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05-23-2009, 04:16 PM   #1
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Pentax LX

LX
Year introduced
1980
Mount
K
Meter range
-6.5 - 20 EV
Meter pattern
c
ISO range
6 - 1600
DX ISO range
No DX coding
Exposure modes
Av, M, X, B
Exposure compensation
+/-2 EV
Exposure memory lock
No
Shutter speeds (auto)
125 - 1/2000s
Shutter speeds (manual)
4 - 1/2000s
Shutter speeds (mechanical)
1/75 - 1/2000s
Self timer
Yes
Mirror lock-up
Yes
Auto bracketing
No
Multiple exposures
Yes
Winder
External winder 2 fps, motor drive 1-5 fps
Built-in flash
No
TTL flash
Yes
P-TTL flash
No
Sync speed
1/75s
Flash exposure comp
No
Autofocus
No
Autofocus sensitivity
Not applicable
Power zoom
No
Viewfinder
Exchangeable. FA-1: 95% (hor.) x 98% (vert.)
Viewfinder type
Pentaprism, waist level, action finder, magni-finder
Diopter correction
Yes
Exchangeable screen
Yes
Depth of field preview
Yes
Image size
24 x 36 mm
Panorama format
No
Battery
2 x S76
Battery grip/pack
No
Size (W x H x D)
144.5 x 85 x 50 mm
Weight
570 g
Comment
250 exposure bulk film magazine back and many other accessories


Also pictured is the LX2000 along with the SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.2 Special lens. Other rare versions of this camera were produced, such as the LX Gold and the LX Titanuim Silver/Black.

Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K10D  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K10D  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K20D  Photo   

Last edited by Ole; 05-04-2010 at 08:11 PM.
06-02-2009, 02:41 PM   #2
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Body

Weather proof metal body. Slightly larger than most pentax manual focus cameras, but still relatively compact and lightweight (compared to a Nikon F2 or K10D for example). Plastic not really used, except rubber to cover the dials.

Handling

Aperture priority and Manual, selectable on the control dial on the right. Exposure compensation set on the left after unlocking the dial. Hybrid shutter, which allows full operation with batteries, and manual without. No autoexposure lock. Centre-weighted metering only. Features ability to precisely advance and retard the frames allowing for multiple exposure on any frame at any time. Aperture controlled by the aperture ring on the lens only. Mirror lock up, self timer and depth of field preview all controlled by multifunction lever at the front.

Viewfinder

Optical viewfinder with around 97% coverage. Interchangeable. One of the few cameras to allow correctly exposed photographs with the pentaprism off the camera.

Exposure

Centre-weighted only. Uses a single off-the-film silicon diode for ambient light exposure and metering. Probably the most advanced off-the-film metering in any 35mm camera, allowing for correct exposures easily up to 1 hour long, and longer. Unfortunately no AEL button, but there is always exposure compensation and manual mode. Largely accurate metering, given limitations (and advantages) of centre-weighted metering.

Focus

Split prism, surrounded by microprism ring, and ground-glass focusing screen. All three are suitable for focusing on. The default screen is a shade darker than modern laser-cut focusing screens, but they are interchangeable for modern screens. The advantage over modern screens is that they provide an accurate preview of depth-of-field for apertures larger than F2.8.

Drive

Manual wind-on. Nicest wind-on of any Pentax manual focus camera (subjectively). Rewind knob also nicely made.

Special Features

Interchangeable viewfinder and focusing screens
Accurate exposure metering in extremely dark and changeable conditions
Accurate exposure with the 'top off' (with particular use for low-down photographs and candid photography)
Hybrid shutter allows autoexposure and function without batteries
Weather-proofing
Small and compact
Precise and reversible drive
TTL Flash, with flash compensation
Fancy accessories, including the 'action finder'

Overall

Rather good.
05-11-2010, 07:15 AM   #3
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Pentax LX Camera Review

Pros Solid, versatile, good viewfinder, handling, auto exposure.
Cons No self timer and MLU at the same time, ISO range, no AE lock.
Rating 9
Price 210€
Years Owned 2

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Pro grade camera for those that want the best that Pentax has to offer.

Camera Review
This is a very nice camera to use, it has a certain feel to it. Also sits very comfortably in at least my hands with the Grip-B in place, and all the dials and buttons are just where you want them. Simply easy and comfortable to use. It has all the accessories you could want and is a very versatile camera.

