I've had excelent luck with KEH.com over the years. I've done OK on E-bay as well, but I actually prefer KEH.com.
I've bought two different Nikon Bodies. An N-80 in EX condition for my sister to replace a stolen N-50, and I also picked up an N-70 for myself back in January. I've bought several different lenses for both Nikon and Canon cameras, and also a Nikon SB-28 flash. All of these with the exception of the N-80 were in bargain condition, and all have worked as they should. The N-70 shows the most use, and is a little rough looking. But it works as it should. Additionally, I paid very little for the N-70 camera, so I'm not complaining. Several of my lenses that I bought from KEH are in better condition then the E-bay listed lenses that were in EX condition.
KEH is my first choice for used gear.
Yep, that's how I got my Nikon FM2n kit, but FIVE weeks was excruciating on my nerves. I think my peace of mind is worth a few extra bucks this time. That's why I use Letter Parcel only for low priority stuff.
Originally Posted by PhotoJim
Using film since before it was hip.
"One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal
, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11
My APUG Portfolio
I recently bought a Vivitar Series 1 70-210 in Canon FD. It was rated EX, and the lens looks brand frickin' new, except for the front lens cap. The only issue is that the zoom is really uneven (sticks in some places and is really stiff in others) and is even worse in macro mode. It's only a minor inconvenience, but I'll get it fixed eventually.
Other than that, it's a great, beautiful lens and I don't regret my purchase at all.
My success rate for completely-working-out-of-the-box BGN cameras from KEH is 50% - I bought 2 x Pentax ME Supers from them, both in BGN condition - 1 is just fine, some wear on the body, but mechanically and electronically great. The 2nd had meter problems and ultimately the shutter would only fire at 1/125 no matter what the mode selector was set to. Rather than send it back (the camera was just under $100, and cross-border shipping is a bit of a hassle as others have mentioned), I had a local repair guy fix it - he basically completely overhauled it for under $100 - so, for just under $200 I've got an ME Super that will work for years to come, and as a bonus comes with a local warranty from my repair guy.
So, just my opinion, but if you're really concerned about it, shop around locally - there have to be a lot of camera stores and/or camera repair shops that sell used equipment in Toronto and area. Buying one locally may cost somewhat more, but if something goes wrong you can take it back without dealing with shipping hassles, etc, and you can know exactly what it can and can't do.
For me personally, I would definitely consider buying from KEH again, and I do browse them regularly. I haven't found any screaming good deals like the ME Supers yet, though
i can't wait to take a picture of my thumb with this beautiful camera.
- phirehouse, after buying a camera in the classifieds
Thought i chime in on my first experiance with keh. My wife broke the back on her N-70 and it was not worth having it sent into fix. Based on this thread i went into keh and bought a bgn body for the part and it's barely got a scratch on it. I don't know if the camera works and i dont really care the wife is happy and it didn't cost much. What more could i ask for.
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I've bought 6 bodies (2 FM2n, 1 FM, 1 FG, 330, and 330F) and a number of lenses from them over the years with only 2 problems - the FM and a 65mm lens for the 330's crapped out after 3 or so years. Since they don't test I usually stick with EX on the totally unsupported myth that if the cosmetics are in better condition, they might not have been used so hard and the mechanics might be better.
I've had pretty good experiences buying bodies from Keh. I bought my Mamiya M645 and Nikon F5 from them, both were BGN and both function according to spec. Selling bodies to them though, that's where I've had problems.
I have had excellent luck with keh. I just purchased a canon FD 85mm f1.2L from them in ex condition. It looks like it just came out of the box. I have also purchased mf lenses from them that had manual shutters built into the lense for my rb67 with great luck. In fact I jsut had a lense delivered, and I listened to the shutter and i could hear that it was off. I was going to use it for my cousins wedding, I called keh and explained the problem. They overnighted me another lense that worked flawless no extra charge and had me send back the other lens via ground. I have never had a problem buying equipment from KEH.
Well, so far, in all of the things I have purchased from KEH, only one thing surprised me. That was a split nylon bearing or friction sliding surface for one end of a bellows. I will find something else with a similar bearing for the coming repair.
Most of the things I have purchased through e-Bay have been disappointing. The shipping charges for many of them have been toward the direction of excessive. I am running about 50 % in purchasing things that are truly useful upon receipt. Most of what I have bought on e-bay was done knowing that there is a high probability that it will be a parts source for me. All other purchases have needed some repair to restore to full functionality. These have all been items that were purchased from individuals, not shops with an "e-Bay on-line store." KEH has been much better for me.
How many things were in the "all of the things I have purchased from KEH?" Let me put it this way. Last December, KEH sent to me a Christmas card.
I have been a KEH customer (both a buyer and a seller) and, overall, my experience with them has been very good. I have bought EX and better items only, as I tend to be careful about cosmetics. I thought the EX+ A-1 body I bought was pretty good; however, I returned it as it had a tiny amount of brassing. As far as I know, an EX+ body should be free of brassing. In the rare case where I have requested a return or exchange, it has, on one or two occasions, taken a while to be processed. I just did an exchange, and am looking forward to the arrival of my new items.