1. Wmcgowin

    Wmcgowin Member

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    I previously wrote about medium format cameras, and am looking at getting one from KEH. My darkroom teacher (yes, I take classes-it gives me access to a darkroom, so I don't have to set up mine in my bathroom!) suggested KEH, and said that they are VERY conservative in their camera ratings. He said to buy a "bargain" grade camera, and that I would be pleased with what I get.

    What does anyone else think? I don't mind a few blemishes, but I don't want a train wreck of a camera. I suspect that KEH won't sell a piece of junk under just about any circumstance, for fear of hurting their reputation, so a bargain grade might really be better than the grade suggests.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    I have some bargaing grade stuff from KEH that looks like it was never used. Seriously, it looks basically new. My standard lens for my 4x5 is a Schneider 180mm symmar--the image on the KEH website showed a lot of wear on the writing on the lens. There was no wear when it showed up. I have other lenses that are the same.

    However, I did get an OM1 for my brother that was "Bargain". It did show wear and had some problems pretty quickly. KEH refunded the money without hassles.

    So, you can get some really good stuff from KEH. But, don't get upset if they really send you something that shows wear.

    I have never purchased anything from them that wasn't "Bargain", so I can't say what that is like. I have never felt the need to!

    Matt
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I just received a bargain lens from Keh. It looks perfect. OTOH it's a little rough to focus. Maybe it's just been sitting for a while. Still at the close focus range it feels a little worse then it should. I've bought other bargain lenses in the past and they've been great. I've only bought one bargain camera from them and it had scratches etc but it worked just fine.

    OTOH check what they have on offer. Often you can pay a little more and get a higher grade. If the gap is small I'll often pay the extra just to feel better. If bargain is quite a bit cheaper then I take that but when it's only $10 or $20 I tend to pay the extra.
     
  4. BradS

    BradS Member

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    I have bought from them a number of times. Recently, bought two lenses both described on thier web site as "excellent with caps". Both arrived in like new condition. No complaits. Will buy from them again and again. I also get the feeling that they have much more in stock than they show on their web site. If you don't see what you want...call 'em. They are very nice people to talk to on the phone....that "Southern Hospitality" shines though the wire.
     
  5. Gregg Brekke

    Gregg Brekke Member

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    KEH is great

    I bought a Leica M6-TTL and 50mm f1.4 lens from KEH about 2 years ago. I agree with everyone else - their ratings are conservative. Even with paying tax the total was about $500 less than I would have expected for similar quality items purchased from an auction site.

    Best of luck,
    Gregg Brekke
     
  6. Wmcgowin

    Wmcgowin Member

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    Thanks guys!
     
  7. josephaustin

    josephaustin Member

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    One more bit of praise for KEH. I purchased a Soligor Spot Meter II from them in Bargain condition, it would be MINT on e-bay. Not a scratch anywhere on the case, no marks, just a beautiful tool. Great people over there IMO.
     
  8. abeku

    abeku Subscriber

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    My experience is that you get better stuff from eBay... for a better price too. I've bought three times from KEH. One item was a Fuji GS645 in "Excellent condition" - it had deep scratch marks on the right side, the last item was a Pentax K2 that was in a "Bargain" condition - the iso dial was stucked and the exposure compensation dial also. So the whole K-mount area needed to be disassembled and lubricated. Would I buy from them again? Yes, if I can't find an item at eBay and desperately need it. My impression is, despite the mishaps I've had, that they are nice people to deal with.
    At eBay, I have bought cameras, optics and other things and always been satisfied with the items, actually I've been overwhelmed regarding the mint condition sometimes. My feeling is that most eBay sellers are very serious sellers ( I just buy from sellers that receive >98% postive responses).
     
  9. Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Member

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    I recently pieced together a complete Mamiya 645 outfit from KEH and the items ranged from Bargain to excellent plus. I was pleased with everything and the one bargain item (the prism finder) works flawlessly despite a few cosmetic but meaningless scrathes on the outside of the housing. Everything else is near mint as I can tell. I was so pleased I just ordered another lens from them earlier this week and have already received it in also flawless condition. I will definitely use them again in the future.
     
  10. esanford

    esanford Member

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    I too have bought several items including my entire Hassy system from KEH and they were all BGN.... It was at least a grade and 1/2 better. With respect to the EBAY comment, I find that people notoriously get into a bidding frenzy on EBAY and overbid... So before you buy something on EBAY "benchmark" the value on KEH. If it is selling for a price near the KEH price, ALWAYS buy from KEH because of their 14 day return policy and their 30 day warranty.... you are not likely to get those from a private EBAY sale.... Because KEH knows that EBAY is their chief competitor, they go out of their way to provide quality customer service....
     