What I like about the camera:
- Solid, well it is a pro grade camera and built to last, and that is transmitted to a firm feel in buttons et.c.
- Full information viewfinder, big and bright and you have the ability to change focusing screens to a number of different models. It also shows all available shutter times at all times which is a HUGE plus, you just have to look in the viewfinder and you instantly know what time to use. The LEDs are good in low light also.
- Very advanced auto exposure system metering of the film itself, meaning that if something bright comes into the frame during the exposure the camera compensates for it. Very useful for example when shooting concerts with rapidly changing light. Also huge meter range which means auto exposure up to many minutes.

What could be better?
- The single biggest drawback in my opinion is that you cannot use the self timer and mirror lock up at the same time. This is of course totally idiotic as quite often you want to use just those two together to reduce shaking.
- The ISO range only goes to 3200, in my opinion it could very well go to 6400.
- There is no auto exposure lock so in auto mode the centre part of the picture is metered, not so good if you want to compose the picture with the primary feature at one side of the frame.

Over all a very good camera! The MLU self timer blunder pulls it down from the 10, and almost to an 8. This is the one Pentax to have if you shoot manual lenses on don't care for auto aperture or auto focus. It is the best Pentax body I have used (and the ones I have used are: Spottie,KX,MX,LX,ME,ME Super,MG,P30,MZ-5,*istDL,K100D,K10D,K20D).
08-10-2010, 08:22 PM   #4
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Pentax LX Camera Review

Pros Solid camera, reacts to exposure changes during shot, beautiful jewel
Cons Maybe that some shutter speeds mechanical, some electric
Rating 10
Price $500
Years Owned 13

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
It would take an hour to list all the features of this camera, the ones I liked best though were the screen options, solid build, view finder options and motor drive options. The on plate exposure was always a dream. This is the camera to own if you love a great camera.

Camera Review
How can there only be two reviews for Pentax's all-time best cameras?Simply put use this camera and you will feel like a real photographer. It is so well built, the features are unparalleled

There are a couple of different versions. The button on the top and to the left actually defined the first couple of generations, one that allowed you to get exposure with the button used to remove the view finder and one that did not. Of course there are the specificity versions of this camera (gold, 2000, titanium, etc) but I don't think they are measurably different mechanically than the newer version.

This is a dream manual focus to own.

08-11-2010, 12:07 PM   #5
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Pentax LX Camera Review

Pros OTF metering, accurate exposure without head, weatherproof.
Cons No exposure lock
Rating 10
Price (U.S. Dollars) Unknown
Years Owned 15 years

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
MLU DOF OTF

Camera Review
What's special about this camera is the OTF metering. This makes it one of the best cameras to use in very low light levels. The metering measures light falling onto the curtains and film during the exposure, and triggers the second curtain when the cumulative light has reached a certain level. The camera will happily expose down to -6.5 EV, and possibly more, and also react to changing light conditions (e.g. lightning).

The other great thing about this camera is that you can use it with the head off. As the metering is in the body, and the mirror blocks any light from where the head might come from, you can accurately meter and expose without the head. This is very useful in two circumstances - using a mini tripod on the floor, and shooting candids.

Other pros are weather proofing and fully manual shutter speeds which don't require batteries. There's also depth of field preview, mirror lock up and self timer.

Disadvantages : no exposure lock. no spot metering.

The following photo was 30min @ F8
Attached Images
 

Last edited by Duncan J Murray; 08-11-2010 at 12:08 PM. Reason: update
08-13-2010, 06:41 AM   #6
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Pentax LX Camera Review

Pros simply the best analogue Camera ever made
Cons No High Eyepoint
Rating 10
Price (U.S. Dollars) 1000
Years Owned 30
I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
small and light for a pro, perfect

Camera Review
Mit der LX begann meine Foto-Karriere.
Ich weiß bis heute nicht, warum alle eine Nikon F3 wollten, weder die Kamera noch die Objektive waren besser.
Und Minolta und Canon hatten nichts wirklich vergleichbares.
Wer einmal die Wechselsucher ausprobieren konnte, weiß wie unvergleichlich perfekt diese Kamera ist.
Ich würde sie immer wieder kaufen... die K-7 geht in diese Richtung, aber der Sensor ist zu schwach und sie braucht zumindest einen beweglichen Monitor.
Die LX ist meine Königinn, für immer.
12-03-2010, 03:04 AM   #7
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Posts: 51
Pentax LX Camera Review

