Review of KEH
USA based used camera store
I first heard about KEH when Zack Arias did a free online CreativeLive “webinar.” He mentioned it was a good place to get high quality used gear. I've always had good luck with used gear from B&H, but they don't always have a very large selection. KEH calls themselves the “World's Largest Used Camera Dealer,” which judging by their offerings, may well be true.
I emailed them a question about the differences in some of the listings, and did not get a response for a few days, so I just called them. I was instantly in contact with a person. I've read this in other reviews as well: if you need to get in contact with them, it is a lot easier to make the phone call. I made the order on the phone because the person I was talking to said it would be processed sooner that way. I have also made an online order since and had no problem with that, though perhaps if you were worried about someone else getting the item first, a phone order would be the way to go.
Specific Purchases and the Rating System:
They have a pretty straight forward rating system which is explained on their site here
This is my gear purchased through KEH and a brief description of the condition of each. I have calculated the percent of B&H's regular new price which I paid for the different grade levels of items I have purchased. I'm abbreviating that as __% B&H.
Lens rated EX+: (80% B&H). EX+ is supposed to be 90-96% of its original condition. The glass is spotless and the only wear seems to be on the grooves where the hood attaches to the lens and a few marks on the hood itself.
Polarizer rated EX: (60% B&H). An EX rated item “may have slight marks and/or blemishes that will not affect picture quality.” The polarizer has a spot where the previous owner cleaned a little too often and rubbed a bit of the multi-coating off. I have not been able to see any difference in any pictures.
Quick release plate rated EX: (60% B&H). There might have been a scuff mark or two. Nothing that I won't add to myself in using the plate. This is obviously a very safe item to order used.
Monopod rated DEMO: (60% B&H). This was a store demo of a now discontinued item. It works as if new. It came with the warranty card, tools and full box packaging.
Edit: I have now purchased a Bargain grade lens. It's virtually indistinguishable from the Excellent Plus. The Bargain lens' paint which reads "Made in Japan" is wearing off a bit. There also seems to be some paint chipping off where the tripod mount attaches to the lens. I'd say my Bargain lens was actually used by its previous owner, who still kept the glass in immaculate condition.