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Archive 2013 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?
  
 
chuckles84
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p.1 #1 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


Hello, this is my first post on FM and I'm also fairly new to photography. I bought a lightly used D7000 and I'm looking for some additional lenses. Are factory refurbs not worth saving 30% off of new?

Thanks guys, love the site and can't wait to contribute to some of the assignments!

Charles



Jan 24, 2013 at 08:30 PM
Bernie
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p.1 #2 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


Welcome to FM.

Those more knowledgable about build than me, please correct me. At least on my 18-70 it appears to me there is an internal plastic piece that wears through use. Whether it is used as a spacer or a sort of dry lubricant I don't know, but the zoom jammed at 4 years/11 months. Since I bought new, it was covered under warranty. I doubt the piece would have been replaced during a refurb.

I bought my 16-85 recently as new assuming a similar build with similar future issues. It's build does appear to be better and the zoom action smoother....



Jan 24, 2013 at 08:42 PM
chuckles84
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p.1 #3 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


So, just like a lot of things we buy new or used/refurbished, it would be good to make sure there is some kind of warranty. I probably should realize this won't be an inexpensive venture and get my equipment with warranties in place! I bought a Tokina 12-24 f/4 lens used and I love that thing! It's smooth as butter and fairly quiet on auto focus. I have a few other new and used Nikon lenses, but no telephoto lenses. I want to get some good distance shots but want to keep the cost under $800 if possible.

Thanks!!



Jan 24, 2013 at 09:07 PM
runamuck
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p.1 #4 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


My 18-70 is seven years old and still going strong. My last couple of bodies are refurbs and both work perfectly.

Probably half of my lenses were purchased used, and work perfectly.

Assuming the original problem with the lens was repaired, I see no problem with refurbished lenses.

I wonder how many lenses are purchased, used for some special event, and then returned in perfect operating condition? Think free lens rental, here.



Jan 24, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Nickyb21
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p.1 #5 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


Before that, consider taking a look in the buy & sell subforum here. Scroll through therefor a few days and do not impulse buy!
There's some amazing deals to be had.



Jan 24, 2013 at 09:33 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.1 #6 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


I bought my 300 f/2.8 VR that way and I'm quite happy. Paid $4K for a $5.5K lens.




Jan 24, 2013 at 10:34 PM
twistur416
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p.1 #7 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


I've bought a couple of lenses refurbished from Nikon- an 18-200 VR2 and a 70-300 VR. The 18-200 seemed to be completely new and was amazingly sharp. The 70-300 seemed to be heavily used, but operates perfectly. Overall, I was quite happy with purchasing refurbished lenses.


Jan 25, 2013 at 02:00 AM
chuckles84
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p.1 #8 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


Ok, thank you! That helps a lot! I'll probably end up buying a little bit both!


Jan 25, 2013 at 04:32 AM
mrgetalife
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p.1 #9 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


Only issue with Nikon Outlet sales. 90 day warranty.

So if it breaks within 90 days you're covered.

Makes sense for heavy use professionals, if it survives it'll probably be good until some accident or they're using lenses in ways not covered under warranty anyways.



Jan 25, 2013 at 08:09 AM
DGC1
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p.1 #10 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


I have several lenses that are well past the 10 year mark and still going strong. I can't help but wonder how much "use" (abuse?) it takes to require a lens to be refurbished. I buy used but never refurbished.


Jan 25, 2013 at 01:42 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



ocir
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p.1 #11 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


Buying refurbished lenses is nothing different than buying used lenses. It's a risk you take but at least when you buy it from a store, it probably comes with a return or exchange policy. Heck, I have bought some lenses in my local CL without hesitation.


Jan 25, 2013 at 03:15 PM
M635_Guy
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p.1 #12 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


ocir wrote:
Buying refurbished lenses is nothing different than buying used lenses.


This is untrue, at least for factory refurbs. In all cases I've heard of (for PC's, cameras, lenses, etc.), they are inspected and certified to be functioning as-new to factory spec. Anything that isn't working properly is fixed, and major cosmetic issues are usually addressed. Usually there is a minimal warranty - Nikon's appears to always be 90 days.

A great deal of refurbished product is merely open-box returns which require limited or no reconditioning, but they are all inspected/recertified to be sold as refurbished. Obviously product returned as DOA/defective/damaged is reworked/reconditioned.

