My friend just bought Canon T3i body only and he is looking for a lens. We decided Canon's 18-135mm would fit him as all purpose lens as a beginner.

Here is the lens we found... but it says 'White Box' item:

B&H Photo: Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (White Box)

Per advice from people in this site's photo chatroom, I can buy this, as the only difference is that it it comes in a white box, rather than the manufacturer's colorful box. (Thanks @fluf)

If I buy this white box item, will it be covered by all warranties like a normal non-white-box purchase? My friend is in the USA, so can he use the USA warranty with this?

  • got reply from BHPhoto, they say this lens will carry 1 year USA warranty. Should I close this Q or anything else...? – garikapati Mar 12 '12 at 20:58

B&H has a long and strong tradition of taking the manufacturer's or official distributor's intent under advisement, and yes, the price you pay for the resulting savings is often the US warranty (for "grey market" items). In a case like this, they may have found it to be the cheapest way to put together an intraoral kit for dentists (take the body from an unpopular kit, add an off-brand macro lens, ring light and case, leaving them with a kit lens to sell).

If you see "USA" in the item title, though, the item is covered by the manufacturer's USA warranty. See http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/GreyMarketStatic.jsp for details (that's linked from the "USA" in the lens's item title).


The only real way to know is to ask the seller. Some companies break up kits and sell the lenses separate from the body, and the lens may in that case come in a different package. Other times the lens could be refurbished and sold in a non-OEM package. Refurbished can mean a variety of different things, but typically they have been inspected by the camera company and meet all standards that a new lens would have to reach.

As the warranty information is not listed on that site anywhere I can find it, you should most certainly inquire about that and confirm.

  • 1
    yesterday I sent email to BHPhotovideo guys, I didn't hear anything back yet. – garikapati Mar 9 '12 at 20:27
  • @garikapati - Let us know what they say! – dpollitt Mar 9 '12 at 21:11

I don't know for a fact, but based on the description and experiences with other electronics, I would say that lens was probably meant to be part of a combo package or kit, but for whatever reason BH decided to sell it separately.

It specifies a USA warrantly, so there shouldn't be any reason not to buy it, unless you really want the printing on the box.


A white box lens does not qualify for a cashback action, e.g. on some Canon body plus lens ("virtual kit") purchases. The white box lens is typically taken from another kit combination, and it has already received a sweet kit discount, hence the low price. Go for it !

Here in Europe the retailer is responsible for the warranty towards the customer, the manufacturer warranty is his fallback. So it should make no difference to you. YMMV.

PS I would go for the 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM (not the 4-5.6 compact) as a first lens, because in a white box it is cheap enough to be disposable, and it doesn't disappoint at all. Later add the 10-18 and 55-250, and the 24/2.8 and 50/1.8 primes (all STM), and you'll have a great set for a modest price. I did just that.

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