Pentax LX 35mm SLRs

Pentax LX 35mm SLRs 

DESCRIPTION

A K-mount, mechanical, semi-pro camera body. Sealed from dust and moisture for use in adverse conditions.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 28  
[Jun 05, 2015]
Ed Altenritter
Expert

Strength:

This is a great camera build like a brick, very rugged and reliable! Really, sticky mirror a problem? It's a remove and replace task that takes any camera repair tech 5 minutes as part of the routine CLA you should have done before using any used camera.

Weakness:

None that I can see.

There is no sem-pro in this camera, it is a professional quality camera that with reasonable care can last a lifetime and take great pictures.

Similar Products Used:

Nikon FM3.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 06, 2015]
Padmakar Srivastava

Strength:

The best 35 mm film SLR ever made

Weakness:

One can always find a weakness, but in 1980 it was well ahead of its time.

The best 35 mm film SLR ever made

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 15, 2008]
Michael
Expert

Strength:

Nearly indestructible, weather-proof body
incredibly well-designed and compact layout of controls
uncluttered but complete exposure information available in viewfinder
IDM metering system (exposure range from EV 20 down to - 6.5!!)
interchangeable focusing screens
very useful hand grip
120 degree buttery smooth throw
double exposure button doubling as rewind release
mirror lock-up
Bulb setting
No batteries necessary!!!!

Weakness:

Bad winder interface (poor wire design?)
Funky neck strap lugs on the same side?!? The halibut-design.

After trying nearly every major manufacturer's cameras in the last 25 years (Leica, Mamiya, Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Yashica), when all is said and done, the Pentax LX comes closest to being the ideal SLR. The body is nearly indestructible, the incredibly well-designed and compact layout of controls, the uncluttered but complete exposure information available in the viewfinder, the ability to handle the most difficult lighting situations due to its IDM metering system (hey, how many cameras do you know that have an exposure range from EV 20 down to - 6.5?!?), its interchangeable focusing screens, very useful handgrip, 120 degree buttery smooth throw, double exposure button doubling as rewind release... need I go on and on?? It was simply the best SLR ever made, at least from a user-perspective (Canon, Nikon, and Leica owners will have you think otherwise, due to nothing more than millions of dollars spent on clever and ubiquitous marketing from these companies).

Then add all the glorious Takumars you can use with an M42/K adapter, not to mention the limited lens series which have been rated as the most accurate lenses ever tested, and what superlatives are you left with?

It's simply the best, and I will never make the mistake of selling mine again. Thankfully, I was able to buy another one, and this one I'm keeping. Forever.

Customer Service

n/a

Similar Products Used:

Pentax MX
Canon F1
Minolta 7
Leicaflex
Nikon F2

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 30, 2002]
choeN
Expert

Strength:

Mine has a sticky mirror problem, though this is supposed to be a weakness, read on: even when the mirror failed to flip up correctly (due to the old gluey joints) at the trip of the shutter button the metering proved it's legendary status by exposing the film correctly! Example: the meter reads the scene to be 1/30s, shutter depressed, the mirror doesnt flip up till some miliseconds later, but the mirror stays up a bit longer than the 1/30 to compensate. Was really surprised when I got my first test roll of slides back. Was expecting half exposed frames and even underexposure, but the slides were PERFECT. I first thought the 'erronous' exposure time (1/30 became 1/15 or 1/8) was just that: erronous, but in fact not because the meter keeps adjusting itself even when the shutter is open for film exposure. The mirror lock up is a brilliant feature. You'd need it for long exposures up to minutes (my longest exposure was some 15 minutes though I thought this was impossible). Are the accessories a strength or a weakness? The FA1-W finder is fantastic simply because you can adjust it to your eye's need. Clear and bright viewfinder. The accessories system however makes this camera a very flexible and customizable tool. Pentax lenses are underated, especially the primes. Trust me, for the price paid they give you the best bang for the buck. Those who are used to the sizes and weight of pro level Canon and Nikon cameras may find the LX to be tiny and light though compared to the

Weakness:

The sticky mirror. Though the OTF metering corrects the exposure it is very irritating. The lack of a exposure lock is something the designers missed. The slow sync speed makes fill in flash almost impossible (but I hardly use the flash anyway). I won't use this camera any further till I've had it serviced and repaired, but so far quotes from independent and Pentax seem to be much too high. Again the question about the accessories, strength or weakness? The motordrive and winder to body design is flimsy and badly thought out. Film may get damaged by light leak when attaching the winder to the body. Those who are used to the sizes and weight of pro level Canon and Nikon cameras may find the LX to be tiny and light, but may be too tiny and light for the said Canon and Nikon users. In the strength category I praised the lenses for being affordable: warning here, the best lenses (like the 85mm lenses) are not. They're sometimes equal if not more expensive than Nikkors. Note: Pentax made many unannounced revisions to this camera during it's 20 years in production. Mine is a rather early model with serial number 524***.

