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Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 5 Days Ago  
MX, LX or Super Program
Posted By climbmountainway
Replies: 37
Views: 1,077
I was the US moderator for the Pentax LX Guestbook forum for at least 7 years (the other two were from Canada and the UK). The LX was issued in two runs, the first one was unreliable, the second was (research serial numbers). Both runs developed sticky mirror syndrome when the mirror bounce foam failed in time, and often developed failure of the self timer due to is attached push button activation access eventually de-threading its mechanism attachment and thus its possible operation (difficult to get repaired BTW). Its shutter, averaging center weighted meter, build, and quiet operation were accurate, did not hold memory between shots, and spoke quality. It had an accurate and long lasting quilted metal shutter. A working body can use any K mount lens with an on lens manual aperture adjustment. It signaled aperture to the body's meter through a mechanical linkage. Its auto exposure was achieved by aperture priority mode. It offered interchangable viewfinders, winder, and motor drive (with accessories). It was truly a system Professional film camera.

The MX was simpler, with no autoexposure, yet with indexed lights set against a visible bracket in the viewfinder that made it easy to bracket exposure. It had a cloth shutter which would underlast the LX by two thirds longevity. Its simple electronics were prone to dust working its way under its bonnet; the LX was not so disposed. It offered half and full stop over and under indexed averaging center weighted metering indicators. Very lightweight and somewhat weather resistant in use, I carried it backpacking a half dozen years. Fuji Velvia transparency film was my bread and butter from my shooting slide keepers library sales. It was better built than its alike sized predecessor, the Olympus OM1. The LX and MX had a very similar viewfinder 100 per cent enlargement and size, and their focusing screens, though not multicoated for the MX, and multicoated for the LX, were interchangeable with one another.

The ME Super and Super A slightly different cameras offered more automation of exposure, without half stop manual metering, but used the same metering cell as the MX, and ME -- so were accurate. The ME Super had a metal body, the A series plastic bodies. The winders on the LX, ME super, and MX were 2 fps, with the LX and MX also offering motor drives up to 5 fps. The Super A up to 3.5 fps for its now hard to find motordrive. Any of their viewfinders were good, with the earlier bodies, MX, LX, and ME Super having pentaprisms. Only one A series had this, the cheaper units used penta mirrors.

The seals on the backs and mirror up bounce will rot after many years in a humid climate. But, finding one in pristine shape, from someone who purchased it and lodged it hardly used in a closet and case, is still very much possible. Good hunting.

If you wish to purchase one, condition is everything. I picked up a functional and clean ME Super body with winder II for under $30. The advantages of any of these are the now inexpensive, yet excellent M series SMC lenses, often with a common 49mm filter size, as are readily found on ebay for peanuts. I literally wore out the aperture on a 35mm f2, but enjoyed its color and rendition detail daily for 5 years, along with a 100mm M tele, an M series 2 28MM , and a 20mm f4 M with a 49mm filter which I still use. Occasional bargain lenses which would work well with the LX, M, and A series benefits are the M and A telezooms. I still hold 5 M series optics, used mostly for Video on digital bodies. The remote screw on 4 pin release for the LX MD and winder is interchangeable with the ME Super Winder II. The MX winder has no remote, unlike its motor drive, which interchanges batteries and AC power resources with the LX.
Forum: Pentax K-1 06-30-2020, 04:07 PM  
I Came Back To The K-1 And I'm Glad I Did!
Posted By climbmountainway
Replies: 18
Views: 1,721
No question the quality of the orchestration of hands on camera details favor Pentax. If you watched the upcoming APS-C video release design group commentary, one can see from the design group leaders that ergonomics are the company's design priority. I just need certain features to catch up with the industry: follow focus, auto contrast focus for video, pixel preference settings, fast autofocus tracking. Never had any difficulty with exposure, rendering, response to camera controls, build quality, etc. Needing a 600mm 4.5 or 5.6 which has silent focus and no barrel movement. Needing 4K with 10 bit color and breakout connectors for off camera recorders, lights, microphones, earphones, monitors, etc. Needing a dedicated cine zoom after they get up to par with others video, as just mentioned.

Some of the Interchangeable lens still cameras that do video lack Pentax build quality (Sony, Canon, Nikon, Fuji -- in that order, are below Pentax in build quality). The smaller formats than full frame and APS-C can do video magic, but lack rendering detail to cross over very well. If Pentax would advance to 10 bit color and strong AF SR 4K or 6K video they would lead the pack.
Forum: General Photography 06-24-2020, 01:05 AM  
Is This a Clone or Really Cheap??
Posted By climbmountainway
Replies: 10
Views: 908
Not a Pentax, for sure. Clone. And the finish is poor, though solid black. The lens is likely a poor substitute. Likely someone held it for several years after the clone last marketing gasp and needs the $85. Not worth the money. Look at auction sites for the real thing in good shape.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-03-2020, 02:10 AM  
Topcor Auto-Topcor 58mm f1.4 (by Cosina) - who has one, owned one, shot with one?
Posted By climbmountainway
Replies: 10
Views: 796
What a "topic", a Cosina Topcon lens of yesteryear. I recall when the Nikon F and the Beseler Topcon system cameras were neck and neck sellers. Back in the day.
Forum: Pentax K-3 01-20-2020, 12:44 PM  
K3 surprised me today
Posted By climbmountainway
Replies: 23
Views: 2,368
Yes, since you already have the expensive fantastic Bushido glass trio, just wait for the New Flagship coming out this year. Most likely it will address the focus issues. If not, we can expect Pentax (and likely Oly) to die from marketitus disease. Proven Quality achieved over T I M E, and great glass is why I have stuck with Pentax. The New 2020 APS-C Flagship must have accurate and fast AF, with working tracking and follow focus, and at least code carrying 10 or 12 bit 4K video, or I will go to the soon to be released Fujifilm X-T4 line, and only retain a core of my now abundant Pentax gear. This will mean Pentax-Richo will lose a forty year published professional advocate of their gear. I'll be a prophet here. If they lose me for these reasons, they will wax cold on any related features market share future.

