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02-18-2019, 09:43 AM   #1
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Ideal lens set-up for an LX

After many, many years of thinking I should get one I've now added a used but not abused LX to my setup, and that's now also had an LX winder added.

So the question is - what's folks ideal lens set-up for the LX? I'm thinking maybe a small classic 3-lens prime set-up so it'll go in a small bag. Sticking with just the lenses I currently have (and only MF lenses) then it'd be something like:
- wide: Vivitar (Komine) 28mm F2 (I have loads of 28mm F2.8's as well as a Sigma 24mm F2.8 but nothing particularly outstanding)
- normal: Porst 50mm F1.2 or Pentax SMC-M 50mm F1.7
- tele: Soligor 135mm F2 (which is M42 and also not very compact - however I've got a bit of shortage of decent short telephoto MF lenses)

I've got better AF primes that manual focus well (Sigma 24mm F1.8 and the might FA* 85mm F1.4 for example) but they are pretty big and heavy (although easy to MF given how bright the viewfinder is) and I'm not sure are really in context with the camera. So help me fuel my LBA but suggesting some lenses I should add!

02-18-2019, 09:53 AM   #2
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Given that the LX was the flagship camera of it's era I would suggest:

K 28mm 3.5

K 50mm 1.2

M 150mm 3.5
02-18-2019, 10:02 AM   #3
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The 28-50-135 focal length set is a wonderful combination. If you want a more compact 135, look for a slower one -- the old M42 Super Takumar 135/3.5 is a sweet little lens.

Also, think about a unified set of filters, too. You can get all three focal lengths in compact lenses with 49mm filters. That enables you to share filters (polarizer, tungsten 80A, close-up filters, color filters for B/W, etc.) across all three lenses. If your favorite lenses don't share the same diameter, then get one set of filters to fit the biggest lens and then any step-up rings needed to mate the smaller lenses to the larger filters.

Have fun! (I recently shot an event using just M42 lenses with a Vivitar 28/1.9, Takumar 55/1.8, and SuperTak 135/3.5 plus a tiny Vivitar M42 teleconvertor and it was a lot of fun!)
02-18-2019, 10:39 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by niblue Quote
Sticking with just the lenses I currently have (and only MF lenses) then it'd be something like:
- wide: Vivitar (Komine) 28mm F2 (I have loads of 28mm F2.8's as well as a Sigma 24mm F2.8 but nothing particularly outstanding)
- normal: Porst 50mm F1.2 or Pentax SMC-M 50mm F1.7
- tele: Soligor 135mm F2 (which is M42 and also not very compact - however I've got a bit of shortage of decent short telephoto MF lenses)
While not the ultimate, you have a decent* selection to start with as a classic three-lens kit. The only substitution I might make might be something other than the Soligor 135. Truth be told, an ideal quiver for the LX looks the same for an ideal quiver for an el-cheapo K-mount camera. Keep what you like, buy what you desire, and have fun making memorable images.


Steve

* Very decent lenses in the case of the two 50s. It is hard to do better than the M 50/1.7 and the Porst is a great bokeh lens.


Last edited by stevebrot; 02-18-2019 at 11:04 AM.
02-18-2019, 10:43 AM   #5
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I've wondered about an FA 43 with the focusing helical relubed with heavier grease to make manual focusing nicer as a nice normal lens on a manual focus camera. Perhaps a used copy purchased at the right price would make sense for this treatment.

p.s. I tried my Sigma 28mm f1.8 EX DG on a manual focus film camera and did not like it due to the short throw of the focus ring. The FA 43 has a longer throw. I doubt your Sigma 24 f1.8 is all that nice to focus manually 100% of the time.
02-18-2019, 11:13 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
IThe FA 43 has a longer throw. I doubt your Sigma 24 f1.8 is all that nice to focus manually 100% of the time.
It's not as nice as a proper MF lens but it's not too bad as the MF throw is reasonable enough for accuracy. It doesn't feel as nice as a proper MF lens though. The FA* 85mm F1.4 is fairly pleasant in MF and, being metal, seems a better fit for the LX - except for being silver of course!

---------- Post added 02-18-19 at 11:16 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
Given that the LX was the flagship camera of it's era I would suggest:

K 28mm 3.5

K 50mm 1.2

M 150mm 3.5
Despite the number of K mount lenses I've owned (I have 50+ at the moment) I've never ever owned an original K lens - all mine have been SMC-M or newer. I've been tempted by a 50mm F1.2 before (but have the Porst in K-mount already so never actually pulled the trigger) but have heard good things about the K 28mm F3.5 although it is giving away a lot in speed over the F2 Vivitar I already have (along with about a dozen other 28mm F2.8's from various third parties!).

The M 150mm 3.5 I know nothing about so will do some research, thanks.

---------- Post added 02-18-19 at 11:22 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
While not the ultimate, you have a decent* selection to start with as a classic three-lens kit. The only substitution I might make might be something other than the Soligor 135. Truth be told, an ideal quiver for the LX looks the same for an ideal quiver for an el-cheapo K-mount camera. Keep what you like, buy what you desire, and have fun making memorable images.


