5 Great Pentax LX Lenses

The Pentax LX is a good 35mm film SLR camera. This page is going to go over the 5 best lenses for the Pentax LX, and also a small number of substitute options.

In a rush? This is the list of the 5 best lenses for the LX:

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  1. Kit Lens - SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7
  2. Wide Angle Lens - SMC Pentax-M 28mm f/2.8
  3. Portrait Lens - SMC Pentax 135mm f/2.5
  4. Zoom Lens - Vivitar Series 1 28-90mm f/2.8-3.5
  5. Macro Lens - SMC Pentax 100mm f/4 Macro

The best Pentax K mount lenses are grouped by pricing and type of photography. There are a number appropriate possibilities to choose from that have a wide range of prices suitable for the cost of the camera.

Here’s a range of 50mm focal lengths that can be used with the LX. Back when the camera was being sold as new, there was frequently a offer available to buy a 50mm lens with the camera as a kit.

The 50mm is known as a standard lens because the angle of view for the lens is close to what people see with their eyes.

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7 Standard Prime Lens
SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7
  • “Kit” lens for the LX.
  • Fantastic value.
  • Light, small, and compact.
  • 49mm filter threads.

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If it wasn’t included, a capable initial lens to purchase is the SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7. The 50mm f1.7 is widely available, is cheap, has fantastic image output, lightweight, and compact . This is the most widely used lens on the camera.

{You can also buy the second version, the SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7|The second version, the SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, is also a good choice}.

SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4 Fast Prime Lens
SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4
  • Exceptional optics.
  • Optical multi-coatings to improve output.
  • Easy to find.
  • Comparatively affordable.

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At the increased burden of weight and size, the SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4 is nearly a stop faster compared to the f/1.7. An f/1.7 or f/2 lens will cost more. The later version, the SMC Pentax-A, and earlier version, SMC Pentax, are both compatible with the LX.

SMC Pentax 50mm f/1.2
SMC Pentax 50mm f/1.2

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Just like all of the other camera manufactures, Pentax created a 50mm “halo” lens. The resulting SMC Pentax 50mm f/1.2 is a pricey, fast, and huge piece of glass.

The lens can be tricky to come across since it will work on Pentax DSLRs so the desirability includes more than use with 35mm film cameras. If you want to locate a copy you’ll need to check and have a look at what’s available for purchase over weeks or months.

SMC Pentax-M 28mm f/2.8 Prime Wide Angle Lens
SMC Pentax-M 28mm f/2.8
  • Great combination with a 50mm lens.
  • Super Multi Coating (SMC) to improve output.
  • Many copies are available.
  • Relatively low cost.

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The SMC Pentax-M 28mm f/2.8 isn’t the best option. The reality is, plenty of people do not actually consider it to be a wide angle lens. Having said that, it is noticeably more affordable when compared to any wider alternative.

There are many of wider focal lengths to choose from, but they’re frequently way more expensive or third-party alternatives have obvious barrel distortion. On top of that, it is easy to see optical flaws like chromatic aberrations in third-party lenses.

The general relationship for pricing is easy to understand. The wider the field of view, the costlier the lens is going to be. Lenses with large apertures will also be more expensive.

Take into consideration that these don’t have all the corrections that modern lenses have. The most obvious issue with vintage wide angles is going to be obvious barrel distortion.

  • SMC Pentax-M 20mm f/4
  • SMC Pentax-M 28mm f/2
  • SMC Pentax 18mm f/3.5
  • SMC Pentax 24mm f/2.8
SMC Pentax 135mm f/2.5 Telephoto Prime Portrait Lens
SMC Pentax 135mm f/2.5
  • 85mm substitute.
  • Excellent value.
  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Widely available.

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85mm focal length lenses weren’t as widely used as they are currently in comparison to when the LX was first released in 1980. On account of being cheaper, 100mm and 135mm focal lengths were more commonly used.

The price difference can be seen when you view what’s available.

There are many telephoto lenses to pick from. 85mm and focal lengths longer than 135mm will be more expensive.

  • SMC Pentax 85mm f/1.8
  • SMC Pentax 85mm f/2.2 Soft
  • SMC Pentax 105mm f/2.8
  • SMC Pentax 120mm f/2.8

Before the introduction of autofocus, in the 1980s, there were a small number of lenses made by third-party companies that performed better than what Pentax was offering.

Many of these top performers were released with the Vivitar brand name. Any zoom lens with the Vivitar Series 1 branding on it is going to have the best optics you will see from an older zoom lens.

Sadly, finding copies of these lenses in usable condition can be quite challenging. In addition to that, no vintage zooms offer outstanding performance. If you see one on sale that is cheap enough, it may be worth buying.

