARCH UPDATE; THERE WILL BE NO SUCH ANNOUNCEMENT UNTIL Summer OR FALL 2009.] If one wishes to discern what likely will come to pass, look at the Samsung CMOS wafer pixel patents and factory releases. Samsung was in the business a very long time as to developing 3MP sensors upwards for cell phone cameras. When Pentax turned to the Korean giant, it did so to break the Sony/Canon hold on these kinds of sensors development. It is the microlens to pixel wafer manufacturing technology which Samsung now holds patents on which even Canon and Sony could not better in their latest DSLR cameras.

As long as a year ago the rumor mill mentioned Samsung working on a full frame 35mm sensor, which seems easy enough for Samsung, where it would simply expand the format frame of the existing 14.6 CMOS APS-C sized sensor wafer and its micro lens technology to the full 35mm size by using the same microdesign and expanding its area of coverage. This area of coverage would then expand the 14.6 MP to around 22MP, and with the image gathering ability of this existing sensor at the top of the charts as to IQ due to its patented microlightgathering structure.

This would also grant opportunity to incorporate a new imaging engine in the camera, with different image compression alogorhythms, and achieve the long desired 5 or 6 FPS rate. It would likely also bring on board new consumers of such a DSLR, with a motion liveview HD capacity, an HDMI to HD screen output, which would allow full format coverage of existing Pentax film camera holdout lens arsenal holders. With rare exception, Pentax primes were exceptional, and zooms, with such exception, average. So FA zoom development with hypersonic in lens motors and new marketing as a result could make Pentax DSLRs profitable by picking up the old advanced users guard,still using gear which held up until film camera manufacturing stopped in 2003.

So, do some goolgling to search on the Samsung sensor developments and you will know another camera is inevitable, and with a few leaps ahead up the sleeves of the built for the long run system involved. --Jay


7. From : Jay (jaych.1@juno.com)
Url : http://
Date : 08:20 AM Friday 13 February, 2009

Digital SLR additions thoughts for your LX system advocacy considerations. The K20D outresolves 35mm film emulsions for its APS-C sensor size. In other words, cut out that sized section of a Velvia 35mm frame, or whatever, and the 14.6 MP CMOS sensor will give greater useable color, impact, and detail. And, if using DA lenses, as achieved with lesser weight in the field. The pancake lenses Pentax offers from UWA to portrait lens uses can further reduce the weight and size of a fieldable shooting system....

As most image printing and editing goes through a PC or Mac in dealing with final result image quality--even in the instance of a film to digital file scan--one will want to consider the advantages of the K20D. SD cards used for image storage on the K20D offer other advantages, e.g. there is a wireless transmitter SD card available, with a transmitter and image storage built in, and as put in the DSLR storage slot as a very small package. This is easily wirelessly networked for downloading into a PC, Mac or other Laptop imaging control for download application in the field. How quickly then one could attach such an image to an outgoing e-mail for newsgathering, or GIS field application originations and applications, along with location images. SD card memory sizes are on the increase, as competition too brings down prices. And, the card is how one can transfer Pentax firmware, and imaging software updates from the internet from a PC or Mac to a camera, without hardwiring for such; or consider adding a PC OS MS Vista 32 bit inherent photo editor for Pentax cameras download images interface with this OS built in image storage and editing programs(the latter OS add on being a special free download offer at PentaxImaging, to interface Pentax cameras imagry outputs with the Vista OS).

SD cards are now made up to 32GB! Expensive, for sure, but just a couple of years ago so were 4 and 8 GB SD cards (I just purchased an on sale 8GB SD HC Sandisk card for US$19.99 at my local chain office supply store here in Colorado, USA. Watch the newspapers for such sales, for, there is competition between all these kinds of stores to hook one into coming in to view all the products at hand.). A HS SD 4GB HC SD card was on sale for 12.99 USD! So, there are good opportunities for gear and supplies investments even in the present careful economic climate. Considering that a 4 or 8 GB SD card can load up to 100Xs the images on a 35mm film cartridge, such "cheap media", i.e. cheaper than film, seems a no brainer. And these cards are erasible after images are stored elsehere in the data workflow, for what are now 5 year and lifetime manufacturer warranties on their imaging lifespans! Find them interchangable too for location GIS field handhelds, to carry maps into the field (here you can use your old less than 1GB cards and still carry megamaps).

Pentax Japan, and USA (Pentax imaging) maintain software and firmware downloads, free camera, lens, and accessory and software manual downloads, with version updates for Pentax SLRs, DSLRs, and on-line product demo videos of the newest products at these sites. There is a useful one at www.pentaximaging.com on the FG flash units applications when and where placed on KD SLRs. This demo covers not only automatic PTTL applications, but manual settings uses, and syncronization choices as well. Because resulting images are shown, it increases one's understanding of how such may be applied in different situations.

