Did anyone buy some lenses on KEH with BGN condition?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by jiajun_yang, May 27, 2009.

  1. My budget is a bit tight and on KEH, they say the BGN condition gears wont affect the quality of the images.
    SO i m wondering anyone who have bought some BGN gears on KEH?Could u share some reviews?
  2. you could probably do a search here on photo net and get tons of hits talking about KEH.
    But the answer to you exact inquirery is that every Bargain lens I bought from KEH did not affect the quality of the image. In other words, their statement is accurate.
  3. KEH BGN is almost always much better condition than you'd expect.
  4. 2 rules to follow. Rule #1 Don't buy anything from KEH regardless of condition and rule #2 don't forget rule #1. If you break the rules don't tell me that I didn't warn you.
    Your welcome
  5. thx ~Thomas ,Douglas and BIll.That s very helpful
  6. I wonder, how long does it normally take KEH to respond to emails enquiring about equipment condition?
    I'm in the UK, and want to buy a lens from them, but I've been I'm waiting for replies to two emails for 10 days. I guess that the Memorial Day holiday has stretched staff resources to the limit.
  7. I've bought three bargin lenses from them, and all were in fine shape. I'd say that they were very conservative in the rating of those lenses. On the other hand, I once bought an EX that I didn't feel quite warranted that designation - the glass was in good condition, but the focus was very rough. Fortunately they have a no-hassle return policy.
  8. Bill, I wonder about your admonition as to not purchase anything from KEH? I have used them several times with no regrets.
  9. SCL


    I've bought several high end lenses from KEH in BGN condition and with only 1 exception, their ratings were very conservative and the lenses performed much better than expected. BGN isn't my first choice, but if I can't find a particular lens I want in better condition, I'll consider BGN from KEH.
  10. I bought a bargain lens for a camera. The lens worked fine. My other purchases were excellent condition lenses and they were as stated. They mainly grade on the exterior of the lens. Some wipe marks or interior dust is to be expected. Damage to the rear element avoid.
  11. I've bought a number of BGN lenses from KEH. All were in great shape and the glass was perfect. They had marks on the barrel but nothing to get worried about.

    They have a easy retun policy so I say give it a go.
  12. Bought a screwmount collapsable Summicron 50 a few years ago from KEH in BGN condition. Front glass had more than a few cleaning marks. So the question do these marks degrade images....of course they lower contrast at the least in an already low contrast lens.
    I looked for this lens for a year or so and this was the best I could find...that is why I kept it. I have had for quite a long time an "M" mount collapsable Summicron 50 which is perfect, no marks and excellent coating on front element. I've done comparsion tests with B&W film and the "M" mount version is better wide open, both in resolution and contrast. Both lenses have been overhauled by DAG.
  13. I bought a BGN 90mm 2.8 Tele Elmarit from KEH. There was some wear on the barrel, but the glass was perfect. It think it cost about $300.
  14. Yes, have had excellent experience with this category at KEH as their ratings are very conservative ergo you should not hesitate to try it. I'm sure they'll take it back if it's not to your liking, too.
  15. I bought a BGN M3 from KEH. It needed a CLA and had obvious cosmetic wear, but it wasn't beat up, abused, or broken.
  16. I have purchased several BGN lenses from KEH and was mostly very satisfied. However, I was disappointed with some EX items from KEH since the condition didn't seem much better than BGN and the price was quite a bit higher. In any case, they are good about accepting returns within 14 days of the invoice date.
  17. I've had reasonably good experience buying lenses from KEH. The only time I ever had a problem with KEH was when I bought a used digital camera that showed up with the wrong software CD, but KEH was very good about arranging a return and I ended up feeling that I had been treated fairly. I can't speak to the experiences of others, but personally, I would recommend buying from them.
  18. I've had nothing but excellent results from KEH. My experience is that they are very convervative on their rating system. I really trust their representations on quality. The stuff I've bought including a Leica, lenses, a Medium Format Mamiya has always exceeded expectations.
    So Bill, what is your experience with KEH that was so awful? That would be more useful then just a folksy saying.
  19. I do all my ordering from KEH over the phone, and it's a very efficient process. I'd recommend it over email exchanges. You can even call just to ask questions. They will not try to sell you over the phone. They just answer questions and take orders.
    Speaking of BGN condition, I buy mostly EX stuff from them, and it always surpises me how clean it is. I've bought BGN stuff, and it's also been very nice. I tried to order a BGN Pentax 67 prism from them once and the woman said she'd recommend against it, as she'd seen the prison and it was at the bottom end of their BGN rating, much closer to UGLY. So I bought the EX prism instead and it super clean.
    I've had one experience with a purchase I was not happy with, but the process of returning the camera and getting a refund was flawless. What more can you ask for when purshasing used gear long distance? I live in New Zealand.
