Q: I have a 10-year-old Pioneer Elite TV that needs to be fixed. The repair will cost $300 to $500, plus an equal amount to transport the TV to the shop — $600 to $1,000 total. The TV has been used a moderate amount and was working great before it went out.
My wife is afraid the TV will start to nickel and dime us and wants to spend several times more to upgrade to a new high-end plasma TV. I'd opt for repair, because I love the Pioneer.
What makes sense?
A: Your wife favors spending a few thousand to upgrade your system? You are a lucky man and the envy of many others.
I haven't seen your TV, but 10 years is quite old. A total of $600 to $1000 is a significant investment, and I'm surprised the repair company did not tell you that it's beyond economical repair. A good shop won't recommend that you pay more than something is worth into repair bills. You could fix it and have a different part go out a week later.
I'm also surprised that the TV has to be removed at great cost in order to effect repairs. I've had two big TVs repaired in the past 10 years, and both times it was through a house call.
You've gotten your money's worth out of the TV, and it's time to move on. For a few hundred dollars, I would fix it, but not for $600 to $1,000.
Using old camera lenses
Q: I have an old Mamiya 35-millimeter camera with several lenses. The kit has been sitting in my attic for about 20 years. I'm thinking of getting a digital SLR or a mirrorless camera. Will it be possible to use the old lenses on a new camera? The lenses are screw mount. I have a Mamiya 55mm, a Vivitar 28mm and a Vivitar 200mm.
A: You can use your lenses on a Pentax digital SLR with a K-mount adapter and on most mirrorless cameras. You can get a screw mount to Micro Four Thirds adapter for about $50.
However, just because you can adapt the lenses doesn't mean you should. When you use older lenses on a modern camera, you have to focus and adjust the light metering manually.
If you have a set of perfectly maintained Leica lenses or something similar, it might be worth adapting some of them for fun. But there is nothing special about your lenses, and they are likely to be dramatically outperformed by the entry-level kit lenses that are included with a new camera or available for $150 or less.
If you get the standard kit lens with the camera and a telephoto zoom kit lens, you'll likely have all focal lengths from 28mm to 300mm covered with just two lenses that function perfectly with your camera and cover a wide range when you zoom.
Instead of buying an adapter, put the $49 toward the telephoto zoom kit lens.
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