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05-24-2022, 10:53 PM   #1
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LX or MX more reliably mechanically ?

Hi there,

I got a LX long time ago from a bid, it got focusing problem due to the mirror, I got it fixed in repair shop and traded it for something else afterward. I know it was the first class Pentax film SLR, and decided to give it another try when I find reasonable price. When I search "sticky mirror" LX pops up on the top, so it is a common problem on that model. I do have other film SLR with sticky foam/damper but none caused any problem to the mirror and focusing, LX seems to be more sensitive to that. On the other hand MX is also on my most wanted list, I did not read of too many problem with it, I also got the KX, it is noticeable dimmer on the screen that's why I want a brighter one. I just wondering which one, the LX or MX is more reliable mechanically, since the MX is pure mechanical I will have less a worry of electronics problem, than a camera like the LX that old.

05-25-2022, 12:57 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by lotech Quote
Hi there,

I got a LX long time ago from a bid, it got focusing problem due to the mirror, I got it fixed in repair shop and traded it for something else afterward. I know it was the first class Pentax film SLR, and decided to give it another try when I find reasonable price. When I search "sticky mirror" LX pops up on the top, so it is a common problem on that model. I do have other film SLR with sticky foam/damper but none caused any problem to the mirror and focusing, LX seems to be more sensitive to that. On the other hand MX is also on my most wanted list, I did not read of too many problem with it, I also got the KX, it is noticeable dimmer on the screen that's why I want a brighter one. I just wondering which one, the LX or MX is more reliable mechanically, since the MX is pure mechanical I will have less a worry of electronics problem, than a camera like the LX that old.
You'll get opinions leaning both directions here. For me, the LX is fabulous. But.... I trust the MX far more.
I've written this here before: the LX is my favorite camera. The MX is the one I'd keep if I had to chose between them.

That's my answer to your question but it honestly sounds like you've already answered it.
If you do seek out an LX, find a late model version, and factor in your comfort in the price of a (very possible) CLA in the not-so-distant future.
That's true of both cameras, but the cost is considerably less for a CLA of an MX.
05-25-2022, 01:13 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eyewanders Quote
That's true of both cameras, but the cost is considerably less for a CLA of an MX.
Another factor to consider is whether you can actually find a technician who is willing and able to work on the camera. Pretty much anyone can do a CLA on an MX, but the number of folk who will work on the LX is getting shorter every day.
05-25-2022, 01:33 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Back in the day, my dad had an LX and two MX's. I also had an MX, which I still have. Never had any problems with any of the MX's but there was always something going wrong with the LX. He sold it after a couple of years.

If you are not using any of the alternate viewfinders, or the TTL flash system, I can't really see the benefit of an LX over the MX these days...

05-25-2022, 02:34 AM   #5
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Thank guys for the reply, and I know what to get without too much of trouble !
05-25-2022, 05:31 AM - 1 Like   #6
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My dadís best friend was the Nikon rep for many many years. He loved the F over the F2. But eventually he left Nikon. Later he returned to the industry working for Pentax. He fell in love with the MX. The LX was nice but the MX was his favorite for the same reasons that he had loved the Nikon F. It was simpler and more durable than the LX.
05-25-2022, 06:02 AM   #7
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I have both - and my LX is broken, exposing erratically. Of course that is just anecdotal evidence but the LX is a far more complicated camera, especially the shutter and viewfinder systems, so one would expect it to break down more often than an MX. They are of course both quite old by now so the odds of mechanical problems are getting higher.

05-25-2022, 07:58 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lotech Quote
I did not read of too many problem with it, I also got the KX, it is noticeable dimmer on the screen that's why I want a brighter one.
I'd stick with your KX, it's more reliable than the other two. (LX or MX) I've been using my KX for 46+ years now and it still works perfectly, with just one trip to Eric for a CLA and to replace the film pickup spool.

I've also have two LX's and two MX's and have not really noticed any difference in the brightness of the screen. It may be that the standard KX did not come with a split-image screen like the other two did. There was a special order KX with a split-image screen and I have one of those as well, so you may like that screen better than the standard micro-prism one.

