Where to by a Pentax LX?

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by D.M. Procida, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. D.M. Procida

    D.M. Procida Guest

    Every time I pick up my old Praktica SLR, which is almost literally
    falling to bits, I have to admit how much nicer it is to hold and take
    photos with than my Pentax K100D.

    I just can't seem to get on with:

    * numbers instead of a moving dot to indicate exposure
    * the small, dim viewfinder
    * the chunky feel of the battery grip
    * not being able to use the aperture ring in real time

    So I'd like to get a Pentax LX.

    Where's the best place to look (shops, private advertisements)? Or is
    the answer to use the wretched eBay?

    Thanks,

    Daniele
     
    D.M. Procida, Jan 27, 2010
    #1
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  2. D.M. Procida

    Paul Giverin Guest

    In message
    <1jczjxn.iuqya5141jzq3N%>,
    D.M. Procida <> writes
    >Every time I pick up my old Praktica SLR, which is almost literally
    >falling to bits, I have to admit how much nicer it is to hold and take
    >photos with than my Pentax K100D.
    >
    >I just can't seem to get on with:
    >
    >* numbers instead of a moving dot to indicate exposure
    >* the small, dim viewfinder
    >* the chunky feel of the battery grip
    >* not being able to use the aperture ring in real time
    >
    >So I'd like to get a Pentax LX.
    >
    >Where's the best place to look (shops, private advertisements)? Or is
    >the answer to use the wretched eBay?
    >
    >Thanks,
    >
    >Daniele


    They do come up on ebay but they are not cheap. They seem to command
    prices around the £300 mark.

    I suppose you might get lucky and find some camera shop that sells 2nd
    hand stuff and they don't know the value of the LX in particular.

    Alternatively, do what I did last year and pick up a ME Super and 50mm
    lens for a more reasonable £30.

    --
    Paul Giverin

    My Photos:- www.pbase.com/vendee
     
    Paul Giverin, Jan 27, 2010
    #2
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  3. D.M. Procida

    D.M. Procida Guest

    Paul Giverin <> wrote:

    > Alternatively, do what I did last year and pick up a ME Super and 50mm
    > lens for a more reasonable £30.


    The MX was the other model I was considering, but I like the way the
    LX's viewfinder indicates exposure.

    Daniele
     
    D.M. Procida, Jan 27, 2010
    #3
  4. D.M. Procida

    Paul Giverin Guest

    In message
    <1jczm4b.o8fc0prxvrubN%>,
    D.M. Procida <> writes
    >Paul Giverin <> wrote:
    >
    >> Alternatively, do what I did last year and pick up a ME Super and 50mm
    >> lens for a more reasonable £30.

    >
    >The MX was the other model I was considering, but I like the way the
    >LX's viewfinder indicates exposure.
    >
    >Daniele


    The ME Super does that too.

    --
    Paul Giverin

    My Photos:- www.pbase.com/vendee
     
    Paul Giverin, Jan 27, 2010
    #4
  5. D.M. Procida

    Bruce Guest

    On Wed, 27 Jan 2010 16:59:58 +0000, Paul Giverin <>
    wrote:
    >In message
    ><1jczjxn.iuqya5141jzq3N%>,
    >D.M. Procida <> writes:
    >>So I'd like to get a Pentax LX.
    >>Where's the best place to look (shops, private advertisements)? Or is
    >>the answer to use the wretched eBay?
    >>Thanks,
    >>Daniele

    >
    >They do come up on ebay but they are not cheap. They seem to command
    >prices around the £300 mark.
    >
    >I suppose you might get lucky and find some camera shop that sells 2nd
    >hand stuff and they don't know the value of the LX in particular.
    >
    >Alternatively, do what I did last year and pick up a ME Super and 50mm
    >lens for a more reasonable £30.



    The LX is a fine camera. It was Pentax's only pro-quality SLR with
    the K bayonet mount, although the smaller MX also appealed strongly to
    professionals.

