Gray Market Lens Repair, Serial Numbers, etc.

Started Dec 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
bravozulu Contributing Member • Posts: 897
Re: Gray Market Lens Repair, Serial Numbers, etc.

Since I live 10 miles from the California office of Nikon, I went over there with my equipment when purchased and asked them some questions. They have since moved from the town of El Segundo to Hollywood. Both places are the same distance from my home. When I talked with them, they acted as if they had all the time in the world and explained their repair policy and the limitations on Greymarket.

Any legit lens destined for the US market has the letters "US" stamped at the front of the serial number. Thus it is easy for you to tell. On many lenses this is quite small and obscure, and the onl way to see the engraved lettering is to hold a penlight off to the side near the mount and view the barrel in a glancing sidelight. On my 80-200 f2.8 the number is on the curved f-stop ring. Also near the mount.

Nikon will not work on any equipment without that "US" designation. They can tell by the stamped S/N, and for some items like speedlights, their database on computer is a record of items destined for US markets. You can find Nikon's repair policy on their website. It was announced at the beginning of the year.

A relatively new Nikon policy is that they won't sell parts to outside service places. This slams the door on a whole lot of owners. But the repair shops know where to get parts from other sources, such as Canada. Just expect extra costs and delays.

The price of Nikon gear is so high, I wouldn't want to take a chance on Greymarket stuff in the hope of saving $100-200. What will you do if the VR on a $2000 lens breaks and Nikon won't touch it? Too scary for me.

 bravozulu's gear list:bravozulu's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED +5 more
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