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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 : Andrew Birtwhistle (
Url : http://
Date : 03:54 PM Thursday 28 July, 2005

I have just read your interesting discussion about LX auto exposure. I guess that a film reflects quite a lot more light than the back plate, so without a film in, a much longer exposure is needed to reflect the same amount of light into the meter. I have a different problem: 8 of the slides I got back from processing yesterday were black, or nearly so. I noticed the short exposure problem before, particularly when using mirror lock-up, but not so many times. Sometimes I can hear that the shutter hasn't been open for as long as I expected. It doesn't seem to be random - I took a dozen shots or so over a couple of hours- three were perfect, then one slide was slightly under exposed then there were four near black ones together, taken over half an hour or so, then it went right again.

I too phoned Robin and discovered he was on holiday! Any ideas, friends? I may try new batteries - I don't know how long they last and have had these in since April (but I had one set of batteries in a K1000 for 6 years!)

I had better go over to manual until I find out what the problem is.


2. From : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 09:11 AM Thursday 28 July, 2005

As much as I totally love my Pentax M-series f/3.5 24-35 zoom, I am I guess looking to better it. What would you suggest in Pentax primes? I'm talking ultimate, not just good. And I have no problem with screw Takumars either. Suggestions please. - Ian.

3. From : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 08:49 AM Thursday 28 July, 2005

Goddammit! Philip even, not Anton. Sorry.

4. From : Ian (
Url :
Date : 08:42 AM Thursday 28 July, 2005

Anton, Globetrotter is of course totally correct. You absolutely must use film to test an LX in Automatic mode. The difference is around 2 to 3 stops. Not noticeable at 1/1000 sec, as that would give you 1/125. But at long exposures the difference is dramatic, and frankly, feels like your LX has gone bonkers (I remember the feeling well). In auto, the LX ONLY meters from the film plane, even if it's viewfinder readings are from the auxiliary mirror. So, when it sees the black film pressure plate it waits for the correct amount of light to hit the sensor before closing the shutter. This is way different from it's reaction to seeing a real sheet of film. Remember that unexposed film is a lot lighter in colour than processed film. Here's what to do. Load a roll, don't bother to advance to frame 1. Do your comparison, and to endlessly recheck, hit the clutch button and do endless multiple frame exposures (rewinding the same frame) until your satisfied. Then you never have to waste a roll of film. This works particularly well with the LX as it has the ability to keep frames in registration. Not just a nice touch, but part of the LX's original design. It indexes ("clicks") backwards, as well as forwards. Sheer class. Using the above, you may find to your pleasant surprise that in a tripod/controlled lighting environment, that the shutter timing is precisely the same as that suggested by the viewfinder. If you get stuck, give in and call me. - Ian.

Url :
Date : 06:07 PM Wednesday 27 July, 2005

Yes, you need to place a film inside the chamber to test the metering correctly.

6. From : Philip Ashman (
Url : http://
Date : 04:54 PM Wednesday 27 July, 2005

Hi again I have just got my LX back from Robin with the repairs I mentioned done. However, as you will recall my main concern was that on auto when the meter indicated a certain shutter speed, say 1/8th sec, the shutter was actually hanging open for several seconds, just as an example. Robin said that despite many tests he was unable to replicate this fault, but did carry out other minor repairs and gave it a full service. I eagerly tested it and lo and behold it is still doing it!! For example, the meter indicated 2 secs at f16 (indoors), which was correct as I tested with my hand held meter, but when I released the shutter it stayed open for about 15 secs! Speeds indicated of around 1/15 sec were actually giving me a shutter speed of about 2-3 secs. Once it indicated 4 secs at f22 and stayed open so long that in the end I had to point it at a bright light to get it to close? Is it me? Am I doing something wrong, or missing the point, as when I switch to manual speeds they all work perfectly? It was mentioned in an earlier posting that it may be because I am testing without a film in, but I cannot understand what difference that makes, as I have never noticed it in the past when testing. I will of course put a cheap film through to test it and if the worst comes to the worst, I will simply use manual speeds and not auto in future. I have sent Robin an email regarding this, but they are closed now till the 10th Aug.I would appreciate any further views on the subject from all the vast experience that you chaps have. Philip

