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01-15-2019, 12:02 PM   #1
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Selling off gear - which goes first?

I have a lot of gear and need to sell some (most?) of it off, the question is what should go first and what should be kept?

I started shooting Pentax 20+ yrs ago and have much of the gear I used then (Super-A, MX, SFXn, Z-1, LX) these I will be keeping as I've shot thousands of rolls through them over the years. They represent a varied selection of features and handling. More recently I've bought 'spares' and sought to compare very similar cameras (MX & KX etc.), or cameras that were very good offers.

Are the mechanical ones preferable to sell or keep? Is there any real difference between an MX & KX (I don't want to start another of those threads!)? How about those that take the same accessories (Super-A & P50)? What about the Spotmatics?

It's the same with lenses, I have the ones I used then and a myriad of more recent purchases as I strove to compare K, M, A & FA series lenses. The FA's I'll keep for the K-1, do I need any K, M, A lenses as well (thought I'd keep an A50 for the Super-A)? I've acquired several 50 1.7 & 2s - are they worth trying to sell? I'll keep the M42 lenses as they're very adaptable and I love the results, do I really need a pile of K mounts too?

I'm thinking through these and many more questions while deciding what needs to go, what (and how much) I want to keep.

Any suggestions for doing this with some clarity would be welcomed.


01-15-2019, 12:12 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I always find myself in the same situation. Too many things and not too much time to use them all.
I get rid of things that I haven't used in a long time and that I don't see myself using any time soon. HOWEVER, you have to be 100% sure. In some cases I sell something and then I end up buying it again a few months later. Make sure that whatever you sell you can buy again. Not much of a suggestion but a warning
01-15-2019, 12:17 PM   #3
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You can visit eBay and put in the item and select "Sold" as an option. That will tell you how much each item has sold for in the past several months. This will give you a real-time relative value for each item and the likelihood that it will sell.
01-15-2019, 12:20 PM   #4
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For me, I sell all lenses that I do not regularly use to afford lenses I do regularly use.
There are a small select few that I keep as a 'vintage collection' where the only utility they provide is that I think they are cool (Takumar, Helios, Industar, etc.)
And still, in my vintage collection, I try to keep only one example from the series (I try to keep the one example around the 50mm mark).
If you cannot see yourself using the lens regularly, and they give you no excite as a collectible, then I suggest selling!
I'd much prefer a lens I'd use regularly than a dust collector.
So sell the dust collectors to save for lenses you'd actually use!

01-15-2019, 12:22 PM - 5 Likes   #5
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What is this "sell" of which you speak?
01-15-2019, 02:10 PM   #6
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It's been a LOOONG time since I shot film, but here are some of my thoughts (for what they're worth...)

A working mechanical camera will not be held hostage to battery obsolescence. If the battery (if any) only powers the meter, then there are other ways of measuring light. If the battery powers the shutter, then you have no camera (unless it has a mechanical X-synch manual speed available to it).

Keep the stuff that you actually use and that gives you the results that please you most. Unless you are collecting, redundant coverage of all possible focal lengths in all lens series might be overkill. Weed out stuff you don't use, or use less, first. I know that different lenses can have different rendering, so I can understand having different lenses for different subjects, moods, etc. Just try to be as reasonable as you can about something that isn't always reasonable. I've got more bits and pieces than I need, but I haven't really done any deep reasonableing with my stuff. A classic case of "Do as I say, not as I do?"

Maybe sell a few at a time and see how that feels. If it feels okay, repeat. If it feels unpleasant, stop, or try to get over it, sell more!
01-15-2019, 03:51 PM   #7
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I have had an approach where I have sold photographic equipment I do not use to fund new investments. Once I sold a FA* 28-70mm f2.8 to fund a Pentax K-5iis. When I study the images I took with the FA* 28-70mm f2.8 I somehow regret selling it, the images it took are very unique. I have also sold mint versions of the A24/2.8 and A20/2.8, both of which I regret selling. On the other hand, I have sold numerous lenses that I never bonded with, and I hardly remember them.

When diving into the Pentax world and exploring digital photography almost ten years ago, I needed to explore lenses (and later cameras). Consequently I spent a lot of time purchasing and selling lenses. Today I know a bit more about Pentax equipment, and possibly do not need to spend so much time exploring different lenses. Most of the lenses I possess today will be used on a regular basis, and apart from the Vivitar/Kiron 100/2.8 macro and Voigtländer Ultron 40/2.0 all are Pentax lenses.

My humble advice would be not to sell “the good stuff”. If you have a nice FA 50/1.4 I guess there would hardly be a need for 50/2 lenses for the Pentas K-1. Maybe you also need to decide if manual focus lenses are worth keeping for the K-1, maybe you could sell some of your K, M, and A series lenses? That is if you do not use them on your LX
01-15-2019, 04:17 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I have boxes of stuff I 'need/should' sell, the result of serious LBA a few years back. Most of it it piddling stuff which
might earn $20 here, $50 there, so it's easy to push it off. However, I have already culled everything and know what
I will sell, someday.

First question to ask yourself: What do I actually use? Be truthful and honest. I have approximately twenty 50mm lenses but
I only use 2 or 3 with any regularity. Anything you don't use with any regularity should be fair game to sell.

Next ask: If I sell this item, will I find myself wanting? Again, be truthful and honest. I know I like having the idea of
twenty different 50mm lenses, each with its own little quirk and character, but will I really miss that Pentagon? Do I really
need K, M, A versions of 2, 1.7 & 1.4? I managed to cull my 50mm collection down to about six lenses, the rest I can
easily sell. If really pushed, I could pair down to perhaps as few as three, (one Helios, one Tak, one K-mount).

