Sound Advice: Repairing old TV likely not worth cost

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Question: I have a 10-year-old Pioneer Elite TV that needs to be fixed. It will cost $300 to $500 to repair, plus an equal amount for them to take the TV to their shop, for a total of $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 the system with a new high-end plasma TV. I would opt for repair as I love the Pioneer Elite. What do think makes sense here?


St. Louis Park, Minn.

Answer: Your wife favors spending a few thousand to upgrade your system? You are a lucky man and the envy of many others!

I have not seen your TV, but 10 years is quite old. In addition, $600 to $1,000 is a significant investment and I am surprised the repair company did not tell you it is "BER," or beyond economical repair. A good shop won't recommend you sink more than something is worth into repair bills.

You could very easily fix it and have a different part go out a week later. I am also surprised the TV has to be removed at great cost in order to do repairs. I've had two big TVs repaired in the past 10 years, and both time it was accomplished with a house call.

At 10 years, you have gotten your money's worth out of the TV and it is time to move on. For a few hundred maximum I would fix it, but not for $600 to $1,000.


Question: I have an old Mamiya 35 mm camera with several lenses. The kit has been sitting in my attic for about 20 years. I am thinking of getting a digital SLR or a mirrorless camera. Will it be possible to use the lenses on a digital SLR or mirrorless camera? The lenses are screw mount. I have a Mamiya 55 mm, a Vivitar 28 mm and a Vivitar 200 mm.


Goffstown, N.H.

Answer: You can use your lenses on a Pentax digital SLR with a K-mount adapter or on most any mirrorless camera. You can get a screw mount to Micro Four Thirds adapter for around $50.

However, just because you can adapt the lenses doesn't mean you should.

When you use these older lenses on a modern camera, you have to focus them manually and adjust the light metering manually as well. If you have a set of perfectly maintained Leica lenses or something similar, it may be worth adapting some of them for fun, but in your case there isn't anything to gain and everything to lose. There is nothing special about any of your lenses, and they are likely to be dramatically outperformed by the entry-level kit lenses that are either 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 will likely have all focal lengths from 28 mm-300 mm 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 towards the telephoto zoom kit lens.

Read product reviews by Don Lindich at

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