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08-02-2011, 12:35 AM   #1
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Considering a downgrade... a very sad day indeed

So, I'm an 18-year old who is taking a gap year between the final year at school and uni. I'm currently hoping to save a bit of money for uni.

This year, I finally took the plunge and invested in my first DSLR... a K-7. Since then, it has been a furious love affair between myself and the K-7 (or some other metaphor to describe my feelings toward this camera...).

I have a pretty standard Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5 zoom (with which I take most of my photos), and recently a Tamron 10-24 f3.5-4.5.

Now, here's the issue.

Notice how I said before that I was saving for uni? That's where the problem lies. Reality has kicked in all-too suddenly for me, and I've realized that if I want to go into uni with a decent balance in my bank account, I'm going to need to seriously save my pennies between now and next year.

With this in mind, I've started to consider downgrading from my K-7 to a lower model (Heaven forbid that I should have to sell my gear! That would break my heart). Also, I'd consider getting rid of the Sigma and Tamron zooms and perhaps getting some sort of standard-or-multi-purpose-zoom lens that I can walk around with (having said that, I'd only get a multipurpose zoom as a last resort, as from what I understand the IQ can be quite yucky).

I'd like to hear some thoughts on this.

Would it be worth my while, financially, to downgrade to, say, a K20d (which has basically the same specs as a K-7), or perhaps a K-X or K-r. My K-7 has a genuine D-BG4 battery grip, so I'd get a nice return on it if I sold them together.

My other question is regarding the choice of lens. I've heard bad things about the Sigma 17-70 zoom, but having used it for around 6 months now, I've been able to get some decent snaps with it ('decent' is the word, and not 'fantastic').


Cheers in advance

08-02-2011, 12:59 AM   #2
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I don't think it's worth trying to downgrade from a K-7. It's already the current low end on that line (below the K-5) and there's not that much difference in price with the K-r.

The lens prices (just the first I saw for new lenses, so correct me on this) seem to be ~$580 for the Sigma, ~$475 for the Tamron. Maybe just part with one of them until you're more on top of things? It'd depend on what you shoot, but I prefer Sigma over Tamron as far as brands go.

It's a crappy position to be in. I think the most important thing you can do (and I'm sure you've decided this already) is to not buy any other gear until you have your schooling well in hand. What you already have could be sold off in a crisis later, so hold onto it and take care of it, and enjoy it when you can in the meantime. /$0.02
08-02-2011, 01:09 AM   #3
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You'd be EXTREMELY lucky to get the Sigma for $580. I got it for around the same price as the Tamron (which I got for around $450).

If I had to, and if I was very fortunate, I'd get rid of the Tamron AND Sigma, and try and find a Pentax 16-50 for as cheap as possible. Unfortunately that's a bit of a fantasy, as much as I'd like to tell myself that it isn't
08-02-2011, 01:12 AM   #4
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not sure it's a good idea : in france, the K7 can be found around 350€, so less than a Kr (400€) or same price as a k-x (350€). the K20D is only 50-100 bucks less.

reduce your alcool and tabacoo consumption, you will gain much more money on a year.

08-02-2011, 01:21 AM   #5
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If you don't drink or smoke, then eat less.
But seriously, you might get by by just selling the grip and lenses, then having the kit lenses instead - or if that's not enough, you could sell all and stick with a hybrid camera for now...

It all depends what you're OK to sacrifice. If you're bent on a dSLR, then a K-m or K-x would be a pretty cost-effective way to go, but you wouldn't get much financial benefit from selling the K-7 to get one of those nowadays...
08-02-2011, 01:56 AM   #6
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Selling your camera and lenses will lose you money and you lose money again when you buy another one. So you'll be worse off.

I agree with Ash,or put another way:
"Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves." Dorothy Parker
08-02-2011, 02:10 AM   #7
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Sell plasma, sell your sperm/eggs if you have to but KEEP the camera and the lenses. You're going to school and likely you will rack up considerable debt doing so whether you intend to or not. This may be the last good kit you will own for a while and using an older camera and lenses can be unreliable. You may not just be able to afford replacing your beater camera when it comes down to it, but with the K-7 and good lenses, likely you won't have that problem for a while. It will last you while you are in school, and after for a while as well. While you're busy paying off all that tuition and other expenses at least you'll still have a decent camera to work with. Think long term. You'll be glad you did on this one.
08-02-2011, 02:12 AM   #8
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Buying something and then selling it is an ineffective way to save.

Look at what your spending is now, look at how to reduce that. If you smoke, smoke less or give up. If you drink, drink less. If you eat out a lot learn to cook. If you already cook, learn to cook cheaper meals. Plan your meals a week at a time and use a shopping list. If you pay for satellite channel subscriptions learn to get by on the free ones. And so on, and so on.

