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KEH experience anyone?
Old 07-03-2005   #1
shaaktiman
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KEH experience anyone?

I'm planning on buying a system (used) from KEH. Currently I'm deciding between the one rated "bargain" and the "excellent" rated one. I've heard great things about KEH in other forums, but I figured I'd ask here to see what people's experiences have been. (I only really trust RFF folks.)

What have your "bargain" or "excellent" buys looked like? Most importantly, in your opinion, have the bargain rated cameras/lenses been up to scratch. I don't care that much about aesthetics, (within reason) but I do need to know that it will function very well mechanically.

Thanks. I appreciate everyone's experiences.

adam
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Old 07-03-2005   #2
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I have not purchased anything bargain rated from them. Excellent and Excellent Plus stuff for sure is like new. You can call them, which is what I would do if looking at a bargain item and ask the sales person (who is not on commission apparently) to discribe why the item is considered bargain grade.
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Old 07-03-2005   #3
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I've bought a few things from KEH, including a couple of lenses. The most recent was an expensive Zuiko 90mm f/2 macro rated as 'bargain'. When I received it I couldn't see any reason why it was rated low. It looked better than my own Zuikos, which I've always taken good care of. I've heard others say similar things. KEH is very conservative in its ratings.

Good people to deal with too.

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Old 07-03-2005   #4
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I recently bought a bargain rated Nikkor 105mm f2.5 lens from KEH. Aside from a little wear on the focus ring, I consider it near perfect. The glass is flawless. Even a bargain book I ordered from KEH was in much better condition than I expected. I really wouldn't hesitate to purchase one of their bargains.
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Old 07-03-2005   #5
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Everyone I know who has purchased from KEH says the "bargain" equipment is better than higher rated equipment they get from other stores or on Ebay. Their definition of "bargain" is it may look a little chipped up cosmetically but still performs well. I've never heard anyone complain about KEH (I'm not affiliated with KEH and have never purchased from the--although I probably will).
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Old 07-03-2005   #6
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I would second the appearance of all the KEH bargain stuff - but add one caveat - check out any electrical gear carefully and before the return policy expires - I neglected to check an F4S purchased there once and later discovered an expensive intermittent short in the shutter release.

As with all things - inspect what you expect. That being said - I have been delighted with all of my other KEH purchases (about 6).
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Old 07-03-2005   #7
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I bought a bargain rated Mamiya 645E kit and, while it was obviously used, I still would have expected it to be rated EX. Very nice condition and the price was even more so.

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Old 07-03-2005   #8
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I really like KEH. I've bought 3 cameras and 4 lenses from them over a period of several years and have been perfectly satisfied with each purchase. Their bargain rated items are generally very good.
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Old 07-03-2005   #9
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I have bought several lenses from KEH. "Bargain" lenses are true bargains -- the lenses look pretty much brand new. The body may sometimes have some faint wear marks, but the glass is perfect (if not, they label it as "ugly.")

I have just bought one body from them in bargain condition, and there was some fungus in the slr's prism. I had to return that one.

I wouldn't worry. They are very easy to deal with, and returns within 14 days are taken back with no hassles.
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Old 07-03-2005   #10
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I got an XA2 at bargain from them, and an excellent Pentax SLR and lens. I've been really happy with them. They sent the wrong Pentax and when I called I got real people, that spoke english, and they took care of the problem immediately. You might find the occasional screaming deal on ebay, but barring those - condition with KEH is honest and it's not much more than you'll get it for on ebay on average. I'd much rather buy from KEH if they have it.
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Old 07-03-2005   #11
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Another recommendation for KEH. Have bought several lenses from them, one bargain, all others EX and above. All were conservatively rated, especially the bargain. Used their return policy only once, reason was an incorrect understanding on my part. KEH honored the return with a full refund, no questions. Good folks there in my experience.
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Old 07-03-2005   #12
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Much safer and often cheaper than eBay, though you can luck out on eBay pretty spectacularly, or be just as UNlucky. KEH is fast and reliable, and they understate the condition of the item. Earlier this year I bought a "Bargain" condition lens and when it came it looked brand new, perfect. I knew there had to be SOME reason for the condition. I spent some time examining it closely and eventually found a tiny scratch in the rear element with a magnifying glass. The only bad thing about KEH is the near-immediate gratification of your GAS attack and attendant sag in your financial status...
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Old 07-04-2005   #13
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I have been using KEH for more than 15 years. Used SLR, lenses and flash equipment. I have also used them for repairs- CLA usually very fast. Never any complaints.
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Old 07-04-2005   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaaktiman
I'm planning on buying a system (used) from KEH. Currently I'm deciding between the one rated "bargain" and the "excellent" rated one. I've heard great things about KEH in other forums, but I figured I'd ask here to see what people's experiences have been. (I only really trust RFF folks.)

