Repairs on non-US Nikon lenses


TPF Noob!
Oct 9, 2007
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greater NYC
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An interesting conflict of information.

Just bought a really nice used lens at B&H - appears to be a US lens (sticker) but it's a larger one with the serial number on the brass ID plate and no "US" prefix. Never actually seen a "US" prefix on any of these though it is alleged that some lenses have them. Ironically, it seems that there is NOT any guaranteed way to identify a US vs non-US version of this lens without the box or warranty card.

Now, this lens IS used and I have no expectations of any warranty claims or repairs though the lens is probably less than 5 years old. I WILL test it out extensively during the return window and it has a 90 day warranty.

BUT - one of the salesmen at B&H stated unequivocally that Nikon USA will NOT service a non-US lens even if you are paying for the repairs. This seemed a bit preposterous if you are paying the bill. It seems even more so since there are more than enough non-US lenses floating around - especially expensive big lenses that are out of warranty, still valuable and worthy of repair if damaged. They're getting serviced SOMEHOW and SOMEWHERE. Up until now I've never had to deal with this - anything I sent to Nikon for service was a US item - camera or lens.

I called Nikon tech support - I was taken aback in that the rep stated that there was NOT an easy way to identify US or non-US versions of this lens (can't rely on the NikonUSA sticker) without the box or warranty card. However he DID state that Nikon USA WOULD repair ANY lens if you were footing the bill.

I'm inclined to believe the Nikon rep. but wonder if anyone has gone through the repair/service route on a big non-US lens and what their experience was....... (just 'in case')
take it from the guy who knows. he told you straight up they'd fix it...
they'd be stupid not to if you're paying...
Lol that's just plainly stupid. Of course Nikon will repair a lens. What you lose with grey market imports is the warrenty.
Nikon Canada told me the same thing in person... twice.

This came up before. At least Nikon Montreal and Nikon Toronto are both on the same page. They have no issues reparing anything Nikon or Nikkor.
If the guy told you they would fix it send it to them what is the problem??.
If the guy told you they would fix it send it to them what is the problem??.
It is because the gentleman got some contradictory info from the poeple at B&H vs what Nikon directly said and I suppose he wanted confirmation.

The confirmation is not really needed. Just take the name of the person at Nikon that told you this, and send it to them in good conscience!
This is a myth that has been going around for quite some time. The Nikon rep told you straight up.
Just found it odd that a B&H person would say Nikon will NOT (and he said this emphatically) repair non-US lenses - especially since B&H sells plenty of 'import' (gray market) items. You'd expect the staff to be familiar with policies.

This may be a ruse to get you to buy extended warranties from them but made no real sense in my case. I was looking to buy an expensive USED lens - knowing full well that the original warranty was NOT transferrable (though by the condition of the lens I'd bet it was less than 5 years old).

The staff at the used counter was pretty open about NOT getting a Mack warranty or such on a lens like this - "Send it to Nikon and don't risk it with anyone else - it's worth whatever you'd pay". Frankly, I agreed with this consensus.

The issue came up because many of the larger and more expensive lenses do NOT have "US" serial numbers - just the number on the brass ID plate - and are NOT readily identifiable as US. This lens was in great shape and still had the small NikonUSA label by the ID plate but I wouldn't be surprised if you could get that off and transfer it to a more expensive lens to give it a US pedigree.

This led to the longer discussion - whereupon one employee stated emphatically - citing a sworn affadavit (don't ask me why or how) that Nikon would NOT repair non-US lenses...... other employees seemed to defer to him. Why? bluster, seniority, whatever? I have no idea. It really didn't make sense for a non-warranty repair.

I believe the Nikon rep - and bought the lens. Testing it out like mad during the 2 week return window but see no reasons to bring it back.

The 200-400 f4 VR is pretty much unobtainable new right now and I would be VERY wary of buying on eBay or sight unseen without the return window and 90 day warranty I got here.

Killer lens - can read 10 point type on a blow-up of a shot taken from 30+ feet away (testing on a tripod across the width of my downstairs from the dining room through the entry to the far end of the living room). Can also make out the antenna on the butterfly on the brochure from the Butterfly Zone at the Bronx Zoo (actual size on the pamphlet).

Testing outside I was surprised. AF DID work with both the 1.7 AND 2.0 TC's in good light (recorded as f/8.0). Specs say AF will ONLY work with a 1.4.

Very happy with what I've seen so far though it IS a bit heavy. Will be getting a work-out hand-holding this (plan on bundling a monopod with the case). I actually went down to B&H thinking more about the 300 2.8 and using that with converters but my wife actually made the argument that the zoom would be better - less lens changing on the trail. There's a reason we've been married for more than 25 years...... ("As long as YOU are carrying it" was her closing remark.)

Bigger than the 300 but not too much difference in weight. Thinking it'll work better for sports as well.

I guess I'll be coming up with one heck of a Christmas present for her...... ;) would be the prudent thing to do. Thinking a different kind of glass.

You should be able to afford life when you can enjoy it. Would have LOVED to have this stuff a decade or so earlier.
Meh, sometimes the guy selling at B&H is also not automatically the sharpest tool in the drawer.

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