  20. I find that KEH tend to respond to emails better once you purchase something. If you're just looking they often will ignore your emails completely!!!! Or at least mine! Doesn't stop me buying things, even all the way here in New Zealand. They haven't put me crook yet, touch wood...
  21. I have bought a considerable amount of Nikon equipment from KEH over the years. Of all the items I bought, only 2 did not come up to my expectations.
    The first was a F-36 motor drive with a cordless battery pack attached.
    It was bought sight unseen from their "expected arrivals" listing and described as "BGN", which was what I expected, given the age of the item, its price and its possible use history. However, it really should have been described as "cosmetically FUGLY but working". Unfortunately due to work commitments I did not get to open the package until well after their return policy deadline, so I still have it.
    The other item was a E2 focusing screen for a FM2N. What arrived in the E2 box was a K2 screen. I advised them by email that it was not what I ordered and was returning it. I asked to be reimbursed the postage from my part of the world, but was told to keep it. KEH recredited its cost to my credit card. I believe that KEH were deceived when they purchased that item originally and genuinely offered it for sale for what they believed it to be.
    I thank them for their integrity in the way they dealt with this situation.
    I will continue to purchase from them; just waiting for my currency to improve against the US dollar.
  22. My experiences with KEH are similar to above - their rating system is usually conservative. A BGN lens may look a little rough but should be fine optically. The only lens I ever bought from them listed as BGN was optically fine, it just had a slightly loose focusing ring. And their return policy is no hassle, as stated.
  23. Like others have said, KEH tends to be conservative with their ratings. I've bought a number of BGN lenses from them and each has been optically clean, as promised. Even cosmetically you may be surprised at how clean the lens looks; when I bought a BGN grade Nikon F100 body, it was pristine except for a small paint chip missing by the tripod mount. Of course I've also bought some BGN lenses that have plenty of superficial barrel scratches and/or brassing.
    If you're uncertain about a particular lens, I'd give them a call on the phone (they are a lot more responsive over the phone than they are over email). Depending on volume, the sales person may be able to actually handle the lens in question, and tell you what in particular is wrong with it.
    And if you get the lens and determine its not for you, KEH is good with returns. Just be aware that you will have to pay return shipping (but as long as its within the first 14 days after invoice, there is no restocking fee).
  24. hi jiajun, i have only bought bgn lenses from keh, at the beginning i was a bit skeptical about buying bgn grade glass but i thought i would take the chance afterall they do have a good return policy, when i got the lens i was amazed how the lens looked and operated, just a few scratches on the barrel, ive bought probably 6 or 7 lenses from them over the past 3 years and have never regretted buying bgn grade. good luck.
  25. I have purchased 20+ items from KEH and have always been satisfied. As others have noted the BGN ratings are very conservative. I've bought BGN items that looked like they just came out of the box. I had one return with no hassle. I once informed them that an item as mis-identified in their online store and they corrected it immediately. KEH is first class.
  26. I have not purchased lenses but I did purchase a Nikon D70s last week from KEH along with several accessories(extra batteries, memory,..etc). I had an excellent experience. The product delivered was cleaner than I had expected. It worked flawlessly at a horseshow last weekend. I would recommend them.
  27. I've bought several BGN and their condition seemed pretty good, I, too think their BGN rating is conservative.
    A great place to buy used lenses I think.
  28. i've bought several iems from KEH. None that I have bought were rated as bargain, but all were better than expected...and better than they were rated. Their prices are a little high but I've never been disappointed.
  29. They have a deserved great reputation. I've deal with them for years, and agree with others that their grading system is conservative. I bought a Fuji 690II from them last year rated EX, one grade down from LN, and it arrived looking like new with the frame counter showing it had run a total of 25 rolls of 120 film. I have no idea why that camera wasn't listed as LN. I have never had a bad experience with that company.
  30. "2 rules to follow. Rule #1 Don't buy anything from KEH regardless of condition and rule #2 don't forget rule #1. If you break the rules don't tell me that I didn't warn you."​
    I've had only good experiences with KEH going back some years now. I usually don't buy bargain condition, but I would still second what Doug Herr says: "KEH BGN is almost always much better condition than you'd expect."
  31. I have bought 6 lenses, two bodies and a bunch of filters from KEH since 2005. 3 of the 6 lenses were labeled as BGN.
    Of the 3 BGN lenses, all 3 are free from optical defects. One of them has a slightly loose mount, and all of them show normal wear marks on the outside of the lens barrels. Functionally, however, they are great. I have no qualms about buying BGN marked lenses from them.
