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Ugly lens from KEH

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by ultimind, May 21, 2007.

  1. ultimind


    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Just received my "Ugly" condition 70-210mm F4-5.6 for $39.00... Well... I will never believe KEH's rating system because this lens was absolutely flawless. The optics were clean, the focus was spot on, aperture blades were fine. Only downside was that it lacked any front or rear lens caps, but no biggy.

    For $39.00 this is a fine fill-in lens until I can get the 70-300 VR in a month or two. I do regret selling my "D" version of this lens last year after using the non-D. But both produce the same images.

    Has anyone else had similar experiences with KEH's overly critical rating system?
  2. Bill N

    Bill N Guest

    I have purchased many bargain grade lenses from them over the years. I have always been very happy with them. Now I did get one bargain grade F3 from them, it was what I would call in bargain condition! Never bought any more bargain grade bodies, just glass after that. Cheers, Bill
  3. I have heard people say that they wouldn't hesitate to buy a "Bargain" lens, but have no experience myself.
  4. I purchased a "BGN" 300 f4 from KEH. It was advertised with a dented filter ring. Other than the stated defect, it was in good condition. Clean glass and works flawlessly. I am very pleased with it. KEH sales rep went above and beyond to get me a hands on description of the exact item before my purchase. They have gained a repeat customer here.
  5. About half of my kit (5 bodies, 21 lenses (gasp I didn't realize it was that many myself - did I buy a couple and forget??)) came from KEH, and quite a few of them were in BGN condition. A few pieces weren't right when they arrived, but they quickly made things right. Examples: A lens focused to 100', but not to infinity - pretty subtle difference; one body had a meter that was usually correct, but sometimes yielded a very wrong reading. I find it less risky, a lot simpler, and even less expensive to buy from KEH than the big auction site.

    The only area I've been consistently disappointed is in F/F2 focusing screens, where all but one has been noticeably less than what I've come to expect from them. One L screen was listed BGN but I'd rate it UGLY, another K and H were listed EX but frankly were BGN. An M screen was listed as BGN and perhaps it was, but only borderline. I got one K that was listed EX and it was, maybe even LN-.

    Other than the screens, everything has been terrific and obviously I'm happy to keep buying there. (I haven't tried an UGLY item, though.)
  6. I've bought two items from KEH and both transactions had problems. The first was a 28mm with the next higher f stop than advertised and the second one, a 35mm f1.4 which wouldn't focus. They were quick to make good on each purchase. I would conclude that the level of expertise of their technical staff may have deteriorated. The first being a misidentification and labeling of the wrapper and the second, worse I think, the lens was not adequately tested; it looked good cosmetically, but all the test images I took were very soft.
    When buying used, check the product thoroughly to satisfy yourself. As someone has said, the bitter taste of a bad purchase lasts far longer than the delight of a low price.

  7. I've had it go both ways.

    I've bought "excellent plus" items that didn't work or were scratched up pretty badly. I've bought "excellent" items that looked brand new to me.

    One odd thing they threw at me once when I sold them a lens - the took off for "dust inside the lens." I've never seen even a brand new lens without a tiny bit if you shine a light through it. And the lens was in mint condition. They threw me a bit with that.
  8. ZBaum

    ZBaum Guest

    I've bought several items from KEH. I bought one BGN lens that certainly had some wear (most around the tripod mount), but the glass was pristine. I then bought an EX+ lens that looks brand new. Most recently, I bought a 135mm f/2 DC in EX condition, and it looks almost new, with some very light marks on the lens hood. It also came with an off-brand front lens cap that doesn't fit quite right, but that's pretty minor and I'm just replacing it with a Nikon cap. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few times when items were incorrectly graded or weren't fully tested. However, their customers are almost always satisfied, and they go out of their way to make things right (like the time when I got Next Day Air shipping as a free upgrade to my 2nd Day Air shipping, because I caused a delay in their order processing).
  9. gaopa


    Jun 30, 2006
    NE Georgia
    I have been a KEH customer since the late 80's and they are just great. I have never had a problem with products or service. I recomment the fine folks at KEH highly! Cheers, Bill P.
  10. Ray C.

    Ray C.

    Nov 7, 2005
    Another happy KEH customer here. I bought two BGN SB-26's from them for $70-75 each and other than some numbers etched in on one by a previous owner, they're darn near perfect.

    But...buying used from Adorama is a COMPLETELY different story...

    Stick with KEH...trust me.
  11. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD

    There are now TWO lenses up at KEH that I might have an interest in listed specifically in UG / UGLY condition. Would be very intersted in hearing some more feedback from those of you that have bought lenses from KEH in UG condition only. Their BGN rated lenses have a great rep around here, and I can vouch for that personally as I've bought a few BGN lenses from them as well. Would love to hear specifically about "UG" lenses though. Anybody? :smile:
  12. My first d200 was definitely not EX but after I returned it for an exchange the second one is much better. +1 for KEH
  13. I bought an MC-20 cable release from KEH that was in EX condition...I was shocked that it came with the button battery. Item arrived much faster than I had expected as well. I've been a long time KEH browser, but my D300 may very well be coming from them.
  14. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    I have no hesitation ordering a Bargin condition from Keh. But a fungus filled 135 2 AIS learned me to stay clear of ugly. I dont really care about cosmetics but Fungus gives me the shivers.
  15. Dave


    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    I bought a BGN 80-200 AF-S from them....great lens and the only thing wrong with it was a small crack in the focusing window. It's super sharp though!
  16. ultimind


    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    My Tamron 28-75 was UG condition... flawless cosmetics, very clean glass.. but there's a couple nasty gouges in the rear element. Zero effect on 95% of images taken with the lens. Only time you can see the gouges is if you shoot car headlights at night, and throw them REALLY out of focus. It's paid for itself several times over with a single gig though :biggrin:
  17. ultimind


    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    My UG lens spree would probably end pretty quickly if I got anything that had fungus in it too.

    I've ordered a more than half a dozen UG lenses, and not one has had any trace of fungus in it, but the salesmen DO warn you ahead of time if you call your order in.
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