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Thread: import vs usa

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    I am Valley trash.

    Default import vs usa

    I see a few of the NY camera stores offer a import and usa lenses. What is the difference? The import is a little cheaper.

    So where is the best place to purchase a camera and lenses. I am going to purchase a Nikon D90 with a 18-200 and 12-24 lenses. I did get a price from Doug (cameraland), but I wouldn't be smart if I didn't check around.

    Any thoughts?


  2. #2

    Default Import vs USA

    Troy--with an imported lens what you have to be careful about is the warranty. A lot of them can't be serviced in US.

    If you have a good camera shop I would suggest purchasing a magazine called: What Digital Camera, it's from the UK but they give outstanding testing to various products ie cameras, lenses. In the back of the magazine is the results of the field testing that was done. I wouldn't buy from the advertisers because their in the UK, but I use the magazine as a reference guide, it's outstanding. If your unable to find the magazine email your address and I'll send you a back issue.

    Hope this helps,

  3. #3
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    My understanding is the items listed as import have no warranty.

    I don't know if Doug always has the best prices, but I purchased my wife's D-40 kit from Doug, as well as a Leica crf 1200, and a pair of minox 10X43 binnoculars. He was great to deal with, and had good prices.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006


    Check any dealers out at Camera Land is reliable, as is B&H Photo, Adorama, and 17th Street Photo.

    In the past Canon would honor the warranty of gray market lenses, but not always camera bodies. I have heard that they not longer are willing to do the warranty repairs on non-USA lenses, as they do not get paid to do so, and did not make any profit on it's import. In the past Nikon never would honor the warranty on either lens or camera body if it was not officially imported through them. In fact they have at times refused to work on non-USA equipment for any price. I'm not sure what their policy is these days.

    Anyway, the bottom line is, if you buy a gray market lens the dealer you bought it from is supposed to do the warranty work. Of course, that warranty is only as good as the dealer's reputation. Personally, I don't think the risk is worth the few bucks you save.

    BTW, there is no substantial differences between import and USA cameras or lenses. However in Canon's case there can be a name difference Rebel XSi in North America is a 450D in most of the rest of the world, but in Japan it is called the Kiss. At one time Canon USA had an EOS A2e that was slightly different than the International EOS 5 counterpart, but that was a rare situation. Just don't let some sleazy dealer tell you one is built in Japan while the import is built in some third world factory with inferior parts and labor. Still, I wouldn't buy one, since you don't save enough to justify the warranty loss.


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