Pentax LX
Posted 2-27-03

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Designed and engineered with the precision, reliability and dedication to quality that has made Pentax a leader in photography throughout the world, your new Pentax LX 35mm System SLR camera has the features and flexibility to meet virtually any photographic challenge, and the accuracy of its Integrated Direct Metering through-the-lens light measurement is unexcelled.

From the fast paced realm of news photography to capturing the breathtaking serenity of a panoramic mountain landscape, from the quick action of sports to the demanding world of macrophotography, from portraiture to candids, your Pentax LX is the key which will enable you to reach new levels of creativity and photographic

Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting out, a little extra time taken to read through the Owner's Manual carefully will be time well spent. By familiarizing yourself thoroughly with your camera you will not only learn of all the benefits it has to offer, you'll also insure yourself years of trouble-free operation.

Benefits of LX Photography ......4

Description of Parts ..................... 6

Batteries .........................10

Attaching the Viewfinder ............... 12

Mounting the Lens ....................14

Advancing the Film ............15

Loading the Film .....................16

Setting the Film Speed/Memo Holder ............17

Setting the Shutter Dial .................18

Activating the Meter ............19

Focusing  .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .... . . .. .. ... . . ... . . .. . 20

The Standard FA-1 Viewfinder Display 21

Shooting Automatically  . . . . . .. . ... . .. .. . .. . . . ... . ... . .. . 22

Using the Exposure Compensation Dial. . . . .  24

Manual Exposure Control  . . . . . . . .26

Meter Coupling Range . . . . . . . 27

Unloading the Film . . . . . . .  28

Holding the Camera . . .. . . . 29

Using the Self-Timer/Depth-of- Field Preview/Mirror Lock. . . . . 30

Multiple Exposures ............32

Using a Tripod/Time Exposures at "B" . ............34

Infrared Photography 35

Depth-of-Field Scales: 36

Depth-of- Field Tables . . . . . . . . . ... . . . ....... .. . 37

Shooting with TTL Integrated Automatic Flash Units  . . . . . . . .38

"Dedicated" Automatic Flash Units . . . . . . . . 40

Other Flash Units , , . 41

Case and Strap . . . . . . . . . . 42

Grips . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Using Screw Mount Takamar Lenses . . . . . . . . . . .  44

Maintaining the Camera . . . . . . . . . . . . .45

LX Interchangeable Viewfinders . . . . . . . 46

Changing the Focusing Screen . . . . . . . . . 48

Winder/ Motor Drive System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Data Recording9 System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Pentax Lens System . . . . . . . . 56

Specifications . . . . . . . 62

Warranty . . . . . . . 64


IDM Light Measurement
The heart of the Pentax LX is the Integrated Direct Metering (IDM) system which employs a Silicon Photo Diode to measure light directly off the film plane for superb accuracy in exposure control. Incorporating a special pattern on the shutter curtain for high speed measurements and a unique secondary mirror which transmits information to the LX viewfinder almost to the precise moment of exposure, the I DM system of through-the-lens light measurement assures accuracy even under the most difficult and changing lighting conditions. The need for exposure compensation when using system accessories such as focusing screens or interchangeable finders is virtually

Interchangeable Finders and  Screens
The LX System includes a wide array of interchangeable viewfinders and focusing screens to meet the challenge of any photographic situation. The unique FB-1 Systems Finder features optional viewing accessories to create a viewing system within a system, and the standard FA-1 Finder features a built-in TTL "X" synch hot shoe which lets you take full advantage of the I DM light measurement system (See pages 46 to 49)

Titanium Electro-Mechanical Shutter
The LX camera features an extremely broad range of shutter speeds. The titanium electro-mechanical shutter mechanism delivers electronically-controlled stepless speeds in the automatic mode from an amazingly fast 1/2000th second down to 125 seconds, provides manual speeds from 1/2000th second to 4 seconds, and features a special design which provides manual speeds from 1/2000th second to "X" even when the batteries fail (see page 11,18).

TTL Integrated Automatic Flash Control
Integrated Automatic Flash Control with the Pentax AF-280T and AF-400T Flash Units makes flash photography exceptionally simple and accurate even with difficult bounce lighting or at close subject distances. Because the IDM system measures light at the film plane, the LX works with TTL flash models to measure both ambient and electronic flash lighting for exposure accuracy regardless of the lens aperture. These units also feature automatic "X" synchronization and a visible exposure check and ready light in the viewfinder when the capacitor reaches full charge (see page 38).

