i have bought large format, as well as 35mm lenses from KEH all bargain, all in better than expected condition
and if there was a problem i could easily return the lenses ( pentax 135 and 100 mm lenses that were actually in ex condition, and 90mm SA in the same ex but sold as bargain )
i have bought since the mid 90s and would have no trouble buying from them again.
the last thing i bought was a oly styls epic in bargain condition 20$ shipped
and it was new in a shrink wrapped box / never opened never used ...
That's not been true of any of the numerous items I've purchased from them.
Originally Posted by Vsanzbajo
In every case the item exceeded their grading, in my estimation.
I've never purchased anything below EX grade, since BGN covers too broad a range, and there's not a large difference in price between that and EX in most cases.
Most of the camera stuff that I have bought from KEH were BGN. All of them were very good. Of course you can return them within 2 weeks.
Most BGN stuff I have gotten has been in really good cosmetic and operational condition. I have had a couple of BGN items be in the middle or low end of the BGN range, though they worked fine. To a fair extent, the actual price compared to others in the same category (BGN, EX, etc.), will give a good idea of actual condition, IF they have more than a few of the item.
I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.
I have no complaint about the bargain gear I have bought from them.
Typically just as described.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
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My experience is that they are very conservative in their ratings. They are easy to deal with and took a return from me (shutter speeds were off) with no questions asked.
"I only wanted Uncle Vern standing by his new car (a Hudson) on a clear day. I got him and the car. I also got a bit of Aunt Mary's laundry, and Beau Jack, the dog, peeing on a fence, and a row of potted tuberous begonias on the porch and 78 trees and a million pebbles in the driveway and more. It's a generous medium, photography." -- Lee Friedlander
My experiences over the years: 1 Mamiya 645 Super back, a TTL prism for same, and a power winder, all in bargain condition . The back looked and functions like new. The prism (for $33) excellent except for a somewhat bent rubber eye piece and the winder--perfect! All still working like new. Bought a bargain 80mm 2.8 for my C33; wouldn't cock correctly--sent it back got one in good condition. KEH is great! Excellent customer service and broad selection. Ebay-- you have to know your equipment and your buyer and set a limit on what you bid on. I've only gotten burned twice and only on some low budget items under $50.
I've bought 3 or 4 excellent-rated lenses from KEH, and they were all like new. I bought one bargain-rated lens that had a number of small scratches and scuffs, but the glass was perfect. I'm very happy with all of them.
I also bought a bargain F2A from KEH, but the meter was erratic. I sent it back for a replacement F2A that worked perfectly. It had brassing, and the focusing screen was scratched, but these faults didn't interfere with how the camera operated. In the future, I think I'd buy an EXC or EXC+ camera body.
I bought an N80 from them recently in EX condition and it looked like new. I just bought a Tokina lens in EX condition and I can find some scuff marks but it does look good to me. However it will not auto focus with any of my cameras. So I will have to send it back. I'll see how that goes.
I've always been very happy with what I've bought from KEH.
I recently decided to take a gamble and ordered an "UG" Rolleiflex 3.5e (Xenotar) from them, knowing that I could return it if it was too bad. Paid $220 for it, including two-day shipping.
Well, the description was accurate as far as the leather goes. The optics, however, were almost pristine - only a couple of small tea marks that can only be seen under direct bright light and do not affect image quality at all - and the film advance and shutter both work fine. The camera cleaned up well and I've got a new set of leather ordered. While it probably deserves a full CLA, I've ended up with a fully functional Rolleiflex that's in very good shape for $300.
An E-bay seller would have rated it as "excellent." KEH grades on cosmetics and is always conservative. With their return policy it's definitely worth it to try "BGN" or even "UG" rated items. You'll generally be happy with what you get. And sometimes you hit the jackpot.
Last edited by rdtaylor_sea; 06-25-2011 at 10:18 PM. Click to view previous post history.