Experiences with KEH ratings?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Steve Mack, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Steve Mack

    Steve Mack Member

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    I am very curious about the experiences that those of you who have bought Bargain condition from KEH have had. I have seen some real bargains (no pun intended!:D) listed in their camera ads, but I've never bought anything in that condition. (of course, I think I already own a few that would qualify as Bargain condition...). But I am really interested in the use you have gotten out of the Bargain cameras.

    Thanks to all who reply.

    With best regards,

    Stephen
     
  2. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I've had so-so luck with BGN gear. Some of my experiences:

    Nikon F3HP - dented prism (not severely), functions just fine though.
    Nikon FE - decent cosmetics. Multiple exposure lever won't return automatically but otherwise, perfect functionality.
    Nikon F4 - decent cosmetics and everything seemed to work, but it had a short circuit that drained batteries in a couple of days. Replaced under KEH's warranty. The replacement was missing an eyepiece but otherwise has been terrific. It shows some cosmetic wear but functions perfectly. (In fact I have it here in Nova Scotia on holidays with me right now, I trust it so much.)

    Lenses:

    105/2.5 - slightly tight focusing ring, internal dust. Not bad, but I wish I'd gone EX.

    Overall my luck has been alright, but I've sort of come to the conclusion that I prefer to go EX or higher now. The stuff I've bought that's EX has all been extremely satisfactory.
     
  3. martyryan

    martyryan Member

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    I have had mixed results, which I believe is dependent on the demand for the item being sold. If it is a product in high demand, bargain can be a little rough, but if it is not as popular the item can seem almost new in condition. That is at least my theory from the items that I have purchased.

    Marty
     
  4. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    In my experiences at KEH, BGN is the grade with the most variation. It runs from just above what they call "ugly" to just below what they call "excellent." That is quite a gap to bridge with a mere 10 percent.

    I don't mind BGN accessories, such as lens hoods and finders. I have not been all that thrilled with my BGN lenses, however. They have always had issues that are not so bad as to make them unusable, but not so minor that it would really be worth it to pay to have them fixed. I don't think I would buy a BGN body from them, but I am sure that good ones are there.

    I suppose I could sum up my feelings about BGN grade equipment by simply saying that I think it all ought be be priced about 25 to 50 percent lower than it is.

    I've had 100% good experiences with EX stuff.
     
  5. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    I've enjoyed bargain equipment in camera bodies and other things from KEH except for Hassy backs. A bargain Hassy back needs rebuilt before wasting good film, good travel and good time in the darkroom. The EX and above for Hassy backs has proven to be light tight and have fine functioning gears and gives dependable service right from the hands of the UPS delivery guy. KEH has been good about replacing the bargain backs, and often up to the EX level without charge when the bargain one refuses to work.

    For glass, I strive to buy ex+ because I like it real clean, before I beat it up over the next few years.

    Mileage may vary, one should read the prospectus and understand risks and loss of principal is possible.

    Lee
     
  6. fstop

    fstop Member

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    Been buying from KEH since the early 90s.

    If it says EX it is. If it says EX+ its like brand new.

    Bargain grade/ 10 times better than ebay.
    Ugly= typical ebay
     
  7. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    KEH Grades solely on appearance. If the camera actually works, you got lucky.
     
  8. Vsanzbajo

    Vsanzbajo Member

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    I do not really agree. I think that they tend to misrepresent the condition of items. I rather buy from other channels.

     
  9. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I bought a Mamiya M645 back in BGN condition. Looked fine. Other than minor scuff mark, I couldn't find anything wrong with it. Used it once or twice only. Few months later, it developed some weird light leak and problem with the dark-slide lockout. I have no idea if that was new issue or an intermittent issue known or unknown by KEH. I didn't pay very much for it so it didn't bother me enough to fix it. Sold it here on APUG for parts.

    I typically stay EX or above for most stuff. EX has quite a wide range and it can be anything from borderline BGN and pretty much EX+ (which is like new). When I spoke to someone at KEH, he also mentioned that conditions are subjective so it can vary somewhat depending on who graded it.

    If anything; though, I thought KEH rating is conservative and on-the-safe-side.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2011
  10. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    This my experience too. :smile:

    I only buy EX or EX+ for lenses and cameras. Always like new without the packaging for EX+. I have trouble finding marks, if any, on EX. Nikon F-100 was EX and sold via KEH eBay and it was Like New.

    A Bargain prism was better than I expected. A problem later arose and they took care of it.

    Steve
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2011
  11. fstop

    fstop Member

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    I'm still using an XD-5 I got from them almost 20 years ago.
    Bought an inop F from them not long ago, it works fine.

    Guess they like me.Maybe because I don't get on forums hiding behind a computer monitor bashing them over non existant sales...
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i have bought large format, as well as 35mm lenses from KEH all bargain, all in better than expected condition
    and if there was a problem i could easily return the lenses ( pentax 135 and 100 mm lenses that were actually in ex condition, and 90mm SA in the same ex but sold as bargain )
    i have bought since the mid 90s and would have no trouble buying from them again.
    the last thing i bought was a oly styls epic in bargain condition 20$ shipped
    and it was new in a shrink wrapped box / never opened never used ...
     
