KEH ratings!

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Clumsy Eddie, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Clumsy Eddie

    Clumsy Eddie Member

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    I just got a package from KEH with my new(old) Nikon FG, rated Excellent by KEH. Besides having an absurd price tag ($27.00 + S&H), the camera looks like it has never been used, by ANYBODY! It still has the Passed sticker on the pentaprism, I can't find any signs of wear and tear, and the works seem to be working well. If an old(er) camera like this FG can look this good, and I mean really good, like new(?), what do the other ratings look like? I've been tempted by the BGN rating, but I've given it a pass so far. This camera (probably not this particular example) was introduced in 1982, fer Pete's sake.

    I was looking for a small, light Nikon film body, but this one exceeds all expectations. I borrowed the 50mm f/1.8 D autofocus lens from my F100 for the time being, and it works just fine. Does KEH usually send out this kind of wonderful gear? Just curious.

    Any recommendations for 50mm or 35mm manual focus lenses for its very own?

    With best regards,

    Stephen
     
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    28mm and the 50mm lenses

    35mm is too close to the 50mm lens to make it worth having
     
  3. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    Couple of years ago I got a Nikon N90s, BGN rating for $29. Like you, when I got it, I could not find a mark on it and it's worked perfectly. To me, it looked like it MAY have been a store display model.

    Other BGN items I've gotten have been a bit more beat-up looking, but only one had a functional problem and KEH took it back without batting an eye.

    I think the lower the rating, the more of a "crapshoot". Expect something less than perfect, so you're not disappointed, but possibly pleasantly surprised.
     
  4. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    You might check out something like a 105.

    Jeff
     
  5. smithdoor

    smithdoor Member

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    I have use Ken for over 30 years
    It is used equipment any way you look at it
    If does not work they good about replacing

    Dave
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2013
  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I highly recommend KEH.

    We usually have several new "KEH is wonderful" threads a week.
     
  7. destroya

    destroya Subscriber

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    funny, i bought the same camera and got it wed. looked brand new. i was shocked by the quality of a BGN FA. except for a small chip in the corner, looked almost new as well. I feel fine with buying BGN bodies from them now
     
  8. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    on the other hand, you may not feel so good whrn you feel that yor 'for-sale 'items are being down ratef by KEH, BUT that comes with the terretory.:pouty:
     
  9. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    KEH is conservative in rating, which is good.

    Treat yourself to something EX+ some day :smile: You will be delighted.

    I buy EX and above. BGN stuff almost always has faults - usually tolerable. But I've found EX is where I'm consistently happy.
     
  10. bob01721

    bob01721 Member

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    KEH's ratings are very conservative. I try to buy stuff they rate as "good" or "very good," cuz I know it will be "excellent" to "outstanding" by my rating system.
     
  11. agnosticnikon

    agnosticnikon Member

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    Years ago I paid $49.00 for a 50mm 1.7 Zeiss Contax lens for my Contax 139. It was listed as BGN "engraved". When I received the lens, it looked brand new, and I couldn't find any engraving anywhere on the lens. The only thing that looked different, was following the engraved serial number on the lens front, there is a capital letter D that looks factory engraved also, but thinner and not filled with white. Never been able to figure that one out, unless they sent me the wrong lens. I still have the lens which works flawlessly, and I've always been pleased with their equipment and service.
     
  12. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    My F3P is EX+ grade. Only cosmetic deficiency is a couple scratches on the battery cap. I have an UG grade 50/1.4 Nikkor-S with factory AI conversion ring on it. Some paint wear on the focusing ring and a little missing paint from the f/8 DOF scale lines. That, and some wear on the lens mount. Otherwise, looks nice. Smooth focus and snappy diaphragm. BGN grade has sometimes been great, sometimes not. It really depends on who is grading the gear at the time it's received. I've had BGN grade F2A bodies that you'd have to look very closely to see a ding or some brassing. That said, I've also had a couple BGN grade lenses that had rough focus (and in one case a dented hood), as well as an F4 that looked pretty beat up and had mode switch problems. The best bargains seem to be the lots of camera bodies that they sometimes post up. Frequently you wind up with 1-3 bodies that have no issues, except for bad foam. My Nikomat FT2 body is one of those. Got it in a lot of 7 Nikkormat bodies. All it needed was a foam job.

    -J
     
  13. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Timely thread for me. I am looking at my first purchase from KEH. I want to buy a late model Minolta electronic flash. Considering it will be sent to Australia, would it be fair to stick with EX or EX+? I don't want the hassle of a return.

    Cheers.
     
