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07-23-2013, 03:08 PM   #1
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New to SLR - with a bunch of questions!

Hi!
Few days ago I have acquired a lot of Pentax gear, including three SLR cameras: LX, MZ-3, and MZ-5n. Out of these three I am most excited about LX, and probably would try to use this one the most. But first I have to check if these bodies work correctly... and have no clue how to start! So far I have used only Pentax K-5 and K-01 and film photography is a total mystery for me. So could you please suggest me any good manuals where I can read how to... turn on these cameras, which button is which, how to make pictures, how to check if everything works as it should, etc... all three bodies have grips so I am also curious how do they work... With a time I hope to be able to formulate more precise questions, but for now please help me to make my first step!

07-23-2013, 03:27 PM   #2
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You can download a scanned PDF of the english LX manual here:

Pentax LX | LX Manual

The quality of the scan is not good, but it's readable.

EDIT:
If you are generally interested in the LX technology (and speak German),
here
lxseite
you will find a perfect scan of the 17 pages German sales prospectus of the LX.
There Pentax describes all the virtues and innovations of the LX, with many excellent coloured pictures.

It's not a PDF, but of course you can download the pages of the website as such, and print it out (or, with specialized software, create a PDF of it).

Last edited by RKKS08; 07-23-2013 at 03:42 PM.
07-23-2013, 03:30 PM   #3
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pentax-manuals.com is a good place to start. This page contains top quality scans of pentax manuals and brochures. I downloaded the manual for my LX from there.

Good luck on your search! :-)

Edit: By the way, you can find more info on the LX here: www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/pentaxlx/

Last edited by deus ursus; 07-23-2013 at 03:36 PM.
07-23-2013, 03:50 PM   #4
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I was also looking for the pentax-manuals.com site, but the link had somehow moved to a wrong section of my bookmark collection. The scans are much better than what I suggested above (and they are coloured).

07-23-2013, 04:05 PM   #5
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A good quality scanned PDF with no passwords can be found at -> http://www.lensinc.net/manuals/Pentax_LXL.pdf

This is similar to RKKS08's German site and is the 1985 booklet of the Pentax LX but the content is translated from French to English reasonably well -> Google Translate

If you're coming from a DSLR then going through the manual and exercising the LX will seem anticlimactic as it will be very short.

When testing the meter - comparing it to your DSLR or other, make sure to use an evenly lit target that covers most of the viewfinder. Same lens and a gray card would be optimal. Test manual and aperture priority mode.

You will need an AF-280T - or other compatible TTL flash, and flash meter to test the hotshoe/X-sync terminal.

Way to start with a film camera - right at the top! Congratulations!
07-23-2013, 04:45 PM   #6
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Awesome! Thank you so much! I've download manuals to all three cameras and will try to do my homework asap
07-23-2013, 06:50 PM   #7
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BTW, in the specifications section of the manual it states that the LX can aperture priority autoexpose down to 125seconds. However, it is common knowledge that the LX will actually go for as long as it takes or batteries die. I have two LX's and have tested both to achieve the same long exposure more than 2 hours long. The LX is the only camera - past or present across any brand, that can do this.
07-23-2013, 10:35 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by konradsiekierski Quote
Hi!
Few days ago I have acquired a lot of Pentax gear, including three SLR cameras: LX, MZ-3, and MZ-5n. Out of these three I am most excited about LX, and probably would try to use this one the most. But first I have to check if these bodies work correctly... and have no clue how to start! So far I have used only Pentax K-5 and K-01 and film photography is a total mystery for me. So could you please suggest me any good manuals where I can read how to... turn on these cameras, which button is which, how to make pictures, how to check if everything works as it should, etc... all three bodies have grips so I am also curious how do they work... With a time I hope to be able to formulate more precise questions, but for now please help me to make my first step!

As well as specific camera manuals, you might consider looking for some basic film photography books. Manuals do not provide much context and tend to assume a certain level of knowledge on the part of the user- knowledge that is often absent from people coming from digital.

One example of a brand-specific basic book isPentax Classic Cameras by Paul Comon, published by Magic Lantern Guides. The edition I have was published in 1999 and covers MF but not AF bodies. I suspect there is probably something comparable for Pentax AF cameras. I use my copy when I don't have the manual for a specific body.

Many general photography books are available used, are inexpensive, and provide enough info to get you started on understanding what you are doing. They are often to be found in used book stores and online. I can't recommend anything specific because I did my basic learning about 40 years ago.

Have fun!

07-26-2013, 10:10 AM   #9
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Again, thanks a lot! Sure, I a plan to get some good literature on fillm photography, just I need to find some free time... Btw, the book that you mentioned is only available as a paper copy, or pdf can also be found (as in the case of manuals)?
07-26-2013, 11:38 AM   #10
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Congratulations on your "new" LX. It is truly a wonderful camera. While buying overseas could be a problem, KEH.com here in the Atlanta, GA, USA area carries a good selection of used Pentax gear and they are reliable and grade their stock very conservatively.

As far as manuals are concerned, have a look also at Free camera instruction manuals, camera instructions, free film camera user guide, camera manual, camera instruction manuals, Mike Butkus has an incredible collection of scanned camera manuals, generally of good quality. Truly one of the good guys.
07-27-2013, 01:38 AM   #11
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So step by step I am testing my cameras and ,as expected, questions are coming
First, there seems to be a problem with focusing with LX. When I try to focus on something (lets say a sign or inscription) the objects are clearly visible and sharp when the bottom part does not match the upper part. Instead, the two parts of the split screen meet each other when the picture is already vey blurred. I use manual focusing a lot with K-5 (both with brighter screen and split screen from Katzeye) but I have never experienced similar issue.
Second, I was checking a Winder, but without film inside. Winder works very nice both in Single and Continuos mode, but it does not want to to rewind my 'virtual' film. Is it ok, or rewinding should work without a film too?
Thanks a lot for your suggestion!
07-27-2013, 03:12 AM   #12
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Ok, I have found an answer to my first issue - the diopters adjustment was in totally wrong position for me - now I see why this viewfinder is so acclaimed
07-27-2013, 10:25 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by konradsiekierski Quote
Ok, I have found an answer to my first issue - the diopters adjustment was in totally wrong position for me - now I see why this viewfinder is so acclaimed
Very important.

I am firmly convinced that many of the inquiries related to difficulty with manual focus are related to the user not having an in-focus view of the finder image. The virtual distance of the viewfinder image is about 20" and on the near edge of what most of us with old eyes are able to consistently view without some sort of correction.


Steve
07-27-2013, 12:07 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by konradsiekierski Quote
Second, I was checking a Winder, but without film inside. Winder works very nice both in Single and Continuos mode, but it does not want to to rewind my 'virtual' film. Is it ok, or rewinding should work without a film too?
The winder will rewind even without film and even when it is unmounted. Put the select switch in either S or C position, press and hold the film release then pushing the lever to rewind.
07-28-2013, 02:00 AM   #15
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Indeed, it works, thank you very much!
Do any of you know if the two missing screw-covers (see the picture) on the bottom of LX can be replaced by some third-part (or home made ) covers?
Another question is, can I use AF 400T flash with LX connecting it with a cord that mounts to camera's hot-shoe (4P cord type B), and not flash terminal (4P cord type A) ?
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