Phil.
05-25-2022, 08:03 AM   #9
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My MX, bought new in 1978 is still going strong. It has had one service in it's lifetime to replace the seals. It doesn't "need" batteries to function at all. These days even our smart-phones can operate as a light meter by taking a picture (or download an app). When I did a trip to Yellowstone a number of years back it was my reserve camera, just in case.
05-25-2022, 04:22 PM - 5 Likes   #10
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I always say get them all . . .




I have two of each and neither has given me a one problem . . .




If you will not be using the facilities only available to the LX - like changeable viewfinders . . .



. . . then maybe the MX is the better choice.

Need TTL flash, then maybe the LX is the better choice . . .




Maybe the more compact and lighter MX setup with the pancake lens is a better choice?




Maybe you want aperture priority evey now and then in which case the LX is the better choice. For me, that aperture priority mode was the main reason I ever got the LX as it is the only camera ever made - by any company film or digital, that can take as long as it takes to properly expose a scene, all the while monitoring it for changes in light and adjusting accordingly.

Most all aperture priority capable cameras can autoexpose a typical daylight scene. This one using the LX with Lomography 100 film.



Most can even expose a scene seconds long. This one on Fuji RVP50.



However, autoexposure measuring minutes long and you eliminate most cameras. This one >10 minutes on Kodak Portra 800.




For autoexposures longer than 40 minutes, I am not aware of any other camera - beside the LX, that can do this. I don't believe you can even do this using an external meter. This one using Kodak Ektar 100.



For this scene - taken using Kodak Gold 100 with the LX in aperture priority mode, I pressed the shutter button about 9pm and sometime after 3am it finished.



Good luck with your choice!
05-25-2022, 04:30 PM   #11
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I sold my overhauled Pentax LX but kept my MX, KX, KM, SP1000, SV etc...

Chris
05-25-2022, 06:07 PM   #12
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My like new LX, overhauled by Erik, has had, at most, two roll through it since then. I prefer the simpler MX as it suits my manual interaction better. I just don't need automation in most cases. While I will never part with my first 1977 MX, I could with the LX.
05-26-2022, 03:07 PM   #13
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I love both and use them both. I've been distracted by other things of late (the Single in... challenge using digital, pinhole camera with film, various folders with film...) but if I travel my standard is the LX with colour and the MX with BW.

The LX has had a couple of repairs. One (electronic) was a problem when I bought it, the other (bent something or other) was my fault as I dropped it. The MX had a CLA and works fine, the other MX also had a CLA but suffers from occasional slippage when winding on leading to over-lapping frames.

If I had to pick just one (Heaven forbid...), it would probably be the MX simply because it is likely to be fixable for quite some time. LX seal kits are getting rarer than hens teeth.

K.
05-26-2022, 03:34 PM   #14
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I've been chasing after an LX as my "white whale". Finally got one. Sent it in to fix the sticky mirror and focus adjustment, as well as a general CLA. Took 6 months. While I was waiting, I picked up an ME Super and forgot how much I love it after previously cycling through a half dozen other ME Supers over the years. I'm probably going to sell the LX. As nice as it is, it's just overkill for how and what I shoot.
05-26-2022, 07:17 PM - 2 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by murrelet Quote
I've been chasing after an LX as my "white whale". Finally got one. Sent it in to fix the sticky mirror and focus adjustment, as well as a general CLA. Took 6 months. While I was waiting, I picked up an ME Super and forgot how much I love it after previously cycling through a half dozen other ME Supers over the years. I'm probably going to sell the LX. As nice as it is, it's just overkill for how and what I shoot.
Who'd you send yours to? Mr Hendrickson or someone there in PDX? Recently?

I've somehow been in 3 different LX conversations the past 2 weeks and as a result I went and did something I've promised myself numerous times that I would not do...
I bought another LX. Arrives Saturday.



I don't know what's wrong with me... but I finally decided I needed to try a 3rd time. It really is my favorite 35mm (in a tie with the Konica T4) and I see no reason I shouldn't finally have one that works. But then again, in most ways, it isn't really up to me. (I'd appreciate any incantations and prayers that any around here have to spare to send my way.)
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