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09-14-2009, 10:41 AM   #1
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What is the consensus on's BGN rated lenses? Are they usually okay or should I avoid them.

09-14-2009, 11:06 AM   #2
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They are okay. Usually perfect optically. The difference between EX and BGN can be just one blemish on the body - KEH is really strict about classifying their stuff.

By the way, I bought an UG lens, and it should arrive today. I'm wondering how that one turns out I've bought only BGN and EX before, and there is really not that much difference between the two.
09-14-2009, 11:55 AM   #3
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Don't bother w/ non-lenses from KEH though...they overrate other stuff.
E.g., color calibration device...rated EX (excellent)..fails diags so can't be used for printer calibration
K10D/K20D RRS mount...rated EX...deep scrapes into the metal and missing the hex key for tightening it
So they're 0 for 2 in my book but I haven't bought any lenses from them yet...
09-14-2009, 12:11 PM   #4

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Hi enoeske,

I trust KEH's "bargain" grading enough to have recently invested in a "bargain" grade FA*300/2.8 at over a couple of $K. . . and would do it again. I consider KEH's grading system a collector's level system, and " bargain" grade lenses are usually just a small cosmetic blemish away from being perfect, but perfectly usable in every way. The FA*300/2.8 mentioned was perfect optically and mechanically, but had a few scratches on the hood and one on the lens body, and I feel I'm over $1000 ahead (and don't have to deal with a lot of paranoia about actually using the lens).

Another reason that they might downgrade a lens to "bargain" is that it might not include all the accessories that were normally sent with a new lens. I bought a "bargain" Tamron SP 80-200/2.8 A2 from them for a song, it didn't include the hood, but was in all other aspects was LN, not even a scratch on the mounting flange. I found a new OEM hood on the web for $20, and am over $100 ahead on this deal.

They have very liberal return policies, and the company has maintained a sterling reputation for square dealing with customers, so the most that you might be risking is return shipping costs if the lens does not meet expectations. Given the possible benefits, this is a very small risk, IMO.


09-14-2009, 12:57 PM   #5
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I bought one UG lens. The only imperfection is a scratch on the rear element, otherwise the lens is perfect. For my purposes (making a DIY tilt shift) this is way better than I expect it would be. I have a suspicion that if the lens looks like junk, they won't even buy it.
09-14-2009, 01:04 PM   #6
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Thanks forthis thread and answears. I've been looking at KEH for a while now and have wondered how is their rating.
Does anybody knowhow are they withs shipping abroad (UK)? Are there anny custom fees annd stuff on top of normal shipping ccharge?


09-14-2009, 01:45 PM   #7
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They won't mark it as a gift. So the UK will probably want to add some money on to it when it arrives.
09-14-2009, 02:07 PM   #8
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KEH has an examination period policy as well as a decent guarantee on used gear. Just make sure to evaluate it immediately.


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