The on-line Pentax Imaging USA store is an eye-opener. A simple single lens case is over USD 60.00, so buying such elsewhere in a nonOEM badged case for USD 6.00 to 14.00 is an obvious move toward thrift. Check eBay for lens cases and camera cases as well. I bought the latest LowePro Nova 5 case, preowned without any visually discernable use for USD 10.00, and lesser Novas for about the same over the past few years. Avoid unknown cases, and cases without a top seal zipper, as the zipper helps keep dust and weather out, and offers greater security.

A few years ago Chinese copies/knock offs of Bogan and Manfroto tripods and heads were coming out as fast as cereal boxes. Now there are many original Chinese tripod brands incorporating original designs which are novel, unique, and most beneficial in applications, ranging from inexpensive to more than the EU designs. Watching the Hong Kong online stores, one can also find such useful items as Japanese made filters, add on lens tripod rings, overplaced dedicated to digital camera model LCD screen protection film, and many other useful gadgets as well. Even with shipping, these can be half of the so-called advanced nations' in store prices.

One of the most useful items I found was a manually switched 4 computer cable devices input output box: where, one monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. can be used for up to four input computers at a workstation or desk (as can be switched between such units and have a smaller operating accesssory footprint on a workspace). A USB small soundcard--about the size of a flash memory USB unit--can help where a PC, Mac, or laptop has inherent problems with its own audio setup and output. This costs less than 8 USD, and can help an old PC or laptop gain new application uses. Here in the USA a company recently came out with a product to plug into a USB port into which a home telephone system can be plugged, which carries telephone to all area codes on the continent, and has a dedicated home system number: initially for USD 40.00 for a dedicated line for one year, with USD 20.00 for a line/number for each year thereafter! It uses over the net packet technology for sending and receiving calls from any other phone in the nation! Since WMA and MP3s showed that a broad sampling of true fidelity is not needed to reproduce music for the IPod and its emmulators, this phone over the net idea was inevitable.

In gear for the field, windproof fleecewear shells and coats have cut down on the bulk of layering up to be outdoors while photographing, as have newer shells with waterproof/breathable sublayers in the fabric's actual structure. What have readers here found most useful from emerging technology, as well as good old reliable LX system applications? --Jay

RAW and 12 or 14 bit color depth is in question in the latest DSLRs. The newest claim is that 14 bit color channels (there are three in a digital camera and image encyption file) will offer "greater color shade gradiation," but, beware, often with more noise and softness, as there is a trade-off between contrast, sharpness, artifacts, image adjustments in camera, and in imaging processing choices: where the latest 14 bit color depth DSLRs may compress digital files to a greater extent for read/write purposes and quick data encryption and storage, as for 5 or 6 FPS necessity. The K20D's sensor, and 12 bit per channel PRIME image processor is known to offer greater image detail and sharpness capacity--and finer control of luminance and chromanance--than the Canon D50 and Sony 900 cameras, why? Likely because of its 12 bit per channel color depth. This reveals that many tradeoffs exist in achieving image quality, where the K20D sensor and imaging engine output is exceptional.

Image quality of the K20D is excellent, at the top of the charts, for sure. And digital workflow achieves a faster and cleaner result than film transfers and related image processing.


8. From : AB ()
Url :
Date : 10:17 AM Sunday 15 February, 2009

Happy New Year to all.

Earlier this year I decided to give my LX's and lenses a test and inspection. I was examining my (user) SMC Pentax-A* 135 1.8 when I noticed what appeared to be the beginnings of fungus around the edge of an internal element. I had to hold the lens at an acute angle to see it but it was there. I immediately went and checked all my other lenses again as I feared I may be at fault through poor storage even though I couldn't see how. Eventually I was certain that this was the only lens affected and as I bought it second-hand I assumed it may have been poor storage by previous owner/s or just one of those things. What to do about it?

As the lens is rare and well regarded (and I really like it) I decided to take the risk of having it cleaned - The fungus was outside the film area and may of taken years to encroach but as I have a spare mint example I thought I'd take the risk on this 'user' - it's not tatty but has some light marking on the barrel and was optically perfect until I noticed this. I use the lens a lot.

After some research and telephone enquiries I decided to entrust the lens to Asahi Photo Ltd, Middlesex UK. They said they could clean the fungus and service the lens for a reasonable £60 or so. They told me that if the fungus had etched the coatings, I would have to live with it. I sent the lens off.

