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 . . .
And now they even sell film!
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!
An assortment of F-series Nikons (F to F6, excluding the F4) with quite a few Nikkors, a pair of M6s with some Leitz glass, a pair of 500c/ms with a wide range of Zeiss optics and, just to help keep Duracell solvent, a D800.
Favourite films: (1). KE ("Kodachrome Era"): 35mm: PKM25 and PKR64, HP5/Tri-X; 120: PKR64, PanF, FP4. (2). PKE ("Post-Kodachrome Era"): (a) 35mm: E100G, HP5 Plus/Tri-X and Delta 3200; (b) 120: E100G, PanF Plus, FP4 Plus, TMax 100.
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.
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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.
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I read everyone's praising of KEH's service and their "conservative" ratings. However, my experience with them is mixed. I would say their customer service is top notch, and their generous return policy and 6-month warranty really puts customers' minds in peace.
I can say so because I have went through all of them. In the past year I bought 2 cameras and 1 lens from them, and in all 3 transactions I needed to return or get the item repaired. The most recent is a bargain-grade camera body first released 30 years ago. But it's really in bargain grade: body smells strangely, the outer shell covering (some kind of plastic) is whitened. I thought as long as it works it should be fine. But the film advance lever gave out at the end of the very first roll. So I have no choice but to return it.
The lens I bought is in excellent grade. I got it at a very good price because it has an engraving. That's fine. But there is some linkage problem so the camera cannot read the correct aperture (a well-known issue in Contax SRL system). I returned it for repair. Two weeks passed by they couldn't fix it. So I decided to live with the problem asked them to send the lens back. At the last month of the 6-month warranty period the lens aperture stopped closing down. So I sent it back for repair and thought I was lucky that the problem showed up before the end of the warranty. Maybe because of the earlier issue, they fixed it in two days and I got the lens back in a week.
The first camera body I bought from them went through 3 iterations. In the first one I must admit I was too picky. The second body was faulty. The 3rd time was a charm. The body was in EX grade, though.
The plastic-bodied SLRs from the 1980s and 1990s are "dime a dozen," so to speak. They are viewed as mass produced cameras and quickly replaceable and don't carry the same perceived value as the so-called classics.
You'll know why you paid so little when you try to sell one. And I'm sure KEH is swimming in these models, which is why they unload them so cheaply.
What amazes me with KEH is not what they charge for their stock, but rather what they pay you for your gear. I have quoted more than a little bit over the years and I realize that they have overhead and need to profit and the electronics devalue over time. Hence their ow offerings by and large.
But how can so many people be so desperate to move a camera that they just fire it off for so little in return.
"Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti
Estates and (in the past) stores who cease selling used inventories.
Originally Posted by Christopher Walrath
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
This policy does not apply for overseas sales.
Originally Posted by philosli