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08-01-2011, 06:11 AM   #1
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Should I get an LX?

Does it justify it' price tag?

Currently I have an ME, MX and a Super A. I like the ME/MX size. I like the ME's metering and viewfinder, I like the MX mechanicalness and I like The Super A for shuter Priority and viewfinder display of aperture.

So should I trade in all/some of the above and get an LX? Will I actually find it an improvement on any of the above?

08-01-2011, 06:50 AM   #2
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I also have MX, ME, and LX. The LX has a more solid "feel" in general, and has a great metering system, especially for low light and TTL flash, metering directly off the film. It is more expensive to service, and many old ones suffer from the "mirror bumper" problem where the mirror tends to stick down (sluggish action) especially after sitting idle for a long time. But that problem also positions the mirror too low, so the viewfinder focuses different than the film plane. A good Pentax tech can replace the bumper as part of a CLA, but I wouldn't buy an LX without checking the focus at infinity carefully to look for this problem.
Overall, I use my MX much more than my LX. It sounds more "clunky" but I like the meter readout better (simpler and faster to read). Results are equal with both cameras.
08-01-2011, 03:58 PM   #3
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I have all four of these cameras (except my ME is a Super, hardly any different except for the extra buttons). You already know the LX has some unique features. Where it wins for me is its feel in the hands and on the shutter release. The build quality is marvelous. Also because of the ridiculously sensitive meter, LX's auto exposure may work well in some situations where the Super A's cannot.

Still, like TomB above, I use my MX more than my LX, just because I usually prefer manual control. Although the LX will let you shoot metered manual, it's not as effortless for that as the MX.

If you want to consolidate on one camera (why?), consider which of your current three is your favorite.

1. If you like the ME best, then the LX is functionally a major upgrade and is not a lot bigger.

2. From the Super-A to the LX, you would be losing shutter-priority and full-program modes if those matter, but you'd still be getting a more satisfying shooter in every other way.

3. If the MX is your favorite, it's harder to make the recommendation. Maybe go ahead and buy the LX to replace the other two, but keep your MX for when you have the urge to shoot in manual mode?
08-01-2011, 04:26 PM   #4
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The LX has the widest unassisted metering range ever - then and now, at EV -6.5 to EV 20. The IDM (off the film) metering - including flash mode, gives it the best aperture priority auto exposure - including other brands. Unlike all others past and present it will reliably meter ultra long exposures in aperture priority mode while continuously monitoring the scene for changes in light - extending or curtailing accordingly.

As others have pointed out, the build quality is second to none - including other brands.

Oh and by the way, it is one elegant looking design . . .

08-01-2011, 04:39 PM   #5
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I owned a Super A before I bought an LX.
LOVED the LX, but I always thought, in the back of my mind, that for all practical purposes, the Super A was the better camera.
So, what I reckon is that if you're only concerned about usability, then you'll go for the Super A, but if you're like me, & simply want to own a legend, & something built like a swiss watch, then you'll go with the LX.
For what it's worth, I reckon that the Super A is one of the most under-rated Pentax cameras.
Cheers, Pickles.
08-02-2011, 06:05 PM   #6
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The price for LX has come down a lot. It's not as expensive as it used to be. I think less than $400 would be able to get you a very decent one, plus a good CLA, it won't cost more than $500.

As far as I love the camera, I feel sometimes I still prefer the smaller size of ME/Me Super, especially the damper shutter sound of ME Super ...
08-02-2011, 06:56 PM   #7
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It could be worth it to you to have the better brighter viewfinder. Another huge plus versus other Pentax film bodies is the weather- and dust-proofness. Personally, I find that the FB1/FC1 Action Finder is the best in the business for macro work, and the mirror lock up is a much used feature.

After using a PZ-1 for decade, the HyperManual Mode with Spot metering and the 1/250 synch are features I miss when using the LX.

Then after working with Nikon F5s for several years, I find myself wishing for 1/2 or 1/3-stop shutter speed increments while manually metering with the LX (and a more rugged motordrive build. The Motordrive LX and it's plastic case doesn't hold up to much bashing. Come to think of it, the MX is more ergonomic when used with the motordrive for the handgrip. Motordrive MX also has better build quality.)
08-03-2011, 04:14 AM   #8
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Well I still can't decide. There are so few of them for sale that it looks like I will have plenty of time to make my decision!

