I have been looking into Canon's older 28-80mm USM metal mount lens. I have heard that it is a very good lens for the money, but when I looked for it on eBay, the only places that seem to sell it are from Japan.

Here is an example of the lens I am talking about: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Excellent-CANON-EF-28-80mm-F3-5-5-6-USM-/121642460981?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c5274a735

Even though the seller has 100% positive feedback, are there things I need to consider before buying? I have noticed that a lot of lenses from Japan are noticeably cheaper than from USA sellers. Is there a reason for this?

  • What country are you located in? – osullic May 8 '15 at 22:33
  • The US Dollar is currently stronger against the Japanese Yen than has historically been the case in recent times. That is what is driving prices in the U.S. down: it takes fewer dollars to buy the same number of yen. – Michael C May 8 '15 at 22:43
  • I am located in the United States. Thank you for the information. That makes more sense to me now. So I presume that if that is why prices are lower, than there isn't really an risk in buying from someone in japan? – Christopher Spencer May 8 '15 at 23:10

By buying from another country, you are effectively buying on the gray market (related: Is there a drawback in buying an imported (gray market) lens?). You will find it difficult to make use of a warranty or in some cases, even authorized repair shops will be hesitant to touch it.

You are also going to pay... what appears to be $27 for shopping in this referenced auction for a lens that is being sold for $50, for something that will end up closer to $80.

On the other hand, the used domestic market you will find it, well, much cheaper. The 28-80 Canon f/3.5-5.6 that you linked can be found at KEH in excellent condition for about $45 (the second edition of the lens is also in the same price range: KEH search: Canon 28-80) The estimate for shipping on this lens can be found... for me, its $12.

This ends up with something that is less expensive overall, I'll get it sooner, from a known dealer (KEH is very good).

  • Thank you very much for the answer. I will look into your suggestion. – Christopher Spencer May 9 '15 at 20:00

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