Finally ask: If I sell this item, will I be able to replace it if I need/want/regret? Be very, very honest. I know I have very
little, if anything, that is irreplaceable. The rarest thing I own is an Alpa 40/3.5 Makro-Kilar in M42 mount. Rare, worth a
few nickles, but not irreplaceable.

Use those guidelines as you go through your collection. Once you get into the right mindset, you'll be surprised how much
you can actually part with.

01-17-2019, 03:14 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnha Quote
I have a lot of gear and need to sell some (most?) of it off, the question is what should go first and what should be kept?

Are the mechanical ones preferable to sell or keep? Is there any real difference between an MX & KX (I don't want to start another of those threads!)? How about those that take the same accessories (Super-A & P50)? What about the Spotmatics?

It's the same with lenses, I'll keep the M42 lenses as they're very adaptable and I love the results, do I really need a pile of K mounts too?

John, When it comes to film cameras, I would tend to keep the mechanical ones as they are less likely to fail, more likely to be repairable, and are at the age where they begin to appreciate in value.

Unless you love and enjoy collecting for the sake of collecting, I would sell any lens that is more likely to collect dust than images. Again, if you're a collector and that's your hobby, then only sell inferior duplicates. But if you see the cameras and lenses as tools for your photography, then I'd strip things down to your star pieces; simplify.

If some specific feature is essential to you, such as a depth-of-field preview, or exposure priority mode, or a motor drive, etc, then the differences in the models become more important. For me, the key feature that makes the biggest difference is medium format, so that narrows down my cameras considerably.

I used to take half of my kit everywhere, with a heavy back pack and vest full of lenses, back up bodies, etc. Now I find it extremely liberating to take one camera and one lens only and use my phone as my safety net backup.

IF you believe your ability to capture special images is external of you, then you will never have enough gear because you're constantly thinking of the gear you're missing. But if instead you believe special images are found and taken by the photographer, then just pick your best tools and sell the rest.
01-18-2019, 03:04 AM   #10
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As someone who sold off syuff they didnt use to fund stuff I would use I can only speak from a petsonal petspective here they were always bad deals.

When I switched from film to digital I sold off a pair of mint Nikon Fs to fund new flash gear the Nikons fetched peanuts back then as no one wanted a mechanical film camera back a few years. Looking at it now the trade off was bad news because finding a minty Nikon is hard prizes for guessing which is more valuable now a pair of Nikon Fs or some flash gearans battery packs for a defunct digital setup

If it were me I would decide what has emotional or sentimental value and keep it and ditch anything thats pure gizmo. Mechanical has durability which electronic hardware lacks. There are still plenty of people who can repair and service mechanical cameras.

I am started out collecting every camera I ever owned which extends from a a Kodak 33 through to the early days of digital but as time has moved on I have realised I have no love for some of this hardware so I have refined what I will collect to only those that I truly loved. You are in a position of still retaining all of your gear so a better place to be. I only have three digitals in my collection and that is probably how it will stay as I never found any romance in most of them and they have limited life as stuff like the LCDs will fail in time and most are already unrepairable.
01-18-2019, 11:28 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies, a huge amount of advice to consider. I'm more interested in medium format film that 35mm, as an outfit it is much concise than 35mm (no duplicated lenses, no unnecessary accessories etc) and rolls of 35mm chrome films seem more more expensive than 120 rolls. I still want to keep a sample of the Pentaxs I've really used but many of the 'spares' need to go. Some were bought purely as oddities (i.e. could I put together a working MEF & Kf 35-70/2.8 combo - Yes after two bodies & 2 lenses).

The snag is that the 'good stuff' is easier to sell-on than the myriad of normal 50mm lenses I have - and with the price of body caps these days it makes sense to keep them in many cases. Original period lens caps seem to go for more than the lenses they came with sometimes. I'll think about the mechanical bodies (I have a few) and try to sell off some of the accessories I no longer need.
01-18-2019, 07:00 PM   #12
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I sold all of my digital gear, and as of today, 35mm is what I will be shooting. I became SO bored with snapping hundreds of photos, only to end up with a handful of decent ones. I think film will change my whole perspective back to what it was back in the 1960's and 70's. If I need a quick "snapshot" my iPhone will do just fine in that regard. I want to make GOOD photos.
01-18-2019, 07:01 PM   #13
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I sold my electronic cameras of high dollar value while still working.
Models included Pentax LX, Bronica RF645 and Contax T.

The electronic models I still own are cheap enough so that I consider them disposable.
For example I recently bought a Nikon F4, which now sells for well under $200 in excellent condition.

Mostly I prefer my simpler mechanical cameras. IMO chances are they will be usable far longer than the rest.

01-19-2019, 05:16 AM   #14
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You may find by the way that 50mm is very desirable from a lens point of view. I have been offloading lenses on ebay that are surplus and I am finding shorter focal lengths sell quite easy for reasonable cash. The longer ones are a bit of headache but still sell. I have been watching for 50mm for Nikon and Olympus and they seem ro sell quite high. A good but not excellent Pentax 50mm should make £35 at least.

If you just cap them with generic no name caps the caps can be aquired cheap enough from ebay I just bought 4x front caps for about £3 and they are surprisingly good quality on a par with any of the branded stuff.
01-19-2019, 11:02 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
What is this "sell" of which you speak?
I am asking the same question. Sell, camera and lens are words that I never use in a single sentence.

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