Pros Well built, easy to handle, superb metering, aesthetically pleasing
Cons Mirror occasionally decides it wants to remain up (sticky mirror syndrome)
Rating 10
Price (U.S. Dollars) 250
Years Owned 3

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
See review

Camera Review
This is easily my most solid camera and the last Pentax body I regularly shoot with. The tolerances in body construction were clearly very low. Though it’s nearly 30 years old now, the seals are still intact and I’ve yet to require a servicing with the camera in my possession. I’ve found my shutter speeds have remained accurate, or at least within the latitude of the films I use, that they also have not required calibration. It’s overall a joy to use.

As my main film camera I've had no issues with scratched film or inaccurate exposure with the in-camera meter. Occasionally, particularly when it’s cold, the mirror will remain up long past when the exposure has finished. This is a well documented issue known as sticky mirror syndrome and which could be resolved by sending my camera in for a CLA, but it’s yet to become a common enough occurrence to merit the expense. This problem does not affect exposure and can be temporarily fixed by wiggling the shutter speed dial around until the mirror decides to come down.

I’ve shot with this particular body in temperatures as low as -50C and as high as +35C with the body performing perfectly in both situations. The battery actually lasts surprisingly long at -50C, with this likely attributed to the substantial battery door helped along by the fact that the battery compartment is often insulated by the shooter’s left hand when holding the camera normally. Even once the battery dies, at higher shutter speeds the camera is still quite operational.

The accessory viewfinders available for this camera are also quite an asset to the LX system. I use the FF-1 waistlevel finder when shooting in the street and find it very useful at turning my LX into a tiny Hasselblad. The FE-1 Waist-level finder is also very useful, particularly in near-ground macro situations where accurate focussing is of great concern.
12-05-2010, 11:10 AM   #8
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Pentax LX Camera Review

Pros Natural in hands, plenty of useful bits
Cons sticky mirror
Rating 10
Price (U.S. Dollars) 750
Years Owned 25+

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Solid weather sealed camera with many super lovely feature and a grand array accessories that make it a true heavy weight system camera. Fabulous metering system from the film-plane and the bright viewfinder. A luxury kind of camera.

Camera Review
Over the years, this camera has been a dream to use. Yet sadly when the odd malfunction of the shutter led to handing it over to a dishonest camera repair shop and the LX has function oddly ever since, yet the strength of the camera still out stripped the problems. The weight and balance of the LX is perfect and with the added grip "B" is an ergonomic perfection. The shutter is accurate and solid and the only short is it does not fully function without batteries. You do have the upper speeds, but the slower one are electronic. The view finder on my LX is the standard FA-1 and it is simply superb. It has diopter adjustments on the penta-prisms and is a bright one to use. I should mention the film handling and it is a surprise to new Pentax users...Magic Needles... first introduced on the M series it naturally finds its way on the LX and it is fast and easy to load the camera. I've been able to load blind in a crowd and keep shooting. The meter is another important subject as it is very accurate the vast in its sensitivity. While the camera is set to auto, I've made accurate, long and almost two minute exposure, with correction for film type, with perfectly balanced results. A dream to use.


Last edited by MysteryOnion; 01-01-2011 at 02:02 AM.
12-19-2010, 11:04 AM   #9
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Pentax LX Camera Review

Pros Great feel,multiple finders, long exposures, TTL flash, weather sealing, accessories
Cons Needs expensive CLA every half decade or so
Rating 9
Price (U.S. Dollars) 800
Years Owned 25

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
The size is perfect for my hands, and works with or without the winder.
The viewfinder display is superb, and the ability to meter long exposures was rare back in the 80s. This is still my favority macro or night exposure body.

Camera Review
What can one say about this body that hasn't been said? It was Pentax' pro film camera, and it is arguably the best performing film camera the company made. I still love shooting with it. It has the feel of a quality piece of equipment, and the exposure (with CLA) is dead on even with low light. I'll keep this one in running order as long as there is film.
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