Today I am having to choose whether I head out with 2 Pentax bodies and all 5 lenses or the OM2 and 3 lenses!

08-03-2011, 03:05 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ivan J. Eberle Quote
It could be worth it to you to have the better brighter viewfinder. Another huge plus versus other Pentax film bodies is the weather- and dust-proofness. Personally, I find that the FB1/FC1 Action Finder is the best in the business for macro work, and the mirror lock up is a much used feature.

After using a PZ-1 for decade, the HyperManual Mode with Spot metering and the 1/250 synch are features I miss when using the LX.

Then after working with Nikon F5s for several years, I find myself wishing for 1/2 or 1/3-stop shutter speed increments while manually metering with the LX (and a more rugged motordrive build. The Motordrive LX and it's plastic case doesn't hold up to much bashing. Come to think of it, the MX is more ergonomic when used with the motordrive for the handgrip. Motordrive MX also has better build quality.)
motor drive LX is a metal tank, as is the winder. The battery grip M, takes AA's, and is made out of thick quality plastic. It is shaped like a pistol grip, with a shutter release right where it should be. You can hold the camera very steady and shoot with one hand in the horizontal position. Of course they had metal screw on nicads, and an ac system. Three ways to power the motor drive-very deluxe.
08-08-2011, 06:16 AM   #10
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Ok so things didn't quite go to plan, now I've just bought an LX! It looks pretty beat up, but it cost a fracton of the going rate and should be well worth it's price tag.

I'll get some pics up when it arrives.
08-11-2011, 02:20 PM   #11
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If, heaven forbid, I had to get rid of all my film bodies bar one, the one I would keep is my LX. The camera itself is great, and the range of accessories unmatched. Thankfully, however, film bodies are (largely) pretty cheap now and so I can enjoy using an ES, or an MX, or an ME Super or one of the other film bodies I have without feeling the need to sell them. On my last trip I had to travel (relatively) light and so my fun kit was my LX with K series 28mm/f3.5, 50mm/f1.2 and 135mm/f2.5 lenses. For me, that is a sweet combination.

K.
08-12-2011, 08:12 AM   #12
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When an LX is considered,should be as overall system,not just the body.Womble makes good point about
travelling "Lite" with only a few len's.If you consolidate what LesD and Valerie mention,you begin
to have a good ideal of what that body is capable of.The ability to adapt that body and accesories
to any given application,in conjunction with IDM,is unparalled in 135 format.Its your choice Alan.
With body alone there is hard argument when compared to other pentax bodies and other makers,for
that matter.When compared as entire system,pretty much have to enter realm of medium format
to find anything close.
08-12-2011, 12:47 PM   #13
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Alan, sounds like you did the right thing. Better a cheaper priced LX next to the cameras you know you like, than trading those in . . . Just take time to find out if the LX is for you. I have sworn by OM1 and OM4ti for over 30 years, then got a LX. It has taken me a bit of time, but now I wish I had done it earlier and had not spent so much on more 4Ti bodies and their repairs. If you do not have them, consider getting some K lenses, 50/1.4 or 55/1.8 --- always nice with the LX . . .
08-12-2011, 11:03 PM   #14
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The understated elegance of the LX is only exceeded by it's sophisticated capabilities which is unmatched by it's peers. The 50/1.4 is a very nice piece of glass too . . . ;-)

08-13-2011, 12:44 PM   #15
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I used LXs for eighteen years. The top and bottom plate metal is not as thick as the equivalent Nikon and Canon models, but Pentax's genius in producing a design that combines elegance with practicality and sophistication is evident in every aspect of this camera. It also had better sealing than others in its class (the only obvious omission being the lens mount)..

When LX was given a thorough field test for the British Journal of Photography (when it was a new camera), the magazine's editor found it hard to fault, commenting specifically that it was nice to find a camera that appeared to have been built up to a price, and not down to one. He also described LX as "a breath of fresh air."

You will benefit from having the grip B if you can get one. My experience of the motor drive is that it was metal, but the LX NiCd power pack was a heavy-duty plastic. The motor drive can also accept the battery pack M from an MX.
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