KEH grading and pricing system and personal experiences

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I don't understand how KEH grades their lenses. I saw the chart explaining what each grade was, but how could 2 of the same lenses, both graded as EX, have completely different prices? One is $100 then the other.

Is the more expensive one in better condition, even though it falls in the same grading scale as the cheaper one (graded EX)?

And how have been your experiences with ordering the cheaper of the group? Are they generally in better condition then you expect?
 
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Do you have a link?

One may be just the lens, and the other may have caps/ hood/ tripod collar/ case/ filters if a part of the lens kit, etc... Sometimes they get lenses in without any of the parts or accessories they normally come with.

I've used KEH a few times. So far I have not been disappointed. I generally order lenses in the EX grade. Some show slight blemishes as the grade is described on their site - others look almost new and you have to look for the blemishes.
 
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The more expensive lens might have other accessories, such as hoods, caps, box etc. The consensus seems to be that the BGN is the best buy in terms of value for money. Keh seem to be very conservative in their ratings.
 
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Do you have a link?

One may be just the lens, and the other may have caps/ hood/ tripod collar/ case/ filters if a part of the lens kit, etc... Sometimes they get lenses in without any of the parts or accessories they normally come with.

I've used KEH a few times. So far I have not been disappointed. I generally order lenses in the EX grade. Some show slight blemishes as the grade is described on their site - others look almost new and you have to look for the blemishes.
Ahhh I didn't realize they were separated in terms of accessories! That clears it up.

So generally an EX grade is the way to go? No disappointments?
 
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+1 to the above.

Another thing you need to examine carefully.... non-D lenses are often substantially less expensive than D lenses for the same rating.
 
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Look carefully at the descriptions - many times one will have accessories (box, manual, caps, hood) and the other will not.
 
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Not really. BGN is the best value.
Without any damage that effects the lens' performance?

Do they test the things before they send it out? Because it could be rated BGN from a big scuff across the side, not knowing that it actually threw off the AF when the last owner banged it against his dinner table to cause that scuff. :confused: Small physical damage could mean huge mechanical damage, but it seems like they rate these depending on physical damage.
 
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Here's an example of an EX graded Ai-S lens I received from KEH last week. This is one of 2 lenses I've received from KEH (out of 7 total) that actually have visible blemishing, and it is mostly on the built-in hoods on both lenses.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


If you want to examine the composite at a higher resolution go here:

http://www.pbase.com/scifi_nut/image/133902396

I find no visible flaws/ marks in the glass when looking at the lens in sunlight at various angles. The spots in the image may be very tiny dust specs - or may be tiny marks on the lens - but I cannot see those when looking at the lens by eyeball. Focus is quiet,nice and smooth. Aperture ring is positive with no slop or play. Hood is not excessively loose considering the age of the lens.

I've seen much uglier lenses produce fine images.
 
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Without any damage that effects the lens' performance?

Do they test the things before they send it out? Because it could be rated BGN from a big scuff across the side, not knowing that it actually threw off the AF when the last owner banged it against his dinner table to cause that scuff. :confused: Small physical damage could mean huge mechanical damage, but it seems like they rate these depending on physical damage.
You have 14 days to test it out yourself. I don't know what the testing procedure is but I have bought two lenses at BGN grade and have been very happy with their performance. The issue in my eyes with the EX grade is it is really close to the new price. For me, I would rather go ahead and get it brand new and have the warranty. If I am looking used, I want a good deal. BGN grade are the ones I look for.
 
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You have 14 days to test it out yourself. I don't know what the testing procedure is but I have bought two lenses at BGN grade and have been very happy with their performance. The issue in my eyes with the EX grade is it is really close to the new price. For me, I would rather go ahead and get it brand new and have the warranty. If I am looking used, I want a good deal. BGN grade are the ones I look for.
+1

I tend to purchase newer lenses "new", seeing as many places have the used prices (grade EX/ 8+ and higher) so close to the new price that I'd rather pay the extra and get the warranty.

If I wasn't a bit OCD-ish, I'd have no problem buying bargain-grade lenses from KEH.
 
Joined
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Has anyone purchased an UG graded lens though? I'm wanting to buy a 20 2.8 on there with a UG rating..
No.
I've never bought anything from them rated UG. All the pieces I've purchased (with one exception that I'll explain in a second) were rated Bargain. This includes bodies, lenses, filters and Adaptall lens mounts, and every one of them was absolutely fine, keeping in mind that I consider gear to be tools, so don't particularly care about cosmetics as long as everything works, and the glass is clean and clear.
In KEH's rating descriptions, Ug pieces may likely have glass elements that are scratched or have fungus, so I'd steer clear of anything with glass elements with that rating.
As I mentioned above, another area to consider is their AS Is section that has many items with undiagnosed problems that would simply cost too much money for them to determine, fix and still sell at a profit, so they are sold unrepaired. Tons of bargains to be had there, especially if you're patient and check the section frequently.
I got an AS IS Nikon F36 motordive/battery pack for $65.00 plus shipping and spent another $125.00 to have the battery and motor compartments scoured of battery corrosion and ended up wth a perfectly good drive that otherwise would have cost about $350.00-$400.00 at the time, for about $200.00.
I hope this information is helpful.
 

JusPlainCrayzee

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I've spoken to the folk at KEH regarding the grading of their lenses. UG lenses definitely have something wrong with them, from fungus issues to broken or scratched glass to just being non-functional. They are popular, though, because people buy them for parts or, with the issues of fungus, they use them for the image effects that the fungus or haze produces (I've never tried that, and I'm not going to).

Their BGN lenses? One of KEH's best kept secrets, IMO. Typically, those lenses are worn, with some brassing on the focus ring, no box or hoods sometimes...etc. Optically, though, they're fine. I've purchased all of my MF lenses and my 28-75mm from KEH, all BGN rated, and you can't tell them from new. And all of them sharp as a tack.

Also, as previously posted, you have 14 days to test it out for yourself. Don't like it; return it - no hassles.
 
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I've bought 3 or 4 EX lenses from Keh in the past 5 years. All of them were very close to Like New IMHO.

I did buy a Nikon F2A in bargain condition, but it really looked banged around - brassing and scratches on the body, with a few reasonably large scrapes across the focusing screen. Had to return it because the meter was erratic. The replacement was in slightly better condition.
 
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Texas
I too bought BARGAIN rated lens from KEH and it worked flawlessly. It was not an expensive lens, but I have been quite pleased with it.

It was an 18-70 AFS lens that makes a great light-weight walk around lens with my D40.
 
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