  11. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Ditto! :smile:
     
  12. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    I've purchased a lot of stuff from KEH over the years, almost all in Bargain condition. The condition has ranged anywhere from Very Good+ to Like New, including some items that looked as if they'd never been used. (More Like New and Excellent+++ than anything else.) Regardless, if you don't like what you get from KEH you've got 14 days to send it back in the condition you received it for a refund. That's a better guarantee than you get from most eBay sellers.

    There are deals to be had on eBay, and if you're extremely patient you can get some very good ones...goodness knows I have. But for me KEH feels much safer, and I have yet to personally be disappointed. I cannot say the same for eBay, and sorting out a bad transaction on eBay can be a very frustrating experience. At least with KEH, they have one policy and they stick to it.
     
  13. Troy Ammons

    Troy Ammons Member

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    I like Keh. The bargain grade stuff i have gotten from them was fine, and unlike Ebay, they are not mom and pop estate sellers selling junk they know nothing about. Even if it does arrive and is not acceptable, you can return it.

    I have gotten burned on Ebay a few times. Not a good experience. Never had a problem with Keh though, but they are more expensive.
     
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  15. Allen

    Allen Member

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    I have bought a lot from KEH, I have always bought everything in excellent or better condition all with no problems. After hearing about how good there bargain condition is I decided to give it a try. I bought a bargain Rollei sl66 and there were problems with it. The mirror lockup would not work, it was missing a small piece of leather, focusing was very rough and the camera was very dirty. I sent it back for repair on 6/23 and am still waiting for it, I’m hoping that they do a decent job on the repair. I wound buy from them again but only excellent or better condition I cannot recommend bargain condition.
     
  16. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    I saw a Hexar there for 'bargain', so I bought it. It had been marked to bargain because someone had scratched off the markings on the camera, that's it, just the name in 3 places. Otherwise perfect.
     
  17. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i've bought pentax 28, 100 + 135mm lenses as well as a 90mm super angulon from keh, all "bargain", all in better than what i would estimate as bargain condiiton ( i guess it was a bargain for me!). i wouldn't hesitate buying from them again, especially since they have a guarentee ... but i guess they say YMMV
     
  18. Jim Charles

    Jim Charles Member

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    I bought my Hassy outfit in Bargain condition. Definitely better than bargain IMO. I won't hesitate to buy more bargain rated items from them in the future.
     
  19. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    I have bought many items form KEH as well as know many happy customers that have had great results with their stuff. Best of all, you can return things you aren't happy with or aren't satisfied it meet their rating system, try that on flea-bay?

    My favorite contact person at KEH is Jeannie Cox at 404 748-6041. She really knows her stuff and is very pleasant to deal with. She'll go out of her way to make sure you are happy with your order and can help you with any questions you may have about the equipment.
     
  20. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I got a catalog from KEH in the mail today!!!!

    It's like the old Christmas book from Sears ...:wink:

    (although fewer pictures :sad: )
     
  21. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I've met Jeannie, she's a nice person and an avid photographer too. She's a regular at the Southeastern Photographic Society meets in Atlanta. Probably one reason shes so good, she knows what a real photographer wants.
     
  22. Nancy Giroux

    Nancy Giroux Member

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    I have bought a film back and a couple of lenses for my Bronica all bargain. I was very pleased with my purchases.
    Nancy
     
  23. Grady O

    Grady O Member

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    I bought a 50mm Bronica lens from them some time back. I believe it was "good", and when I got it the lens looked pretty much new despite a tiny tiny speck of dust on one of the elemts. It didn't effect the image quality at all and I was very happy. I've also sold some stuff to them. They're really great to deal with and wont hesitate to buy my next camera from them.
     
  24. laz

    laz Member

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    Just joining the chorus of praise for KEH, their 2 week return no questions asked says it all!
     
  25. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    I sold a Nikon lens to KEH based on an online estimate using my assessment of condition. About a week after I mailed, I got a voicemail asking me to to call - I thought "uh oh".

    Bottom line, they told me they would give me $5-10 more (I can't remember exact amount) than the original web-based price. Pretty impressive behavior.
     
  26. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I picked up, all in bargain condition; Hassy 503cx chrome, a12 back and waistlevel finder. $205 for the body, $80 for the back and $50 for the finder and it's all in GREAT shape. The back is older (74) but functional, the insert was well used but fully functional. I've always bought bargain grade and have never had a complaint.
    4x5 film holders, a pentax 645 insert, minolta autometer IV.. All was an extremely good deal. Always pleased!