Steve

* Very decent lenses in the case of the two 50s. It is hard to do better than the M 50/1.7 and the Porst is a great bokeh lens.
I've got the Pentax 50mm F1.7 in M, A and FA mounts (or at least I did until my son added to the ever growing list of lenses he's borrowing for his own K10D based system) but don't have a 50mm F1.4 so might look for one of those in K or SMC-M mount although they are getting pricey now. The Porst is an interesting lens but a tiny bit temperamental as it doesn't always stop down when asked - so I only really use it wide open these days.

Will give some thought to the short telephoto options.
02-18-2019, 11:51 AM   #7
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I have an LX, not in use at the moment. In the film days it was my primary camera, with a Super A (a.k.a. Super Program) as backup. I had the following lenses in my bag (still have them, in fact):
  • SMC Pentax M 20mm f/4
  • SMC Pentax M 28mm f/2.8
  • SMC Pentax A 50mm f/2.8 macro
  • SMC Pentax M 100mm f/2.8
  • SMC Pentax M 200mm f/4
  • SMC Pentax A 400mm f/5.6
All prime, no stinking zoom lenses for me! I had everything covered and for the bits in between I zoomed with my feet. I never felt the need for anything else. In retrospect, I should have kept the M 50mm f/1.7 that I had at one time, but there was never a moment when I thought that I needed another lens. That only started to happen a few years ago...

For flashes I used a Pentax AF400T and Pentax AF280T. I kept it all in the family, you see.
02-18-2019, 11:56 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Low light/bokeh kit:
Vivitar 28 f2
Porst 50 f1.2
Any f2-2.8 135 K mount lens you want to use. (Samyang 135 f2 perhaps, k 135 f2.5, etc.)

Sunny day / compact kit:
K or M 28 f2.8
M 50 f1.7
M 135 f3.5

Can't go wrong...

If you want wider, sub the 24 for the 28.

Longer? Swap a Pentax 150 for the 135.

Smaller? Go with the pancake 40 and an M 100 f2.8 paired with the m28 f2.8

02-18-2019, 12:04 PM   #9
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This might be crazy talk but I like the IQ of my M 50 1.7 more than my M 50 1.4. I think highlights are handled better wide open, like street lights in the frame when shooting wide open.

I'm interested in either a Porst or Ricoh 55 f1.2 (or others of those two types, there's a number of rebadges of both) to replace my M 50 1.4 and the 1.7 stays as for compact low light work.

For times when f4 max aperture is acceptable, the M 50 f4 Macro seems like a great lens. Harder to justify for a film kit since you can't so easily change ISO on the fly...
02-18-2019, 12:08 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
This might be crazy talk but I like the IQ of my M 50 1.7 more than my M 50 1.4. I think highlights are handled better wide open, like street lights in the frame when shooting wide open.

I'm interested in either a Porst or Ricoh 55 f1.2 (or others of those two types, there's a number of rebadges of both) to replace my M 50 1.4 and the 1.7 stays as for compact low light work.

For times when f4 max aperture is acceptable, the M 50 f4 Macro seems like a great lens. Harder to justify for a film kit since you can't so easily change ISO on the fly...
Wide open I prefer the F 50 f1.7 over the fa 50 f1.4 unless I want a glowy result. Stopped down the 1.7s aperture shape doesn't look as good.
02-18-2019, 12:36 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
For times when f4 max aperture is acceptable, the M 50 f4 Macro seems like a great lens. Harder to justify for a film kit since you can't so easily change ISO on the fly...
I've got an MF Vivitar 55mm F2.8 Macro which is a really nice lens. I can't really see me doing much (if any) macro stuff with film though. That Vivitar is very sharp though.
02-18-2019, 12:43 PM   #12
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Oh, I just like Tessar rendering and contrast, I agree about true macro shooting on film, plus it doesn't seem like an optimal focal length. Plenty of other options for that. As inexpensive as these are on the used market I could justify having one just for sunny days and going for walks or whatever.
02-18-2019, 12:46 PM - 1 Like   #13
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I started with a KX so most of my lenses are K series. In 1984 I got an MESuper and a couple lenses. When it died I replaced it with a very nice LX. I carried
  • M28.3.5 (I had an M28/2 for a couple years recently)
  • M50/1.4
  • M100/2.8
with the MESuper and they work just fine on the LX (as do any of the K lenses).

I made a lot of nice pictures with the MESupwer kit from 1984 - 2006.

The M150/3.5 is a gem of a lens. Very sharp. Itís a sleeper that a few people here know about.
02-18-2019, 03:33 PM   #14
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Congrats, an LX & winder is great combination. If you want to keep it Pentax, my suggestion would be M28 (2.8 or 3.5 - I have the 2.8), M50/1.7 and M135/3.5 (small & light and has a built-in hood) - all three take 49mm filters. I personally prefer the FA43 (in black) to the 50, the focal length makes more sense and I can see past the AF focussing feel.
02-18-2019, 03:50 PM   #15
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On my LX I use the SMC-M 50 1.7 as normal. (I have the Pentax 50 1.4 and 1.2 but think the 1.7 is better.)
For wide I use the SMC-M 28 f2 and 35 f2, as I mainly use the indoors in dimmer light.
For ultra-wide the SMC 20 f4 - a very nice lens.
For Macro the SMC-M 100 f4, but also the SMC-A 50 f2.8 for walk-around normal + macro.
Short tele SMC-M 135 f3.5
I find the SMC-M lenses better mechanically than the -A series; and the LX can’t use the “A” feature anyway.
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