(I work for a technology company, so I'm fairly familiar with the process)



Jan 25, 2013 at 04:25 PM
djjohnr13
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p.1 #13 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


The question of whether or not it's worth it depends on a few factors, the largest being the value of a 5 year warranty to you. I've been shooting Nikon on and off since 2005, and I've never sent a lens in for an issue that didn't involve ME (or a kid/wife) breaking it (ie, non-warranty), except a 80-200mm that needed it's AF/M ring adjusted - however that was a lens I'd bought used and was older then 5 years. If a lens is defective I can find out in a day of testing and send it back immediately. So - the 5 year warranty hasn't been worth that much to me, I'm willing to risk it.

However, a lens with a box sells used for more then one without one, and I'd bet a lens in a regular box would sell used for more then one in a refurb box (refurb lens boxes are plain brown and marked refurb). You're probably not going to be able to sell it used for as much unless you hang on to it long enough for it to not matter anymore (say a decade or two).

Basically I decide if the discount is worth it if it's greater then it's estimated depreciation from being a refurb. I just bought a refurb 28mm 1.8G for $600 instead of the normal $700 price. I'll make an assumption that a used version with a box would sell for $462 (2/3rd of retail). I bet I could get more then $362 for it used, therefore it was worth it to me.



Jan 25, 2013 at 08:33 PM
chuckles84
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p.1 #14 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


Well, if its anything like my other hobbies, I'll be buying and selling a lot, so buying new may not be in my best interest. Unless I go pro, then I'll justify buying tools for the trade!


Jan 29, 2013 at 01:52 PM
Steve Torelli
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p.1 #15 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


I always look to buy used or re-furbed before new. Bought many, many lenses like that over the years, never a problem. KEH is always a good bet, their ratings are very conservative meaning that if they rate something as excellent, it will be in just about brand new condition.
Good luck



Jan 29, 2013 at 02:15 PM
mikerfns
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p.1 #16 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


DGC1 wrote:
I can't help but wonder how much "use" (abuse?) it takes to require a lens to be refurbished. I buy used but never refurbished.


That's rather silly logic.

All the "use" it takes is for the lens to be sold, accepted by or delivered to the buyer, and then returned to the vendor for whatever reason (including buyer remorse or cherry picking). It can then no longer legally be sold as new, the retailer returns it to Nikon, and it gets "factory refurbished".

I have owned several Nikon USA factory refurbs (purchased through Cameta Camera, so 1 year warranty). In each case, they all looked and worked like new.



Jan 30, 2013 at 01:33 AM
mhayes5254
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p.1 #17 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


For me, a refurb is a better choice than new.


Jan 31, 2013 at 03:45 AM
rahina
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p.1 #18 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


I try to buy refurbs when ever I can, as long as the manufacturer gives it a proper (+1 year) warranty.
I work for a company that refurbs some of the returns and the process applies only when a product was returned for buyers remorse, has no reported issues, and is cosmetically perfect. After that it goes through standard new product test again to make sure it didn't have an issue which was not noticed/forgotten to be reported. I would presume other manufacturers apply a similar process for their refurbs. So far all has worked and performed as expected, including recently purchased D600, 28mm/1.8 and SB-700.



Feb 01, 2013 at 02:01 AM
pburke
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p.1 #19 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


I've owned refurbed D40, D90 and two lenses (18-55VR and 55-200VR) - all from Cameta and all were physically mint like new products when I received them. No technical problems ever with them. I will always look for a refurb Nikon item before buying new.



Feb 01, 2013 at 02:26 AM
DGC1
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p.1 #20 · Buying factory refurbished lenses...bad idea?


mikerfns wrote:
That's rather silly logic.

All the "use" it takes is for the lens to be sold, accepted by or delivered to the buyer, and then returned to the vendor for whatever reason (including buyer remorse or cherry picking). It can then no longer legally be sold as new, the retailer returns it to Nikon, and it gets "factory refurbished".

I have owned several Nikon USA factory refurbs (purchased through Cameta Camera, so 1 year warranty). In each case, they all looked and worked like new.


To me, refurbished implies a possible/probable repair, not a CLA.



Feb 01, 2013 at 01:54 PM
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