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  15. momus

    momus Subscriber

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    Another happy KEH buyer here. Great place to do business with. It's a mine field out there when it comes to buying used camera gear, but I can nearly always count on being satisfied when I buy from them. Coincidentally, I received a Bgn $27 Nikon AI'd 50 2.0 lens from them yesterday, and it is just about perfect. Only a very slight rough spot in the focus, but the glass is perfect. It also went on my FG, which is a neat little camera.

    I have only one complaint, and it's not w/ KEH. Why didn't Nikon put an AE lock on these things??? They really missed the boat on that one. If I can't get the exposure that I want w/ the little button that gives me 2 more stops, I have to change the setting from AE to manual and do it that way. Pretty nuts.
     
  16. Lamar

    Lamar Member

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    I've always had good experiences with KEH and I have purchased a lot from them. On a few occasions I have received a few things that weren't as described (meter not indicating correctly, aperture sticky) but they made it right with a phone call and absolutely no hassle at all. They err on the conservative side with their grading as well so I always feel confident when buying even BGN equipment.
     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Several times I have ordered one grade from KEH and received the next higher grade. Why? Because when I ordered they had the grade in stock that I ordered, however when they went to fill the order that grade was empty and rather than disappoint a customer they select the next available higher grade item. Hence I have ordered EX and received EX+. Once I ordered EX and got LN with a hand written note explaining what had happened.
     
  18. iamzip

    iamzip Member

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    KEH is well known for having very conservative ratings - what they call bargain, many eBay sellers would not hesitate to call mint. I have ordered almost exclusively bargain grade equipment from them, and always felt like I really did get a bargain. The one time I received a non functional lens, they took it back without hesitation.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    In eBay land, "mint", "rare", "hard to find", and "I do not know anything about ..." are required phrases.
     
  20. Trail Images

    Trail Images Subscriber

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    KEH is the best in the business with regard to used products, especially with the volume they buy-sell-trade, etc. I've bought from them for well over 20 years now. I had two items over those many years that required return after a period of time and they honored both items without hesitation. One item they exchanged with another unit and the second item less then a month ago now they repaired with a CLA'd process.
    Their product ratings are very conservative.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2013
  21. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Trail Images, welcome to APUG.
     
  22. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    On the one hand I wish they have a counter so I can just drive up there and pick it up but on the other hand maybe I don't want them to have a counter that I can just drive up to!

    Maybe a drive through . . . :whistling:

    And now they even sell film!
     
  23. Trail Images

    Trail Images Subscriber

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    Thank you, Sirius Glass.
     
  24. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    Count me, too, on the list of happy and satisfied "KEHites." Glass-wise, I have always purchased EX or better; for bodies, motor-drives and accessories, however, BGN has been my habit, and has always been a pleasant surprise (I have been buying from KEH since 1982, when the bricks-and-mortar store operated on 14th Street down near Georgia Tech).

    In terms of lens recommendations? Telephoto-wise, the 105 F2.5 Nikkor is a glorious piece of glass (I have owned both the Ai and Ais versions); for a wide angle, I would suggest the 28mm F2.8 Ai or Ais. I have the 28mm F2 Ais, but, in retrospect, I am not sure the extra stop is worth the price premium (and the optical qualities of the 2.8 are well-known, and well-regarded...). Happy shooting!
     
  25. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

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    I've only purchased from KEH once or twice.

    Very satisfied with them. I am fortunate to have a store that deals in film cameras in the region. (80 miles).

    He champions analog, and supports the analog photography program at the regional college.

    Not always the cheapest, but a resource I would like to see survive.

    I've found KEH often to be less expensive that the sharks in the Bay.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  26. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    I used to buy EX and EX+ only, but took a chance on an F3 in BGN condition. When it arrived I thought it was in excellent condition, but after playing with it for 30 minutes I found the prism was dented on one side. It's cosmetic only as the prism works fine. There's also one minor dent above the film counter, which doesn't seem to cause any issues. So it really is a bargain. I save about 1/3 of the cost to get a fully functional camera with some minor cosmetic issues. Not a bad deal. Next I'll try a BGN lens and see how happy I am with it.

    As far as 35mm lenses go I haven't been too fond of the 35mm f/2 AFD, so I'm hesitant to try the MF version (which is reported to be not as good as the AFD). I've used the 35mm f/1.4 Rokinon and found it to be an excellent lens. It's got a pleasant rendering, and it's sharper at f/1.4 than the AFD is at f/2, and by f/5.6 it's sharper than the AFD ever gets. I've got it for sale because I could use the money, but I'm half tempted to keep it.

    For the 50mm I have an old f/1.4 that was converted to AI. It works well. Not the sharpest lens wide open, but I really like its image qualities. The 50mm f/1.8 Series E lenses are real bargains, and once stopped down to f/2.8 equal the faster f/1.4 lens. Non of these older lenses are as sharp as the newer G lenses, but those won't work on your camera.