08-02-2011, 02:17 AM   #9
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Selling the K-7 and replacing it with K-x or K20D isn't going to net you very much at all. Selling your lenses to go to DA*16-50/2.8 is more of an upgrade than a downgrade. Selling your lenses and getting a DA 16-45/4.0 should net you a tidy sum of cash, gain better performance than the Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5, downside is the loss of the longer focal range and one stop of brightness. Unless the majority of your shots are in portrait mode, get rid of the grip. The grip is a luxury item, imo.

Second option is to hold on to everything you have (except the grip) for now, and place a tight moratorium on LBA. Who knows, your financial situation may improve by the time you enter university and you may not need to sell anything.

Hope this helps,
08-02-2011, 02:20 AM   #10
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LBA? A chap in his position should be avoiding spending any money on his photography, including going places to take pictures. He has good kit, best IMHO to hang onto it - all of it - but unless something like his only SD card dies, or he runs out of hard disk space, not get any more kit for the next year.
08-02-2011, 03:34 AM   #11
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I say keep what you've got and find other ways to save, or sell the two lenses and buy a couple of older manual focus primes, which can be had quite cheap if you hunt around a bit. You'll regret selling the K-7 and feel so bad, it'll affect your studies.
08-02-2011, 03:38 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by foto guy Quote
I say keep what you've got and find other ways to save, or sell the two lenses and buy a couple of older manual focus primes, which can be had quite cheap if you hunt around a bit. You'll regret selling the K-7 and feel so bad, it'll affect your studies.
This is the stuff I wanted to hear!

I'd love to get some primes. I've been really tempted by the DA40 Limited, by a few members' street shots on this fine forum. Any suggestions for some older manual primes?
08-02-2011, 04:20 AM   #13
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Champion, funny thing these forums, you see and hear a lot about LBA, and you see some people with amazing lens collections. IE This thread, pure lens porn!!! Young views should look away at this point.....https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/76488-lens-buying-addict...ages-lens.html God, Thats an amazing collection, I've got half a chubby just looking at it again......

But don't let it get you down, you seriously don't need a million lenses, you have a great start with what you have, and you will learn a massive amount due to the fact that "all Digital Photos are FREE" . You should have tried learning 30yrs ago, when cameras, in relationship to todays cameras where almost more expensive, then every roll of film cost more, then developing, then, when you liked a pic, it cost more to get an enlargement. I personally only had a 35-70 and a 50mm for the first 4 yrs of having a 35mm SLR, and another 10 before I got a FA* lens, most of the big collections you see here are built up over 10 - 20 years. I myself am about to sell nearly all my lenses because honestly I actually use just my favourites, and the rest are collecting dust (so to speak)

As other have said, by the time you sell your gear, and then buy new stuff, you'll probably only replace what you have with lesser gear, and not be any better off financally, then you'll just get frustrated with it, and stop. Digital is a Golden Egg, Remember you can take 1000 photos a day and its FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As to old lenses, you can really buy absolute bargins, for very small outlay. Don't worry about manual focus, Manual, is actually fantastic for creative control in your pictures. And honestly, you don't really hit "Your Style" till you've had a bit of a play for a while. What some may praise, may mean nothing to you, and what you treasure may mean nothing to others, who cares, whats important, is why you want to take photos and what you like to create.

Chris
08-02-2011, 05:09 AM   #14
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I agree with the others, keep the K7! It will have devalued a lot compared to what you paid for it new, and you'd just be throwing that money away. If you really really have to, sell your least used lens. You'll pick another one up second hand for whatever you get for it. I would put all lens buying on hold for a bit, but if you really get the LBA itch, the 28mm f3.5, 135mm f3.5 and 50mm f1.7 are cheap and fun to use. You could get all three for well under £100.

I haven't heard much bad stuff about the 17-70mm, btw, it seems to be fairly well rated.
08-02-2011, 05:29 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by cmohr Quote
As to old lenses, you can really buy absolute bargins, for very small outlay. Don't worry about manual focus, Manual, is actually fantastic for creative control in your pictures. And honestly, you don't really hit "Your Style" till you've had a bit of a play for a while. What some may praise, may mean nothing to you, and what you treasure may mean nothing to others, who cares, whats important, is why you want to take photos and what you like to create.
I agree completely. I now have a whopping 5 lenses in my k-x collection; the only autofocus lens I have is the 18-55 kit, and I hardly use it in favor of my cheaper (and more fun) manual primes. Three lenses I got as Christmas gifts, and the most recent one I bought myself, for the wallet-scorching total of $1 plus shipping, and I love it.

I say don't "downgrade" by selling all your gear, but do go cheap; it lets you experiment with different focal lengths and speeds, without investing hundreds in a lens you don't know you will like. I'm building my lens base for next to nothing, and still getting wonderful image quality and satisfaction.
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