Having not heard from them for a while, I rang and was told that they had the lens but they couldn't clean the fungus because the elements were fused (the correct term is cemented!) they also said there was a lot of dust behind the front element and the lens must have suffered a knock in the post. My heart sank. I had packed the lens very carefully and sent it by Special Delivery (the UK's fully insured premium delivery service) there's no way the lens could have been damaged without it being obvious from the packaging in which case they should have issued a claim on delivery. I started to lose trust in Asahi Photo. They returned the lens to me.

I examined my lens on return and indeed there was dust behind the front element and also a chip right at the edge of the element underneath the retaining ring. I assume that Asahi started to disassemble the lens, chipping the front element in the process. Got to the affected elements and realised that they were cemented and that they couldn't clean them, reassembled the lens (leaving dust inside) and tried to blame it on a knock in the post.

As you can imagine I was very disappointed and was wishing I'd left the lens alone. I also wish Asahi had been honest, I knew there would be risks in opening up an almost 30 year old lens and more harm than good might be done, if they’d been straight with me I would have accepted it. What to do now?

I remembered an article in Amateur Photographer magazine where they recommended Optical Instruments (Balham) for re-silvering the mirror in a 'cat' lens, the company also does optical work for the military. I looked the company up and found they had moved to Croydon, the town I live in, what could be better! I rang Optical Instruments and explained the above and they told me to post the lens to them. As they were in Croydon, I decided to take the lens in person. They examined it and said they could service it including re-coating if needed. No fee was mentioned but they seemed like older English gentlemen and I felt sure they would be fair. Also, I'd come this far with the lens and I was prepared to spend a bit if it could be fixed. I left the lens with them.

After the predicted two weeks had passed I rang them but they were on their summer break. A week later I rang again, the person I spoke to told me that one of the older craftsmen had sadly died. Obviously I expressed my sympathy, backed off and gave them space for grieving and re-organisation. After a suitable period I contacted them again (by now I was starting to think that the lens was a goner!). I spoke to a gentleman who told me that the lens elements were 'in soak'. It wasn't fungus at all but element separation, the cement between the elements was starting to break down and they were soaking the elements to separate them so they could clean them and re-cement them. The soak couldn't be rushed and might take two weeks. After that they would chemically clean all elements and metal parts, lubricate, collimnate (accurately centre the elements using specialist equipment, something to do with Newton’s Rings - apparently this is most important), reassemble and test. I was now hopeful, my only fear was how much this would cost but I figured every one of these lenses that was allowed to die would mean one less on the planet and by now I was past the point of no return!

A month passed and I rang again to be told the lens was ready for collection. I turned up, chequebook in hand and inspected the lens. It was crystal clear, everything worked smoothly and there was no sign of the separation, I was relieved. I was even more relieved when they requested an extremely reasonable £80 for the work.

I have taken some test shots with the lens and will soon have the results; I'll keep you posted.

In conclusion, it seems that what was becoming a disaster has turned out a glowing success, thanks to finding the right experts. I hope these guys long continue their specialist work. This sort of thing is probably not worth it on a 50mm f2 but for any rare or special lens I would encourage folk to keep them alive. I have every reason to believe my 135 will continue to provide many years of top quality service.

AB


9. From : Jay (jaych.1@juno.com)
Url : http://
Date : 01:47 PM Monday 09 February, 2009

Trends in the LX marketplace. Yes, one must qualify subjective condition ratings; the winder has dropped to less than $60 in excellent condition; watch viewfinder flashshoe failure due to corrosion inside the pentaprism; shutter parts are no longer made; there are rumors of a Chinese remanufacturer for LX 2000 bodies from other bodies; mint bodies are rising in price; suggested is that you stick clear plastic over a bottom plate in good shape; the meter's still go strong after 200,000 shots; M series lenses are true bargans because of little adaptability to D series cameras with at least basic information in the viewfinder; certain well known wildlife photographers having used the system for tripped/caught wildlife blind photography are converting to the new Nikon and Canon D systems due to an increased reliable quick shutter release; the fastest lenses still hold original value for a season, etc. Look for the announcement of the next Pentax D series advanced user camera late summer.


10. From : Pat (nojunkemail@virgin.net)
Url : http://
Date : 04:23 AM Friday 30 January, 2009

I haven't visited this site for a long time, but thought this might be useful to UK users.

Current edition of Amateur Photographer 31st Jan.'09 lists a "mint" LX for sale in the private classified section.

If this has caught anyone's attention - forget it!

A phone call revealed that the seller is only 15 miles from me and so I was quick to make a good (verbally accepted) offer for this, “mint, original owner from new”, body - even with a sticky shutter.

Went to pay and collect today - what a big disappointment!
Body was no better than a 30 year old well used taxi -marked/scratched body work, peeling leather, brass showing, very dirty, etc.. Not even a 5/10 judged against my 8/10 and previous 7/10 bodies. Case was also well worn; instruction book was a 9/10.

Why do people describe junk as mint?


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