    The LX was very well made and did everything a keen film shooter
    needed. The problem was, it didn't really excel at anything.

    During my "Pentax years" I used an LX. I also used an MX and a Super
    A and, to be honest, the Super A was almost always my first choice. My
    second choice was the MX. The LX got left at home.

    Like most/all LXs, mine suffered from the dreaded "sticky mirror
    syndrome" which requires a comprehensive rebuild of the reflex mirror
    system, including replacement of all the rubber bushes. I used a well
    known Pentax specialist repairer in London and was quite disappointed
    at the size of the bill, which was a little over £130. It worked fine
    afterwards, but having lost confidence in it, I never used it again.

    I would strongly recommend that the OP should consider a Super A
    rather than an LX. Alternatively, consider an MZ-3, which is an MZ-5
    fitted with a pro shutter similar to that in the Nikon F4. The MZ-3
    also has autofocus.

    Finally, consider the MZ-S, which was very much a spiritual successor
    to the LX. It took the philosophy and features of the MZ-3 and added
    a rugged magnesium alloy-clad body with comprehensive environmental
    sealing against dust, dirt and moisture. The result was a robust and
    reliable yet sophisticated camera. The handling was outstanding.

    There was going to be an MZ-D version with the same full frame 6 MP
    Philips-designed sensor as in the Contax N Digital. Pentax cancelled
    it, thankfully escaping the appalling problems that Contax had with
    their version.

    The N Digital killed off Contax. The MZ-D would surely have done the
    same to Pentax. But the MZ-S is a very, very fine film camera, one
    that in my opinion represents the absolute pinnacle of Pentax design.

    The LX was merely a historical footnote. It came too late for Pentax
    to attract back those professionals who had defected to Canon, Nikon
    and other SLR systems because Pentax retained the M42 screw mount for
    far too long. It never made much of an impact on the market. Many
    Pentax users blame it on a lack of advertising, but I don't think it
    was either good enough or distinctive enough to compete in the market.

    So the MZ-S is my first recommendation, with the MZ-3 and Super A not
    far behind.
     
    Bruce, Jan 27, 2010
    #5
  6. D.M. Procida

    D.M. Procida Guest

    Bruce <> wrote:

    > On Wed, 27 Jan 2010 16:59:58 +0000, Paul Giverin <>
    > wrote:
    > >In message
    > ><1jczjxn.iuqya5141jzq3N%>,
    > >D.M. Procida <> writes:
    > >>So I'd like to get a Pentax LX.
    > >>Where's the best place to look (shops, private advertisements)? Or is
    > >>the answer to use the wretched eBay?
    > >>Thanks,
    > >>Daniele

    > >
    > >They do come up on ebay but they are not cheap. They seem to command
    > >prices around the £300 mark.
    > >
    > >I suppose you might get lucky and find some camera shop that sells 2nd
    > >hand stuff and they don't know the value of the LX in particular.
    > >
    > >Alternatively, do what I did last year and pick up a ME Super and 50mm
    > >lens for a more reasonable £30.

    >
    >
    > I would strongly recommend that the OP should consider a Super A
    > rather than an LX.


    I'll certainly have a look at that. It'll work with my Pentax A lenses
    too.

    > Alternatively, consider an MZ-3, which is an MZ-5
    > fitted with a pro shutter similar to that in the Nikon F4. The MZ-3
    > also has autofocus.


    No, I really dislike the look and feel of cameras with the big knurled
    handgrips, and the built-in flash.

    Thanks for the recommendations.

    Daniele
     
    D.M. Procida, Jan 27, 2010
    #6
  7. D.M. Procida

    Paul Giverin Guest

    In message <>, Bruce
    <> writes

    [snip]

    Talking of things Pentax, I thought that now would be a good time to
    mention that I do regularly use that 135mm f/3.5 lens you kindly gave me
    last year. Admittedly my 50mm f/1.7 is on the camera about 80% of the
    time but the 135mm does get used and I do appreciate having it.

