I just dug 4 lenses out of the closet with my old film Pentax. I have the following:

  • Quantaray 35-80mm f4-5.6
  • Quantaray 70-210mm f4-5.5
  • Albinar Macro Zoom 80-200mm f3.9
  • Promaster AF 100-400mm f4.5-6.7

While busy working, I just switched to the Canon EF-S 18-55mm that came with my Canon Rebel EOS Rebel T6. I'm retired now and want to get back into photography, but on a very limited budget. What's your advice?

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    Can you please be more specific about your question? Is it whether you can use these old lenses on your Canon camera? Or whether you should get a different camera to utilize them better? Or something else? – mattdm Apr 22 '19 at 15:16
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    Why so many telephoto zooms? There are cheap adapter rings for PK-EF, but I'd worry about the aperture-control pin interfering with the mirror. – xiota Apr 22 '19 at 19:24
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    At a guess for why this selection — the first two are a set, the third is an upgrade for the second, and the fourth was added for more reach. – mattdm Apr 23 '19 at 14:18
  • on the risk of going slightly off topic, as a fellow owner of a T6 on a tight budget, consider the EF-S 24mm 2.8STM and the EF-S 55-250 mm STM. Both are cheap (for lenses), complement each other nicely and you get a bit of reach (250mm) and a bit of low light capabilities (with the 24mm). I almost stopped using the 18-55 from the kit after getting those, because it is noisy/slow to focus and not nearly as sharp as the other two. – Fábio Dias Apr 23 '19 at 19:21
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    Wow! I had no idea I would receive so many responses so quickly. Thank you. Although my question DID need clarification, you were able to intuit what I needed (should I buy a new camera to fit these lenses, buy an adaptor so I can use them with my Canon Rebel, or buy new lenses developed for my Canon). I’ve made a note on my phone of the new lenses you suggested adding as funds allow. I’ll go that way. This is an amazing community and blessings on each of your heads for your kindness. – Janet Apr 24 '19 at 14:49

These lenses are all budget zooms from third party labelers. (That is, they didn't make them; they sourced them from a low-cost lens manufacturer and put their brand on them.) They may have some charm and be fun, but they're not very high quality by the standards of their day, let alone today's much, much higher standards.

So, while your question is very broad, I can simplify one thing. Don't worry about trying to make these lenses work. It's just not worth it.

  • These also (maybe with the exception of the 100-400) won't fetch much, so best to just store them in case you happen on a DSLM or a Pentax DSLR, you'll have a starter set of telephotos .... – rackandboneman Apr 22 '19 at 15:36

Options to consider:

  • Decide whether you would like to switch systems (to mirrorless) before sinking more money into your current system. Slightly older models are well-discounted relative to new models, and the cost of switching can be buffered by selling your old gear.

    Switching camera systems isn't really "budget" friendly, but I have difficulty getting good straight-out-of-camera results with Canon cameras.

  • Get a better lens designed to work with your Canon camera.

    • EF-S 24/2.8 STM, as Fábio Dias recommends – Small, pancake-like lens that appears to be well regarded. (I've used it, and agree it's pretty good.)

    • Nifty Fifty (50/1.8). Fast, longish lens on crop sensor. Main reason people recommend them is they tend to be inexpensive, but I don't like the focal length much on crop sensor.

    • EF-S 55-250/4-5.6 IS STM, as Fábio Dias suggests. Useful, for example, if your style is to photograph a stage from a distance.

    • Other lenses not normally considered "budget". 24-70/2.8, 24-70/4, 24-105/4, 70-200/2.8, 70-200/4 ... etc.

  • Get a cheap adapter ring for PK-EF. However, I'd worry about the aperture-control pin interfering with the mirror. The telephoto lenses would also be difficult to use without image stabilization.

  • If you intend to shoot film in the future, you can keep the set.

  • See what a local camera store will give you for it. You might get more out of them if you trade for credit.

    If you try to sell online, the film camera + 35-80/4-5.6 lens might do well, but otherwise, you'd probably have trouble just breaking even after shipping and fees. For example, I bought a lens for $18. The seller spent over $14 on shipping (price printed on label). The auction site likely took $2-3 in fees. It's possible to ship for less, but these still aren't great margins.

  • Personally, whenever I sell something on eBay, I calculate the shipping cost in advance, and set that on the listing as a fixed additional price. Then, whatever the item sells for is all profit as far as I'm concerned (taking into account that the starting bid is higher than any potential sale fee). Other sellers take a different approach as you experienced. But there are simple ways of ensuring a seller makes some money on a transaction, even if that might mean some potential buyers will be less enthusiastic about the terms. Better to forgo a sale than lose money on it, I think. – osullic Apr 24 '19 at 11:10
  • See the comment/response above. Thank you so much for sharing so many great ideas. I’ll pursue the lenses you have suggested as my budget allows. THANK YOU! – Janet Apr 24 '19 at 14:51
  • Albinar and Quantaray grade stuff is flooding every fleamarket, often unsold for half a season.... :( – rackandboneman Apr 25 '19 at 10:39
  • Best give them to a beginning mirrorless user, lenses like that are so trivial to adapt to eg an a6000 that people might be willing to try them.... – rackandboneman Apr 25 '19 at 10:50

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