  13. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    That's not been true of any of the numerous items I've purchased from them.

    In every case the item exceeded their grading, in my estimation.

    I've never purchased anything below EX grade, since BGN covers too broad a range, and there's not a large difference in price between that and EX in most cases.

    - Leigh
     
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  15. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Most of the camera stuff that I have bought from KEH were BGN. All of them were very good. Of course you can return them within 2 weeks.

    Jeff
     
  16. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Most BGN stuff I have gotten has been in really good cosmetic and operational condition. I have had a couple of BGN items be in the middle or low end of the BGN range, though they worked fine. To a fair extent, the actual price compared to others in the same category (BGN, EX, etc.), will give a good idea of actual condition, IF they have more than a few of the item.
     
  17. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I have no complaint about the bargain gear I have bought from them.

    Typically just as described.
     
  18. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    My experience is that they are very conservative in their ratings. They are easy to deal with and took a return from me (shutter speeds were off) with no questions asked.

    Ed
     
  19. agfarapid

    agfarapid Subscriber

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    My experiences over the years: 1 Mamiya 645 Super back, a TTL prism for same, and a power winder, all in bargain condition . The back looked and functions like new. The prism (for $33) excellent except for a somewhat bent rubber eye piece and the winder--perfect! All still working like new. Bought a bargain 80mm 2.8 for my C33; wouldn't cock correctly--sent it back got one in good condition. KEH is great! Excellent customer service and broad selection. Ebay-- you have to know your equipment and your buyer and set a limit on what you bid on. I've only gotten burned twice and only on some low budget items under $50.
     
  20. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie Member

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    I've bought 3 or 4 excellent-rated lenses from KEH, and they were all like new. I bought one bargain-rated lens that had a number of small scratches and scuffs, but the glass was perfect. I'm very happy with all of them.

    I also bought a bargain F2A from KEH, but the meter was erratic. I sent it back for a replacement F2A that worked perfectly. It had brassing, and the focusing screen was scratched, but these faults didn't interfere with how the camera operated. In the future, I think I'd buy an EXC or EXC+ camera body. :smile:
     
  21. AnselAdamsX

    AnselAdamsX Subscriber

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    I bought an N80 from them recently in EX condition and it looked like new. I just bought a Tokina lens in EX condition and I can find some scuff marks but it does look good to me. However it will not auto focus with any of my cameras. So I will have to send it back. I'll see how that goes.
     
  22. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I was told by one of their sales people that if they take an order from you for a piece of equipment of a certain grade and if when they go to forfill the order and that level quality is not there, they will take one from the next higher level. If they have to go up two levels they will call you and ask if you want that one for more cost. A bump of one grade has happened to me twice for Hasselblad lenses.
     
  23. rdtaylor_sea

    rdtaylor_sea Member

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    I've always been very happy with what I've bought from KEH.

    I recently decided to take a gamble and ordered an "UG" Rolleiflex 3.5e (Xenotar) from them, knowing that I could return it if it was too bad. Paid $220 for it, including two-day shipping.

    Well, the description was accurate as far as the leather goes. The optics, however, were almost pristine - only a couple of small tea marks that can only be seen under direct bright light and do not affect image quality at all - and the film advance and shutter both work fine. The camera cleaned up well and I've got a new set of leather ordered. While it probably deserves a full CLA, I've ended up with a fully functional Rolleiflex that's in very good shape for $300.

    An E-bay seller would have rated it as "excellent." KEH grades on cosmetics and is always conservative. With their return policy it's definitely worth it to try "BGN" or even "UG" rated items. You'll generally be happy with what you get. And sometimes you hit the jackpot.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2011
  24. E76

    E76 Member

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    My experiences with KEH have been great as well. Their ratings do seem to be conservative, and most of the stuff I have gotten in EX condition looks almost brand new! I have ordered several lenses and camera bodies from them and they have all worked fine and continue to do so to this day. The BGN Hasselblad back I ordered from them was in rough shape cosmetically—the chrome and darkslide holder are scratched up—but it was functional since day one and I haven't had to rebuild it.
     
  25. pentax4ever

    pentax4ever Member

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    The BGN lenses I have bought from KEH may have had cosmetic issues but have been fine optically. I recently bought a BGN Pentax SF1 that had a loose rubber grip. I glued it back into place and was delighted to have a perfectly functioning autofocus SLR for $19.
     
  26. ContaxRTSFundus

    ContaxRTSFundus Subscriber

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    I have bought a number of their BGN items - most recently a Contax 167MT + P5 Power Adapter + D-7 DataBack for less than the typical price for a D-7. I can't see any issues with the camera or P-5 cosmetically or operationally and the only problem with the D-7 is that the tiny rear door-flap is missing its magnet so it pops open. That's not even an issue as it has no impact on use and I put a bit of Blu-tak in the hole for the magnet and it's fine. I also bought a BGN lens for my Mamiya RZ67 which was slightly marked on the barrel, again a true bargain. Apart from the occasional Contax camera body, my best BGN buys have been the high-end Contax flash units - TLA360 and RTF540 - less than a quarter of the UK price, even after shipment and our extortionate Customs Duty & 20% VAT charges. For me, KEH is a BGN hunters heaven.