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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 23 Jan 2018 (Tuesday) 03:15
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Buying Lenses Online

 
JF1980
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Post edited 10 months ago by JF1980.
     
Jan 23, 2018 03:15 |  #1

Hi all,

Recently decided to get back in to photography after several years break due to life getting 'busy'. I actually stopped using my DSLR after breaking my general purpose lens (Sigma 25-70 F2.8). I was never quite happy with that lens, the AF was always slightly off. I wanted to replace it with a Canon 24-70 F2.8L USM II but didn't have the funds at the time.

So I'm now thinking about the 24-70 again but the full retail price of £1500 is still a lot of money. I've been looking around and it seems the other two options are to either buy an import new for around £1000 or a used example for £700-900.

Having read posts about grey imports and possible counterfeits/fakes on various forums I have a few questions that hopefully someone can answer.

1) I understand that if I buy a genuine Canon item outside of the UK that it is not covered by local warranty - so it would have to be sent back to the country of origin for any warranty issues, is this correct?

2) If an item is sourced outside of the UK, will Canon UK still provide paid servicing for it (AF check/calibration, cleaning etc)?

3) Are there actually fake or factory rejected items out there being sold as imports or is this just rumour and scaremongering? I've read posts claiming canon have refused to service items saying that the serial # doesn't match the type of item etc but not seen hard evidence of this.

4) If considering a used lens, is there any way to check it's genuine and purchased from an official UK dealer other than asking for a copy of the original sales receipt? Based on the answer for #2 I don't potentially want to find that Canon refuse to service it.


I actually have a 100mm F2.8 macro lens I purchased in a HK marketplace many years ago and have never had issues with it, it's perfect. I'm just a little cautious now given this would be quite an expensive lens, plus the mixed messages I've seen on forums.

Apologies if this is something people ask often!

Justin.


Canon EOS 50D, Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro (RIP), Canon 100 EF Macro, Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro, Canon 430EX.

  
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davesrose
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Post edited 10 months ago by davesrose.
     
Jan 23, 2018 10:46 |  #2

For buying grey market items, you have to check the details with the retailer. What makes a grey item cheaper is that it does not cover the manufacturer's warranty (and then may not qualify for a manufacturer's rebate). Major retailers like B&H (here in the US) will offer their own warranty with grey market products. The 3rd party warranty will cover repair costs. For the example of B&H, they say they will cover the cost of repair at any authorized manufacturer's facility (including your country). Other warranties may state something different, so it's important to get information from the retailer.

I'm not sure why a lens would be a fake of a particular brand: to try to manufacture such a thing costs money...makes more sense to just be a 3rd party brand. When buying used, I'd find out what the lens's serial number is. With brands like Canon, you can find out what year and plant the lens was manufactured at. The info for finding that information is searchable through Google.


Canon 5D mk IV
EF 135mm 2.0L, EF 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, EF 24-70 2.8L II, EF 50mm 1.4, EF 100mm 2.8L Macro, EF 16-35mm 4L IS, Sigma 150-600mm C, 580EX, 600EX-RT, MeFoto Globetrotter tripod, grips, Black Rapid RS-7, CAMS plate and strap system, Lowepro Flipside 500 AW, and a few other things...
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JF1980
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Jan 23, 2018 15:33 as a reply to  @ davesrose's post |  #3

Thanks davesrose. That sounds pretty much as I'd expected in terms of grey market warranty cover. When I purchased my macro lens in HK I'd understood that if I had a warranty issue with it I'd have to return it to the seller in HK. That seemed fair enough for the saving and luckily I didn't have any issues.

When I've read about 'fake' lenses elsewhere, people had suggested that these might be factory rejects sold on as 'grey imports' or assembled from rejected genuine parts (optics) combined with 'fake' parts. I don't know if this exists at all; just wondered what peoples views are on it.

Something that concerned me is that I contacted a company selling imports on eBay - they seem to be a Singapore based company with stocks in the UK. The ad is clear that warranty will be provided by them (with a UK contact) not by Canon. That's ok but I asked whether I would still be able to send it to Canon UK for paid services like cleaning or calibration they said no I would not.

Does that seem strange to anyone?

Is it possible to contact Canon with a serial number and ask them to validate whether it's legitimate and serviceable?


Canon EOS 50D, Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro (RIP), Canon 100 EF Macro, Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro, Canon 430EX.

