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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 : Ronn (
Url : http://
Date : 10:19 AM Thursday 17 July, 2008

I have an old PZ1 camera with AF lenses.

Which new digital SLR's would have compatibility with my old lenses?

2. From : Dan (
Url : http://
Date : 04:04 AM Tuesday 01 July, 2008

Those are some great photos you added, Globetrotter!

I use my older M and A lenses on my Pentax *istD. I bought the *istD because it was affordable (used) and works with all my older TTL flash equipment.

I do not have an auto-focus lens for my *istD. However, I have a Canon at work and it only focusses correctly in optimum light, so I end up mostly manual with it as well. The Canon uses the flash to try and get focus in the dark but that rarely does the job. So manual is just fine by me for the Pentax.

Not too many of the M lenses work well with the *istD. They do not provide the contrast and sharpness that the APC sized imager requires. Thus, I have not used many of them. I attempted to try using the giant 135-600f6.3M, but unfortunately the tripod I had broke from the weight of the lens! Handholding the lens didn't work, for obvious reasons.

The exposures using the M lenses are not so good. You basically have to shoot manual and you have to take a reading before you make the shot. Not very practical. This is with the firmware upgrade.

The A lenses, however, have sometimes proven to be outstanding on the *istD! The 100f2.8A Macro is incredible. It is sharp and has wonderful contrast. The 24-35f2.8A is also quite sharp and the contrast matches the sensor nicely. The 70-210f4A actually looks better on the *istD than on my MESupers (however, I am actually comparing two different lenses so this might not be really true.) And the exposures after the v.1.2 firmware upgrade are somewhat accurate, although not as good as the LX.

One of the important reasons I chose the *istD is for its proper operation with the older TTL flash equipment. Most of the time the flash equipment works well with the *istD, but not always. Sometimes the exposure just won't take. The ring flash (CT200, I think) works very well and coupled with the 100f2.8A Macro it works at almost any f-stop.

I find the exposures are more accurate with all the older flash gear when the DSLR is set to manual exposure. Then I just dial in the f-stop, keeping the shutter on 1/30 or so. I try to combine as much ambient light in with the photograph as possible, using the flash for key lighting. I can't stand the harshness of flash photography when all the light comes from the flash.

As far as the operations of the *istD, I have found it to be superior to many other DSLRs I have worked with (mainly Kodak and Canon). The thing I really appreciate is the number of controls on the outside of the body. There are no functions buried in a menu. It is all at your finger tips. Very well designed.


3. From : Mike Wilde (M_WILDE1@SKY.COM)
Url : http://
Date : 05:55 AM Sunday 29 June, 2008

Great site, as a LX owner I would think that anyway, my favourite small carry anywhere combo is my LX couple with my 40mm 2.8 pancake lens.

keep up the good work Mike

Url :
Date : 08:31 PM Monday 02 June, 2008

Hi again all!

It's nice to know that your'e all still here...Lol!

Although I've ben helping out with the Nikon F5 Message Board I still regularly surf over to view the LX board Messages, even using my LG Mobile touch-phone WAP browser when in the jungle!

I've just got back from a 3-month expedition to Africa. I was mainly out there filming a new movie, but of course took the still camera systems with me as well.

If you'd like to view some of the images go to my Gallery pages at:

Or you can also see pics on myspace at:

The main site at and the myspace websites have a lot of images on the pages, so they will take a long time to load unless you have fast broadband.

I can se that far fewer photographers are keeping thier Pentax LX and have now moved forward to the latest Pentax DSLRs. The very latest K20D does look a very nice option...although still not quite in the build-quality league as the old Pentax LX.

Me? Well, I did eventually sell my three remaining Pentax LX bodies and bag of lenses (and shedding a few tears), but two Nikon F5 bodies still remain as my main stills camera system, plus a full system of lenses and other Pro Canon video gear.

I was asked by Jay if I had moved onto the latest full-frame Nikon D3, and although tempted, I decided in the end to stick to the F5 and good old and favourite Fuji Velvia films. A new updated 24 MP Nikon D3x will also be released soon by Nikon, so that's something to look forward to (except for the price!) - and it looks like Canon will be updating the EOS 5 to a 16MP model.

