The Story of the Rare $10,000 Golden Pentax LX Camera

The Pentax LX was a really cool camera, and it comes in gold!

We try to find really, really cool things here on The Phoblographer. Our Vintage series is all about that. And the latest search bore quite a bit of fruit. At the same time, it’s also the ultimate paradox. We can all agree that this is a camera you’d never want to bring outside with you. Instead, it would stay in a safe or under some thick glass. But if you know anything about the Pentax LX, you’d wonder why they did this. Another part of your brain might lust for it.

You see, the Pentax LX isn’t a normal Pentax SLR camera. Part of what made it revolutionary is the weather sealing. The Pentax LX is today hailed as a testament to weather sealing. If you’re looking for a weather-resistant film camera, this is to one to reach for, according to Casual photophile. If you get a really good one, you’ll be fortunate. Canon and Nikon have them too, but not at this price. 

This begins the odd paradox we have. Pentax did the cool thing of creating a special edition. Special edition cameras are always fun and cool. I’ve bought a few over the years. If you want to stand out from the crowd, they’re the way to go. But this special edition Pentax LX is made of gold. According to MIR, it’s an 18 Karat gold with brown lizard leather. It was created to celebrate a sales milestone. 

The Pentax LX is on our list of popular Pentax cameras everyone should own. We stated:

“Introduced in 1980, the Pentax LX was the company’s top-of-the-line manual focus camera, and was their only attempt at entering the professional 35mm SLR camera market according to camera-wiki.org. Apart from the vast selection of K-mount SMC lenses, it also used a dedicated series of accessories like interchangeable viewfinders and viewfinder screens. Some notable features, as cited by Wikipedia, include manual and aperture priority exposure modes, mirror lock-up, self-timer, depth of field preview, horizontal-running titanium shutter curtains, off-the-film-plane TTL metering, and “Magic Needles” film take-up spool that simplified film loading. The camera body, aside from being smaller and lighter than rivals like Canon New F-1 or Nikon F3, also had water and dust protection. All these features made it one of the finest mechanical 35mm SLR cameras ever made.”

What we have here from user breguetcamera is just that paradox. It’s the golden Pentax LX with a 50mm f1.2 lens. Better yet, it’s stated to be in nearly perfect condition. That justifies the $10K+ price tag. Granted, we found a few small scratches. But in my opinion, if anyone is literally pixel peeping your camera, you need to tell them to back off.

If you get this camera, I probably wouldn’t go ahead and use it. Instead, go for another Pentax LX and score a weather-resistant lens too. They’re far cheaper. Going for the gold is part of a treasure hunt. You’re finding something scarce that wasn’t highly made. This is, in some ways, a keepsake to pass down within the family. One day, your spawn might end up on the Antiques Roadshow. They’ll be talking about the camera the same way people do with watches. Your collection could make them a lot of money in some tough financial times. 

All images from the listing by breguetcamera.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.