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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 : Ian (
Url :
Date : 10:10 AM Thursday 30 June, 2005

Phil. Please forgive me for stating the obvious here. Your quote "...but running a test without a film in shows the problem remains". The LX will massively extend its shutter speed in auto with no film loaded when compared to the suggested viewfinder speed. This is due to OTF metering, and does not indicate a fault (merely no film loaded) and although bizarre, is a correct response from the camera. Also worth remembering is that when a speed of say 1/60sec is indicated, when in auto this can mean anywhere between 1/31 to 1/60. Or more noticeably, 1/2sec can mean 0.99/sec (but not 1.0sec, as that would show as 1sec). You get the idea. This is pending my memory serving me correctly. I'm pointing this out as I once freaked out over a similar issue whilst testing one of my bodies (much to my embarrassment). The acid test, is the results from a roll of film shot where you alternate Auto/Manual settings in a reasonably controlled environment (make notes). If the above is true, you can relax. BTW, does anyone have a fully functional Polaroid SX-70 (pref Alpha 1) they want to sell? - Ian.

2. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 08:08 AM Thursday 30 June, 2005

Phil, Try Try, what is suggested for residual build-up, Before You Buy, Buy. Slightly different circuitry is used for auto on the LX than for manual settings. So, when doing the meter and battery comparment lead touch thing, make certain it is set to auto on the shutter speed dial. Another routine is to do it again after moving the ASA dial from low to high settings over and over, as well as moving the exposure compensation dial back and forth several times, between the X settings plus and minus.--Jay PS If you read ads carefully on e-bay there are many sold with price back guarantees or warrantees. Such offer some peace of mind, for sure.

3. From : Philip Ashman (
Url : http://
Date : 01:35 AM Thursday 30 June, 2005

Thanks guys for the advice. At first I did think it may have been the conditions (hot, humid, thunder etc..) but have tested it today in my house in pleasnt cool conditions and the problem persists, most notably at slow speeds, although it is not easy to determine how fast it fires (by ear) at fast speeds and only a film through would help..However, it also now, I find, is firing off at a fast shutter speed when the meter indicates say 1/15th or 1/8th sec (I can tell easily) as well as sometimes 'hanging' for several seconds. Most odd and it seems to be intermittent and follow no real pattern. I am concious of the possibility of repairs being too costly, or it being beyond repair and will, as suggested, speak to any good repairer I find before sending. As it seems to work OK on all manual settings my feeling is that it is an electrical fault, or connection fault from meter to shutter, as oppose to a sticky mirror etc.., especially as the camera is never left long without use. I would never buy a camera without first checking it, but I am beginning to wonder if maybe the time has come to consider going digital and keeping the LX purely for occassional use, manually, with meter readings from my hand held meter instead of using auto. A lot to think about. Thanks again. Phil

4. From : AB (
Url : http://
Date : 01:19 AM Thursday 30 June, 2005

Hi Phil, sorry to hear about your LX. Try here: But speak to Robin first, some LX faults are impossible to repair. Also be wary of buying another without the ability to thoroughly test all functions over a period as you may be out of the frying pan and into the fire - this pretty much rules out eBay. AB

5. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 12:31 AM Thursday 30 June, 2005

Phil, Hard to say what is happening without a look to see. It may or may not be a negative development. You indicated change while photographing in a lightning storm. Zaps of changing light may affect, or sticky mirror rubber bumpers, or the way that the meter still functions on mirror up when shooting, or the variable resistor under the ISO/ASA dial, or the shutter itself, which can develop intermitant syndrome (which some here have claimed harasses their LXs). The first thing to try (and i do not know why I have not mentioned it here prior), if you have a voltohm meter, is to remove batteries altogether, put the meter on DC, in a range for first try up to 6 volts, then second try to 9 volts, while touching the two leads in the camera through the battery comparment (plus and minus DC voltage). If you get any meter indication or swing, on lead touch, know that residual voltage build up can occur on certain electrical components, including a shutter coil, where so. This will account for changes between metering reads and shutter performance, where so.

Even environmental static electricty can contribute to residual voltage build up within a metal bodied camera's electrical and electronic components, as there is no system ground to channel this current so to speak. I discovered this some years ago when using Nikon and Oly camera systems. I hope this solves some intermitant camera irrationality for many, now that I think to post the cure. I do this about once monthly to metal bodied cameras. --Jay

PS as for repairs in Britian, use the word search feature here, as many have already suggested such here in past contributions.