Rugged, Lightweight, Compact Design
Designed to handle the most rugged and demanding professional assignments, the LX remains incomparably compact and lightweight among the 35mm SLR camera systems. Its specially contoured body design allows it to rest comfortably in your hands even with Motor Drive or Winder attached. Weighing only 803 grams (28 ounces) with normal f/1.4 lens and standard Finder, the LX is designed to go anywhere and capture the action with the ultimate in handling ease and carrying convenience. Special gaskets and linings at key points throughout the body make the LX extra durable and resistant to heat, shock and moisture.

The LX is backed by a comprehensive system of accessories with more than 40 Super-Multi-Coated Pentax lenses and hundreds of attachments to meet virtually any picture-taking need. (seepages 56-59).






 (1) Two-way exposure counter

(2) Shutter button lock

(3) Shutter button

(4) Rapid wind lever

(5) Shutter dial

(6) Shutter-cocked indicator

(7) Aperture window

(8) Multi-function lever

(9) Lever release button

(10) Lever index

(11) Lens release button Lens mount

(13) Lens alignment

(14) Instant return mirror


 (15) Shutter speed index

(16) Hotshoe

(17) Film rewind crank

(18) Film rewind crank/Back cover release knob

(19) Grip mount socket

(20) Accessory lug

(21) Distance scale

(22) Focusing ring

(23) Depth-of-field scale

(24) Aperture/Distance index

(25) Aperture scale

(26) Aperture ring

(27) Auto flash contacts

(28) X-synch terminal

(29) FP terminal


(30) Exposure compensation dial

(31) ASA dial lock release

(32) ASA index

(33) ASA window

(34) Exposure compensation index mark

(35) Dial lock release/MD exposure check button

(36) Finder release lever

(37) Data back contacts

(38) Memo holder

(39) Eyepiece accessory slots

(40) Viewfinder eyepiece

(41) Back cover

(42) Film chamber

(43) Film rewind shaft

(44) Film guide rail

(45) Shutter curtains


(46) Watch data film blind

(47) Film blind thumb screw

(48) Diopter adjustment screw

(49) Sprocket

(50) Film take-up spool

(51) Back cover release pin

(52) Back cover release lug

(53) Film pressure plate

(54) Rubber grip

(55) Automatic advance contacts

(56) Auto film rewind coupling

(57) Base plate

(58) Battery chamber cap

(59) Tripod socket

(60) Film transport relay

(61) Film rewind/ Multiple exposure button

(62) Film transport rate control coupling

(63) Film transport coupler

(64) Rim of back cover

(65) Roller

Inserting the Batteries

The electronic systems of your Pentax LX operate on two 1.5-volt mini batteries which are packed separately with your camera. To insert the batteries, first remove the battery chamber cap at the base of the camera by inserting the edge of a coin and turning in the direction of the arrow. Place the two batteries in the chamber as shown making sure the positive (+) sides face up.

Replace the chamber cap and tighten securely.

Battery Check

After inserting the batteries it is often helpful to make a quick check to see if batteries are inserted properly and the camera's electrical systems are functioning. To check battery voltage, activate the camera's metering system by pressing the shutter button partway and observe the viewfinder LED shutter speed display. The shutter speed LED will glow continuously if normal voltage is being supplied.

Low Battery Warning

When batteries become weak the viewfinder shutter speed LED will begin to flicker. Although all electronic systems will continue to function accurately until the display goes out completely, both batteries should be replaced promptly to ensure uninterrupted operation of the camera's electronic exposure controls.

Operating the Camera Without Batteries

When the LED shutter speed display no longer lights, batteries are dead. However, the LX camera incorporates an electro-mechanical shutter system which allows the photographer to continue taking pictures over a broad range of shutter speeds even when the batteries no longer function due to exhaustion or temporary failure from temperature extremes. Should battery failure occur while shooting within the camera's mechanical shutter speed range (i.e., from l /2000 second to "X") no interruption of camera operation will take place. However, should batteries fail while operating in the "Automatic" exposure mode or within the electronically controlled shutter speed range (from l /60 second to 4 seconds) the mirror will automatically lock up as a

To continue picture-taking, simply turn the shutter speed dial to any of the mechanically operated settings (l /2000 second to "X").

NOTE: Should you wish to save the exposure being made when the mirror lock-up occurred, before changing the shutter speed dial, first cover the lens with the lens cap. Then, release the mirror as described above and press the film rewind/multiple exposure button at the base of the camera. Advance the film and take the picture.


Battery Care

Under normal operating conditions, the two 1.5-volt alkaline mini-batteries in your camera will last several months. Should batteries require replacement, replace BOTH at the same time with equivalent 1.5 volt alkaline or silver oxide

Keeping a spare set of batteries on hand can help you avoid the inconvenience of battery failure during busy picture-taking sessions, especially when shooting in cold climates where failure due to extreme temperatures is not uncommon. Protect your camera from leakage by removing the batteries whenever the camera will not be in use for long periods of time,