>I see - Nikon doesn't have a dual assembly line - just a >single line and products are sold to Nikon USA and other >companies in the country of manufacture who sell directly to >companies in the USA. Is this correct? I'm old, so bear with >me please. > >If these items are identical, why is there some reluctance to >buy top dollar gray products? The warranty is reduced for the >gray products but companies like Adorama will give the same >guarantee as the manufacturer. > >Should I go with gray products or stick with Nikon USA? > >Regards, > >Norman.
Norman, I have only bought two Nikon gray market lenses. Both were manual focus AIS lenses. Both were purchased from B&H but at a time when the USA version was not available. When it comes to auto focus lenses I only buy the USA models imported by Nikon USA. They offer a 5 year warranty which B&H or Adorama does not on gray market product, I believe. Even the boxes they come in have the 5 Year warranty decal.
What Nikon USA does is build in a certain margin to cover the extended warranty and cover other expenses like advertising. Certainly it does not make sense for them to give the same warranty service to products they didn't sell. Would Ford honor a Chevy warranty? Of course you can always send the product to an authorized Nikon repair center (not Nikon USA) or back to Japan for the 1 year International warranty.
In any case all that the factory in Japan or China or wherever the product is made is take a certain block of lenses or bodies and give them a US serial number on product going to the Nikon USA distribution center. The next block of product will not have the US serial number and may go to the UK or Hong Kong. The products are all the same.