Do any of you still use the old Pentax lenses on your Pentax DSLR bodies? I do miss my old A* lenses! However, I still also use a lot of ED-IF MF Nikkors along with the AF lenses, so MF still pays an important part in my photography.

5. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 10:09 AM Sunday 25 May, 2008

Low light sensitivity is not the claim to fame of the K10D; it is indeed slow to respond based on its processing of exposure data in such very low light situations. This is true of most DSLR CCD type sensors, and is a place where CMOS sensors, as on the K20D generally score better. Most DSLR low light and normal light TTL metering happens prior to exposure. A shutter opening response too, of course, depends on reading light at the selected ISO, and available light in a scene, where scaling the ISO up to 400 or beyond brings a much faster shutter response time (after DSLR Preexposure TTL metering). Also, having a lens set to its widest aperture value helps shorten the PTTL time involved prior to the camera opening the shutter--where f2.8, for example, is larger and lets much more light onto the sensor at a given shutter speed than what seems to be larger value, of say, f16. This is because the 2.8 is actually 1/2.8th the (aperture) diaphragm opening width value of the lens total focal length. The f16 is actually 1/16th the like value of the focal length. Clearly 1/2.8 lets more light through "faster" than a 1/16 f stop opening. f stops represent fractions of the total focal length of a lens as set for a given picture (set perpendicularly to the given focal length, in other words set sideways to the total focal length as to achieving a related theoretical diaphragm opening).

When all the above is resolved for a shot for the lowest light needs, then read your DSLR manual on low light exposures. Unlike the digital SLR, the Pentax LX film camera reads exposure during, not before, the taking of the picture; so it immediately starts the clicking or shutter opening process right away, as with a few film cameras which read light values coming to the film plane during actual shutter opening during low light exposures. This is certainly one area where such film cameras, at a given low ISO, can outperform a digital camera in response time in long low light exposures.

If you read the reviews, very few DSLRs are low light kings, without upping the ISO value for such subjects, or without offering true during actual in camera exposure light reading. Even then, a problem of DSLRs is that digital noise in renders increases as ISO values increase.

The K20D is very good on handling noise from ISO 100-400, not great at ISO 800, being better at ISO 1600 and 3200. Why is 800 more noisy than 1600? Each sensor and in camera processor of each and every DSLR will have its strengths and weaknesses at certain ISO ratings as preprogrammed for in camera compensation when dealing with available light photography. Actually the K20D does slightly better with full range exposure and color renders at ISO 200 than 100, because the CMOS sensor is base rated for best and proper exposure at ISO 200 from the getgo. This is similar to a film ISO rating as being a base exposure value for optimal results with a given film emulsion. The film always wants to have its ISO light value coming through to its emulsion to achieve an optimal exposure, hence, one varies the shutter opening time and/or the f stop to always achieve such an exposure in reference to its given ISO (as so metered) light value.

All sensors have such a base rating, where going up or down from it changes optimal results. Bigger sensors compensate better for in-camera electronics changing their base ISO optimal exposure rating to achieve higher ISOs than smaller sensors. This is why a 10MP DSLR will get better results than a 10MP point and shoot. There is more light gathering ability with the larger of the two sensors involved.

The K20D does better than most bodies now and prior in the marketplace on the exposure, luminence, and chromanence balancing acts in changing base ISO up or down for lighting scene capture requirements as light changes. Also, because the K20D scaled down its basic in camera renders encoding data bit processing to 14 or 12,per channel, depending on imaging encoding type (from the K10D's 22 bit unusual standard) exposure snap and saturation has improved a great deal over the K10D. The K10d'S 22bit processing was scaled down for the emerging industry image processing software standards. The 22 bit render spread was not snappy and proved dull. The emerging Adobe RAW standard becoming industry-wide has had something to do with such in camera image processing data path control processor design establishments. So, if I were buying a 10MP camera today, it would be a K200D for this and other reasons.

