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  1. #1
    Steve Mack's Avatar
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    Experiences with KEH ratings?

    I am very curious about the experiences that those of you who have bought Bargain condition from KEH have had. I have seen some real bargains (no pun intended!) listed in their camera ads, but I've never bought anything in that condition. (of course, I think I already own a few that would qualify as Bargain condition...). But I am really interested in the use you have gotten out of the Bargain cameras.

    Thanks to all who reply.

    With best regards,

    Stephen

  2. #2
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    I've had so-so luck with BGN gear. Some of my experiences:

    Nikon F3HP - dented prism (not severely), functions just fine though.
    Nikon FE - decent cosmetics. Multiple exposure lever won't return automatically but otherwise, perfect functionality.
    Nikon F4 - decent cosmetics and everything seemed to work, but it had a short circuit that drained batteries in a couple of days. Replaced under KEH's warranty. The replacement was missing an eyepiece but otherwise has been terrific. It shows some cosmetic wear but functions perfectly. (In fact I have it here in Nova Scotia on holidays with me right now, I trust it so much.)

    Lenses:

    105/2.5 - slightly tight focusing ring, internal dust. Not bad, but I wish I'd gone EX.

    Overall my luck has been alright, but I've sort of come to the conclusion that I prefer to go EX or higher now. The stuff I've bought that's EX has all been extremely satisfactory.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  3. #3
    martyryan's Avatar
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    I have had mixed results, which I believe is dependent on the demand for the item being sold. If it is a product in high demand, bargain can be a little rough, but if it is not as popular the item can seem almost new in condition. That is at least my theory from the items that I have purchased.

    Marty

  4. #4

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    In my experiences at KEH, BGN is the grade with the most variation. It runs from just above what they call "ugly" to just below what they call "excellent." That is quite a gap to bridge with a mere 10 percent.

    I don't mind BGN accessories, such as lens hoods and finders. I have not been all that thrilled with my BGN lenses, however. They have always had issues that are not so bad as to make them unusable, but not so minor that it would really be worth it to pay to have them fixed. I don't think I would buy a BGN body from them, but I am sure that good ones are there.

    I suppose I could sum up my feelings about BGN grade equipment by simply saying that I think it all ought be be priced about 25 to 50 percent lower than it is.

    I've had 100% good experiences with EX stuff.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  5. #5
    daleeman's Avatar
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    I've enjoyed bargain equipment in camera bodies and other things from KEH except for Hassy backs. A bargain Hassy back needs rebuilt before wasting good film, good travel and good time in the darkroom. The EX and above for Hassy backs has proven to be light tight and have fine functioning gears and gives dependable service right from the hands of the UPS delivery guy. KEH has been good about replacing the bargain backs, and often up to the EX level without charge when the bargain one refuses to work.

    For glass, I strive to buy ex+ because I like it real clean, before I beat it up over the next few years.

    Mileage may vary, one should read the prospectus and understand risks and loss of principal is possible.

    Lee

  6. #6
    fstop's Avatar
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    Been buying from KEH since the early 90s.

    If it says EX it is. If it says EX+ its like brand new.

    Bargain grade/ 10 times better than ebay.
    Ugly= typical ebay

  7. #7

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    KEH Grades solely on appearance. If the camera actually works, you got lucky.
    In life you only get one great dog, one great car, and one great woman. Pet the dog. Drive the car. Make love to the woman. Don't mix them up.

  8. #8

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    I do not really agree. I think that they tend to misrepresent the condition of items. I rather buy from other channels.

    Quote Originally Posted by fstop View Post
    Been buying from KEH since the early 90s.

    If it says EX it is. If it says EX+ its like brand new.

    Bargain grade/ 10 times better than ebay.
    Ugly= typical ebay

  9. #9

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    I bought a Mamiya M645 back in BGN condition. Looked fine. Other than minor scuff mark, I couldn't find anything wrong with it. Used it once or twice only. Few months later, it developed some weird light leak and problem with the dark-slide lockout. I have no idea if that was new issue or an intermittent issue known or unknown by KEH. I didn't pay very much for it so it didn't bother me enough to fix it. Sold it here on APUG for parts.

    I typically stay EX or above for most stuff. EX has quite a wide range and it can be anything from borderline BGN and pretty much EX+ (which is like new). When I spoke to someone at KEH, he also mentioned that conditions are subjective so it can vary somewhat depending on who graded it.

    If anything; though, I thought KEH rating is conservative and on-the-safe-side.
    Last edited by tkamiya; 06-24-2011 at 08:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  10. #10
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fstop View Post
    Been buying from KEH since the early 90s.

    If it says EX it is. If it says EX+ its like brand new.

    Bargain grade/ 10 times better than ebay.
    Ugly= typical ebay
    This my experience too.

    I only buy EX or EX+ for lenses and cameras. Always like new without the packaging for EX+. I have trouble finding marks, if any, on EX. Nikon F-100 was EX and sold via KEH eBay and it was Like New.

    A Bargain prism was better than I expected. A problem later arose and they took care of it.

    Steve
    Last edited by Sirius Glass; 06-24-2011 at 08:40 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

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