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11-23-2007, 05:43 AM   #1
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Pentax SMC Takumar 500/4.5 - KEH Ugly Rating???

I have a 300/4 preset Takumar but want a longer lens for smaller birds and wildlife I cannot approach but am wary of purchasing at the "Ugly" rating from KEH. Anyone have any experience with that rating or has anyone actually called and talked to someone that will go find the lens in question and look at it and describe it over the phone? If I remember correctly it is going for $350 or so, and is within my price range but dont want to waste my money or have to return it as I will only be back in the states for 18 days.

The only push for this is I am going to South Padre Island and this time of year there of over 100 species of migratory birds there.


Last edited by photobizzz; 11-23-2007 at 06:00 AM. Reason: mistake in post chg BGN to UG
11-23-2007, 05:57 AM   #2
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Here is KEH's grading scale.

NEW As packaged by manufacturer. Manufacturer’s USA warranty. Never used or owned by a consumer.

NEW DEMO As packaged by manufacturer. Manufacturer’s USA warranty. Never owned by a consumer but used as demonstration equipment. May show various stages of wear including slight dings or pecks.

LN "Like New" Perfect. Includes original box and instructions and any manufacturer provided accessories.

LN- "Like New Minus" 97-99% of original condition. Extremely slight wear that can only be seen upon very close inspection. Box and accessories not included.

EX+ "Excellent Plus" 90-96% of the original condition. Shows moderate wear. May have slight marks on finish. Glass very clean.

EX "Excellent" 80-89% of the original condition. Shows moderate wear. May have small dings, pecks and slight finish wear. Glass may have some dust, but no marks.

BGN "Bargain" 70-79% of original condition. Shows more than average wear. May have dents, dings and a goodly amount of brassing and finish loss. Glass may have marks that should not affect picture quality.

UG "Ugly" Very rough looking. Multiple impressions in metal, excessive finish loss and brassing are likely. Glass will have marks, fungus or haze that will probably affect picture quality.

Bargain is just 1 step below below Excellent, and they say any marks on lens should not affect picture quality. Your biggest risk is dents and dings that may make the filter ring unusable.

I've made several purchases from KEH, though I've never purchased a lens graded bargain, I have found their grading system to be very dependable and honest The items I have purchased I would have graded higher than KEH did.

So if KEH has graded the lens bargain, and bargain means any marks should not affect picture quality, I would say it is an acceptable risk to go ahead and make the purchase.

But others may disagree, and YMMV.
11-23-2007, 06:02 AM   #3
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I edited my original post, the lens is rated Ugly, not Bargain. I have actually bought bargain before and it was came in beautiful condition but never the Ugly rating.
11-23-2007, 08:41 AM   #4
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I have a 1 lenses they'd probably call Ugly, that still takes good images
The glass is perfect, but the cosmetics aren't. Which to me doesn't matter.

If in doubt why not call them about it. They're sales staff is excellent there and will probably tell you exactly what's wrong with it.

11-23-2007, 10:11 AM   #5
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I just called KEH and they stated that if it was "Ugly" I should not consider the lens "good for imaging" as described by the customer service rep. I guess I will just hold out for a better condition lens. Thanks to the 2 members that replied.
11-24-2007, 01:06 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by photobizzz Quote
I just called KEH and they stated that if it was "Ugly" I should not consider the lens "good for imaging" as described by the customer service rep. I guess I will just hold out for a better condition lens. Thanks to the 2 members that replied.
I got the very same lens from Keh last year in ugly condition. When I received the lens, it was in very good shape mechanically and optically. In fact, it was looking almost new -- I guess it has spent most of its time on storage. It was sold as "ugly" because of 2 small fungus spots on the second element. It took me about one hour to clean the lens and there is absolutely no trace of the fungus left. Even the lens coating hasn't been damaged. I guess I was lucky but I have now a fully functional lens looking as good as new.

Maybe you could call Keh and ask about the exact defect of this lens. If it's only a cosmetic problem, you could buy the lens anyway because it's offered at a good price. Even a big scratch on the front element won't do much harm to your pictures. For me, real deal breakers would be missing element(s), multiple tiny scratches causing important loss of contrast (often called "cleaning marks" on eBay auctions), heavy fungus infection having caused permanent damage to the glass, or badly scratched/chipped rear element.

Cheers,

Abbazz
11-24-2007, 09:43 AM   #7
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I bought a F50/1.7 from KEH last summer in BGN condition. In all honesty, it would've sold as "like new" by most on fleaBay. The only drawback was noticable scuffing on the mount. Optically and mechanically, it was sound. They are very conservative in their ratings, so I think whatever you do, it will work out. If it doesn't, they have a fair return policy.
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