Vivitar Series 1 28-90mm f/2.8-3.5 Zoom Lens
Vivitar Series 1 28-90mm f/2.8-3.5

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Here are several more alternatives that you can look at if you want to have a zoom lens for your LX. None of them are going to be spectacular, and you would likely be better off buying a couple of prime lenses instead.

  • SMC Pentax 85-210mm f/3.5
  • Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5
  • SMC Pentax 45-125mm f/4

Macro lens choices for the Pentax LX have supply problems. The available supply of Pentax K mount choices is tiny, which increases prices higher than you would pay for similar Canon FD mount or Nikon F mount options.

SMC Pentax 100mm f/4 Macro Lens
SMC Pentax 100mm f/4 Macro
  • Ideal focal length for 1x magnification.
  • Widely available.
  • Mediocre value.

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Some people online have experienced problems with balsam separation of the front doublet. This is troubling because even small amount of separation will grow gradually and make it unusable. If you think you see balsam separation, avoid that lens and continue shopping.

Vivitar 55mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
Vivitar 55mm f/2.8 Macro
  • The second best vintage macro lens I’ve used.
  • An outstanding lens for close-up photography.
  • Can achieve life-size magnification without needing an extension tube.

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The best vintange macro lens I’ve used, the 90mm Vivitar, was produced for a variety of camera mounts. Unfortunately, it’s challenging to find a copy with a Pentax K mount.

The Vivitar 55mm is the best vintage standard focal length macro lens I have used. Keep in mind that it does have a shorter working distance than the 90mm. It is good for close-up and table top photography, but a longer focal length will be better if you would like to capture macro images at life-sized magnification.

Both of the Vivitar macro lenses were built by Komine and were sold under several different brand names. If you decide to look for one also check under the Panagor, Elicar, Quantaray, Spiratone, and Rokunar brand names.

There is a Vivitar 90mm Macro Review and a [/vivitar-55mm-f-2-8-macro-lens-review](Vivitar 55mm Macro Review).

For capturing photos at macro magnification (1x), 90mm-105mm focal lengths will be the most popular choice. You will have a big enough working distance to allow the use of flash, while staying away from excessive weight and high costs that longer focal lengths have.

Interest and supply will set the cost of manual focus vintage lenses. Over the last several years, film photography has increased in popularity, which has caused prices to go up.

Additional upwards pricing pressure comes from Pentax DSLR users collecting and purchasing lenses. Third party companies generally do not produce products for the K-mount, unlike the Canon EF or Nikon F lens mounts.

Economic conditions are regularly changing, and unforeseen events can quickly lead to big price movements. Even so, the relative prices between alternatives should be the same.

Looking at a couple of sites is a very good way to get correct pricing information. If you are fortunate enough to find a terrific deal, get it since the best deals do not last long.

The Pentax LX has a Pentax K lens mount.

Released in 1975, the Pentax K mount is still used in current cameras. It’s a replacement for the M42 screw mount that was found in previous cameras such as the Asahi Pentax Spotmatic. Over time alterations have been done to add metering information, autofocus, electronically controlled apertures, and CPU contacts.

Provided that a lens has a physical aperture ring, it will be backward compatible with Pentax film cameras. However, it doesn’t make sense to waste money on costly features that can not be used by the camera. The only exception would be if you also use Pentax DSLRs.

It is also possible to use the older M42 screw mount by using an adapter. People like to do this as some of the older Takumar lenses are spectacular. Even so, I would not recommend doing this as finding them without a tight focus ring can be annoying.

The standard lens cap and filter ring thread diameter used on the majority manual focus Pentax K mount lenses is 49mm. Lenses were originally sold with slip on caps, not the more frequently used center-pinch kind today. If you look at what’s available, you’ll find a lack of original lens caps sold with the lenses.

Take note that big front elements will need to use bigger caps and filters.

The benefit of using a standardized filter thread size is that you only need to have a single filter set.

Pentax-M and SMC Pentax lenses are built with a stop-down coupler which provides a mechanical linkage to the camera. The stop-down coupler makes it possible for the camera to know the aperture is set to so the light meter is able to meter properly without needing to rely on stop-down metering.

The Pentax-A series introduced the capability for the camera to set the aperture in the lens. Cameras that are compatible with the Pentax-A changes have the capability to do shutter priority and aperture priority modes.

However, since that feature is not supported by the camera, it does not make sense to spend money on capabilities the camera is not able to use.

That is it for advice about the best lenses for the LX. Here is some further information that will provide you with more info about the camera can be found listed below: