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04-30-2015, 10:10 AM   #1
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Pentax LX issues on "Auto"

Hey all,

I got my hands on a LX for cheap (less than $70!) in great shape. The paint's barely scratched! Seems to fire perfectly on all mechanical shutter times too.

But, there are a few issues I'd like some more experienced users to weigh in on =)

First off, I'm not entirely convinced of the metering. It seems to be 1-2 stops darker than my K-5 in scene metering with the same lens. Which one should I trust?

Second, when on the Automatic mode it seems to shoot decidedly slower than the meter reading indicates. For example, 8 will be more like 2, 1 sec will be like 3 and so forth. I've just put new batteries in, and the problem persists. What might cause this?

04-30-2015, 10:36 AM   #2
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1) The only way to be sure is to shoot a test roll and how the pics come out. Have you check the ASA setting is the same for both cameras?

2) That's easy: the LX without film in auto mode fires slowly, It's normal, you put the film inside and the lightmeter reads correctly so the times become accurate.
04-30-2015, 12:57 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
1) The only way to be sure is to shoot a test roll and how the pics come out. Have you check the ASA setting is the same for both cameras?

2) That's easy: the LX without film in auto mode fires slowly, It's normal, you put the film inside and the lightmeter reads correctly so the times become accurate.
Ah yes, the OTF metering doesn't work unless there's film. Makes sense! I set them both to ISO/ASA 200 and pointed them towards the same spot. As you say, I'll run a roll through and see what comes out. Thanks! =)
04-30-2015, 06:10 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Yes, Tickolas. Give it a try with film. When you are confident with it, see if you can get a flash unit that works in TTL (not P-TTL) mode like the AF 540FGZ or the AF 280T and try it with that flash. The flash unit should read the light OTF using the same camera sensor. Enjoy.

04-30-2015, 09:47 PM   #5
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OP - if that LX is in as good a condition as you say, and it works as it should (assuming the "problem" is fixed by putting a film in it) then you got the deal of the year. Well done!!!

The LX is a fantastic camera. It was the pinnacle of Pentax film cameras IMO (and maybe of all film cameras - again IMO)
05-01-2015, 06:34 AM   #6
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The LX suffers from 1 or 2 issues, first the small mirror stop lug on the left side under the mirror in the mirror box can become sticky due to the rubber breaking down and going soft, this holds back the mirror action and the shutter is slow to fire from the time the button is pressed, also oil (some times appearing as grease) can become visible on the shutter blades, both the faults are easily rectified, and the MZ3 was the best film camera Pentax ever maid, great IQ and logic use controls unbeatable.
05-04-2015, 12:23 PM   #7
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Yes -- I have a 'late' LX with the Dreaded 'Sticky Mirror Syndrome' -- I thought I had cured it -- put in new batteries, took it to Poland, Krakow and it let me down in the Salt Mine tour -- on processing the HP5 + some frames had not been exposed at all and were blank -- but then I loaded with outdated Fuji Velvia 50 for trip to Auschwitz and all frames were good and back in England I finished up the film testing it for TTL flash with my Mecablitz 35 CL3 set to 'TTL' and the exposures were accurate -- I rated the outdated Fuji Velvia 50 at 32 ASA.
05-09-2015, 12:20 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by j0n4hpk Quote
Yes, Tickolas. Give it a try with film. When you are confident with it, see if you can get a flash unit that works in TTL (not P-TTL) mode like the AF 540FGZ or the AF 280T and try it with that flash. The flash unit should read the light OTF using the same camera sensor. Enjoy.
Great news everyone! The camera seems to work flawlessly as near as I can tell from the beautiful negatives =) I used my AF540FGZ for the last frames, and these look great as well.

On top of that:
- Turns out it's a late model.
- The seller found a basically unused FF-1 waist level finder for it and sold it to me for about $30 including shipping!
- I found some Polymorph plastic in a drawer at home and made myself a handle. Just need the right size screw to keep it on ^^

So yeah, cloud nine right now!

05-09-2015, 10:15 PM   #9
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Excellent buy. The LX is a terrific camera so enjoy it.
05-10-2015, 07:08 AM   #10
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A less than $70 Pentax LX (complete?) that is in great shape, works flawlessly and makes beautiful negatives. What more can one ask for . . .
05-10-2015, 07:25 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
What more can one ask for . . .
That I'd been there to buy if first...
05-10-2015, 03:54 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tickolas Quote
Great news everyone! The camera seems to work flawlessly as near as I can tell from the beautiful negatives =) I used my AF540FGZ for the last frames, and these look great as well.

On top of that:
- Turns out it's a late model.
- The seller found a basically unused FF-1 waist level finder for it and sold it to me for about $30 including shipping!
- I found some Polymorph plastic in a drawer at home and made myself a handle. Just need the right size screw to keep it on ^^

So yeah, cloud nine right now!
After this post I can confirm that I hate your guts.
05-10-2015, 11:26 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
A less than $70 Pentax LX (complete?) that is in great shape, works flawlessly and makes beautiful negatives. What more can one ask for . . .
Well, it came with the manual and a Tamron Adaptall2 28mm 2.5. About as complete as you might expect ^^

And sorry about that Cuthbert, hope we can still be friends XD

Now to run a color roll through and see how that works... Got some expired Portra I've been dying to try out!
05-12-2015, 05:03 AM   #14
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Hah, I showed my LX to a camera shop owner I know, and he figured out why it doesn't have the sticky mirror issue... Apparently some previous owner preemptively fixed the issue by simply removing the mirror dampening foam before it melted. Can't argue with the results, but I'd really rather the mirror mechanism doesn't get damaged ^^

I've ordered some foam and a ME light seal kit from Jon Goodman. Could someone send me a picture of what the mirror dampening foam should look like so I can put in a replacement?

Thanks guys! =)
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