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Old Oct 28, 2006, 2:04 PM   #1
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After receiving my D70s last week, I knew that I wantedto get a 18-200 VR but after reading through these forums, I knew that would be almost impossible. You can get one on Craigslist for $950 or on ebay for the same price, but I didn't want to pay that much.

So I went online and searched high and low for every camera site on the web and found a site that collected all the camera websites in one place. I searched every camera supply store in California and New York and spent an hour calling each one.

I ended up speaking with a store in New York who was accepting orders at $719 and I was the second on the list with a deposit. That was yesterday. This morning I received a call from the store informing me that my lens would ship on Monday! So much for the 2 to 5 month wait period. It's true, do the work and you can find it out there still.
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Old Oct 28, 2006, 7:04 PM   #2
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New York, huh?

Let me guess.... Hmmmm... Brooklyn (where the well known scam artists happen to be located, since they seem to be able to get away with questionable business tactics there)?

As for the phone call you received, I hope you didn't need to buy a lot of outrageously priced extras (high priced extended warranties, super high shipping charges, insurance, stuff you don't really need with it, etc.) to get the lens at that price.

If not (or even still), make sure to check your credit card statement for any unauthorized charges (if you actually receive it in one piece).

Then, if it ends up being gray market (not intended for sale in the U.S.), keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't break (since Nikon USA will refuse to service a product that is not intended for sale in the U.S., even if you are willing to pay them for the service).

Hopefully, you found a good deal. But, in the camera business, if a price looks too good to be true, it probably is.

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Old Oct 28, 2006, 8:05 PM   #3
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Hey Jim,

I actually did my homework...checked to make sure they're an actual Nikon dealer with the U.S. warranty. The shipping was standard and I didn't buy an extended warranty or any extras. But hey, thanks for looking out for me.

I'll be sure to watch my credit card to check of unauthorized charges.

Thanks.


And by the way...they're listed on Nikonusa's website as an authorized dealer.
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Old Oct 28, 2006, 8:10 PM   #4
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If they're an authorized dealer and it's got a Nikon USA warranty, that's good.

But, anytime someone mentions a low price on an item that's hard to come by, and it's coming from a New York based vendor, alarm bells usually ring with me, since most of the well known scam artists are located in Brooklyn.

For some reason, they seem to be able to get away with it there (despite numerous reports about their tactics to the authorities by customers they've taken advantage of).



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Old Oct 28, 2006, 8:11 PM   #5
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Here's what I did...

1. Went to http://www.acecam.com/new-york-camera-stores.htmlto check out Camera Stores all over the country

2. Called every one...took an hour

3. Found that Continential Cameras had a great price. Called an got on the waiting list. I was #2 with a deposit.

4. Went to http://www.nikonusa.com/template.php...zip&st=NASto check if they're legit.

5. Placed the order.

6. Got a phone call the next day that they broke apart a D200 kit to fulfill my order.
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Old Oct 28, 2006, 8:24 PM   #6
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That was nice of them. Let us know if you get it OK, and I'll bookmark them for future reference. Sometimes, the smaller dealers take better care of their customers.

It's a shame that so many vendors are trying to rake customers over the coals with the prices on this lens right now.

It appears that Nikon seriously underestimated demand for it. I'm wondering if the new Sigma 18-200mm with OS (Optical Stabilization) will cut into it's sales any.

The non-OS version of it doesn't have a great rep for quality and Sigma didn't include HSM. So, we'll just have to wait and see how good the new version ends up being whenever it starts shipping.

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Old Oct 28, 2006, 8:27 PM   #7
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I totally agree. I tried to get the lens on Craigslist several times but the prices were sky high. $850 to $950, and I just can't swing that kind of cash. Those who did have it in stock were asking way too much for me.

Continental Camera's was really great. The guy who took care of me on the phone was a pleasure to talk to and very helpful. I'll let you know when it arrives. Should be here by Wednesday.
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 10:48 AM   #8
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Bought mine with my D200.... it is on back order and only cost me $1000 (Aussie) it comes in next week and I am top of the list ! Woo Hoo!
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Old Nov 1, 2006, 6:51 PM   #9
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Hey Jim,

Just got home from work and my 18-200 VR was sitting on my doorstep. It came with the U.S. Warranty too. Price charged to my credit card for the lens is indeed $719 with the words "Promotion" listed on the bill.

I guess I scored a major deal. Continental Camera's was a good place to do business.

I've experiement already with a few shots with VR on and VR off and I am amazed at the differences. In a quiet room I can hear slight click when the VR turns itself off, but other than that, so far, I am really happy with it. I'll be taking about 400 pictures this weekend at several events and I'm excited to try it out.
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Old Nov 2, 2006, 7:07 AM   #10
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Great, I'm glad they took care of you and you found a good deal.

Yes, you'll like the VR. I'm a big fan of stabilization (I'm using a KM DSLR with anti-shake built in).
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