Pentax LX is one of the most well though-out, carefully engineered cameras produced by PENTAX. It is regarded by many as one of the best 35mm Single-lens reflex (SLR) film cameras. When PENTAX rolled out the first LX body in 1980, it was immediately hailed by many as a classic. It was introduced to coincide with the Asahi Optical Company's 60th anniversary and hence the name LX which signifies 60 in Roman Numeral. Its production stopped in 1997. But the LX continues to be a classic for several good reasons. Consider just a few:

Superb Metering: PENTAX rolled out IDM or Integrated Direct Metering for LX. The metering turns on when the mirror flips up and the front shutter curtain begins to move. As opposed to conventional through-the-lens metering systems, the Pentax IDM system measures incoming light at the moment of exposure and after the mirror flips up. Ask any LX user and everyone will tell you how accurate the metering is.

Excellent low-light performance: As soon as the mirror flips up, LX measures light reflected from a patterned shutter curtain and send the information back to the sensor. This makes the camera a gem to use for available light photography.

Interchangeable Viewfinder: Even to this day, you find interchangeable viewfinders in only the creme-de-la-creme professional cameras. The LX came with the option of switching to any of the eight types of viewfinders depending on your shooting requirement - eye-level, waist level, macro photography or what have you and they all allowed diopter adjustment.


Interchangeable Focusing Screens: The LX was one of the very early cameras to offer interchangeable focusing screens. And talk about choices! LX offered 14 different types of them ranging from normal split screen microprism to grid (for architectural) and engraved scales (for macro).

Electromechanical Shutter: LX allows automatic exposure control. Set the shutter speed dial to AUTOMATIC, choose the lens aperture manually and the LX selects the best shutter speed to produce the best shutter exposure. Simple, right? Mind you this works only when the batteries are working. What if the batteries are exhausted, removed from camera or you are in a difficult weather condition that limits the batteries' performance? This is where LX gets friendlier. You can set the shutter speed to B, X (1/75s) or any speed faster than X (1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000 and 1/2000), manually adjust the aperture and continue with the photography. Try that with a modern DSLR!