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05-22-2019, 01:13 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnha Quote
However if I had a darkroom I'd probably prefer spending that cash on medium format and buy a cheaper 35mm SLR.
I thought it and would do it , but:
- I can print by myself no more than 6*6 negatives (I have an old Durst M605 with 35 mm and 6*6 kit).
- I'd like to go in the large format territory (field cameras like the horseman 760/980). They're very cheap these days.
- I'd like to use the MF/LF for a project that I would develop in the next years, but in this case field cameras would be much more useful due to the possibility to tilt/shift.
- In Pentax my only choice is the 645 but here the cost of a film P645 it's high still today (here starting from Eur 600/700 on from local stores with 1 year guarantee, no lens).

To sum up , at this point a 35 mm cameras and homemade development is much more suitable for re-starting my film experience after all those years of digital-only photography. Here comes the advice for a good 35 mm camera , given the fact that I like BIG and BRIGHT viewfinders.

05-22-2019, 02:30 PM   #17
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I think I'd love an LX, and I've got a lot of respect for the MX (having used neither) but I'm quite happy with my Chinon CE-5. The only reason I'd got for an LX is for the meter; it's said to be extremely accurate in low light which isn't really a CE-5 strong suit. That said, I know enough that I can usually guess an appropriate exposure speed and things work out (think bar/club/late evening lighting) so it's not such a big deal.

My Ricoh XR7 isn't bad either and a bit more full-featured (and probably easier to work on, taking the top deck off the CE-5 is supposed to be pretty awful to get right) but I like the LED light meter display on the CE-5 much more than the LCD in the XR7.

Both of these cameras in good condition should be had from online auction sources for $50 USD or so. They'll probably need light seals and possibly the mirror damp pad replaced as we as a general cleaning and such.

The fiddly push buttons that Pentax put on so many of their cameras after the MX came out are a real turn-off.
05-23-2019, 09:47 AM - 1 Like   #18
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I have two sugge stions and I know this might be inappropriate for Pentax lovers but...
1. Since you also have Nikon glass - as I do - I suggest getting a Nikon f100 or f4 (slim model), if you cannot get a reasonable price on an LX. I have two of each and have no issues with either. They are extremely reliable - although my favorite Nikon is the F3 HP. (I do believe the Pentax 20mm is superior to the Nikon 20mm lenses, as is/are the 50-55mm lenses. Cannot say anything about comparing the other Pentax lenses to Nikon equivalents.
2. Get a good, used enlarger that fits the 6x7, 6x9 format. I like Beselers and Omegas. The Durst model you have is not in the same league - I had the same one decades ago. My guess, due to the high expenses of film, paper, and chemicals in Europe, that used enlargers are even cheaper in Europe than the already quite cheap prices here in the U.S. now. Note, some pro grade, Durst enlargers are great too!
3. Buy and LX and/or Pentax 645 from reputable sellers here on Pentax Forums and/or take a trip to the U.S. or England where the used markets are both more flush with good used gear and - from what I have observed - less expensive. This should probably be recommendation number One...
05-25-2019, 06:20 AM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by bm75 Quote
Hi all.
I'd like to use my beloved Pentax glass with a film camera . I don't need autofocus or any special feature, but my requirements would be:
- big and bright viewfinder (essential)
- the possibility of using diopter adjustment
- maybe the possibility to use AV with my A glass (not really needed).

I've seen the LX going for about Eur 450,00 in Italy.While I consider that a reasonable price for a professional film camera, I don't want to spend so much for a 35 mm film camera nowadays (I would spend the same amount on a MF camera but my old darkroom kit covers at least 6*6 format)

I'd use it with B/W film, occasionally for color .
I feel like I want a little step back to analog, making some homemade print using my old darkroom.
Any advice is welcome and thank you all in advance!

Matteo.
Matteo, ti consiglio di investire in una LX, personalmente la ritengo la miglior 35mm mai prodotta, e ho due Nikon F2 (una F2A e una AS), due Canon F-1n e una Canon F-1, più qualche Leica. Puoi vedere la mia in azione con un M85 mm f2 nel mio autoritratto di fianco.

Se la camera in questione è stata revisionata e non ha problemi è un prezzo onesto.

05-25-2019, 06:29 AM - 2 Likes   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Les, you gotta explain to me how long exposure aperture priority is an asset. I don't get it. And there is no way the LX has a built in reciprocity chart for all films.
LX uses Off The Film metering. It meters the light that is actually striking the film rather than metering light diverted from the prism (optical path) and “guessing” what the exposure “should” be. As a consequence one can set up a long exposure shot and let the LX do the work rather than calculating how long the exposure should be, shooting locked open in bulb mode, keeping track of the time and closing the shutter manually.

The advantage is the exposure is more likely to be correct when letting the LX do the work.

Last edited by monochrome; 05-25-2019 at 06:45 AM.
05-25-2019, 09:07 AM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
LX uses Off The Film metering. It meters the light that is actually striking the film rather than metering light diverted from the prism (optical path) and “guessing” what the exposure “should” be. As a consequence one can set up a long exposure shot and let the LX do the work rather than calculating how long the exposure should be, shooting locked open in bulb mode, keeping track of the time and closing the shutter manually.

