I am interested in purchasing refurbished lenses from Nikon.

From time to time Nikon will release some refurbished items, they are cheaper of course; but, how well can I depend on a refurbished lens? What is a refurbished lens in the first place?

Does being refurbished affect the output? Does it have a defective mechanism that may cause some defects to my camera body and mechanism. How will I know?

  • It's not relevant to Nikon, but Canon, USA now includes a one year warranty on refurbished cameras, lenses, and flashes. That's the same as their warranty on new items. All of the refurbished gear I have bought directly from Canon looked brand new. The 5D mark III I bought refurbished had 16 clicks on the shutter when I received it.
    – Michael C
    May 10, 2015 at 22:20
  • @MichaelClark it is also relevant to Nikon too ... please see the link nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Store/Refurbished-Cameras.page -- and you say that no fear from refurbished items when I can get a warranty.
    – hsawires
    May 11, 2015 at 6:37
  • So Nikon gives you 90 days on refurbished products.
    – Michael C
    May 12, 2015 at 1:40
  • refurbished might mean "bought new, used for a day" or something that's been around for a while. Both cases should yield like-new item but cheaper. BTW, what lenses are you specifically talking about? May 12, 2015 at 10:52
  • @MichaelClark I believe that shutter clicks are recorded in camera's memory, so shutter might have actually 0 clicks if it was replaced. I've seen such thing on Ebay so maybe not true May 12, 2015 at 10:53

2 Answers 2


Generally (I can't speak for Nikon) refurbished equipment is used\broken\defective equipment that has been returned to a manufacturer.

The manufacturer will then refit, clean, and repackage the item to factory specifications (as if it were new) and then sell it at a discounted price.

Refurbished items generally have a shorter warranty, but since they were handled by the manufacturer and returned to factory specifications there is hardly (if ever) a chance of damage to your equipment.

Take a look at the Nikon USA page for more info on their refurbished equipment.

  • 2
    in the category of "used", a lot of refurb gear is ex-demo
    – MikeW
    May 10, 2015 at 19:03
  • I think the greatest danger of damage, whether buying new or refurbished, is when you have it shipped to you. As Roger Cicala of lensrentals.com pointed out in a blog a long time ago, just because the lens is out of adjustment when you receive it doesn't mean it was that way when it left the factory/warehouse/rental facility. Roger's company sales any piece of equipment they own when it has been rented a total of 40 times. That's 80 trips through the UPS grinder, so he knows what he is talking about.
    – Michael C
    May 12, 2015 at 1:43

Depending on what the quality control is like for new lenses - most likely a few specimens are pulled off the line and tested - it's possible that refurbished lenses can generally be be more reliable than new, in that they get more fully bench tested compared to new lenses that go out the door. I would think a refurb would be less likely to have issues with it. Balance that against a shorter warranty though.

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