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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 : AB (
Url : http://
Date : 04:53 PM Wednesday 20 October, 2004

'View cameras will have a market beyond the 6 X 7 film format inevitable death.' Why are you so sure this format will die (well, all formats will die eventually)? 120 film is used by a number of formats and I think by now the difference in absolute quality between film and digital isn't really the issue; digital is there. Film usuers use film for it's other qualities and the qualities of the instruments that expose it.

I imagine 120 film will last about as long as 35mm and if vinyl records are anything to go by, we should be okay for quite a bit.


2. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 02:45 AM Wednesday 20 October, 2004

Fill: Thanks for your inquiry. I would suggest reading the past five sections of postings, accessed below. All these discuss this question. Pentax is developing a pro DSLR, probably out mid year, next year. We would certainly like to see it have an LX legacy, but that remains to be seen. You are not alone in your perceptions or desire. It makes little sense for Pentax to develop, or any one to develop, a 6X7 digital format, as this has been done for 6X4.5: with backs that give 28MP outcomes. There are currently 14MP 35mm size small format DSLRs out. It is only a matter of time when the 28MP quality will be achieved in this size camera. So, trends are away from larger film cameras, because of sensor development costs, toward the lower two format ranges.

It does not matter what the format size is to achieve a high MP output, just that it does. As the handling of 6X4.5 and 35mm size cameras and lenses is quick and easy, this will be the arena of futures. It may even go smaller than 35mm sized bodies, for the same professional outcomes, but it will not be so for at least 7 to 10 years.

If anyone has a 6 X 7 system, not only is the handwriting on the wall for film to lessen and digital use to increase, it is on the wall too for such roll film cameras. View cameras will have a market beyond the 6 X 7 film format inevitable death. I long ago went to 6 X 4.5, after having the Pentax 6 X 7, for flash sync, wider aperture lenses (generally similar to 35mm lenses in size), and systems modularity. When the digital backs for this system came out, and went through about four generations, I started using one for studio work (14 MP). It has met 85% of client demand need, is quick, is editable on viewing output through computer and back viewer, and has been imroved on since. Unless you like big expanded 35mm upsized clunk, sell out while you can. --jay

3. From : Bill Butler (
Url : http://
Date : 02:23 AM Wednesday 20 October, 2004

Is there any 'official' word on a possible Digital version of the LX, i.e. a high-end DSLR or a digital medium format that may be a digital back for the 6x7 or a complete Digital medium format system


I still have two fully function LX systems with a great deal of accessories and would like similar Digtial capabilities without leaving Pentax - but they seem to be making this harder by the day!

4. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 08:54 AM Saturday 16 October, 2004

Dan, I would disagree that a mirror and prism, as in professional cameras, are not made with precision, or are going to be inaccurate as to representing actual images to be rendered. For the life of me I have a very difficult time looking very long at an electronic viewfinder (even though I shoot a certain amount of professional video). I used the Nikon 5700 a couple of times and was vexed by having an eye to the mini LCD color viewfinder. It remains easier to keep my eye up to the SLR professional quality optical mirror/prism design viewfinder.

Now, down the road when electronic viewfinders do not feel like one has locked oneself in a closet when using such, I'll readjust this perception. For now, only the optical viewfinder offers mastery and comfort. How do others vote on this issue?

5. From : Dan (
Url : http://
Date : 03:49 AM Saturday 16 October, 2004

I know this will come with great criticism, but making a camera that can be film AND digital requires some compromises. While film cameras are mechanically arranged out of physical requirements, digital cameras do not need the same arrangement. For example, an SLR requires a mirror and prism to shift the image away from the optical path. This results in poor axis alignment and poor ergonomics (if you have a big nose). But with electronic displays, the viewfinder can be anywhere, allowing a more ergonomic design.

I guess what I am really getting at, does a digital camera need to be an SLR, and have the same form as an SLR?


P.S.: Ian: My tests/research shows the same with the batteries. Silver Oxide keeps a constant voltage so long as the contacts don't develop corrosion (a common problem). Lithium will maintain power only when used slowly and speratically, often not an environment produced by a camera. A constant voltage is crucial to accurate metering.

One problem with your statement that two "silver oxide are 165ma EACH": when two batteries are stacked (in series), the voltage doubles, but the current supply stays the same. When two batteries are in parallel (not possible in an LX), the voltage is the same and the current supply is doubled.

6. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 12:40 PM Thursday 14 October, 2004

Certainly readouts, screens, and selectable menus are here to stay, as are circuits replacing mechanical devices for in camera exposure timing, shutter functions, lens interactivity, etc. The purely mechanical bottom of the line SLR cameras now made in China--which Nikon, Minolta, and Olympus all put their mounts and names on (yet one and the same unit--do not have the following of where the industry once led SLRs' past sophisticated users. A mechanical nitch is not systemically something to hope for or to hedge pro camera futures upon. Today's SLR users in the non-amateur arena are not restricted to small format users. Folks here though, have evolved and advanced their design suggestions based on highly fieldable small format SLR usage. And they basically pair off between those needing fast burst high recovery rates for digital SLRs and those who need higher resolution and detail, with a more refined shooter compositional approach to photographic imaging.