    I know that you wanted to know that it was being put to good use and it
    is.

    Cheers,

    --
    Paul Giverin

    My Photos:- www.pbase.com/vendee
     
    Paul Giverin, Jan 27, 2010
    #7
  8. D.M. Procida

    D.M. Procida Guest

    Paul Giverin <> wrote:

    > Admittedly my 50mm f/1.7 is on the camera about 80% of the
    > time


    I'm not surprised! Isn't it just one of the nicest lenses?

    One thing I am looking forward to is having my lenses on a camera with a
    larger image fall.

    I've found that I mostly use a 28mm lens on the K100D, and much more
    rarely the 40mm and the 50mm, but they'll make more sense for me on a
    camera with 35mm film.

    Daniele
     
    D.M. Procida, Jan 27, 2010
    #8
  9. D.M. Procida

    Bruce Guest

    On Wed, 27 Jan 2010 22:12:21 +0000, Paul Giverin <>
    wrote:
    >In message <>, Bruce
    ><> writes
    >
    >[snip]
    >
    >Talking of things Pentax, I thought that now would be a good time to
    >mention that I do regularly use that 135mm f/3.5 lens you kindly gave me
    >last year. Admittedly my 50mm f/1.7 is on the camera about 80% of the
    >time but the 135mm does get used and I do appreciate having it.
    >
    >I know that you wanted to know that it was being put to good use and it
    >is.
    >
    >Cheers,



    Thanks Paul! It's good to know that you are using it.

    I still use one Pentax lens with an adapter on my Canon EOS 5D. It is
    the SMC PENTAX-A 35-105mm f/3.5 zoom. Strictly speaking it is a
    varifocal lens as you need to refocus every time you change focal
    length. It is a fine performer with delightfully smooth bokeh, which
    is quite rare in a zoom lens.

    Unfortunately, my 5D comes off lease in a few months and I will be
    replacing it with a Nikon DSLR - I am already using a D700 and most of
    my lenses are Nikkors, so there isn't much point continuing with
    Canon. I won't have a digital body that's capable of accepting Pentax
    lenses. I still have one Pentax film SLR - a Super A - so the only
    way I will be able to use the 35-105 is with film.
     
    Bruce, Jan 28, 2010
    #9
  10. D.M. Procida

    Paul Giverin Guest

    In message <>, Bruce
    <> writes
    >
    >Unfortunately, my 5D comes off lease in a few months and I will be
    >replacing it with a Nikon DSLR - I am already using a D700 and most of
    >my lenses are Nikkors, so there isn't much point continuing with
    >Canon. I won't have a digital body that's capable of accepting Pentax
    >lenses. I still have one Pentax film SLR - a Super A - so the only
    >way I will be able to use the 35-105 is with film.
    >


    No harm in keeping the Super A and the 35-105mm just in case then ;)

    You mentioned your 5D coming off lease...... are you a professional
    photographer then?

    --
    Paul Giverin

    My Photos:- www.pbase.com/vendee
     
    Paul Giverin, Jan 28, 2010
    #10
  11. D.M. Procida

    Paul Giverin Guest

    In message
    <1jd01qm.x0ej9n1escovsN%>,
    D.M. Procida <> writes
    >Paul Giverin <> wrote:
    >
    >> Admittedly my 50mm f/1.7 is on the camera about 80% of the
    >> time

    >
    >I'm not surprised! Isn't it just one of the nicest lenses?
    >
    >One thing I am looking forward to is having my lenses on a camera with a
    >larger image fall.
    >
    >I've found that I mostly use a 28mm lens on the K100D, and much more
    >rarely the 40mm and the 50mm, but they'll make more sense for me on a
    >camera with 35mm film.
    >

    Actually, I'm planning on getting a 28mm for my ME Super some time in
    the future, probably off ebay.

    The 50mm f/1.7 is a lovely lens but sometimes its not wide enough. I've
    got a 10-22mm lens for my Canon. Now that *is* wide.

