Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2020/06/09

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Subject: [Leica] Buying an ‘Ugly’ lens from Keh
From: skalte at (Susan Ryan)
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2020 11:32:39 -0600
References: <>

Thanks for this very useful info, Don!


> On Jun 9, 2020, at 11:25 AM, Don Dory via LUG <lug at> 
> wrote:
> ?I can tell you directly.   They will not be able to tell you about a
> specific lens,  there might be 10 on the shelf and they won't go out and
> pull a specific lens.  If you are buying a $6000 lens whose value is
> dependant on a specific feature or serial number range then mostly they
> will confirm or deny.
> Now,  ugly falls into one of four categories not exclusive to each other.
> Ugly will always be functional unless specifically called out.
> 1) scratch or mar on the front element.
> 2) fungus inside
> 3) very visible haze, edge seperation
> 4) loose mount
> While I worked there we would periodically pull an ugly and an excellent
> plus lens and take photographs then pass those photographs around to see if
> anyone could tell the difference.   If you pay very close attention to
> contrast then sometimes you could.
> Two more points,  leica lenses are graded much more harshly than almost any
> other lens as they are looked over much more carefully by the leica
> community.   The point of that is if it is fungus it will be very small;
> large patches go to eBay.  An excellent Leica item might go LN- on any
> other brand.   This will be denied by KEH but returns are tracked to
> specific techs and the Leica community is very fussy.
> Last, I have bought two ugly items from my former employer.   The first was
> a Canon 300 2.8 L new FD.  The surface was beat to low finish levels,  and
> the mount was loose.   Optics were superb.  The other was a contax III that
> was ugly but it was collectable with a frozen shutter(listed).
> Also,  if return shipping isn't a problem for you you still have return
> privileges for a full refund.   Don't be afraid of ugly,  but I wouldn't
> buy ugly if it was a lens that was going to support eating or paying rent.
>> On Tue, Jun 9, 2020, 11:43 AM Susan Ryan via LUG <lug at>
>> wrote:
>> I?ve never had any problem buying ?Bargain? lenses from Keh, but I?ve
>> never bought one rated ?Ugly?? There?s an ugly 135 Tele-Elmer available. 
>> Of
>> course I?d call and talk to someone to see what the glass flaws are that
>> warrant the ugly rating, but has anyone had good or bad experience buying
>> ?Ugly? from them that they?d care to share with me?
>> Thanks,
>> Sue
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In reply to: Message from don.dory at (Don Dory) ([Leica] Buying an ‘Ugly’ lens from Keh)