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Old Dec 17, 2010, 9:14 AM   #1
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Default Nikon USA vs. Imported Lenses - Any real diff. ?

I'm looking at a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 . I see the Imported is $10 cheaper than the USA model. Some lenses the difference is more. The interesting thing is the B+H number and Nikon number is the same for both lenses.

Is there any real difference in quality or is it the comfort knowing we can get the USA lens serviced here if necessary ?

Thanks.
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Old Dec 17, 2010, 9:19 AM   #2
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Nikon USA will refuse service on grey-market lenses I believe. If you live in the US, spend the extra $10.
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Old Dec 17, 2010, 9:39 PM   #3
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For the $10 difference, I agree with JohnG about getting the US lens. If the difference was larger, however, I'd consider the Grey Market items for a lens such as the 50mm prime. Adorama for instance I believe offers their own 1 year warranty for Grey Market lenses. However, I'd definitely want the peace-of-mind of the 5 year extended warranty by Nikon for lenses that have VR and SWM focusing.
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Old Dec 17, 2010, 9:40 PM   #4
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agreed. worth it for the warranty. no real question here.
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Old Dec 17, 2010, 9:53 PM   #5
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Funny. I bought my Canon lenses (three "L" zooms plus a nifty fifty) four years ago with my 5D and have never had a moment's concern about them. On the strength of that I'd happily buy grey imports if there was much saving.

I will say though that my various friends here (on a Caribbean island, with a very salty and humid atmosphere) with Nikon gear have been less lucky. Most have had fungus problems develop, often in as little as 18 months. Mind you, I'm told that Nikon won't honour the warranty if fungus develops - apparently they regard it as evidence of inappropriate use and storage. I don't know what Canon's view on warranty would be because as I said the occasion has never arisen. A friend's D90 lost its autofocus last year due to internal corrosion, and although the body was only three years old Nikon weren't interested in helping. Rather puts me off the brand.
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Old Dec 18, 2010, 2:02 AM   #6
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In general, if a lens is good when you get it, it will be good for a while. If you've got a store warranty or any kind of decent return policy, then foregoing the factory warranty, isn't much of a gamble.

But for $10, why take a chance?
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Old Dec 18, 2010, 7:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterbj7 View Post

I will say though that my various friends here (on a Caribbean island, with a very salty and humid atmosphere) with Nikon gear have been less lucky. Most have had fungus problems develop, often in as little as 18 months. Mind you, I'm told that Nikon won't honour the warranty if fungus develops - apparently they regard it as evidence of inappropriate use and storage. I don't know what Canon's view on warranty would be because as I said the occasion has never arisen. A friend's D90 lost its autofocus last year due to internal corrosion, and although the body was only three years old Nikon weren't interested in helping. Rather puts me off the brand.

I'm glad your Canon gear has held up well, because I doubt they would do anything differently regarding those two situations. Canon won't fix fungus or repair 3 year old bodies under warranty.


I've only had one issue with a lens, (a Nikon 70-300Vr), and I'm glad I bought the US model rather than Gray Market, which I was considering doing. The savings was about $30, but being able to get it repaired under warranty (which is 5 years, and the item was damaged because I knocked it off a table, so Nikon does take care of it's customers) ultimately saved me over $500. If I had damaged a gray market lens, I would have had a nice paperweight. I don't think the savings are ever enough to give up peace of mind and the ability to exercise your warranty should something go wrong.
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Old Dec 18, 2010, 8:32 AM   #8
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I'm glad your Canon gear has held up well, because I doubt they would do anything differently regarding those two situations. Canon won't fix fungus or repair 3 year old bodies under warranty.
Not strictly true. I've had no issues with lenses but last year, when my 5D was around three years old, the LCD information panel on top started to malfunction. I was going to be travelling through New York a little later, so as soon as I arrived got the body over to their New Jersey repair facility. That was on a Friday morning. They returned it to me by courier the following Monday, repaired, cleaned (inside) and with a new strap. They must have worked on it over the weekend when officially they're closed, because they won't have received it long before they closed on the Friday. No charge.

I've also had three Canon P&Ss repaired free at 3-5 years old. They had the defective Sony-made sensor, the one Sony refused to replace in their own cameras once they were out of warranty.

But being down here in a third world country I'm very happy that my lenses haven't needed any attention. Regardless of warranty questions, just getting a lens to a repair facility is a major and expensive undertaking.
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Old Dec 18, 2010, 10:54 AM   #9
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[
Quote:
=peterbj7;1179439]Not strictly true. I've had no issues with lenses but last year, when my 5D was around three years old, the LCD information panel on top started to malfunction. I was going to be travelling through New York a little later, so as soon as I arrived got the body over to their New Jersey repair facility. That was on a Friday morning. They returned it to me by courier the following Monday, repaired, cleaned (inside) and with a new strap. They must have worked on it over the weekend when officially they're closed, because they won't have received it long before they closed on the Friday. No charge.
Don't get me wrong, Canon has a solid history. They also seem to be a little more lenient in gray market repairs/out of area reapairs. I'm just saying the reason's that "put you off on the Nikon brand" are obvious cases of misuse/poor storage and I wouldn't expect any camera maker to be willing to fix those issues. Again, as I said, Nikon repaired a lens for me under warranty that I'm positive I damaged, and did it free of charge and have heard tons of stories where the same type of service was provided. Regardless, since Nikon is steadfast in not repairing gray market merchandise, I don't think its worth the slight savings
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 8:21 PM   #10
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The other thing to be aware of, the USA model, while being $10 more, it is "Free Shipping." The imported model is "calculate shipping".
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