    --
    Paul Giverin

    My Photos:- www.pbase.com/vendee
     
    Paul Giverin, Jan 28, 2010
    #11
  12. D.M. Procida

    D.M. Procida Guest

    D.M. Procida, Jan 28, 2010
    #12
  13. D.M. Procida

    Paul Giverin Guest

    In message
    <1jd1ssr.1eil9xo1i07mbwN%>,
    D.M. Procida <> writes
    >Paul Giverin <> wrote:
    >
    >> The ME Super does that too.

    >
    >I just bought this one:
    >
    ><http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110485321741#ht_50
    >0wt_1044>
    >
    >The ME Super doesn't show the aperture in the viewfinder, which is a
    >shame, but it's certainly way cheaper than an LX would be!
    >

    Ah right, you said previously "exposure" but you meant aperture. It does
    show shutter speed and has indicators for under/over exposure. The only
    limitation I find is the max ISO of 1600. I sometimes like to shoot at
    3200. I've got a Canon EOS 3 that will go up to 6400 ISO but there are
    times when its preferable to carry the smaller, almost "compact" ME
    Super.

    The ME Super you bought is a great price and terrific value for money.
    Let me know if you need a pdf copy of the owners manual and I will email
    it to you.

    Hope you enjoy your new Pentax.

    --
    Paul Giverin

    My Photos:- www.pbase.com/vendee
     
    Paul Giverin, Jan 28, 2010
    #13
  14. D.M. Procida

    D.M. Procida Guest

    Paul Giverin <> wrote:

    > >The ME Super doesn't show the aperture in the viewfinder, which is a
    > >shame, but it's certainly way cheaper than an LX would be!
    > >

    > Ah right, you said previously "exposure" but you meant aperture.


    No, I meant exposure. The aperture display would have been an additional
    bonus.

    I like seeing the context provided by the full range of shutter speeds,
    and some kind of indicator against that scale. That away I can easily
    see how far I am away from the exposure settings I need, and when I
    chnage a setting, I can see the indicator move towards the desired
    point.

    My K100D says: "-1.0" to mean it's under-exposing, and the number
    changes, but I can't intuit its rate or direction of change, I have to
    stop and think about it.

    > It does show shutter speed and has indicators for under/over exposure. The
    > only limitation I find is the max ISO of 1600. I sometimes like to shoot
    > at 3200. I've got a Canon EOS 3 that will go up to 6400 ISO but there are
    > times when its preferable to carry the smaller, almost "compact" ME
    > Super.
    >
    > The ME Super you bought is a great price and terrific value for money.
    > Let me know if you need a pdf copy of the owners manual and I will email
    > it to you.


    Thanks, that's kind. I found:

    <http://www.butkus.org/chinon/pentax/pentax_me_super/pentax_me_super.htm
    >


    but if your copy is better, do please email it to me.

    > Hope you enjoy your new Pentax.


    I am sure I will.

    Daniele
     
    D.M. Procida, Jan 28, 2010
    #14
  15. D.M. Procida

    Bruce Guest

    On Thu, 28 Jan 2010 19:20:16 +0000, Paul Giverin <>
    wrote:
    >In message <>, Bruce
    ><> writes
    >>
    >>Unfortunately, my 5D comes off lease in a few months and I will be
    >>replacing it with a Nikon DSLR - I am already using a D700 and most of
    >>my lenses are Nikkors, so there isn't much point continuing with
    >>Canon. I won't have a digital body that's capable of accepting Pentax
    >>lenses. I still have one Pentax film SLR - a Super A - so the only
    >>way I will be able to use the 35-105 is with film.
    >>

    >
    >No harm in keeping the Super A and the 35-105mm just in case then ;)
    >
    >You mentioned your 5D coming off lease...... are you a professional
    >photographer then?