What I want to know is why the K20D can achieve an almost motion picture camera shutter rate of 21fps for 1.6MP low res JPEG encoding rendering, but has not yet offered say a 5 or 6 fps render for 3 or 6 MP encoded renders? I am hoping that a firmware update addresses this possiblity, along with offering other features through camera user programming opportunities for the K20D live view feature(after such a firmware update then grants a histogram and other information on the screen presently lacking with liveview). Early reviews of the K20D stated that there were mechanical restrictions which limited the 14.6MP high quality output to 3fps on the K20D; Even so, do the math, why not a 5 to 6 fps possibility with medium JPEG quality? It is early in the release and initial impact stage of the K20D, now already acclaimed for IQ (image quality). It is not too late to change the firmware to accomlish what is suggested above. Such upgrades, without buying yet another future KDSLR with such features, would really support the advanced users of Pentax DSLRs with a head's up acknowledgement from Pentax.--Jay - Jay

6. From : W.A. McCormick (
Url : http://
Date : 10:34 AM Wednesday 14 May, 2008

I recently bought a Pentax K10D. I have been unable to get it to click the shutter when I push the button on manual mode in low light. It takes a long delay of unpredictable length before it clicks. I thought the idea of "manual mode" was to shoot what I clicked and let me worry about the results. I admit this thing has more buttons and dials on it than anything else I have played with, so, am I missing something?

W.A. McCormick

7. From : Mico (
Url : http://
Date : 05:33 AM Wednesday 20 February, 2008

Still alive, shooting a lot (with Canons), but my 40D and 20D have Pentax LX neck straps - and it will stay like that as long as they can take it.
Regards to all, Mico

8. From : AB (
Url : http://
Date : 09:29 AM Tuesday 29 January, 2008

Hello Jay and others.

Just to let you know I'm still about, still using and enjoying my LX's. I read the posts with interest (though nothing tempts me away from my favourite films and the LX. A full-frame DSLR might stir me but I'm actually very happy with what I have - so long as it continues to work (mostly) reliably. Film photography is getting expensive compared to digital but that just makes me see and think more before pressing the shutter.

Any news of Globetrotter and Mico?

All the best

9. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 01:34 AM Friday 25 January, 2008

Also released is the K200D with weather seals, anti-shake, dust removal, etc. and a 10.2MP sensor. This replaces, as predicted here, the former 6MP KDSLR entry level bodies. 6 lenses, three of which are professional grade fixed focal lengths, are also in the new added lens arsenal. Pentax is neck and neck with these releases with other leading manufacturers features, and, perhaps now with the K20D, ahead of many. After some years of rather conservative choices and market positioning, the new HoyaPentax group is here to stay and to innovate. This great news is nothing but the best kind of news for patient Pentax system advanced users enthusiasts; though, if coming a year or two earlier, fewer would have jumped ship to other manufacturers. But Pentax must be applauded, they survived the shake out years, where so many preknown names and long standing manufacturers suffered bankruptcy. For Pentax it meant that their board was most careful and savvy in keeping afloat a small company invested in long term quality optical business plan survival strategies. While others were dying in the changing marketplace, their board was carefully bolstering its assets, restructuring plant futures, and investor strategies. Although some were moaning here on the lack of forthcoming professional equipment during those years, yet, Pentax is still around to now so offer the quality desired of advanced users and Pentax enthusiasts. This is no mean feat! Congratualtions HoyaPentaxSamsung. You stuck together and overcame the pressures of postmodern marketing and electronics-optical design challenges. Not bad birthday gifts for yours truly. --Jay

10. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 12:44 AM Friday 25 January, 2008

To now see the K20D, with a SAMSUNG manufactured sensor, of 14.6MP, go to:

There is reason too to believe that another new release will signify the bond after the end of March between Hoya and Pentax (or is it HoyaPentaxSamsung ?). Finally a small camera system at a reasonable price which matches my now old 14MP Kodak back for the Mamiya 6/4.5CM of yesteryear. This will be very useful for what I do with imagery and exploration, employing all the lenses acquired over the years. --Jay

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