What have your "bargain" or "excellent" buys looked like? Most importantly, in your opinion, have the bargain rated cameras/lenses been up to scratch. I don't care that much about aesthetics, (within reason) but I do need to know that it will function very well mechanically.

Thanks. I appreciate everyone's experiences.

adam

A good place to buy items. Not as good if you are selling something.

Dick
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Old 07-04-2005   #15
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I buy my Leica M6 here. My experience its positive. Probably the body of the M6 was a little expensive compared *Bay... but the state of the camera was like new. Im impresive when I see the camera, because I dont believe that have been so new...
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Old 07-04-2005   #16
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As with all of the comments above, I have bought 2 Olympus OM-2 bodies and several lenses from them and it was all in excellent condition. The recommendation to talk to them in person is right on. On the last body I bought, I called first and the sales person talked through the ones I was considering and helped narrow it down to 2 choices. I finally asked him to "make the choice" (actually I said just to put one of them in a box and send it to me). It has been a great camera!. I have only purchased excellent or better for the bodies, but I did get one bargain lens out of 3, and for the life of me, I can't tell why it was bargain. But then again, all my Zuiko lenses that I am comparing it to are almost 30 heavily-used years old.
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Old 07-04-2005   #17
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I've purchased from KEH since their beginning. It's always been a good experience. For most of my Leica equipment in the past fifteen or so years I've always purchased from Jim Kuehl in Des Moines. His actual prices are much better than his advertised and he was previously a Leica rep. The equipment and service have been the best. I don't think KEH can top Jims sertvice or prices and I've delt extensively with both.


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Old 07-04-2005   #18
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KEH is local to me and I know one of the ladies in the order taking area. They are easy to deal with and you can find some great deals there...If your local you can pickup your item if you request to. I got nearly all of my current batch of EOS gear there...
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Old 07-04-2005   #19
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I haven't purchased any items rated "Bargain" from KEH but after reading this thread I might look into it.
Most of the items I have bought from them have been "Ex+", "Ex" or Like New.
I have never been disappointed with their stuff.
I have called in an order and asked to pull the item and discribe it to me and they have.
Great people to buy from.
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Old 07-05-2005   #20
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Top Notch!
their idea of bargain is very good!
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Old 07-05-2005   #21
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You can trust KEH--both their ratings and their customer service. Several months ago I got the hankering for a Rollei35, and ordered one rated as excellent condition. The condition was as advertised but when I received it it was inoperable. (They just did not catch the problem when they examined it.) I returned it to KEH and they credited not only the purchase price but also the shipping--BOTH WAYS!

Kevin
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Old 07-05-2005   #22
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I've made some fairly big purchases from them, a Hasselblad 500C and magazines and they have been very good to deal with. They seem to rate very conservatively. I like them a lot.

-Paul
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Old 07-05-2005   #23
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I purchased a Mamiya 645 Pro TL kit from them, along with a number of other items. They are excellent.

Robert
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Old 07-06-2005   #24
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cool. Thanks a lot. My Mamiya RB67 should be getting here tomorrow. (I need something for portraits and the Mamiya 6 aint cutting it.) I went for bargain. We'll see how it is.
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