    For my sins. :-(
     
    Bruce, Jan 29, 2010
    #15
  16. D.M. Procida

    Rob Morley Guest

    On Fri, 29 Jan 2010 13:29:03 +0000
    Bruce <> wrote:

    > On Thu, 28 Jan 2010 19:20:16 +0000, Paul Giverin <>
    > wrote:
    > .... are you a professional
    > >photographer then?

    >
    >
    > For my sins. :-(
    >

    You must have been quite naughty. :)
     
    Rob Morley, Jan 29, 2010
    #16
  17. D.M. Procida

    D.M. Procida Guest

    Paul Giverin <> wrote:

    > The ME Super you bought is a great price and terrific value for money.
    > Let me know if you need a pdf copy of the owners manual and I will email
    > it to you.


    My ME Super has arrived, courtesy of eBay. It's mostly OK, I think.

    The curtain was stuck halfway down, but after gently helping it on its
    way with a fingernail it has been OK.

    And I know that some cameras' winding mechanisms function oddly without
    a film, but on occasion, this one can and needs to be wound two or three
    times before the shutter will release.

    The batteries are dead so I haven't been able to test the meter.

    Anyway - that viewfinder! It's huge and bright. And the whole camera
    looks and feels very attractive.

    Can you send me a copy of the manual? I'd be very grateful.

    Daniele
     
    D.M. Procida, Feb 2, 2010
    #17
  18. D.M. Procida

    Paul Giverin Guest

    In message
    <1jdb20f.w0iaqw1mzw493N%>,
    D.M. Procida <> writes
    >Paul Giverin <> wrote:
    >
    >> The ME Super you bought is a great price and terrific value for money.
    >> Let me know if you need a pdf copy of the owners manual and I will email
    >> it to you.

    >
    >My ME Super has arrived, courtesy of eBay. It's mostly OK, I think.
    >
    >The curtain was stuck halfway down, but after gently helping it on its
    >way with a fingernail it has been OK.
    >
    >And I know that some cameras' winding mechanisms function oddly without
    >a film, but on occasion, this one can and needs to be wound two or three
    >times before the shutter will release.
    >
    >The batteries are dead so I haven't been able to test the meter.
    >
    >Anyway - that viewfinder! It's huge and bright. And the whole camera
    >looks and feels very attractive.
    >
    >Can you send me a copy of the manual? I'd be very grateful.
    >
    >Daniele


    It might be worth setting the mode dial to x125 because I believe that
    it won't operate correctly in auto with dead batteries.

    I once had a problem with the wind on lever similar to what you
    describe. I exercised it for a while and it was fine but I believe it is
    common for this to give problems and a good service is needed. It might
    be worth buying a cheap sacrificial roll of film to check out the camera
    with film loaded.

    If you are mechanically minded then this is a good resource:-
    http://www.mypentax.com/PentaxMeSuper.html

    As you say, the viewfinder is great, especially coming from a 1.6 crop
    DSLR.

    Owners manual is on its way.

    --
    Paul Giverin

    My Photos:- www.pbase.com/vendee
     
    Paul Giverin, Feb 2, 2010
    #18
  19. D.M. Procida

    Bruce Guest

    On Mon, 8 Feb 2010 10:38:09 -0800 (PST), "Michael McGrath, Portraitist
    .." <> wrote:

    >Never used an LX, Bruce, but boy does it look sexy, probaly why most
    >afficionados want it so badly ,makes the bearer appear to be somewhat
    >artistic, so fuels the ego.



    Yes, there's something in that. Too many cameras are purchased as
    male jewellery.


    >I actually liked the screw mounts, the best standard lens in the
    >world, the Pentax SMC Super Takumar 50mm 1.4 is universal screw as you
    >know . In my experience it beats Zeiss standard prime lenses hands
    >down, though they were brilliant too, even on the humble Praktikas
    >which were humble for a very good reason - the shutters always went
    >BANG after six weeks ! I often think that Pentax issued that Takumar
    >as a kit lens back in the 60's by mistake, and that's why they
    >withdrew it and replaced it on their bayonet bodies with their much
    >inferior later run of Pentax bayonet lenses .
    >
    >Ah , if only I could get a mint Spotmatic with THAT lens again !