    Sometimes they make mistakes. On one occasion I got an empty box marked "58mm circ. pol., B+W, EX" rather than a box containing the filter described, but I called them and they sent me what I was supposed to get without any hassle. I have also returned a used (LN-) lens about 10 days after I got it (I decided I wanted the IS for the 70-200/2.8). The return went quite smoothly. So, overall I'd say customer service is not perfect, but it's more than good enough for me.
  32. I have bought many Hassablad and Nikon items from KEH and things have always been fine. Mail ordering $1,000 used lenses can be nerve-wracking, but their ratings are conservative and I was always happy with the condition. I never contacted them by e-mail, but I have had some phone conversations where the sales reps have steered me towards an item that better matched my needs (saved me some money by convincing me to buy a bargin qr plate and then the next time advised me against buying a bargin SWC due to scrathces on the glass).
    I have noticed that their shipping costs are getting high for small items. Should a $6 lens cap cost more than $6 to ship it?
  33. I have noticed that their shipping costs are getting high for small items. Should a $6 lens cap cost more than $6 to ship it?​
    Yeah, it is a little ridiculous. But don't blame KEH for that. Look to an increase in the cost of packing materials and more to increased minimum shipping charges from the carrier.
  34. Ok... I guess e-mail is not the way to go then when contacting them for pre-sales support. I sent a couple of mails a few weeks ago asking for serial numbers for a few Hasselblad camera bodies, and got no reply. Unfortunately where I work it is very difficult for me to make personal phone calls during the day, so I generally rely on e-mail for this sort of thing. Since I got no reply, I assumed they weren't interested in my business, and just decided to go with eBay instead (which I did not regret one bit - got a beyond mint condition kit for a very good price).
    I will give them another try in the future if I find myself purchasing more used gear, but this time over the phone only.
  35. I've also made several purchases and have had no problems!
  36. In general the KEH "bargain" lenses look better than pretty much any lens that I've bought new and had for more than a couple of years. That is, they look pretty dang clean.
    Optically, regardless of grade, except "ugly", you can be sure that the optics are in perfect shape, at least from a basic visual inspection. What they do not grade however, and no one can really know until it's on a camera, is if say the elements are in alignment or properly colimated. I have gotten lenses that were off in that regards. However again, that could be equally true of a lens that was "LN-": you really can't know (and they can't easily either), if the elements have been jostled around by the prior owner.
    Also, sometimes you'll get lenses that have creap or are otherwise not tight. I'm not sure if that is factored into the rating or not, but I believe mostly their rating is based on the outside look of the lens (others can correct me).
    That said, you can always return them. The postage can add up, but I've swapped numerous lenses, no questions asked. You have 14 days to do so (though, I've heard some complain that 14 days starts when they ship, not when you receive, but it's never been a problem for me).
    I think they're a great company and highly recommend them and their "bargain" grade.
  37. Four things I have discovered about KEH over about 12 years of dealing with them.
    1 They are the most reliable source of used equipment that i have found in north America and as almost everyone has said their grading is conservative. I tend not to buy BGN as EX (while more expensive is almost always safe).
    2 The (six sales staff) do not actually see or grade the equipment that they sell to you - they rely on an inventory application
    3 The best way to contact them is by phone unless you have the individual email of one of the sales staff. their sales staff turnover is fairly low and they are quite knowledgable.
    4 Their inspection is more physical than it is electronic so they may not catch every issue. that said I have never had a problem with a refund or a return. the only issue is that you do have to pay to send it back - this could be expensive from the UK.
  38. Bill Clermont , May 27, 2009; 12:48 p.m.
    2 rules to follow. Rule #1 Don't buy anything from KEH...​
    Bill must have some pretty strong feelings on this, to suddenly post for the first time in over 2 years! I think his unqualified rant can be ignored, safely!
  39. KEH is very reliable. Their rating system is top notch and BGN grade is what other sellers might consider to be good/very good. Usually the BGN item is functional....may not be pretty but working.
  40. hi. i bought 1 bgn oly om lens from them in this cond. there was some black paint brassing, very minor but the glass was immaculate like brand new quality. i also bought some ex and ex plus lenses from them. the lenses looked almost new and all work flawlessly. the brgn lens i bought made me really surprised as to its quality. ll
  41. I, too, have had positive experiences in purchasing items from KEH--the only place I buy used equipment, although I have also purchased new equipment from them as well. I trust them.
  42. yeah i hardly get any replies from them but laura is good at returning emails if you email her directly. calling them is usually good also. i have bought many things from them and their shipping is top notch also. ll
  43. Nothing but positive experiences with KEH. I have to do all purchasing by mail since we have no camera stores closer than a 2 1/2 hr. plane ride.
    But I have always called and spoken to a person, they have been a little slow in answering emails.
