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Photography Question 
Alex Cabrall

KEH's Bargain grade.

Hello All. I was wondering if anyone has ever bought a "Bargain" camera body from KEH before. They have two Canon FTb's at the exact same price and grade ("Bargain"), yet one is black and the other is chrome. I'm aware black is more favourable, so is the black body going to be in worse shape? Will the brassing be too bad? This camera will serve as a replacement/upgrade for a REALLY, REALLY dead Canon TX, so it doesn't have to be mint or anything, I just don't want to give someone a really narly looking camera.

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3/13/2005 12:48:17 PM

Michael H. Cothran   I've bought and sold to KEH. They used to be reputable, and I presume they still are. Bargain grade is pretty beat up. Lot's of brassing on the black bodies, and usually some dings and dents. Some photographers consider this to be "battle scars", and are proud of the way the old beatup bodies look. Sorry, not me. KEH should warrant that the body is in working order, or stipulate otherwise. If you can live with it, go for it.
Michael H. Cothran

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3/14/2005 5:56:17 AM

doug Nelson   I have bought several things from KEH. Their Bargain cameras can be amazingly good. Minor brassing and a scratched baseplate seem typical. Let's face it; these cameras are 20-35 years old and someone used them. In an FTb, look for a missing film counter window; they seem to fall inward, jamming the works badly. Look for an FTbn, as they are a few years newer. One good reason to deal with KEH is that they replace the mirror bumper foam and door seals on even their Bargain cameras. They also give a "no questions asked" 14-day return. Any of their cameras can have defects, regardless of rating. I don't think they go over each and every one with a fine tooth comb. It broke my heart to send back a EX-rated new-looking F-1n with a faulty light meter. The slightly brassed cigarette-smoke stained Bargain grade I finally bought was in better functional condition. My advice- buy Bargain grade, and send it straightaway for a CLA (clean/lubricate/adjust), and enjoy it for another 20 years.

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3/14/2005 6:26:09 AM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Hi Alex: I agree with Doug (above). Over many years I've bought alot of gear from KEH and sold a few items too. They've always been honest, reliable, and seemingly fair-dealing. Most of what I've bought from them has been bargain grade which they represent to be 70-80% of new with brassing and minor cosmetic stuff, but nothing that will effect image quality or mechanics. I've always been delighted with what I received.

I can also say that if you're working with a sales rep by phone, like Jeanie Cox there, if you have an item in mind and want them to tell you more about it, they'll arrange to get it from the warehouse, call you and answer questions about it for you. They're glad to do it. I've never needed their 60 day warranty either. All in all, I think you'll be satisfied with bargain grade gear from them, regardless of age.
Take it light. Mark

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3/18/2005 4:29:36 PM

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