    I agree, it is a wonderful lens and I used one for some years. It had
    a Leica-like quality to the out of focus areas of the shot.

    Pentax achieved optical excellence by concentrating on everything
    except rectilinear distortion. Their lenses tended to perform well in
    every other area but rectilinear distortion was much higher than in
    Carl Zeiss and Leica designs. Nikon lenses had lower distortion but
    performed less well in other areas.

    As you implied, Pentax went rapidly downhill after abandoning the
    screw mount. Their K lenses weren't bad but many of the M lenses were
    terrible. They pulled their socks up with the A lenses but by then it
    was too late.

    Pentax have struggled ever since. They are probably in a worse
    position now than ever before, having abandoned the partnership with
    Samsung that was probably their last hope.
     
    Bruce, Feb 8, 2010
    #19
  20. D.M. Procida

    Bruce Guest

    On Mon, 8 Feb 2010 12:43:40 -0800 (PST), "Michael McGrath, Portraitist
    .." <> wrote:

    >Yes, Bruce, I think that God sent me that Takumar when I was too young
    >to appreciate its magic, after all everybody around me that I looked
    >up to and admired as a Pro was clamouring to the rooftops that Nikon
    >was better - it was not .



    I think the bayonet F mount was Nikon's unique selling point.


    >Nikon back in the Sixties was pedestrian compared to THAT TAK lens,
    >and even still is , every lens is , even my much - vaunted and sought
    >- after Zeiss 35/2.4 Flektogon and Zeiss 135/3.5 , though GOOD, don't
    >quite have it like that Takumar , in fact it contributed towards
    >making my reputation as a photographer locally while still young ,
    >though I like and use Nikon glass today , regularly, especially on my
    >trusty Fuji Finepix S2 Pro.



    In any lens range there are some great performers and some duds. But
    I don't think there were many dud Takumars.


    >I don't trust Canon lenses as much since I heard that they often use a
    >plastic element or two .I find Canon lenses not to be so good at
    >greater enlargement sizes , so I think that you are better off with
    >the Nikon D 700 , much better off in fact .



    That was my experience. Until recently I used two Canon EOS 5D bodies
    for everything. I wasn't happy with Canon glass so I bought several
    Carl Zeiss lenses (for Contax SLRs) and used them on the 5D with
    adapters.


    >And as I posted, that wonderful Canon EOS 300V for when I have to
    >shoot outdoor portraiture FAST ( with the Minolta Dynax loaded with
    >B&W when it's ordered ) . The kit 28-90 Canon lens doesn't make any
    >difference on prints up to 10X8 and a bit beyond - Bronica and mamiya
    >come out for amything bigger or more 'populated' such as huge school
    >class groups, wedding big groups ( that I still do and think are
    >essential in the album ) .



    The Canon 28-90 is a pretty good lens, but very cheaply made. I never
    liked the way the front element and its tube wobbled about!



    >Horses for courses, we're blest with such a fab array of tools these
    >days . In the end, it's the man behind the gun that counts .



    Absolutely. There are no bad cameras, only bad photographers.


    >>What do you think Pentax could do to get back up there again, if

    >anything ?
    >
    >I think they should re-issue that Takumar range for digital ?



    Pentax desperately needs a partner to provide sensor technology.

    They had one in Samsung of Korea. But last year, Hoya Group - the
    Japanese parent company of Pentax, Hoya and Tokina - decided to
    terminate the co-operation with Samsung.

    I have no idea why, or whether it was the right thing to do, but that
    decision served only to cast Pentax into the wilderness with no sign
    of a replacement partner.

    Relationships between Japanese and Korean companies are often
    complicated because of long memories of what happened in World War 2.

    My prediction is, sadly, that Pentax will close in 2-3 years or less.
    I do hope that I am wrong.
     
    Bruce, Feb 8, 2010
    #20
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