Even if the metering system is only centre weighted, it is uncannily accurate. Not the camera you will want if you are a feature and gadget geek, for this is a no nonsense tool. This camera should bring a great sense of fulfilment and joy to all DoItYourself photographers (the same fellows who might rate vegetarian cameras like the Nikon FM2 and Canon F1n highly). Ignore the value and overall rating down there, it's a subjective thing. Without a worthy successor from Pentax, this camera has become THE Pentax, the cult symbol, and with that, the price keeps rising annually. Too bad Pentax put this camera (as an electronic version) into a flimsy plastic shell of the MZ-3. It took me 5 years to hunt down a second hand body which price (£250) matches it's condition- cosmetically. But alas, the sticky mirror problem!

Customer Service

Haven't used it. I go to independent workshops manned by former in-house-Pentax technicians.

Similar Products Used:

Pentax MZ50, ME super, MX. Nikon FM2, FE2. Mamiya C220.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Nov 16, 2001]
ChrisB
Professional

Strength:

From new utterly reliable and still useable when batteries fail. Light and beautiful to hold.

Weakness:

No spot reading, and slightly dim screens by today''s standard.

I bought two LX''s for work (pathology) back in the early 80''s. I still have them and they still work well, with only one of them having required a full overhaul during this period. My colleagues use Nikons (as I do domestically) but I have never once had any reason to doubt that first decision. This is one of the very best 35mmSLR''s EVER. But,as somebody has already said, do check condition: these are so good they get hammered, especially by people like me taking several thousand frames each year. Pentax prime lenses are very good and their macro''s up there with the very best. Never usued their zooms.

Customer Service

In the UK very good, though rarely used.

Similar Products Used:

Nikon F2,F3 and FM. Leicaflex and M1,2 @3.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 20, 2001]
Giafo
Professional

Strength:

Build quality. Sealed construction. Wide range of accessories. OTF metering outstandingly reliable. Meter works even without finder. Many speeds are available without batteries. Accepts either a 2fps winder or a 5fps motordrive. One of the shortest shutter lag among all SLR cameras. Wonderful Pentax lenses.

Weakness:

The early bodies could be heavy used and not completely reliable. If you can afford it, buy a late LX (brand new, if you are able to find one). A complete CLA can cost more than a used body. The accessories are hard to find and are becoming expensive. No exposure lock. Viewfinders do not show 100% of the frame (just barely less, though).

One of the best 35mm cameras ever made. For sure the best Pentax 35mm camera. I can say that: I own four LX and 12 other Pentax bodies... While many features could seem to many people poor and out of date (no spot metering, flash synch only 1/50 in TTL) this is one of the most reliable cameras you can get on the market. It''s a true mess it is out of production.

Customer Service

The Pentax service in Italy is good. I have never had my LX bodies serviced but I''ve been told that a repair or a simple CLA can be very expensive.

Similar Products Used:

Other LX bodies; Nikon F2; Nikon F3; many Pentax bodies from the K2 to the Z-1p.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 24, 2000]
Y.C.CHEN
Expert

Strength:

IDM metering thru the dark, mechanically control shutter in manual mode, all basic features of a PRO camera.

Weakness:

not as solid as F3, no succeeder from Pentax.

Longest exposure I tried was 3.5 min and still got excellent picture. Shutter jammed when battery caught cold in my Europe trip, I simply selected the mech shutter according to the metering.

The metering display in manual mode is very intuitively read, a simple and better system than today's metering scale.

Customer Service

good

Similar Products Used:

F3HP, ME super, F4s, F2A, EOS630, EOS 5, RTSIII

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 14, 2000]
Ron Kerkhove
Professional
Model Reviewed: LX

Strength:

Read the other reviews :-)
I like the small size/weight. Superb. light reading (-4 or so).

Weakness:

The sticky mirror. Never had this myself.
Flash synchro (1/60)

I bought a second body a few years ago as backup but sold it again last year because I never needed it :-) It is the best Pentax ever made (in 35mm). I think it is a great camera, and prefer it above the Nikon F3. A shame Pentax has no follower for this fine 35mm wonder.

Customer Service

Never needed.

Similar Products Used:

Nikon F3, F4, FM F801s F90X - Canon Eos1n - Pentax ME/super

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jun 22, 2000]
Reg Wiest
Expert
Model Reviewed: LX

Strength:

Professional-calibre camera that takes a vast number of accessories, fairly small, great light-metering system, depth of field preview, mirror lock.

Weakness:

Mirror sticking a problem.

A beautiful camera — Pentax’s finest ever!

Customer Service

Never used it; camera repaired by independent shop.

Similar Products Used:

Pentax ME Super, Pentax MZ-5N (although LX

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jun 20, 2000]
Deron
Intermediate
Model Reviewed: LX

Strength:

Metering is excellent. Manual focusing. Changable focusing screens. Able to use excellent SMC optics (poor marketing NOT poor system). MLU!

Weakness:

Wish the finder was illuminated, but not a big deal.

As you can see, I am a Pentax fan. The LX is the best of the 35mm line. Autofocus is unnessesary. True MLU, OTF metering, DOF preview, TTL flash control, interchangable screens, WL viewfinder - these are the things that a nature photo maker really needs. Just about no other camera offers this (Olympus is the only one I can think of).

Customer Service

Had to return my ZX-5 for work. Slow turn around. Eventually sold the ZX-5 - too flimsy.

Similar Products Used:

Own: Pentax 67, Pentax KX, Pentax K1000, Pentax ZX-5; Shot with: Fuji 67, Canon AE-1, Nikon FE, Nikon F100.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 28  

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