The M6 is a fine unit, but has a limited market, more so than the future of digital photography. For a small format camera, like the now aging LX, it offers precision and careful handling.
Our advanced design likes and dislikes for a Pentax SLR Professional design are worthy of consideration, and shall be forwarded to the company. I extend the opportunity for any more suggestions through this coming Sunday, 12PM (24.00) GMT. --Jay

7. From : Robert Clark (
Url : http://
Date : 09:29 PM Wednesday 13 October, 2004

As you have intimated, Jay, the world of economic survival is no simple matter, and I am sure Pentax has its priorities. That, however, has little to do with what we want in a camera. Of course camera manafacturers who have the capital and capacity are rushing in to the digital market: computers (plastic and electronics) offer far greater profit margins than LX style cameras (metal and mechanical), partly because they can be constructed with a far less skilled workforce on more automated construction lines.

In using a camera, I want to be as free to work with my subjects as I possibly can. I want to use my experience to judge focus point and exposure as effortlessly as possible - these are the only two parameters, apart from framing, that are of any concern to me in getting a picture. This is maybe why I am using my M6's more and more - they are simple and beautifully ergonomic to use - and most importantly, in my hands, they get the picture I want.

If I use the automation of the LX, then I am glad to know exactly when it will work and when it won't. Centre-weighted metering is fine for this - the only pity is that it does not have spot metering and exposure lock for when the centre-metering has reached its limits.

The interface of the 67II is fine in this respect - a relevant improvement over the LX.

What I really don't want are buttons with hidden menus, awful viewfinders and terrible screens on the back of the camera. I know the reasons for these limitations to digital cameras,(price-point, marketing, economics etc.) but to me as a camera user, they are irrelevant, they simply destroy the ergonomics of picture taking.

8. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 10:58 AM Tuesday 12 October, 2004

So, In an era where Small is not considered Beautiful, how to gauge Pentax? It is obvious they are in the photographic business to a large degree, like Nikon. Also, because of their product quality standards being about par with Canon, if a worldwide recession occurs, which would survive it? The big or the little fish in the ocean? The 1996 Stats, eight years old, seem to be Japanese employees from the magazines I read, yet 2/3rds of current production is done outside of Japan, as with the other listed manufacturers. I doubt strongly that we will see a merger of Pentax with another group, like we have seen Leica abandoned by local private ownership, or Minolta and Konica merge in a time when the handwriting is on the wall regarding classic camera designs holding for another five years. Mergers are occurring in all kinds of industries, for survival purposes, yet Pentax, to date, is esoteric enough to stay afloat with the smallest
Stats posted of the big Five even in current Japanese publications (Canon, Konica-Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax). The Japanese camera industry was in recession the first half of the 1990s. Why? The LX era complete SLR systems approach to marketing failed at that later time across the board. Yet folks here seem to want those expectations carried into the current marketplace, which only sells a third of the systems units, per capita, sold in the early 1980s. If one looks at the Austrian Ski industries woes during the same period as the Stats Mico posted, one could become very concerned. Many mergers, buyouts, and a complete retooling of that industry helped it survive when over half its inventory in that time period was unsold. It went through four scary years. Yet they did emerge again, largely with new ownership, and completely new hourglass designs to go another mile.

Pentax still competes in the arena of pride of product, industry quality of product (as set by the Japanese Camera Industry), and availability of a system product—along with consumer grade products, both film and digital. Its primary film camera market is 6X4.5CM, where it has most of the market share. The consumer digital camera market registers about comparatively with the others by these posted stats offered by Mico. Its binocular division has had steadily increasing revenues for the past five years, because an excellent product is offered in certain lines Fuji, Nikon, and the German manufacturers once cornered, now shifting to Pentax for less consumer money. Its auto traffic control systems division, semi-optical in design, is unparalleled by the other four. Its ceramics and space view coatings division has government contracts in many western nations. Though always a year or so lagging in cutting edge technology camera releases, what is released maintains high standards, is frequentloy updated, and is teleological in outlook as to systems advanced. Any one of these company’s analysts would say most products life is less than half of comparative products as released from the early 1980s. It is a very different world than when the LX was released. Motion media and security media optics are among the top three, outstripping European manufacturers of renown. And a tighter ownership than many larger groups remains in control.

Products and their positioning in the marketplace is a complex problem for all industries. Germany and Japan have been in recession for some time, along with most of Asia, outside of China (which works for less). The question is, is the Pentax drinking glass half empty, or, so, wisely, half full, downsized within reason by comparison to others. Considering the uncertainties of the worldwide economy, and the realities of high risk by being big--as shown during the high tech computer industry fallout after 9-11—how shall we gauge such statistics? If our only measuring stick is our wish lists, think again. --Jay

9. From : Robert Clark (
Url : http://
Date : 04:23 AM Sunday 10 October, 2004

Interesting how small Nikon is and how large Konica is (or was, or is there photo division mostly film?). Nikon is the second smallest after Pentax.

Funny, I read somewhere, about that time (96), that Pentax had the biggest share of the most lucrative section of the market - point and shoot. I assumed then that there were pretty rich. What happen/ed/s to all that cash then, or was it an untruth?

Given the state of things, it seems very, very unlikely we will get anything like our wish (no surprise). When will the interface of digital SLR's be designed by photographers and not computer geeks?

10. From : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 08:10 AM Saturday 09 October, 2004

Here! Here! And the stats are facinating. Welcome back Mico. - Ian.

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