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U.S. vs Gray market lenses
Ok this subject probably has been done to death but I'm a new guy here and would like to here what all of you have to say on this subject. I have read B&H's definition on their website as well as elsewhere on the web but none have come right out and said that Gray market items are exactly the same as U.S. market except for the price. So what is the difference if there is one ? Thank you in advance for your input.'Longshot'..

Comments (10)

Re>none have come right out and said that Gray market items are exactly the same as U.S. market except for the price.<.

That, of course, is because the statement would not be true..

Or if it was, it would be rare indeed..

Almost always, warranties are different in rgard to simply beinghonored..

After that, warranty coverage could/would vary, based in part on the laws of the land. Plus, distributors can set their own waranty programs, as Sigma's distributor does in Canada..

Model names vary by jurisdiction, in some cases. Canon REbels become xxxD become Kiss models..

What else is int he box varies. Canon put different kit lenses (with and without HSM) in Digital Rebel / Kiss / xxxD boxes..

Nikon used to have, and may still have, different model names..

And some goods are not imported into sme coutries. And power requirements vary. Languages vary whet's on a camera's menus and what's in an instruction book..

Whethr thse differences matter is a different consideration. Plus, grey market prices are not always cheaper, depending on foreign exchange variations and distributor promotions..

BAK..

Comment #1

Gray market bodies and lenses are exactly the same as all the others. The difference is often solely in the warranty. It's all a matter of "official" distirbution channels (non-gray) vs. unauthorized channels (gray). In the US for instance, a retailer may sell camera gear that was imported via a third party (gray), and the product will not carry a US serial number. It is still the same product as the US serial-branded version, only it is not backed by the manufacturer.



For Nikon, they won't repair a gray market piece of equipment, even if the owner offers to pay. However, if I purchased Nikon gear in Japan, for instance, through an authorized dealer in Tokyo, then returned with it to the US, Nikon would repair it (either under warranty or at a cost out of warranty). This, provided I furnish them a copy of the original sales receipt from the authorized Japanese retailer...

Comment #2

So if I understand all this, and I think I do, you are basically rolling the dice when it comes to Gray market products. Even if the product is identical in every way there is still the warranty issues to deal with for the savings of a few dollars. That being the case I am glad I turned down the sales persons offer to buy the "import" lens which he originally referred to as an "open box" item for about $50 less. It was only after some persistent questioning on my part that he divulged that it was actually a gray market lens.'Longshot'..

Comment #3

See this link for an example of the warranty documents..

Http://picasaweb.google.com/...enzig/NikonCameraDocuments?authkey=5dT54Dq7OXM.

Ed..

Comment #4

You'd have the same situation if you bought a lens while on a trip to Tokyo or someplace...

Comment #5

I think lenses from Canon are all covered everywhere..

Be a torch bearer ...S3 IS..

Comment #6

Yuzuha wrote:.

You'd have the same situation if you bought a lens while on a trip toTokyo or someplace..

Not necessarily true. If purchased in a foreign country through an authorized retailer, then it's not "gray."..

Comment #7

Iggier wrote:.

Yuzuha wrote:.

You'd have the same situation if you bought a lens while on a trip toTokyo or someplace..

Not necessarily true. If purchased in a foreign country through anauthorized retailer, then it's not "gray.".

In many cases manufacturers have this price fixing scheme where they set up authorized dealers in different markets to control prices in various parts of the world. The klinker in that is that people travel, they can import goods themselves and there are various import/export trading companies. If B&H imports a lens from an authorized Japanese distributor because the local authorized distributor doesn't carry it or is out of stock etc. and then sells it to you, it is gray market but totally legitimate and done through authorized dealers. You have to put up with the terms of the international warrenty (in most cases things don't break 'til the warrenty expires anyway, and it is a moot point with items that cost less to replace than to repair anyway)..

Comment #8

The 'US' version of Canon lenses include Canon international warranty coverage, the gray market versions do not. I don't know how Canon sorts this out, but that's their policy..

Peacewarrior wrote:.

I think lenses from Canon are all covered everywhere..

Be a torch bearer ...S3 IS.

Best regards,Doughttp://pbase.com/dougj..

Comment #9

DWMJr wrote:.

None have come right out and said that Graymarket items are exactly the same as U.S. market except for theprice..

Gray market items are exactly the same as U.S. market except for the price and warranty coverage. The lens itself is identical..

Henry PosnerB&H Photo-Video..

Comment #10

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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