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Photography Question 
Wayne Turk
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/5/2005

Imported or U.S.A. ?

When I look at some Camera Stores on the Web like B & H etc. I see new lens listed in two ways, Import or U.S.A. Can someone tell me the differance between these two, and is the U.S.A. ones worth the extra money and why. Plus if one purchases used lens off e-bay etc, how can they tell if they are imported or U.S.A.
Thank You

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9/29/2005 3:19:55 AM

Michael H. Cothran   "USA" items are official imports, and carry a full manufacturer's USA warranty of the item.
"Imports" are items destined for other countries, but are re-bought by a US entity, and imported to the US. These items may or may not be identical to the USA version, but the important factor is that they DO NOT, I repeat - DO NOT carry the manufacturer's warranty. In place of the official manufacturer's warranty, many stores, such as B&H, offer an in-house warranty. Honoring this in-house warranty depends upon the scruples of each store.

In addition, the "Import" item you purchase may be a different model designation, although the same virtual item (for instance - both Nikon and Canon sell the same cameras overseas, but with a different model designation than the USA versions).

Furthermore, "Import" items may come with instruction manuals in foreign languages.

In my 35 year career, I have purchased both USA and Import items, especially Imported film. I had one problem years ago with an Imported Gitzo tripod head. Gitzo has a lifetime guarantee on their USA items, but when the threads stripped on my Imported head, they rightly refused to honor the guarantee, and charged me for the repair, since the head was not an offical USA import.
Whether or not you buy USA or Import often just depends on how much you are willing to gamble for the savings you will immediately incur.
When buying "used" items, such as from Ebay, you should have no concern. It doesn't make any difference anymore whether or not it was a USA import. It's used! It no longer has any manufacturer's warranty. If you think the used item is new enough to possibly still be under warranty, then just ask. If you are buying NEW from Ebay, also ask.
Michael H. Cothran

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9/29/2005 5:51:41 AM

Wayne Turk
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/5/2005
  Michael, thank you so much for responding to my question about U.S.A. and Imported Lens. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into your responce. I totally understand it now.

Thanks alot

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9/29/2005 10:51:54 AM

Larry T. Miller   I've been photographing for 20+ years. Never had any problems with Nikon "Imported Items" (That being said, knock on wood). Thet make a good product. I'll stay with Imported.

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3/27/2006 12:59:19 PM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Well, actually Wayne, buying an item "gray market" may just require you to ship it overseas to take advantage of any warranty. The best explanation I've seen of the graymarket vs. U.S. goods and warranty policies, etc., is at B&H. Here's a rather long link to paste into your browser.

I've bought both as well, depending on the particular item and the cost benefit analysis as Michael suggested.

Take it light.

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3/27/2006 7:07:55 PM

Christopher A. Walrath
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/25/2006

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5/9/2006 8:49:28 PM

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