6. From : Philip Ashman (
Url : http://
Date : 03:13 PM Wednesday 29 June, 2005

Alas, my trusty LX appears to have developed a fault with the meter/shutter speeds on auto? What is happening is that the shutter is not firing at the indicated meter speeds I am getting in the viewfinder, especially at slower speeds. E.G.,the meter indicates a shutter speed of 1/2 sec or 1 sec and yet the shutter remains open for several seconds. It has only just started to happen and so I cannot say if faster speeds have been affected till I get back a roll of provia I finished shooting last night of a sunset/thunderstorm. It was as the light fell and speeds slowed to 1/4 or less that I noticed. I changed the batteries for new this morning, but running a test without a film in shows the problem remains. The shutter speeds on manual appear not to be affected and a test against my hand held light meter seems to verify that the meter reading in the viewfinder is OK, just not being matched by the shutter when firing on auto? I am aware of the sticky mirror syndrome, but not sure if this is what is happening, or if it is some other fault. I would be grateful for any advice and also where in the UK would be the best place to have a service/repair done and the likely cost. I only have the one LX body and whilst I naturally would like to have it repaired, I am concerned at the likely cost and effectiveness of a repair measured against simply buying a new 2nd hand LX body from a reputable used dealer and keeping this one for use on manual shutter speeds using my hand held light meter. Philip

7. From : Philip Ashman (
Url : http://
Date : 03:16 AM Saturday 25 June, 2005

Thanks Ian and Jay. Most informative and helpful. As cost is a serious consideration and indeed I could probably not make any real use of the extra features of the 5400 over the Dual 1V, then I think I will plan to upgrade to the latter and enjoy the improved image quality available that should easily suffice for my needs. Just out of interest, should you not be aware, there are currently five used LX bodies for sale, plus other items and lenses, on the website of Ffordes Photographic in Inverness-shire, Scotland. Not sure myself how they relate to value for the 2nd hand LX, but if interested this is the link.

Thanks again Philip

8. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 11:53 PM Friday 24 June, 2005

Tony (Globetrotter) has been in the great outdoor field since May, it will be interesting to see how it went/is going, when he is able to tap back into this and the F5 forums. Is there a setting in which he longed again for the LX in his hands? His report should say why, when, and where--in the stead of the looming F5. I suspect it is not just for the very sensitive low light meter on the LX, but, too, as to the system size and optics of color fidelity once owned. --Jay

9. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 11:03 AM Friday 24 June, 2005

Selected to scan at the same dot pitch (pixels per CM rating) you will not see any noticable difference between the two scanners of mention. 4.8 would actually be a greater depth than that found of any film in itself. What becomes apparent in their use is the need for a quality image manipulation software program, which facilitates the prescribed and desired efficacy of outcome. I would not advocate the Dimage IV at all if it was not a great improvement over the III, as it is. It is better than anything Canon, Oly, Polaroid, mustek, acer, microtek and the like currently offer--as to results (Nikon excluded).

Ian brings up an interesting dilemma: how to achieve even greater precision with cost vs. quality. Drum scanners, multipliers (pixel and other information addcomposers), various plug-ins to Photoshop and Corel offer tweaks, perhaps improvements. But, as most magazines publish only at 300 dpi, and most inkjet gallery prints are only up to 600 dpi, (and are often only 250-400 dpi) what is really gained? What is asked for and really needed?I would attempt to sell my old scanner for USD 150 or so on various users forums, such as founded by various local groups (Pentax users group, Canon users group, Minolta, Nikon, Leica, graphic designer clubs, etc.). I do not believe you raised software transfer legal issues, which, as Ian pointed out, are mute. What is important is what you wish to achieve and how to do so. Upgrading with the units mentioned will be noticeable. Splitting hairs is not inclusive. --Jay

10. From : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 06:54 AM Friday 24 June, 2005

Phil, don't worry about the "copyright" (it's actually a licence) issue with the scanners software. When you buy software, either stand alone or as part of a bundle with a scanner or DSLR etc. You are purchasing a single user licence, not the actual software. When you sell it, your selling that same single user licence. You are not in breach of anything (unless specifically expressed in that particular licence agreement). However, it is normal that the warranties and guarantees are not passed to the next user (buyer), as it's a second-hand licence. No one has a problem with this. More of a problem is that some stores do not accept used scanners because it is too time consuming to check if they work properly (Jessops for example). Phone around.
The Dimage IV, while quoting a dynamic range of 4.8 is not. This (like most others) is a theoretical rating. The 5400 will give you better shadow detail. We have both the IV and the 5400 here and have used both extensively. However, the IV is extremely good value and is quite an impressive scanner. Buts it's not a 5400. In practise the 5400 delivers a dynamic range of around 4, which is phenomenally high, I'd guess the IV is around 3.6 to 3.8, still very high. You'd need a photo-multiplier to get higher, you won't get it from a CCD. In case your wondering, yep, photo-multiplier scanners are very, very expensive. I still say go for the 5400, but I'm sure you'd be impressed with the Dimage IV too. As usual, it's a money thing. Hope this is of some help. - Ian.

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