Who has expericience with KEH lens grading?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by JMC1969, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. JMC1969

    JMC1969 Subscriber

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    I have been looking at quite a few lenses at KEH, but what I can afford at the moment is either marked UG (Ugly) or BGN (bargin). I understand what they say has the description of these two grades, but want to hear from somebody that may have bought something with these grades and if all is accurate in the description. The description is a little scary and I'm not sure it is worth it to risk or wait some more and save the extra $100 - $150 to get the higher grades.

    Thanks
     
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi

    i have never bought an ugly lens from them
    only "bargain" lenses - large format as well
    as 35mm ... they have always been in such good
    condition that i couldn't believe that i got such a good deal :smile:

    good luck,
    john
     
  3. dc1215

    dc1215 Member

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    I think KEH BGN products are just fine, sometimes even better. I've gotten a few cameras that way, and while some of them had some slight cosmetic dings, they all worked wonderfully for me. The LF lens I bought from them in BGN condition looked brand new, I couldn't find anything wrong with it at all except for some very slight cleaning marks on the glass. I have no experience with the UG stuff but for a lens I would stay away from it since you won't know what the glass will look like.
     
  4. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I think most folks will tell you that KEH's "Bargain" is most other folks' "EX". Also, keep in mind that KEH has an outstanding return policy - if you don't like it, just send it back.
     
  5. JasonC

    JasonC Member

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    Never try Ugly. Bargain could sometimes be hit or miss.

    Jason.
     
  6. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    To see how they grade things, just go to their site and request a quote for something fictional of yours. You will see how the questions they ask relate to the grade they give. What some may see as a minor flaw can lower their ratings severely.

    As Scott mentions, they have a very nice return policy. I've needed it a few times and never had a problem with it.
     
  7. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    For a $100 difference I happily buy bargain grade from KEH. If it's less then $50 or so I'll upgrade not because the bargain will be bad but the higher grades are often so close to brand new that the small difference is a small price to pay.
     
  8. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I bought one odd lens that was only available as Ugly - it was scratched up, but worked perfectly. I've bought several Bargain lenses and they were what I would call very good.
    juan
     
  9. JMC1969

    JMC1969 Subscriber

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    That's all great to hear, thank you all I have my eye on a couple.

    Of course I just checked and they have changed a few things within the last couple of hours. So one of them is gone, then there are these two

    1)270mm F5.5 Schneider Tele-xenar w/ compur
    2)210mm F5.6 Fujinon-L w/ copal

    The 240mm is the one that is no longer there. I am looking for lots of camera movement.
     
  10. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I'm assuming 4x5. The Fuji L is a copy of the old Kodak lenses. More then enough coverage for 5x7 so lots of movements for 4x5.
     
  11. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    I have bought several used items and their grading is conservative. I have never received anything which I thought was worse than their grade...EC
     
  12. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    I echo what Evan stated. They are really conservative and always deliver. Nothing is ever misrepresented and I've had great luck with them. Highly recommended.
     
  13. JMC1969

    JMC1969 Subscriber

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    Yes 4x5 (my first) and I will be looking to take lots of Architectural type photos, but have limited access so they will be some what ground level. Basically I want to play with the camera as much as possible to find it's capabilities.
     
  14. JMC1969

    JMC1969 Subscriber

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    Are you finding lots of Swedes?
     
  15. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    For more information about Fujinon lenses than you can find anywhere else, check out Kerry Thalmann's site here:

    http://www.thalmann.com/largeformat/fujinon.htm

    Here's what he has to say about the 210L

    "The L series was Fujis low cost, entry level line. The 300mm and 420mm L lenses were both in big, relatively expensive Copal #3 shutters. When the EBC multicoated 300mm and 450mm C series models came out in mid-1982, in smaller, cheaper Copal #1 shutters, there was little reason to continue offering the 300mm and 420mm single coated L models in spendy #3 shutters. So, I think it's fairly safe to assume neither of these models were ever offered with EBC multicoatings. With no alternative in the C line, the 210mm f5.6 was the lone member of the L series to survive past mid-1982. It is still listed in the D.O. Industries Price List dated March 2, 1988. I am currently lacking official Fujinon literature between 1983 and 1996, so I'm not sure exactly when the 210mm L was discontinued, or if it was ever manufactured with EBC multicoatings."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2008
  16. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've purchased bgn and EX. EX is like new bgn has tended to be excellent.
     
  17. JMC1969

    JMC1969 Subscriber

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    Thank You, good to know, I was unaware that it might only be a single coat glass. I will need to learn more about coatings anyway, I'm sure if I search the site I will come up with loads of discussions.
     
  18. JMC1969

    JMC1969 Subscriber

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    As well, it is mounted (fujinon) in a copal shutter that is just marked "Copal" according to the picture with no number after it. It is also listed as 42mm shutter which would make it a Copal #1, Right?
     
  19. freygr

    freygr Member

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    Coating will help with reflections inside the lens and reduce flare. But also some of the uncoated glass is very good. The good hard coatings came into use during WWII and multi coated lenses only became conman at the end of the 50's I think. I would not automatically not buy a lens if it was not coated. ( I may be way off on the multi coated lens date)
     
  20. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Dear jerk.
    Always do a search first.
    Lots of APUG threads about KEH.

    Your answer is here.

    Never a problem.

    tim in san jose
     
  21. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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    i buy most of my stuff from KEH in bargain. that said.....i no longer buy film backs in bargain! i spend the extra cash so i do not ruin any of my film. i bought a lens in excellent condition once....looked new! them one day i was shooting in Myanmar i dropped it! big ugly damage on my front element! now it is "ugly" but still working.....
     
  22. JMC1969

    JMC1969 Subscriber

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    Well thanks for the helpful words Tim, but I always do a search when visiting a forum. I too found lots of threads about KEH and people seemed to be happy with there items. I didn't, however, see that too many people (in those threads) mentioned what condition KEH had graded the item they purchased, only that it was in great condition. I didn't feel that answered my question. For all I could tell people were buying items that were graded EX,EX+,LN,LN- and happy that they were what they said they would be. Not my first time in a forum Tim and people didn't mind giving there opinions/experiences including 3 councils members and 1 moderator. I understood KEH was recommended by lots of people here which is why I visited it to begin with, but I had a specific question I didn't feel was answered.
     
  23. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Sorry you took offense.

    Most people in the forum do NOT buy EX+ from KEH, myself included. Most threads announce how generous the graders are at KEH and that buying an Ugly unit means you have something that works, usually a unit you don't mind showing your face with, even to your father in law.

    You will find that most people here, myself included, don't mind answering questions for the 478th time. That's the kind of people we are. Just search first please.


    tim in san jose
     
  24. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I've read this many times and have no doubt that some find it to be true, but that has not been my experience. While KEH grading is extremely honest, in my opinion it is not significantly different from other LEGITIMATE equipment resellers. KEH grading is a world away from most ebay sellers -- who wouldn't know a "minty" from a Certs (or whatever your favorite breath freshing candy is)! I must be the odd-man-out because I buy EX+ or, rarely, higher grade to ensure I get goods that work reliably.

    p.s. jd, I'm not quoting you to quibble difference of opinion in any way... just using your statement as an recent exemplar of the frequently heard comments on KEH's grading generosity.