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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 : 08:07 PM Thursday 21 October, 2004

FFollowing Kodak's announcement in January to halt production of film cameras it is cutting jobs at manufacturing sites in France, the UK and Australia resulting in the loss of nearly 1500 jobs. Around 600 people are expected to lose their jobs in both the UK and Australia. The decline of film will see the closure of a facility in Harrow, UK that sensitizes film for the graphics industry, a plant in Nottingham, UK, which primarily produces consumer film and a factory in Melbourne, Australia. Job losses in France will amount to around 270 following the closure of a site in Chalon, France which produces films and photographic paper. It also plans to restructure its sites in both countries which will reduce the company's square footage by one third. - From Digital Photography Review post, Oct 6, 2004 -

2. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 07:37 PM Thursday 21 October, 2004

I will be gone for a couple of weeks, a good time for Tony to be back, and Mico is shifting from Europe back to No. America soon. Check out the new Pentax USA website, it takes some getting used to, but the search feature can take one most anywhere one used to go. It shows the diversity of US distribution of Products for the company: no longer just a photo/binocular website. Literature is kind of hidden, but still is all there for free, manuals included. --Jay

3. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 07:25 PM Thursday 21 October, 2004

Tony, Also, to my knowledge, the Pentax 6 X 4.5 system does not have interchangeable backs, and, therefore, will not take a digital back. But I am not up on this brand in this format. I used to have Pentax 6 X 7 some years ago, and the quality was good, but the flash sync and handling was poor. --Jay

4. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 07:05 PM Thursday 21 October, 2004

Tony, The filters were interchangeable with the LX glass, so long ago I went with Mamiya 6X4.5. I am not the one to answer your questions on Pentax 6 X 4.5. I can tell you that Mamiya makes great MF glass, but that their helicals are overlubed and sometimes lenses have to be sent off to be cleaned internally. I do not have AF in this format, nor do I have any use for it whatsoever. --Jay

Url :
Date : 06:45 PM Thursday 21 October, 2004

I've just returned from a short trip to Holland & Belgium, so have needed to catch up on the interesting debates...

Regarding the Sigma EXDG wide angle lenses - 20mm 1.8, 24mm 1.8 and 28mm 1.8. All three are superb, with knife-edge sharpness when stopped down to medium apertures. Quite well made, but all flare badly when pointed towards a light source, so use that hood in bright sunshine. The extremely wide rim that takes 77mm filters keeps it free from vignetting when a polarizer filter is used. The close-focussing of all three lenses are a boon, and I actually use the 24mm quite a lot for ultra-close subjects such as photographing fungi at ground level; plus, that amazing large aperture helps a lot when manual focussing in dark woods due to it always letting plenty of light into the viewfinder.

All three are a good match in the sharpness and colour stakes against such great lenses as the Pentax A* 20mm f2.8 or FA* 24mm IF f/2 lenses, but the Pentax lenses are better built, and if asked which one I prefer, it would have to be my old favourite: the Pentax FA 24mm f/2.

I always carry a Sigma 24mm f/1.8 in my camera bag (for a variety of subjects, including landscapes), and my partner also uses the Sigma 28mm f/1.8, mainly for low-level fungi shots.
I once had the 20mm lens (including the Nikkor 2.8 AF version) but later sold it because I found that I used the 24mm in most similar situations.

On the subject of 6X7 and 645, I once spent several months debating whether to swap from 35mm to these larger formats. I almost went for the Pentax 645, especially for my landscape photography, but in the end, with the quality produced from 35mm film such as Velvia, matched with the very best of 35mm lenses,I could see no real difference between photos taken with 645 compared to 35mm for reproductions at magazine double page size or large format books. Once the print sizes went to ultra-large blow-ups, the larger formats clearly had an advantage (as they did for editors viewing the original slides on a light table), but I rarely need to produce such large prints.

I still sometimes have the odd urge to buy a Pentax 645 system - just to give it a true test, but with digital improving in leaps and bounds over the past 24-months, I can't see myself ever needing to make that step, as I feel that the very best of DSLRs available in a couple of years time will meet most of my needs.
Until that day, I'll plod on with film-based SLRs and scanners.

What are your experiences with the Pentax 645 system, Jay? Do you use the earlier manual bodies or the later FA bodies? With Pentax 645 systems selling so cheaply these days, I'm almost tempted to buy one just to have some fun during my waning years with film emulsions...(or eventually have enough money to splash out on 645 digi-backs!).
To be truthful, I think that within a few years, 35mm DSLR quality will match that of medium format film...

6. From : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 07:38 AM Thursday 21 October, 2004

Thanks Dan, I had a niggling doubt (MHA lithium-Silver Oxide etc.), I knew you'd resolve it. Yeah, basic physics, thanks for the correction. Must be all that speedballin of late.

