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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 : 12:04 AM Saturday 18 September, 2004

The Pentax Design drift parallels Canon, not Nikon. So, to bring out affordable digital optics, the aperture ring was abandoned to on body post modern electro mechanical servo control. This is true of the two new macros, which can cover the full 35mm format--although their aperture control defers to on body controls. This is true of newer Canon optics as well. The Pentax DA series lenses then are designed to abort on lens aperture controls for inbred economic and integrated functioning: with to body electronic protocols determining this lens function. This lessens the costs of manufacturing, increases function speed and handling, and frees up in lens barrel space use regarding the presentation of lens glass to the sensor and film aperture of the camera body.

Certainly the being developed Pro DSLR can offer a mount which does not remain crippled, if the designers so choose. However,
that is not the future direction of design so determined. It would please owners of past lens lines, open those to continued use, and give the shooter many more options than the new lens releases--for a full arsenal of glass.

What I would recommend at this stage is wrting Pentax Japan, camera design division, with the address on the Pentax Worldwide website, and pointing out to the design group the advantages of enabling a full autofocus mount. This would include all past K mount lens information and control transfer levers. The big issue to address is how this would make economic sense for Pentax. It is obvious to me that retaining existing camera owners as fans and users of future cameras may turn around slow sales of Pentax Digital SLRS, and encourage some newer lens design purchases. It may not seem so clear to a bunch of engineers who would never design a new camera system with old ergonomics in mind at all.

It is sort of like writing your elected government representatives on an important issue to be heard and incorporated into their thoughts and considerations in forming legislation and regulations affecting one's life. It takes time and effort, but the result is inclusive, not exclusive. Don't moan in late spring if your desires are not considered if you do not take time to write the Design Group now. --Jay

Url :
Date : 03:35 PM Friday 17 September, 2004

Nikon has addressed a lot of requests for SLR bodies to maintain full metering compatibilty with earlier Ai and AIS manual focus lenses, by allowing full Matrix metering etc with older lenses in their latest released digital DSLR, and also film-based pro-level F6 SLR.
I don't fully understand why Pentax can't also follow suit when they eventually bring out their Pro-level DSLR. There are many thousands of Pentax users out there who stayed with Pentax mainly because of the fact that their long line of superb manual focus SMC lenses could easily be used on autofocus bodies, and autofocus lenses on the older manual bodies such as the LX. It would be nice to see Pentax leave behind the name of "crippled mount" so that decent metering options will work when any K, KM or KA-mount lens is matched with any Pentax SLR or DSLR bodies of the future.

3. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 12:45 AM Friday 17 September, 2004

To update Tony's reportage: the *ist DS slr is smaller than the original DSLR, and moves away from the compact flash card altogether (which solves one critical problem the other body was having with the compact flash card hanging up mechanically in its mount, and, the camera was slow on recovery readiness, unless buying high-end fastest and very expensive cards. The CF card was socket insert inverted from easy release access. Further, the response times are upgraded for the camera accordingly by shifting to a newer memory card system). This shows that Pentax has been reading the reviews and is changing things for user friendliness. It has a 2inch screen viewer, and moves away completely from TIFF, rendering in three JPEG levels and in RAW. The complaint of the original body chip being slightly soft has been addressed. Like Nikon's move to the D-70 from the D-100, it offers slightly more dynamic range, and up to date color management. But it is not based on the Nikon's choices as much as was the past camera. On camera firmware management has improved. It retains a high number of autofocus points (11) and a 16 section segmented meter. It still has the crippled mount and firmware changes for manual metering with first release K mount lenses. It will be shown the 20th in New York, and, if permitted on site testing, should let us know soon if it is worth picking up as a body for news and publicity shooters who need quick imaging turn around. --Jay

4. From : Jay (ibcom@onebox.cpm)
Url : http://
Date : 12:22 AM Friday 17 September, 2004

Tony, Pentax will not release news of its Pro D SLR until late spring. What it will be called is being debated by the Japan Pentax Corporation board. The USA distributor was called Pentax Corporation until 3 years ago when the parent company decided it wanted to change its name to that, so the USA distributor changed its own as an accomodation. --Jay

Url :
Date : 08:14 PM Thursday 16 September, 2004

Nikon have released the new film-based Nikon F6 (as well as the new D2X DSLR).
I wonder if Pentax will ever follow suit and bring out an updated LX2? Somehow I very much doubt it!