The advantage is the exposure is more likely to be correct when letting the LX do the work.
I'd be interested in seeing that concept tested. Perhaps someone with a LX go put some BW film in it and meter a 15 or 30 second scene with a handheld and see what the LX says it it should be for a film that has a published reciprocity chart.
05-25-2019, 09:22 AM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I'd be interested in seeing that concept tested. Perhaps someone with a LX go put some BW film in it and meter a 15 or 30 second scene with a handheld and see what the LX says it it should be for a film that has a published reciprocity chart.
Read THIS PAGE and NEXT (link toward bottom of page) to learn how LX metering works. I haven’t found a published film reciprocity test yet, but one assumes at the time the LX was current a shooter had some knowledge of the low-light reciprocity factors of slow versus fast films and selected accordingly.

The LX had been and still is lauded for its metering capabilities, so there must not have been much problem with low light long exposure AE metering at the time.

Last edited by monochrome; 05-25-2019 at 09:29 AM.
05-25-2019, 10:13 AM - 2 Likes   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
... I haven’t found a published film reciprocity test yet ...
Thanks for the link. The reciprocity chart found here in Ilford's HP5+ Data Sheet is common to a lot of their films. And Kodak's T-Max 400 Data Sheet now has a user unfriendly table for a reciprocity chart.

05-25-2019, 11:22 AM - 2 Likes   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Thanks for the link. The reciprocity chart found here in Ilford's HP5+ Data Sheet is common to a lot of their films. And Kodak's T-Max 400 Data Sheet now has a user unfriendly table for a reciprocity chart.
Cool - the data sheets are helpful but of course they don’t answer the question whether the LX meter factored reciprocity into long exposures. I’ll dig out my manual to see if there is any discussion.

I’ve always meant to try a AE long exposure with my LX. One of the problems of having a lot of film cameras and not being fully retired is these things often just languish as ‘one day I want to’ ideas.

Last edited by monochrome; 05-25-2019 at 02:32 PM.
05-25-2019, 11:48 AM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Cool - the data sheets are helpful but of course they don’t answer the question whether the LX meter factored reciprocity into long exposures. .
It can tell a lot if, say, a metered scene with the LX matches an external light meter's exposure within a 1/2 stop or so. That would tell you it's not working for the picture I posted. But, on the other hand, if it produces a exposure time that is say 3+ times longer than metered, you could conclude something extra is going on.
05-25-2019, 01:05 PM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I'd be interested in seeing that concept tested. Perhaps someone with a LX go put some BW film in it and meter a 15 or 30 second scene with a handheld and see what the LX says it it should be for a film that has a published reciprocity chart.
I have scientifically tested both of my Pentax LX with all my aperture priority equipped cameras - films and digitals, as well as my Sekonic spot meter and both of my LXs performed consistently. Within the extremely limited ranges of the other meters and that's why having a second LX comes in handy for the extremely long exposure tests.
Additionally, compensation adjustment reliably increase/decrease exposure times.

To date, I've only done TMAX100 up to 10seconds and the results are perfect exposures as expected. I will try many more longer exposures and provide results.

Last edited by LesDMess; 05-25-2019 at 01:12 PM.
05-25-2019, 02:28 PM - 1 Like   #27
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The LX is indeed a wonderful camera. I have owned one since the mid eighties. The auto exposure for long shots really do work as advertised. I got some great shots using it.

On the other hand, buying a used LX can be risky. They are complicated cameras. The bits inside changed several times while the outside remained the same. Parts are getting scarce, as are techs who are willing and able to work on them. Do your homework and make sure you get a good one.


A safer choice would be an MX for all mechanical, an ME Super for aperture priority or a Super A for all automatic. Not too sure how well the years have treated them and how well they hold up, though.
05-25-2019, 02:48 PM - 1 Like   #28
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Before the Pentax LX the Olympus OM-2 had real-time OTF metering.
Specifications state maximum autoexposure time was 60 seconds,
but it was in fact unlimited - until the batteries were exhausted.
In the OM-2n Olympus limited actual exposure time to 120 seconds.

If film reciprocity wasn't real I can't imagine why film manufacturers
would spend so much time quantifying it and publishing specifications.

IMO it is unlikely that the relatively primitive electronics of the OM-2 or LX
can account for the different reciprocities of so many available film types.

Chris
05-25-2019, 10:57 PM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I'd be interested in seeing that concept tested. Perhaps someone with a LX go put some BW film in it and meter a 15 or 30 second scene with a handheld and see what the LX says it it should be for a film that has a published reciprocity chart.
These two test shots were done at home with no extra lighting, with my LX, shooting Acros 100. I was testing the long exposures, using aperture priority.

The first shot is using the K100/4 macro and the exposure was around 10 seconds.
The second is with the K50/4 macro and the #3 extension tube. This expose was over 30 seconds and I though the camera had malfunctioned. But alas it was just LX doing its thing.







Phil.
05-26-2019, 04:18 AM - 2 Likes   #30
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Besides the obvious superiority of the metering system there are other reasons why a LX is one of the best camera ever:

1) Size: if you are doing photography and you need to walk for many hours you will immediately realise a Nikon F2 or a Canon F-1 are bricks, especially with long or fast lenses. A LX with a M 50mm f1.4 or a 85mm f2.0 is tiny and handy.

2) System camera with interchangeble screens, prisms etc...like the F2 and the F1.

3) Bright viewfinder.

4) While not as strong as a F2 or an F1, it's definitely a high duty camera, in comparison a MX or a Super A feels firmsly.

The downside is of course that servicing is more expensive, but again for me it's worth of. If I had to choose to keep a single SLR in my collection that would be the LX.
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