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Thread: Grey market.

  1. #1
    Super Moderator NEF.D90's Avatar
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    Grey market.

    I have seen a few different "grey market" nikkor lenses on ebay lately.
    So are they different from the US nikkor lenses?
    I have noticed that they want about $100-200 more for the grey lenses.
    Anyone have any input on the subject?
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  2. #2
    Administrator Aloicious's Avatar
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    Grey market lenses are factory lenses that were made for, and sold to non-US markets, then imported by a non-affiliated third party importer into the US for sale here...a grey market lens is a factory lens, and it's 100% legal, however because these third party importers are circumventing Nikon's direct importing and distribution methods to their authorized resellers I don't think they like it much, So Nikon USA won't service grey market items at all (not for warranty, not even for pay), so if you need warranty or any other work, the item will have to be sent back to Japan for the work. Nikon also tries to entice you to buy genuine US items within the US by offering longer warranties on their US lenses. Typically used items that are genuine US market items will also hold their resell value better (at least in the US), and be easier to sell because they can be serviced domestically should that be needed.

    Most folks in the US tend to prefer US items, and I do to, but if its a hard to find item, or something else, I'm not against grey market. but I don't really seek them out when buying unless I need to for whatever reason (timing/availability)...

    Also although Nikon USA won't touch grey market items, third party repair places usually don't care. so for-pay work has some other options should that be needed. but if you should need warranty work, you'll be without your equipment for a while due to extended shipping/work time to go to Japan
    -Justin

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  3. #3
    Super Moderator NEF.D90's Avatar
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    Ok. I noticed that they are listed for a higher price on ebay than its U.S sister lens.
    I kind of like the look of the grey lens.
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  4. #4
    Administrator Aloicious's Avatar
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    grey lens? not sure what you're talking about, a "grey market" lens isn't colored or built any differently. its identical to a US lens, just that it wasn't originally imported to the US by nikon directly.

    do you have a link to what grey lens you're talking about?

    normally the US version is slightly more expensive, a "grey market" lens is also known as "imported" depending on where you're looking (i.e. BH might list the same lens twice at different prices, but one is labeled US and the other is Imported, the imported version is grey market.)
    -Justin

    Bodies - D800E
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  5. #5
    The use of the term grey is related to the words of white and black. Black market is totally illegal while grey may be legal but is frowned upon by those who are in the "white" market.

    As earlier mentioned this does not pertain to paint color.

    Countries like the Philippines tend to charge 2-4x more for repairs so if your grey market import breaks down it may be more economical to get another grey market import than to have it fixed.
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  6. #6
    Super Moderator NEF.D90's Avatar
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    This is the sort of thing I was referring to as "grey" market. But now I understand what it really means. Now tell me more about this funny lense.
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    Administrator Aloicious's Avatar
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    that's just a grey painted lens. Nikon used to offer some of their lenses in that color, the ones you see most of them as is the 70-200 VR1 like that one, and the old 300 f4 AFS

    they're exactly the same as the normal black lenses, except with a grey finish.

    that picture also shows an old VRI 70-200 lens, and $1699 is WAY WAY too much to spend on a VRI version of that lens, you could probably get a VRII for that price, or close to it.
    -Justin

    Bodies - D800E
    Lenses - Sigma 18-35 f1.8 DC | Zeiss 15mm f2.8 ZF.2 | Zeiss 21mm f2.8 ZF.2 | Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art | 105mm f2.5 AI-S | 70-200 f2.8G VRII | 200mm F4.0D Micro AF | 300mm f2.8 VRII

    My PhotographyWild Blog

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  8. #8
    I have used Nikon grey market lenses in the past, purchased from Adorama and/or B&H photo. Only had one have a problem and sent it back to the store and they sent it to Mack camera to fix. The legitimate photo shops usually offer a decent in-house warranty on grey market lenses. I will also say that you did not have to return to Japan for service. Places like Mack camera would repair for pay, and I believe they even offered a warranty on grey market lenses that you could purchase.

    Years ago, grey market lenses could be considerably less expensive than the lenses that came through Nikon USA. However, I believe at this time, due to exchange rates, there is not much difference.
    Nikon D700 / D300
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    NIKKOR 20-35mm F/2.8D EDIF ZOOM, NIKKOR AF-S 24-70 F/2.8G EDIF ZOOM, NIKKOR AF-S 70-200 F/2.8D EDIF VR ZOOM, NIKKOR AF-S 300mm F/4D EDIF

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