I use the early M and A K Mount lenses currently by adapters and rail focusing mechanisms on my video bodies to do pull focus video work. But this too is getting old. Very old. Although the glass here is hand picked and excellent in every way, when moving from film to sensor capture they did not keep their promise to retain the original autofocus aperture Fstop indicating K mount coupling mechanism, as dropped making Ks and Ms usable for their inclusive modern metering. Chinon managed to come out with a motorized mechanical K Mount body in the film days which could choose the aperture and/or the shutter speed without the later on/in lens A aperture feature (or later electrical contacts). Pentax could now add a feature to selectively do this, if they wished to: and rescue their marketplace future as well (even if not meeting my expected AF and 4K video coding recording criteria).

So, keeping the K mount alive, with its long flange lens mounting distance is at a crossroads. Will Richo-Pentax "Imaging" live up to its name?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-19-2017, 11:52 PM  
teleconverter help - which brand works with the SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm WR
Posted By climbmountainway
Replies: 15
Views: 1,576
The Tamron F 1.4X teleconverter, not being made, had the original Pentax FA lens series power zoom contacts, and the screw slot AF mechanical linkage, in addition to the A and F(A) lens information transfer contacts: with its up focal length, loss of one f stop at the rated widest aperture of original lens, features. I picked one up for $100 from a midwestern camera store chain on line a couple of years ago (since the full frame DSLR came out its price seems to be between $150 and $500, when and if located for sale). It covers APS-C and full frame formats; it works with both in lens powered motor focusing zooms (which took over its FA power zoom contacts use after the original FA zoom lenses were discontinued by Pentax), and the screw type slot linkage autofocus lenses, or zooms, or, converts the focal length factor for MF lenses which need no electrical contact information or motor power, or old power zoom linkage. I have the Pentax 1.4 A-S, 2X A-S (which carry lens information, but offer neither kind of AF linkage), two Sigma 1.4X converters (which offer only the screw type AF linkages, without the in lens motor powering contacts AF linkage), and the Tamron F mentioned.

If you look on the Forum, under third party lenses, somewhere at the bottom it reviews all teleconverters of legacy use with the K mount. There are two Tamrons, one the F series, which can work with all PKAF lenses made. No other teleconverter works for all of these, with the exception of the DA APS-C format $500 1.4X converter. All other 1.4 or 1.5 converters do not have the in lens motor to camera body contacts. When going 2X (I have the Pentax A-S 2X, and the Tokina A-S 7 element 2x, and an old K mount Vivitar matched multiplier of ill report on the forum [which works great with a straight 200mm to make a sharp handholdable compact 400mm f6.3], all are MF) you may discover that there is one Promura/and other labels 2X AF (all of the same manufacturer) with the mentioned motor contacts -- but it was actually made for the early FA power zoom connection, and simply does not settle to autofocus with in lens motor zoom lenses, or slot-screw AF lenses. It will search and search and never arrive at autofocus. So, excepting the Tamron, and the Pentax DA 1.4X you are looking for a converter which most likely will be manual focus in application, unless just needing the screw-slot type of autofocus linkage. At the very least find one with the A/F(A, DA, DFA) series lens information contacts, not just a straight, now at least 35 year old or so K mount. Then the in camera aperture control will function.

In addition to looking on Ebay, Amazon, KLH, etc, look at used Pentax on Adorama and B & H, and then search for Pentax used lens outlets, some of which are specialty stores on Ebay, and may not show up on a general Ebay search. There are several advertising vintage PK and its offspring lenses and accessories. I am sure a Tamron F 1.4X is out there, finding a good price is uncertain.

The ones mentioned will give good focal length upgrade results, with the 2X costing two f stops off the original lens widest aperture, which can be difficult to preview through, the 1.4X costing one stop, and very very few of available used converters otherwise out there not creating more problems to focal length conversion than they supposedly solve. Go with a 1.4X which works to your best advantage with the gear you have, or think you will have. The 2xs are a mixed lot, mine work OK, but handling a 2X without a reasonable tripod or window mount and bright light is very shaky with long teles (in converting optics of 250mm and above, including camera crop factor). The 1.4Xs used, I know by use work very well, have few abberations, and are easily hand holdable, or mountable to readily grant their focal length upgrades. Recall too that shutter speed needs to go up with increased focal length, or blur due to camera shake will occur. As with a sensor crop factor, depth of field will lessen as focal length increases. Aperture selecton will be affected, as stated. F2, will become f2.8, 4 will become 5.6, if selected on the on lens aperture ring, otherwise put it on the A setting and let the camera figure. An advantage is that they can get you closer to a subject than an alike actual focal length achieved original lens.

I recently reviewed the Sigma 150-500mm full featured 21st century zoom, find it under third party lenses on the Forum: Sigma recently discontinued legacy lenses, out of production lenses, where I comment on using the 1.4X with that fine and fieldable optic. No third party manufacturer is currently making Pentax AF teleconverters, so, you are diving in a still water pond attempting seeing to the bottom through a mirky history of present availabilty to find what you need among those selling used or almost new gear settled into that now aging source.
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