PENTAX LX – A Professional SLR camera to Take Full Advantage of the Technologies of Asahi Optical Company
The PENTAX LX is an SLR camera that seeks professional quality. It came out on top of all film cameras both in name and reality in the history of PENTAX.
PENTAX put all its experiences and technologies into the LX. It took five years to develop the very best film camera in terms of the operability, system performance, robustness, reliability, and so on…… Thus, a perfect SLR film camera, the LX, was debuted with the super-compact size just like other PENTAX products.
A 35mm SLR film camera, the LX, has been still admired and cherished by all PENTAX fans ( some people call the fans “PENTA-TOU”). If you like a small compact camera, you will absolutely experience a great time through the truly unique model “PENTAX LX”.
About the PENTAX LX
The LX is the one and the only flagship model produced by PENTAX. It also embodies PENTAX’s (Asahi optical company’s) advanced technologies.
Performances and Specifications of the PENTAX LX
Here, I am going to introduce the LX’s performances and specifications.
The LX has been produced over 20 years from 1980 to 2001. It has electronic and mechanical hybrid shutters with a range of 4 seconds (the slowest speed) to 1/2000 second (the top speed). The flash sync speed is 1/75 second.
The mechanical shutter will be automatically changed into the electronic shutter within 1/60 second. The shutter curtains are made of titanium. Then, it is a horizontal traveling shutter camera.
With the PENTAX K-mount lenses having a diaphragm ring, it is possible to use aperture-priority AE mode. The LX will activate to provide automatic electronic control in aperture priority mode, including fast shutter speeds. Optically direct reading for the aperture value is also available.
In addition, the camera can wind film up step by step and it is possible to attach both a motor drive and winder.
The LX offers center-weighted metering that calculates the amount of light by using shutter curtains, and a photometric element is SPD. With the PENTAX mount adapter M42, the camera allows the use of M42 and Takumar lenses with a stopped down aperture metering. Because it is designed for a professional model, its viewfinder is interchangeable.
The standard FA-1 finder is equipped with a hot shoe on the top of the square-shaped body, while the FA-2 has a hot shoe on the triangular configuration and won the great popularity as a collector item.
Unique Top-Performing Small Compact Cameras Produced by PENTAX
Comparing to other full frame DSLR cameras, the PENTAX K-1 full frame DSLR camera has become famous for attaining miniaturization and light weighting these days. In fact, PENTAX has developed the S series (including the PENTAX SP) based upon a belief in producing smaller and lighter cameras than other company’s product.
The LX’s heroic achievements actually represent characteristic of PENTAX cameras. Comparing other professional models such as the Nikon F3 and the Canon New F-1, the body is quite small. But, its functions and performances are the same levels of other professional cameras. It means you can feel safe and comfortable to use the LX!
High-Class Finish with PENTAX’s All Technologies
When people talk about the LX, a burdensome coating throughout the body always becomes a topic of conversation. Especially, a shutter dial decorated with the letters can be a symbol of the camera.
Usually, a shutter dial is finely sculpted with concave letters. On the other hand, the LX inscribes the place around the letters. This unique design takes a lot of time and labor, therefore the PENTAX probably leverage it to the LX only.
It also features the reliable construction, such as a smart interchangeable viewfinder base and solid body conveying its durability to photographers the moment they hold it.
One of the Pioneers for Dust-Proof and Moisture-Proof Design
A dust and splash-proof design throughout the body enhances the LX’s reliability. The camera excels in weather ability against a little rain or snow by filling the void over its exterior with sealing.
Most cameras can provide optimum protection against dust and liquids today, but surprisingly enough, most of the film camera manufacturers entered the age of developing dustproof and waterproof gauge in 1980. Accordingly, the LX is said to be a pioneer of the camera with dustproof and waterproof protections.
Another Story of the Best PENTAX SLR Film Camera
The PENTAX fans’ dream SLR film camera had been the LX. So, the fans were super happy and welcomed it when PENTAX officially announced to launch the production.
Professional SLR Film Cameras Produced by Popular Camera Manufacturer
The Japanese SLR film cameras have been sold in all over the world after the 1960s. However, each Japanese camera manufacturer has provided cameras under their own brand image, resulted in increasing people’s preconceptions toward products.
For example, Nikon and Canon were expected to be a top professional camera manufacturer, while PENTAX and Minolta were much more popular camera makers.
But, PENTAX overturned all preconceptions and launched making a new SLR camera around 1975, when changing from M42 to K mount. PENTAX then finally completed its own professional SLR film cameras like the KX, MX, and the LX (called the 3X later). The LX was released in 1980. Its performance and specification are today on a par with that of professional Nikon F3 and Canon New F-1. In another to say, PENTAX finally caught up with Nikon and Canon in terms of camera manufacturing techniques.
Named in honor of manufacturer Asahi Optical Company’s 60th anniversary, “LX” means 60 in Roman numerals. This camera can be the most symbolic camera for both Asahi Optical Company and PENTAX.
How to Choose a PENTAX LX – The Early Model and Later Model
The LX debuted in 1980 and produced till 2001. As you may know, there are two practical models for the LX, well known as the first/early model and later model.
In terms of camera systems, the later model has a high reliability. As the later model offered a manufacturer supported repair service in the past, it seems a little different from the first/early model in a way.
To distinguish between the early model and later model, you need to check whether the body has a guard around the shutter button or not. The early model doesn’t have a guard, but the later model does.
There is another good point to tell them apart, and it is the later model has a shutter curtain with fine small dot pattern. As for the first model, you can easily tell the difference if you check a back cover. This model doesn’t have a film roller next to the pressure plate.
PENTAX LX Limited Model
Many PENTAX LX limited models were born to the world in a long manufacturing period.
Firstly, the PENTAX LX Titanium represents the LX limited models. It was released in 1994, featuring the fissionable titanium body. Only 1,000 of this limited model were made.
Secondly, the PENTAX LX LIMITED was offered with black finished titanium body. It has an attractive matte black coating unlike the standard LX model, and it is 300 as limited sales.
Thirdly, the LX2000 was an anniversary model celebrating for a millennium year. The overall look is silver and the leather is blown. The number “2000” is stamped on the shoulder place. It is only 1,000 as limited sales.
Lastly, it is the LX Gold. This is a collector item, celebrating that the number of PENTAX SLR cameras has reached 1,000 units, and it is equipped with a PENTAX-A f/1.4 50mm lens also with gold finish. Only 300 of this limited model were made.
Let’s Enjoy the Best SLR Film Camera by PENTAX
Thus, the LX came to be a world-class SLR film camera in which Asahi Optical Company (PENTAX) put all its experiences and technologies. As this perfect camera was processed very well, it can provide excellent usability and well-established reliability!
Would you like to keep a real camera “PENTAX LX” on your hand?