Sigma 20mm f/1.8. Anybody have experience of this baby? I've ordered one in to have a play with. Of course I'd prefer a Pentax A 2.8, but there's the cost issue... discuss... - Ian.

7. From : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 07:15 AM Thursday 21 October, 2004

R.I.P Bronica.
Gives a little breathing space to Pentax and Mamiya.

Here, try some proper kit:


8. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 04:35 AM Thursday 21 October, 2004

Dan, I wanted to make this a separate posting for another issue you raised. I simply do not agree that a high quaility SLR has parallax problems "at short distances". If you mean that lenses which by design, must stick rear groups into the mirror box, and the mirror must be locked up out of the way to not contact it, OK. If you mean that close focusing shifts to error through the prism viewfinder, as one focuses closer and closer, no, not at all. Parallax problems are totally overcome by the highest quality SLR focus and viewfinder designs. If you were discussing rangefinder cameras what you offer would have considerable validity: where the viewfinder differs than calculatingly looking through the actual taking lens, as with high quality SLR viewfinders: mirrors, ground glass equal to film plane focal points, and prisms for uprighting and reversing the mirror's introductions of change to the representation of the actual scene being viewed. --Jay

9. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 04:25 AM Thursday 21 October, 2004

Dan and AB, I agree with Dan about the correction factors as to the circle of confusion and smaller optics achieving across the format focus easier and cheaper than larger sized glass helical designs. With the introduction of AP hybrid lens element designs, incorporating plastic and resin formed elements in compound formulas, or as blended onto glass elements(which are almost impossible to grind from glass),anything is possible in post modern lens designs: to a point. That point is about costs and consumer ability to meet them.

As Dan reiterates, it is also about the future of digital sensor arrays and lens applications. Yes, there are arrays for view camera mounting (see Calumet, Chicago), yet nothing much is gained over the current 6 X 4.5 backs now available (unless one is willing to spend four times as much for an already qualifiying as to being very expensive add on technology). So, most studio pros are going with the 6 X 4.5 digital offerings at this time.

Hybrids work well up through 6 X 6 lens designs, after that, as with all glass lens differences between the two format sizes (6 X 6 and lower formats, and 6 X 7--even though both shot onto 120 film--both however do not achieve the same circle of confusion factors for their designs. And this ties into what AB asks: i.e., about the death of 6X7. Fast lenses for this format are expensive, large, sometimes not available in certain lens focal lengths, and limit wide angle and long lens capacity accordingly. Viewcameras are like projectors, or enlargers in reverse: their optics are manufactured and mounted and focused differently than roll film cameras. Digital backs for say the RZ 6 X 7 are few, and not available at all for the Pentax 6 X 7. This is because what is needed to achieve with them is so achieved by available 6 X 4.5 backs. Why reinvent the wheel when it has proven unnecessary for 6 X 7cm cameras to get the job done?

When 6 X 7 came out as a great studio format for flash, and a semigreat fieldable landscape format (without the leaf shutters of the studio units, and without effective flash sync) film was very different than today's film. The primary reasons for the demise of the future for 6 X 7 is that film quality increased for 6 X 4.5, to the degree than the 6 X 7 advantage regarding the publishing reproduction of related images was remarkably lessened. Its justification was simply no longer justified.

As Dan agrees, it does not matter any longer what the size of the format is, but the achievable MP and its digital quality. The size therefore, of professional format film cameras is not directly correlated for professional results, beyond the 6 X 6 size: as to costs, necessity, lens availability, handling, and so forth. The view camera will carry forward for large enlargement film applications, and for the very highly technical and very much expensive, related backs for its unique
highly detailed results. Its lenses have always been optimized over 6 X 7 lenses due to its unique camera design. The is still too the specialized application needs of tilts, rise, etc.--not all of which can be duplicated in Photoshop (with the same quality). So, with the needs pushing the format applications both directions, smaller, and for certain applications alone, bigger, we have 6 X 7 becoming totally irrelevant. --Jay

10. From : Dan (
Url : http://
Date : 03:28 AM Thursday 21 October, 2004

Jay, I agree that electronic viewfinders are less enjoyable than optical. And I think mirror/prism arrangements are accurate up to parralax problems at short distances. As you say, perhaps better viewfinders will alleviate the differences.

Correct me if I am wrong, but 35mm lenses are sharper (smaller circle of confusion) than 6x4.5 lenses which are sharper than 6x7 lenses. Not that a 6x7 lens cannot be theoretically sharper, just that manufacturing processes require the cost to increase an order of magnitude. So as long as all those pixels can fit in the smaller format area, there is no reason to go with larger formats for digital cameras.

Does anyone know of a digital view camera? I think I would like to get a view camera that accepted a 28Mpixel or larger imager. Or are there ways of getting articulation on current cameras with digital imagers?

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