Pentax LX - Its Motor Drive & Power Winder
Modern Classic SLRs Series

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Motor Drive System for the Pentax LX Although most of the time, a power winder is good enough for general photography. But to cater for the professional market, a high speed motor drive system is an essential photographic tool because you will not be able to ascertain what kind of photographic assignment one buys a camera for.

The Pentax has two power drive options for the users. First, it has a fast five frames per second (fps) dedicated motor drive with winding speed control. As said earlier, a motor drive is a vital necessity for a professional photographer who must react swiftly to a changing situation. Motor Drive LX is fast enough to capture most fast action event (In its class, the F3's MD-4 posted the highest speed, 6 fps with NiCd cells, Canon's Motor Drive FN has a 3.5 fps option apart from the maximum 5 fps).

But the Motor Drive LX has a special feature where it out shone its competitions: It can operate at all shutter speeds except "B" (So do the rest) and also has a stepless winding-speed control between five frames per second to 0.5 frame per second. The Nikon MD-4 eventually has to brought out a accessory, a variable firing converter MK-1 to make the F3 permissible to have variable firing rates with the motor drive. Why ? because, apart from the MD-4, the Nikon F3 has no alternative, not even a winder. Where in this area, the Pentax and the Canon New F-1 both has a more economical Power Winder option available for the users to choose from.

Pentax LX bottom plate with motor drive console / contact
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Motor Drive LX It will automatically stops winding at the end of a roll to protect the film, and rewinds a 36-exposure roll in approx. eight seconds. The shutter can be released with the camera's release button or with the trigger button of NiCd Battery Pack LX or Battery Grip M. Compact, lightweight and perfectly balanced when mounted onto the camera (somehow, see below), Motor Drive LX is an ideal tool for sports and all action photography. Motor Drive LX can be powered by three different power sources: Ni-Cd Battery Pack LX which winds up approximately 20 rolls of 36-exposure film when fully recharged by the Charge Pack M at 14.4V; Battery Grip M, which winds approximately 30 rolls of 36 exposure film with 12 alkaline manganese "AA"-size batteries at 18V; and the Ni-Cd Power Pack M, which is used to power Motor Drive LX by AC current. All three power sources can be attached to the bottom of the Motor Drive LX, or connected by a power cord to keep batteries warm in cold weather.
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In certain photographic applications where you can couple the high speed motor winding capabilities for a more extensive line of accessories like Bulk Film Magazine, which holds film enough for 250 exposures, is a convenient accessory for high-speed successive shooting and for interval shooting using a timer built into Power Pack M. Included are two film cartridges and a coupler. Also available is a Cartridge Loader for loading regular 100-foot bulk film into the Bulk Film Magazine's cartridge. Other accessories for Motor Drive LX include Power Cord M (3m and 10m), which connect power sources to the motor drive; Remote Cord for Motor Drive LX, which connects two power sources to the motor drive; and Trigger Cord M for remote shutter release.

Remote Cord for Motor Drive LX

Anything to pick on ? Yes. Both the Motor Drive and Winder hasn't got a built in hand grip. Although it might defy its original objective of compactness and light weight, somehow it is very uncomfortable to hold a camera with a motor drive without a hand grip. The Pentax has two accessories to compensate this problem.

(A) (B)
The Pentax LX system includes different types of accessory grips. Accessory Grip B is hand-contoured for added balance and handling convenience. For more precise requirements, the Accessory Grip A can be shaped to meet the photographer's individual needs using a whittling knife or similar instrument and sandpaper to smooth out the rough edges.

To attach either grip, first place the grip over the accessory lug making sure the screw aligns with the socket at the bottom front of the camera. Tighten the screw using a screw driver or coin. There are few additional optional made by third parties, like walnut finish etc. (also see Pentax LX Y2k model, the grip comes as standard).

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The hand grip principle works very well when use with the Pentax LX alone. The Canon New F-1 has a grip which acts as the battery compartment while the Nikon F3 has a a built in contour shape around the right hand side - but the Pentax's grip is user defined and can custom shape it to your preference. Of cause, the depth is higher for more comfortable and a much more secure hold. But when use in conjunction with the motor drive or a winder, the extra bottom weight of the winder or the power pack on the motor drive make the grip too short for comfort. Anyway, too fussy to pick on this.
Pentax LX Power Winder System

No one would reject some form of automatic convenience when it comes to photography. It may allow a photographer to focus more at the subject of interest rather than handling the mechanical aspect after each shot has been taken. If high speed photography is not your priority, the Pentax winder will provide portability and economical way into auto wind/rewind convenience when used along with the LX.

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Lighter and more compact than Motor Drive LX, Winder LX provides the convenience of continuous automatic film wind at around 2 frames per second in the C mode (Continuous).

In the single-frame mode, the film advances as soon as the shutter closes, even before the shutter button is released, for extra quick shooting. Winder LX also features a fast auto rewind that returns a 36-exposure roll of film to its cartridge in about 15 seconds. At the last exposure, the winder automatically stops winding and an LED film-end indicator will keep flashes. With four "AA" alkaline batteries, Winder LX can wind and rewind approximately 25 rolls of 36-exposure film. With optional Remote Battery Pack and Remote Cord, remote control shooting is also possible.

I don't have a manual for the Motor Drive LX but I have a version for the Power winder LX. You may come back and download a copy for future reference (Thanks to
Michael Patrick Wong). Some useful accessories that can work along with the Pentax LX: Ni-Cd Battery Pack LX | Bulk Film Magazine LX | Battery Grip M \ Film Cartridge \ Coupler \ Cartridge Loader \ Power Pack M \ Trigger Cord M \ Charge Pack M \ Power Cord M (3m/10m) \ Ni-Cd Battery Pack M

The Concept | Metering | Exposure Control | Viewfinders | Motor Drive / Winder | Flash | Macro | Databack | Remote | Screens |

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