Fri 03-Oct-08 01:46 AM | edited Sat 04-Oct-08 01:34 AM by ZoneV
How can you tell a USA lens if it doesn't have the US preceeding the serial number? I am contemplating purchase of an original 80-200 D from 1988-1992. The previous owner bought it used at KEH and does not recall it being sold as Gray. Does KEH distinguish for used lenses? My 85/1.8 D was purchased used form KEH, but I don't think it says US either.
I'm not so sure about the US marking in front of the serial number meaning that. I have 3 lens which show US in front of the serial number and each of them were bought in the UK and had Nikon Europe documentation. One of them was a 60mm Micro bought from Grays of Westminster who only handle grey products if they are tropical grey not grey market. I just can't see THEM importing lens sourced from the US market.
>One of them was a 60mm Micro >bought from Grays of Westminster who only handle grey products >if they are tropical grey not grey market. I just can't see >THEM importing lens sourced from the US market.
But I suspect we might be surprised if you are talking secondhand. (From a casual conversation with Mr L last time I was there....)
I've noticed that KEH lists some camera bodies as "NON US" (Gray) but I don't recall ever seeing that for any lenses they sell.
When I first moved over to Nikon I bought a 50mm f/1.8 and an inexpensive Nikon 28-80mm F3.3-5.6 G zoom from B&H. The 50mm was not gray, but the zoom was. As it turned out, the (gray) zoom had US in the serial number and the 50mm did not. The 50mm had the extended 5 year service and the zoom did not. So, having US in the serial number does not always mean the lens is not gray market.
Unlike Nikon Service, KEH (and others) will service gray market Nikon gear.
About 3 years ago I almost bought a used 300/2.8 AFS (via ebay) but the seller did not have any documentation verifying it was a USA lens (he described it as USA).
I called Nikon to check the serial number. They told me they did not have that information- they would have to inspect the lens. Long story short, I backed out of the transaction since the seller could not prove his claim, nor would Nikon.
Assuming the above, I don't see how KEH could determine country of origin given that they buy and sell thousands of lenses and few of them probably come with original warranty papers.
The suggestion here to see if the web site accepts the registration is an interesting one but aside from that I would not make any general assumptions about what KEH or anyone else sells. I think the whole thing is a very murky issue.
>I am curious, if the lens is out of warranty, does it matter >if it is a US lens or not? > >--Ken
That would be my question too. Many forum members all over the net perpetuate the "fact" that Nikon will not service gray market under any circumstances. I have had two known gray market lenses serviced with no issue, for a fee of course. I just told them I bought the lenses used, and they were ok'd for repair. My understanding is they can tell from an embeded chip in newer lenses, not sure about older ones. If for some reason you would need repair and your experience would not be as mine, as stated by others, there are several authorized Nikon repair centers across the country. To me when you buy used you forego any warranty, but if you get a good enough deal it's not an issue. Obviously with lenses no longer manufactured, it's a non-issue too.
> How can you tell a USA lens if it doesn't have the US preceeding the serial number?
Unless the lens still has the original Nikon USA warranty paperwork with matching serial numbers, there is no way to determine if it is a USA lens, other than presenting it for repair to Nikon (they will not verify origin over the phone or via email).
Frankly, it should be a complete non-issue for a lens this old. There are plenty of third party repair shops that will repair this lens, regardless of origin (including this former Nikon USA factory repair center: http://www.nikoncamerarepair.com/).