7. From : AB (
Url : http://
Date : 04:23 PM Friday 22 July, 2005

Yes, I think Robin is becoming something of an LX expert as he advertises as poundapint on eBay. Doing so many of them means he is quick and knows most of the likely quirks he will encounter. He told me he receives a number that have been hacked about internally with bad soldering and seals missing etc. I think he refuses these 'custom' models as he can't spend hours on a camera for £86. What's great is that he will give an honest appraisal. Let's keep him in work, I think the digital revolution has bitten into his business significantly as the pros abandon their LX's 6X4.5s' & 6X7's and amateurs tend not to have their kit serviced regularly.


8. From : Philip Ashman (
Url : http://
Date : 01:12 AM Thursday 21 July, 2005

Just to let you know that Robin at Harrow Technical in the UK has now completed the repairs/service to my LX, which is ready to be returned. Despite numerous tests he has not in fact been able to find or replicate the fault I had experienced with the meter/shutter co-ordination on auto and suspects that maybe a touch of moisture had got in, as the seals were broken in 2 places indicating prior work done before I got the camera (2nd hand). He has, however, cleaned and reset the shutter release magnet, cleaned corrosion from underneath the ISO dial, replaced the foam for the mirror and attended to the mirror rubber to ensure no sticky mirror problems in the future. Also he noticed that one of the gold contacts for the flash on the front of the camera was missing, leaving a hole, and has attended to that, although it is not something I used, as I only use the hot shoe attachment myself. He has also done a thorough clean & service and re-sealed everywhere. I have been most impressed with the speed, efficiency and feedback received from him, checking with me at each stage of his findings and at an all in price of £86.50, I believe it's money well spent to hopefully ensure my LX lasts for many more years to come. It was clearly in need of a service in any event. Phil

9. From : Ian (
Url :
Date : 07:53 AM Tuesday 19 July, 2005

Regarding the Nikon F5, I agree with Jay's comments. However, since the LX is no longer available new, it is a 35mm body that some of us may find our self's considering as a replacement. If push comes to shove, I'd probably just look for an MZ-S (it's a glass thing). But lets assume for one minute we were pushed into an F5 scenario (christ! what else is there new(ish, forget the F6)!?). Could Globetrotter take the time-out to run a short review with this concept in mind, since essentially this was his scenario enacted for real? Just how does the F5 compare? - Ian.

10. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 01:19 PM Friday 15 July, 2005

AB,and all, I refered to HANDHOLDABLE 400S, i.e. the 5.6 Ms, As, FAs, Sigmas and Tokinas, not the 2.8 or f 4 400s. These are of a comparable aperture to the 600 5.6. Tony's shots show the advantages though of the 300 (with converter) and 600 for field use. Canon, not Nikon, seems to be sports photographers equipment of professional choice--especially for silent and fast autofocusing. That system size falls somewhere between Nikon and Pentax.

The MIR pages developed for the F5 shooters, with international cooperation of all contributors, seem to raise the bar on systems use by highlighted illustrated information. This is a film system, as is the LX (which could certainly benefit on site from optical illustrations and system use features as well, if developed). Such contributions keep the myth and reality alive of practical applications for high-end use of any film camera system.

I do not for a moment believe that a small format system needs to weigh in as heavy as the F5 or its related gear. Reliability and ergonomics seem high for that system indeed. This then raises its questions of applicability. The price for such an alliance too is quite high.

I would venture to offer that LX users not only are challenged to continue to tweak their gear to efficiency, and efficacy, but too, that in certain situations, applications, and user-friendly embrace the LX may offer more in its less modern configuration than a big F5. More? Not just in low light, but too with available prior owned optics, proven focal length reliability, inexpensive alternatives, hand fit, and as good, if not better, results.

The question lingers whether the working location and field film photographer needs the Hummer auto-armored approach (the f5), or the driver interactive SUV approach in the field (the LX). This seems a matter of personal preference for subjective as well as objective reasons. --Jay

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