  
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DaviSto
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Jan 23, 2018 15:52 as a reply to  @ davesrose's post |  #4

In the UK, I have used Panamoz several times to make high value lens and camera purchases. I have found them an excellent outfit to deal with ... very quick delivery ... lots of communication ... items arrive in original packaging with full documentation, manuals, etc. and (where relevant) with UK electrical plugs. Panamoz offer a three-year retailer warranty in place of Canon's own warranty. As I understand it, this will cover the full cost of repair by Canon UK or replacement if repair is not possible. As far as I am aware, Canon UK do not refuse to service grey market items and provide a normal paid service (as if the items were out of warranty).

Nothing I have bought from Panamoz has had any problem (apart from a battery charger burnt out by the horribly spiky electricity supply I suffer here) so I have no personal experience of using their warranty service. Comments/reviews from customers who have had to make use of Panamoz's warranty suggest they honour their commitment fully and quickly. I have found no complaints.

The other UK grey market supplier that gets consistently very good reports is HDEW. I have never used them so can't offer any personal comments.


David.
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shocolite
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Jan 23, 2018 16:10 |  #5

Hi Justin,

In recent times I moved to buying via HDEW (UK) - they are grey market imports but I (and many others) are happy with their service. They provide a non-Canon warranty for their stock. Great savings on bodies and "L" lens but sometimes the cheaper lenses are virtually the same price as Amazon or other high street stores. (PS I lived in the UK for a long time - despite now living in Ireland, I still buy nearly all my gear through the UK).

If you bought a new grey market lens from the likes of HDEW any warranty repair will be performed through a UK repairer. I distrust EBAY/overseas companies selling grey market stuff. There are a few such as HDEW that are UK based and have a UK presence - I actually went to their premises for the first item (Canon 80D) that I bought and they have no issues with customers doing so. In summary - there are those that can be good and those I wouldn't trust as far as I could throw them.

Don't forget that with the likes of HDEW with an actual UK presence you have full protection of the Sales of Goods act, on the off-chance you were extremely unlucky to get a dud Canon! So you have that for peace of mind also.

AFAIK, with second hand lenses you are very much stuck with any repair costs for a lens. I don't have first hand experience but from I can determine Canon will treat any used lens the same, regardless of origin as you will still have to cough up costs for any repairs. Canon support network is good this way, they recognise photographers tend to travel and will repair a lens if you are abroad. So where the lens was originally sold is not so much an issue for out-of warranty lenses.

I don't think there are knock-off Canon lenses. When buying second hand from private sellers I always arrange a meet-up and inspect the lens before handing over money. Whether or not the lens was originally purchased in the UK is of no relevance to me. I think the only marking that may possibly be missing is a "CE" marking and I guess this will soon not be an issue for UK sales once Britain leaves the EU. The only times I have bought second lenses online are via reputable stores that offer a full refund if the lens happens not to be as described.

I have sold used grey market lenses without any issues and am quite happy to continue with this route - I can buy new (grey-market) lenses cheaper than the second hand price and overall I feel that the chances of buying a new, dud, Canon lens/body is the exception rather than the norm!

Happy hunting, Phil


Canon 80D, 700D & G7 X; EF-S 10-18/18-135 STM, EF-S 18-135 IS USM, 50 F1.4, 100 F2.8L Macro, 16-35 F4L, 70-200 F4L IS; 100-400 L II, Speedlite 430EX II

  
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ed ­ rader
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Jan 23, 2018 16:25 |  #6

I have never seen or even heard of a fake lens. you seem to have a lot of irrational fear of buying online while Jeff Bezos of Amazon is poised to be the richest man in the world. better make use of the brick and mortars while they still exist.


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5D4, 80d, 16-35L III, 24-70L II, 70-200L F4 IS II, 100-400L II, sigma 15mm FE, 35mm ef-s macro, tc 1.4 III, 430exII, gitzo 3542L, gitzo GM4562, markins Q10, markins Q3, kirk, really right stuff, sirui

  
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DaviSto
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Jan 23, 2018 16:32 |  #7

ed rader wrote in post #18547513 (external link)
I have never seen or even heard of a fake lens. you seem to have a lot of irrational fear of buying online while Jeff Bezos of Amazon is poised to be the richest man in the world. better make use of the brick and mortars while they still exist.

Well ... I'm still very attached to the few serious bricks and mortar stores that remain. As long as they offer a fair price, I will try to buy there just because of the value they provide in terms of face-to-face advice and the opportunity to try gear "hand's on". I'm not the sort of cheapskate who will go to a physical store to check out alternatives and then buy on-line to save just a few pounds/dollars.


