Not only is this camera my favourite Pentax SLR, it is also my personal choice of 35mm film camera!
Why did I choose this camera?
My previous SLR was a Canon A1 but I decided I wanted an upgrade after running into a couple of issues. With so many settings to choose from the top plate felt clutter and it was easy to accidentally knock a switch. I was also caught out when my battery died, with no mechanical speeds this rendered my Canon A1 useless. Because of this I decided I wanted an SLR with mechanical shutter speeds and a simple design.
I also liked the idea of a waist level viewfinder which meant considering the Nikon F3 and the Canon F-1. I have used both the Canon F-1 and the canon F-1 new before but found them to be pretty heavy. Meanwhile, the Nikon F3 looked like a great option but the lenses were pretty expensive. A bit more research led to me to discover a camera that I had never heard of before, the Pentax LX.
Mechanical shutter speed
the Pentax LX used a hybrid electronic/mechanical shutter. All shutter speeds from 1/60 to 1/2000 are mechanical, everything slower requires batteries (two LR44 button cell batteries). Batteries are also needed for the aperture priority setting.
Waist level viewfinder
Removing the prism reveals the focusing screen, allowing you to shoot from waist level! There is a specific waist level viewfinder attachment but I haven't managed to get my hands on one yet!
Compact size and weight
Unlike the Canon F-1 which weighs 795g, the Pentax LX is one of the smallest SLRs and only weighs 565g. This may only seem like a small difference but when you add a lens and carry it around your neck all day it has a big impact.
So far I have owned this camera for about 6 months but I have put a fair few rolls of film through it. Here are some of my favourites:
No camera is perfect, but for me the Pentax LX comes pretty close! My ownly complaint it how the camera sits in your hand, because of its small size it can feel difficult to support. However, Pentax also released a couple of grips that could be attached to the camera which completely changes this. My complaint is that these grips can be a little hard to get hold of and I ended up paying nearly £50 for one. There are some companies out there making new grips but they are a pretty similar price.
Original Pentax LX Finger Grip