  44. one other thing to remember...the email you get about your order price is always higher than what your credit card is actually charged. at least that is the way it is done for me. i am sure you have seen that also. so that is a good thing to know. also some of my orders have gone out 2 day air even when i requested ground shipping. ll
  45. i also bought from their kehoutlet on ebay. just as good. i highly recommend them also. i bought a used f4s from them for 199 in brgn cond. hardly any real bad brassing, just minor. no lcd bleed. and the unit is tight and works great. the focusing screen was a little worn and dirty and i replaced it for just 8 bucks. all in all one happy customer. ll
  46. I bought a BGN 135/3.5 Canon Serenar from them. Really quite nice. Glass is clean and free from scratches. Exterior is excellent.
  47. I bought a collapsible Summicron 50mm from KEH a couple of years ago for $126. It was graded UGLY but I took a chance on it. Turns out it only had a minor nick in the front ring, but otherwise the glass and the rest of the lens was in perfect condition. One of my favorite lenses. That was quite a bargain.
  48. I have been doing business with KEH for almost 27 years. I owned a commercial studio and purchased all my equipment from them. It's still going strong today. I even entered the digital world with equipment purchased from KEH. They have been great to me and I can honestly say that I have never had a bad experience with that comapny.
  49. I've purchased many things from KEH and have found them to be the single most satisfactory place to do business on the internet as far as used items are concerned. I recommend them without hesitation.
  50. There's not much I can add that hasn't already been said. Their prices are a little high, but what you're paying for is very conservative grading and the peace of mind of knowing that they will accept the return of anything that doesn't please you.
    They are the gold standard of used photo equipment.
  51. Last lens I purchased they mistakenly sent and charged for a hood I didn't order, and also sent the wrong sized filter. Those items were refunded no problem... Then, even though I got back to them well after the 2 week grace period on an M8 that was rated EX+, I thought they should have complied with my request for a free basic sensor cleaning kit because the camera came with a grease spot on the sensor.. My fault for not calling sooner, but still... Even with that, they are ultimately reliable and I would purchase from them again.
  52. jtk


    IMO "Bargain" means "obviously used." The lenses of active photographers, as opposed to non-photographers, get that way.
    KEH is reportedly swamped by incoming used equipment, sent to them for purchase...it's the economy and abandonment of film for digital... yet Nikon's just announced layoff of 9000 (dumb to manufacture in Japan, smart to manufacture in Vietnam...like Pentax).
    I suspect they'll start paying sellers significantly less, but that catalog prices will remain stable. This is just speculation: They'll want to make bigger profit due to probably-declining sales and cost of maintaining increasingly-slow-moving inventory.
    Forget e-mail, use the phone. Why waste their time?
  53. Bought a Canon 100-300 L about 3 years ago, lens is still working great.
  54. My experiences have been (with a number of Pentax 67 lenses) that a KEH "bargain" rating is equivalent to the fleabay "L@@K! MINTY!" rating.
  55. I purchased a Nikon 20mm f2.8 lens from KEH on ebay a few months ago. The lens works great and looks almost new. I spent about $300 for it. I would buy from them again.
  56. Pretty snarky of Bill C. to drive by slime KEH by offering a cutsie post with no supporting rationale, no follow up post.
    Glad to see the many others refuting this.
  57. Used cameras from mail order are like a box of chocolates, "you never know what you're gonna get"
  58. Rule No.1. When buying photo equipment, consider KEH as one of your top choices. Rule no 2, always remember Rule No. 1.
  59. keh is so much better than the used crap that they sell at some of the local camera stores these days. however, i did get some decent used stuff at the local stores but some of it can be bad. ll
  60. I bought a BGN Canon 50mm 0.95 lens from KEH about 8 years ago for 300 and recently sold it for 1000. Pretty good value. Plus they have a return policy (try that on e bay). Too beat up for you? Hey send it back.
  61. 1st time I got Hasselblad 500cm kit from Keh 10 years ago, and love it...I was there, and bought on the spot. I am very happy with. Recently, I ordered a 220 film insert (contax 645), rated as mint -, when I got it, there is a visible cut on the roller, and I am not happy with. I returned.
    I tried to returned within their 14 days no hass return policy, I ended up need to send UPS 2nd day air (when I got it, it is 8th day, follow with weekend). Cost me $32 dollars. I will see if they return me full refund.
  62. i highly recomend keh for used equipment. i have bought from them and have never been disapointed. you can email me for details about my experience with them.
  63. "Forget e-mail, use the phone. Why waste their time?" ... Not everyone lives in their time zone!
    I have been emailing KEH about a possible lens purchase for four weeks now and only get sporadic, inconclusive emails. How businesses respond to emails is usually symptomatic of how they run other parts of their operation too. And in KEH's case their email service is shambolic - in fact, it is a waste of time - the customer's.
    Good products are nothing without good service.

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