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Thread: KEH

  1. #1
    Wmcgowin's Avatar
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    KEH

    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. #2
    MattCarey's Avatar
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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. #3

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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. #4
    BradS's Avatar
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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. #5
    Gregg Brekke's Avatar
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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. #6
    Wmcgowin's Avatar
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    Thanks guys!

  7. #7
    josephaustin's Avatar
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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. #8
    abeku's Avatar
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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. #9
    Daniel Lawton's Avatar
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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. #10
    esanford's Avatar
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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....
    Often wrong, but never in doubt!

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