As I hope I have made clear, I have also bought many items over the past 18 years from KEH, and have found the items usually graded to my advantage. Working with them on returning this item has been, to my surprise, like working with a different company.
Just to clarify, I wasn't replying to JMCD's post, but just offering my experience in response to JDC's original post at the top of the thread.
Post-mortem on this for me;100% vindicating my earlier comments.
I just received a Fujica ST-801 SLR and Fujinon 35mm f/2.8 from KEH.
- Both had far better exterior cosmetic condition than advertised
- Both had GROSS mechanical defects.
The prism on the SLR was mis-aligned (couldn't focuse), and (wait for it) upon opening the camera back there was *no* take up spool! Both the hot shoe and the x-sync did not work. (The meter was way off, too, but I expect that in a 30 year old camera). Total time invested in ascertaining all those problems - about 90 seconds and I never so much as loaded film in the camera.
The Fujinon lens had a broken aperture blade. I knew that as soon as I picked up the lens and heard it rattling around. Time expended? One second. Perhaps, two....
The kicker? Both items had been meticulously cleaned by their techs. Absolultely spotless. And both had a sticker with the name of the camera tech who inspected the items (who they assured me was no longer with the company....sure)
So I called KEH and, naturally, they are accepting a return. But my frustration (4 consecutive orders returned) continues...
It remains very evident to me that relatively inexpensive items for sale are not given even a cursory inspection. Not one of the flaws I described above would require a camera tech or even a particularly experienced camera user.
KEH.com BGN question.
Have you guys bought any BGN bodies from KEH? How is the condition? Any hits, brassing, lots of use, ect? Is EX much better, and how much better?
Yes. Good. Depends on the item, call and ask them. It's better or it wouldn't be EXC; how much better? Call and ask them.
Read through these threads where this has been hashed out before:
Basically, they are very conservatice in their ratings and if you don't like the item you have a no-risk (other than shipping costs) option to return it.
For LF Lenses, their BGN rating is usually pretty darned good.
For 35mm bodies, it can make a big difference. They also seem to grade 35mm bodies on cosmetics ONLY. Therefore, a body graded EX will look good but may very well have a mechanical problem. Maybe, it depends on brand. I've never had any luck trying to buy used Nikon Manual focus 35mm bodies from them and, believe me, I have tried many times. I have given up and will not buy 35mm gear from them - nothing but trouble and endless mailing stuff back and forth.
Nikon FE - sticky multiple exposure lever. Otherwise fine.
Nikon F4s - Overall good, some wear and tear but nothing ridiculous. Had an electronic fault that caused it to kill a set of batteries in about 48 hours. Sent it back.
Nikon F4s (#2) - Missing the eyepiece. Some wear and tear, but everything works fine.
I also got an EX-rated Nikon F5 that was in really nice condition with no faults visible other than some wear around the tripod mount.
Jim, how much wear and tear was on the F4s[#2]?
Is it worth paying $150 more for a EX body?
Nikon F3HP, [EX]: beautiful cosmetices meter intermittent. Returned for another.
second one: cosmetics excellent, shutter wrinkled and not exposing full frame at high speeds - returned for refund.
A year and a half later:
Nikon FA , [EX]: missing eyepice, +/- light on continuously no matter what exposure compensation dialed in (including 0). exchange for
second Nikon FA: also missing eye piece. little shutter speed display in view finder dead. Exchanged for..
third Nikon FA: Worked in manual mode only. None of the auto exposure modes worked at all. Returned for refund.
Nikon FE (BGN): looked pretty good. I might have called it excellent cosmetics on ebay. Meter dead. Returned and vowed "Never Again".
By contrast, I've only once needed to return a LF lens - and it was obvious that hey just simply shipped the wrong lens. It wasn't even close - except the focal length was the same as I had originally ordered. Unfortunately, they did not have the lens I ordered in stock. So, got a refund and bought one from Jim at MPEX.
BGN Bronica GS-1. Not a single problem in 10 months. The back shows a bit of wear, but that is common... and easily replaced if need be. Brassing and other wear is quite acceptable. Keh is generally quite reliable; trust them.