Posted 07 June 2011 - 08:47 PM
What a lot of people don't realize is that today's modern SLRs are only built to last 2-3 years (with significant use). Most consumer/prosumer level dSLRs are only rated at about 100,000-150,000 firings of the shutter. This means that, while older cameras are economically logical, they may not have much life left in them.
This is also important when considering what to buy used. You may not see yourself having another thousand dollars to spare in quite some time, in which case you would want your camera body to last you a significant amount of time [as camera bodies (now-a-days) are usually the first thing to retire). This means that buying a used camera body might be more risky than buying used lenses. Lenses last a very long time and can often remain in 'out of the box' condition for years after they are purchased (especially older manually focusing lenses - fewer moving parts). From what I understand, today's Nikon dSLRs can still use old manual focus lenses - these would be much more inexpensive than todays autofocus lenses, would last much, much longer (seeing as the lens barrels are made of solid metal), and usually have faster maximum apertures (1.8-2.8 for moderate lenses, 4.0 for telephotos). Of course, you would be giving up autofocus capabilites and completely accurate metering, but this are all things you can overcome with patience, practice, and skill.