Url :
Date : 08:12 PM Wednesday 15 September, 2004

The new Pentax *ist DS has been released. This is a scaled-down cheaper version of the original *ist D model. The new pentax *ist DS also comes with new 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 AL lens.

For further information, go to:

7. From : AB (
Url : http://
Date : 04:55 AM Wednesday 15 September, 2004

Thanks for the advice. I don't do my own processing, I send my films to Peak Imaging who do a good job; I think they know their films. I've pretty much decided on Fuji NPZ 800 (rated at 400) and Tri-X, I don't want to risk trying to figure out the Zone System, I figured I would take incident readings; I'm inclined to play it safe. Having said that, I know the sitter so could take some risks but I think I'd rather experiment with lenses and viewpoints, experimenting with films and exposure as well could prove too much. To add to this, we'll be in a moderately crowded public place and I guess it would be wise to keep an eye on my equipment also...!


8. From : Jay (
Url : http://
Date : 02:32 AM Wednesday 15 September, 2004

AB, Ilford emulsions at ISO 400 are also excellent. As for developing, Ilford and Kodak share many developer patents for B & W. Reading the labels in Britain, one could save the higher Kodak price with local chemistry. Edmon chemistry too has great results. I used to shoot Ilford, and Tri-X, but learned that Ilford worked best with the Agfa and Oriental brand papers I printed on at the time. I still cling to my whole Beseler lab system, though it is now in storage (and will be resurrected for producing art "silverchrome prints," now in vogue). I think, if this will be achival stuff, or linked to your ongoing reputation, you may want to neutralize the fixer after the final development step for forever negatives.

The zone system is applicable to achieving the masculine edge on contrast, if you wish to shift values by judging light for certain contrast or lack of contrast effect, in a given scene.

I appreicate Fuji's touted color wedding ISO 400 Color Print Professional film for white whites over Kodak's, which does not seem as neutral. This would then seem more masculine too.--Jay

9. From : Ian (
Url : http://
Date : 09:24 AM Tuesday 14 September, 2004

"Instant character in a cassette" is what I used to call it. Nice to see your going to shoot that most excellent film stock, Tri-X.

AB, First off, Tri-X although often "hard" looking is always very exposure tolerant. So like many mono films it's fine to overexpose if your concerned with being able to pull shadow detail when you scan. I.E. shoot at ISO250. However, I find that it's great at it's standard (and correct) rating of ISO400. It really does have quite a lot of latitude. For example, if you were to meter for the shadows in a shoot, you can very safely rate it at ISO800. My recommendation, barring extraneous circumstances, would be to rate it at ISO400 and bonus from the extra stop of shutter speed (if your used to ISO200).

Here's the crunch. Tri-X is all about processing. You can change it's character massively (as with most B+W films) by means of voodoo, as I call it. This "art" of chemistry is one of the most appealing aspects of using a film like Tri-X. So, what is important to you, if your not going to experiment (takes time and experience), is for you to know what your Tri-X is going to look like. Hopefully there is time for you to trial a roll and get it back from a lab in time for the shoot so you know what to expect. Pro labs tend to use safe bets like Tri-X's default developer D76, or a fast reliable developer like HC-110. Thankfully both are reliable and generally excellent. One thing to watch-out for in Tri-X is mid tone compression, especially flesh. Contrast is rarely "gentle" (your word), if this is an issue, you might want to try Plus-X or Ilford's FP4 (ISO125). TMAX 100 and 400 are very smooth, but the grain is non existant and they can be a little flat at times. I'm guessing you want the "character" of Tri-X.

If time is short, all you need to know is that Tri-X is bomb-proof, if anything can get a decent result, it can. My advise is to concentrate on the shoot (lighting etc.) and let Tri-X do it's thing. Process the rolls one at a time, it's not uncommon for labs to have become sloppy with monochrome processing. I NEVER lab my Tri-X, not in 20 years, so you should really be processing it yourself. However, a good lab will do a stunning job.

Hope this is of some help - Ian.

10. From : AB (
Url : http://
Date : 06:12 AM Tuesday 14 September, 2004

To all but maybe Ian in particular.

I'm booked to do some shots of a singer/pianist and these will be outdoor portraits. I usually use Kodak Portra 400 (C-41 black & white) but I've only photographed women. I like this emulsion because contrast is gentle and it works well rated at 200 ISO to give a lighter print that reduces blemishes along with the lighting. On this coming shoot we'll want a more masculine feel so I'm wondering about Tri-X.

If I use Tri-X what should I look out for? Is it happy to be over exposed etc?

Thanks. AB

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