David.
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joeseph
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Jan 23, 2018 19:19 |  #8

ed rader wrote in post #18547513 (external link)
I have never seen or even heard of a fake lens. you seem to have a lot of irrational fear of buying online while Jeff Bezos of Amazon is poised to be the richest man in the world. better make use of the brick and mortars while they still exist.

from memory, there was talk about a fake 50mm f/1.8 II although who in their right mind would choose that particular lens to duplicate? - see: https://www.dpreview.c​om …it-ef-50mm-f1-8-ii-lenses (external link)


some fairly old canon camera stuff, canon lenses, Manfrotto "thingy", 1D MK II converted for IR, and now an M5
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davesrose
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Jan 23, 2018 20:11 |  #9

JF1980 wrote in post #18547468 (external link)
Something that concerned me is that I contacted a company selling imports on eBay - they seem to be a Singapore based company with stocks in the UK. The ad is clear that warranty will be provided by them (with a UK contact) not by Canon. That's ok but I asked whether I would still be able to send it to Canon UK for paid services like cleaning or calibration they said no I would not.

Yeah, sounds like the warranty the Singapore based company is not providing a comprehensive warranty. Here in the States, our main concern are small camera storefronts from Brooklyn/NJ. There's quite a few that offer seemingly good prices on cameras and lenses on Ebay, and they often change their names (making them fly by night). They're not authorized sellers and they are selling grey market equipment that has some 3rd party warranty (that may not be allowing repairs from the manufacturer). There's also been horror stories of customers being hounded by them saying they need to buy their batteries/ memory cards. If you do want a warranty that will cover facilities in the UK, I would look at the online retailers that UK based forum members are recommending. Large retailers, like here: B&H and Adorama, will be very clear about what items are grey market and what their own warranty covers.

RE: a fake nifty fifty. Well maybe that's enough of a cheap lens that some Chinese manufacturer could actually try to get away with manufacturing a fake! Though now that Yongou has a comparable nifty fifty for $50, that's probably driven them out of business.


Canon 5D mk IV
EF 135mm 2.0L, EF 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, EF 24-70 2.8L II, EF 50mm 1.4, EF 100mm 2.8L Macro, EF 16-35mm 4L IS, Sigma 150-600mm C, 580EX, 600EX-RT, MeFoto Globetrotter tripod, grips, Black Rapid RS-7, CAMS plate and strap system, Lowepro Flipside 500 AW, and a few other things...
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JF1980
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Post edited 10 months ago by JF1980. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 24, 2018 07:25 |  #10

Thanks for the suggestions on UK grey retailers. I checked out HDEW and their pricing seems like a reasonable mid-point between the far-east eBay sellers and UK retail. Will consider this seriously and try to get approval past my wife.

Could really do with a new body too, the 50D is pretty old tech now but not really worth selling. I've aimed to stick to EF lenses so I can move on to a 5D Mk3 or 6D later on. I think first a decent general purpose lens is a priority.

The post I'd read regards 'fake' lenses was this one: https://www.dpreview.c​om/forums/thread/28829​86 (external link)

Initially it sounds like the original poster has mistaken grey market products for 'fakes'. Then various people jump in and start to talk about factory rejects/over-runs being sold on the cheap, stolen stock etc. Seems like mainly speculation.

I'm not against buying online or abroad. I'm just cautious after reading that thread and then a Singapore based eBay seller saying that I would not be able to use Canon UK paid services with the product. As I said I completely understand the warranty situation and that's fine, but to be told Canon would not provide paid servicing sets off a few alarm bells that there could be something suspicious about the items.


Canon EOS 50D, Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro (RIP), Canon 100 EF Macro, Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro, Canon 430EX.

  
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Jan 24, 2018 07:58 |  #11

JF1980 wrote in post #18547077 (external link)
Recently decided to get back in to photography after several years break due to life getting 'busy'. I actually stopped using my DSLR after breaking my general purpose lens (Sigma 25-70 F2.8). I was never quite happy with that lens, the AF was always slightly off. I wanted to replace it with a Canon 24-70 F2.8L USM II but didn't have the funds at the time.

I notice by your equipment that the Sigma you make reference to was the EX DG Macro version. That of course comes from an era of Sigma lenses that were a crap shoot as far as focusing. After much criticism I believe that the Sigma quality has improved drastically in the last 3 years. I personally have purchased three lenses (non adjustable with respect to focus) and they have been spot on with respect to focus. I have gotten rid of a few of those lenses and moved to the Contemporary and Art series which of course brings the "dock" into the picture. I suggest you take a close look at the current 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Art offering. See https://www.sigma-global.com …/art/a_24_70_28​/features/ (external link) for the details.




  
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Jan 24, 2018 08:03 |  #12

ed rader wrote in post #18547513 (external link)
I have never seen or even heard of a fake lens.

I too have never heard of a "fake" lens but about 15 years ago I was in Seoul Korea and found many a Canon lens at very low prices, even when compared to the New York City mail order sources. On close examination they were made in Korea, not Japan and I was advised by my Korean co-workers to not purchase them because of inferior quality.




