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Buying Used



My first post, very exciting. I currently own a S2 with 3 lenses, and I was looking to get a Contax AX. B+H right now is offering a Demo model AX for 600.00 (in my opinion, really cheap!). Does anyone have experience with buying Demo camera models/used Contax equipment? Anyone familiar with Demo models from B+H? Thanks, Ken


> > > I have bouht RX as a Demo from BH and I was very uncertain what is it. I even contaced them by mail. They said that some were simply incomplete, and my came also without eyepiece and PC plug . On the bill body was described as "9+" and I could hardly find any signs of usage - only small scratches on rubber grip. I think you can buy one, but ask them to check it just for sure.

I hope this helps



I bought a Demo AX with 1 year factory warranty from a dealer a year ago. A few small scratches were on the plastic sheet on the bottom plate. Otherwise I couldn't tell it had ever been used. However, I recently purchased a Demo ST from B&H that had the same factory warranty but was well worn and the paint was gone from the body edges and slightly from the prism points. The invoice called it an "8" but the on-line listing stated that it was only used for demo purposes and had never been owned. They said that was what Contax called Demos. Price may be a better indicator of condition, as Demos of the same camera are sometimes priced differently. They eyecup was missing, but they sent one to me.


I recently purchased a demo ST from B&H. It looked ok except for the bottom plate, which was disproportionately well worn. I say "disproportionate" because the rest of body seemed pretty good. It looked as if somebody took a worn bottom plate off from another ST and stuck it in there. It also came without the eyecup.

Anyway, that ST had a problem with aperture setting and rewinding. So I sent it back to B&H and they said it could be repaired at Contax or I could get my money back. Having been disheartened by the whole experience, I opted for a refund.

But now I see another demo ST on B&H, with the same SKU#. Is this the same camera or not? If the same one, how could it be repaired so quickly?

Anyway, what my experience has taught me is that being a "demo" from B&H has no direct bearing on the condition of the item on sale. It simply means that the camera was used as a demonstration model. How abused it was cannot be told, and one must assume that the condition of a "demo" camera from B&H could range from virtually new to pretty well beaten up.

I am not criticizing B&H per se, as my dealings with them have been generally positive. But it does make me think twice before jumping on another demo Contax camera from them.


I was very lucky with my AX demo from B&H (US $499 earlier this year, looked almost new and has worked perfectly so far). However my take on the "demo" offers is the fact that they are sold with the Contax warranty. This means you know you are going to end up with a Contax working like new. Maybe not out of the box --but if you send it to Kyocera it will come back fully functional. So it may indeed be a hassle, but typically you get a good/great deal, even if it takes some patience.


Well-Known Member
I was considering a demo Aria from B&H. When I called them the salesperson said it came with a one-year warranty from Contax and the demo Arias (they had 2) were used in a trade show. The demo is $399 while a brand new Aria is $555. I'm trying to decide if the extra $155 is worth two more years of warranty coverage.


New Member
I saw that very camera last thursday with the worn bottom plate. The bottom of the mount was worn too. I tried it with a lens and the mount had some play in it, so it might be a problem with the mount. Otherwise the body looked good (It would be easy to find another eye peice). So I guess it takes some luck to find a good body - unless you have access to the previous owner.

Cheers, Gil



That is interesting that you saw the very same ST. Yes, there was a bit of brassing on the bottom of the lens mount.
I guess I won't order another demo ST from B&H.

It is indeed true that it takes a bit of luck to get a good used body, but the key of buying used is how to remove that aspect of uncertainty. I wish B&H would do better than giving a blanket rating "D" to what would otherwise have been a "8" or "8+" item.


...I was considering a demo Aria from B&H. When I called them the salesperson said it came with a one-year warranty from Contax and the demo Arias (they had 2) were used in a trade show. The demo is $399 while a brand new Aria is $555. I'm trying to decide if the extra $155 is worth two more years of warranty coverage....


If you have either, use a Visa or AMEX card when purchasing and take advantage of the additional 1 year of warranty provided by the CC company. I did this when I purchased an RX "demo" from B&H earlier this year. The camera appeared near mint so hopefully the warranty coverage won't be needed.



>I am scared off from buying any "demo" equipment from a large dealer like B&H. While I don't have any problem with buying new gear from them, my dealer for used items is
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New Member
I picked up a used "Demo" G1 kit from B&H a few weeks ago and everything is mint. Body, Lens, and flash. It was 550, there was another "Demo" g1 for sale but it was 600. No idea why the difference in price if they were the same two camera kits? Anyway i was hesitant but found it to be a good experience. The price was right and i got a 35 lens from Keh for under 200 that looks like it had never been touched.


Well-Known Member
> I once purchased a "demo" Leica M6 from R&K in Auburn, WA. I paid $1399 and it was NIB with a one year Leica warranty. Had absolutely not been used. Have had other dealings with R&K that were exceptionally pleasant and well done on their part. The guy to talk to is Duane Montague. They are authorized dealers for just about everything and very competitive and also they like to take advantage of deals such as demo units from manufacturers. They also are active on Ebay using the ID


Well-Known Member
I brought an AX few months ago. It squeeks when the aperture preview button is pressed.
I send it to a very good repairperson. When the camera comes back, it is totally transformed. When I press the shutter now, it feels like an M3. Good servicing does make a great difference.


I need to send my AX in for repair. Does anyone know who the authorized and/or reputable service centers are for this camera in the US? West coast would be even better.


Thanks - sent body to ToCad <$200 minimum - ouch). This will be my first experience with them - I'll let you know how it goes.

What happened to the original folks with Contax in NJ - my experiences with them were quite positive - did they migrate to ToCAD?