Have any of you ever bought a used lens from KEH that was rated as "Bargain" grade? I was wondering if this was worth considering. I have been frequenting their site for many years but have never bought a used lens from them. You can save a substantial amount of money buying a Bargain grade lens - in the neighborhood of 25% under the cost of an EX or EX+ lens.
They describe these lenses as having higher than average visible wear, and minor dust or glass imperfections that "should not affect image quality".
Yes, I bought my AF-S 400 f/2.8 from KEH as a BGN. Its main problems were cosmetic. The barrel of the lens was scratched and abraded, but functionally and optically it's fine. Saved a bundle buying it that way, too. But I suspect every BGN lens is different since the particular issues that make a lens BGN can vary.
I bought a couple and they are indeed a bargain. I got once a small scratch on the front element (Tammy 17-50) but other two times lenses were fine except some cosmetic issues. I would buy bargain again any day but not expensive lenses since I can't risk that.
I've purchased a number of lenses from KEH from bargain to EX+. Most of them have been manual focus lenses but some have been AF as well. In almost all cases I couldn't see much of a difference between the bargain and EX lenses.
I've also bought a number of lenses on ebay listed a 9 or better. The bargain lenses I've gotten from KEH were in better condition than the ebay lenses.
I did purchase 1 bargain lens I had to return because the zoom would sometimes jam up. I sent it back to KEH no questions asked and they picked up shipping since the lens did not operate correctly.
You might be better off buying a bargain lens from KEH than one marked EX+. KEH rates their lenses by cosmetics only. A bargain lens may have a little visible wear but you're sure the lens has been used and is probably a good one. I have only bought manual lenses from KEH but rated as EX+ doesn't guarantee the lens works. I've returned EX+ lenses where you couldn't even turn the focus ring. A couple of the bgn lenses I bought really didn't show any wear at all. I've never had one with a mark on the glass. In any case there isn't much concern with returning a bad lens to KEH. If it is faulty you give them a call, explain the problem and they'll email you with a prepaid RMA you hand over to the FedEx shipping counter.
Thanks for your feedback. I am really struggling (sweating blood, actually) over how to solve the problem of acquiring an f2.8 long zoom). I need it for indoor and night time sports, so I have to have f2.8 and AFS. I know in my heart that the AFS 70-200 VRI is the right lens for me, but I choke at the idea of paying $1,700 for a used lens. The "Bargain" 70-200's are closer to $1,200, which while still high, is at least palatable. I actually HATE the fact that I need this lens, but nothing else will get me the combined FL, aperture speed, and focus speed I need to shoot this subject.
My only fear when buying this type of lens as a "Bargain" is that I'll get one that a pro beat to hell and back, and then traded when something went out of line. But, as you've said, if you don't like it, you can just send it back.
Sun 30-Dec-12 04:24 AM | edited Sun 30-Dec-12 04:25 AM by TomCurious
I only ever bought a single "bargain" grade lens from KEH (Nikon 400/5.6) and didn't like it. It was pretty badly beat up and so I returned it. Others may have had better luck. However I bought quite a number of EX, EX+ and LN- grade lenses, and all of them looked brand new. So at least from my experience, there isn't much point paying extra for anything higher than EX.
Overall I'm very happy with KEH. I like the fact that I can return any lens that I don't like. Over time, I have probably returned about half of the lenses I got from KEH. It allows me to try out obscure lenses at no risk and minimal cost. The lenses that I kept are very dear to me (I.e. 16/3.5, 28/3.5, 50/1.8, 105/2.5, 135/2.8, 200/4, 75-150/3.5).