  
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Nick5
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Jan 24, 2018 10:24 |  #13

Here in Southeastern PA. I can drive to three local Mom and Pop Camera Stores with the longest drive being 40 minutes. I can try the lens first, give it a try and if all works, buy. No need to worry about "if" I got a good copy or not. Actually tried a 24-70 f/4 L IS that appeared to meter a bit hot. Tried the other lens in stock and spot on. No need to wait around for Delivery or ship back etc. Two of the three shops I pay state sales tax. The cost of doing business locally and the stores being able to stay open and employ with good people. The other store is located in DE.
Nice people owning all three stores.
St. Nick just bought a new 100-400 L IS Mark II locally as well after Christmas.
If store owners in all industries are employing locally, and the locals don't reward sales, where are our local jobs in the future?
I do think that the tax rules need to be applied to all online, internet, Mail Order......how's that one for you.....items as well. Why penalize the local business. A level playing field is all.


Canon 5D Mark III (x2), BG-E11 Grips, 7D (x2) BG-E7 Grips, Canon Lenses 16-35 f/4 L IS, 17-40 f/4 L, 24-70 f/4 L IS, 24-105 f/4 L IS, 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II, 70-200 f/4 L IS, 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS, TS-E 24 f/3.5 L II, 100 f/2.8 L Macro IS, 10-22 f3.5-4.5, 17-55 f/2.8 L IS, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, Canon 1.4 Extender III, 5 Canon 600 EX-RT, 2 Canon ST-E3 Transmitters, Canon Pixma PRO-10 Printer

  
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Phoenixkh
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Jan 24, 2018 15:18 |  #14

Nick5 wrote in post #18547982 (external link)
Here in Southeastern PA. I can drive to three local Mom and Pop Camera Stores with the longest drive being 40 minutes. I can try the lens first, give it a try and if all works, buy. No need to worry about "if" I got a good copy or not. Actually tried a 24-70 f/4 L IS that appeared to meter a bit hot. Tried the other lens in stock and spot on. No need to wait around for Delivery or ship back etc. Two of the three shops I pay state sales tax. The cost of doing business locally and the stores being able to stay open and employ with good people. The other store is located in DE.
Nice people owning all three stores.
St. Nick just bought a new 100-400 L IS Mark II locally as well after Christmas.
If store owners in all industries are employing locally, and the locals don't reward sales, where are our local jobs in the future?
I do think that the tax rules need to be applied to all online, internet, Mail Order......how's that one for you.....items as well. Why penalize the local business. A level playing field is all.

We no longer have any viable brick and mortar stores close by... and by close by, I mean, a 4 hour drive. In fact, there might only be one in all of Florida. Anyway, I often buy from Allen's Camera Shop in Pennsylvania. Their staff is pretty knowledgeable though most of them are Nikon shooters, personally. Their prices are identical to all the major online sources. I've never had to ask them to return a lens, so I don't really know what their return policy is, but they usually have the items for which I'm searching in stock even when some of the others are on backorder. I bought my last three new lenses from them, I think, thought I did pick up a refurbished 24-105 from Canon not too long ago.


Kim (the male variety) Canon 1DX2 | 1D IV | 16-35 f/4 IS | 24-105 f/4 IS | 100L IS macro | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II | 100-400Lii | 50 f/1.8 STM | Canon 1.4X III
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msowsun
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Jan 24, 2018 16:22 |  #15

John from PA wrote in post #18547911 (external link)
I too have never heard of a "fake" lens but about 15 years ago I was in Seoul Korea and found many a Canon lens at very low prices, even when compared to the New York City mail order sources. On close examination they were made in Korea, not Japan and I was advised by my Korean co-workers to not purchase them because of inferior quality.

I have never heard of Canon using Korea to manufacture of any of it's lenses. What evidence did you see?

Every Canon lens that I have ever seen always has "Made in Japan", "Made in Taiwan", or "Made in Malaysia" clearly printed on the lens itself.

Can you provide a photo showing "Made In Koreaa" on a Canon lens?


Mike Sowsun / S110 / SL1 / 80D / EF-S 24mm STM / EF-S 10-18mm STM / EF-S 18-55mm STM / EF-S 18-135mm STM / EF-S 18-135mm USM / EF-S 55-250mm STM / 5D3 / Samyang 14mm 2.8 / EF 40mm 2.8 STM / EF 50mm 1.8 STM / EF 100mm 2.0 USM / EF 100mm 2.8 USM Macro / EF 24-105mm IS / EF 70-200mm 2.8L IS Mk II / EF 1.4x II
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