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Thoughts on Buying Canon Gear Internationally

dpsaiz
Enthusiast

When I first joined Team DSLR my first camera was from a forum member at Fred Miranda. It was a Canon 10D. I had zero clue about cropped sensor or anything else. The 10D came with an EF 28-105mm 3.5-5.6 USM kit lens. It was at a very good price. I bought it when the either the 40D or 50D hit the market. 

Later on I decided to trade up. I decided to buy an EOS 5D. I didn't know about KEH or MPB during that time. So I headed to eBay. What I saw there made me sad. Many of cameras were in such terrible shape. The sellers didn't bother to even clean the dust before they posted photos. 

So then I decided to look internationally. Japan. I had been warned by everyone who says I'll get burned and lose money, etc. My second camera purchase was that 5D from Japan. It came with the EOM boxes and all the accessories as well as the vertical grip, batteries, charger, documentation and all of it looked new. The camera itself was near flawless in appearance and functionality. The photos were amazing.

I was still shooting film. I decided to buy an EOS 1. KEH and MPB didn't have any in stock and hadn't seen them in a while due to the age. So I went back to eBay and searched. This was roughly 10 to 13 years ago. 

I found a seller in Japan who had one he claimed was in excellent condition. It too had the OEM box, manual, strap, documents, original receipt in Japanese and a standard EF 50mm f/1.8. I took another chance and bough it.

From Japan it arrived at my front door three days later and it was immaculately packed. The camera was much better than I hoped. Barely any signs of use and still had that new 'car' smell (no pun), the lens was also near flawless. I popped in a 2CR5 battery and it fired right up. I shot one roll of film in and around my home when the prints came back I was more than pleased.

From there my further purchases of film cameras from Japan includes the EOS 1N and 1V both with the power booster, EOM boxes, accessories, paperwork, and original receipts. 

Then onto the Fujifilm GW690II medium format. There weren't too many in the US for sale so I turned to Japan again. I found one from the same seller and when it arrived it too was near flawless in appearance. This sale include the camera and manual no EOM boxes this time. 

However on this camera there was dust inside the rangefinder/viewfinder. I messaged the seller who immediately offered a full refund and would send me a shipping label so I could send the camera back. I declined. This camera was in too good a condition to send it back. 

When I tried to get it cleaned at a Fujifilm service center here in the US they offered to do it for nearly what I paid for the camera. The seller got back to me with news that a Fujifilm service center a few miles from her home would do it. She sent me a shipping label and off the camera went. Three weeks later she messaged me with the news that the service center performed a full CLA for 13,000 Yen or roughly $90USD.

The seller then paid for the CLA and return shipping to me. Talk about customer service! 

When I am in the market for used camera equipment I look at what the Japanese sellers have before I turn to KEH or MPB. 

My most recent purchase from Japan was the EOS 1Ds MkII that included, you guessed it, EOM box, accessories, batteries, charger, paperwork, etc. The appearance and functionality is as it always is near flawless. 

My stable of Canon cameras from Japanese eBay sellers are the EOS 1, 1N w/PB, EOS 1V w/PB, EOS 1Ds MkII, EOS 5D and the lone Fujifilm GW690II. The only other film camera I'd be interested in is a Canon film camera from the 1950s. I haven't decided which one I'd like as long as it functions.

Have any of  you been brave enough to buy internationally or do you prefer home grown sellers on eBay, KEH or MPB?

 

 

9 REPLIES 9

Waddizzle
Legend
Legend

Negative.  I would never attempt to purchase used electronics from outside the US.  The shipping alone makes the prospect cost prohibitive.  That is just my two cents.  My mind is made up.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

rs-eos
Elite
Elite

No.  Since I live in the US, I only ever purchase products from authorized Canon resellers in the US.  Amongst other things, electronics sold in other countries often have different hardware (for country requirements).  I want to ensure that I won't have any issues in that regard.

--
Ricky

Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

Excellent point about different hardware.  In layman’s terms that means getting your gear repaired within the US might be difficult.  If the gear was not intended for the US market, then Canon USA will most likely not touch it.  The policy with other manufacturers will vary.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

Greetings,

I'll 3rd it.  Too much risk.  Little to no recourse if it doesn't work out.  

The fact you got someone to agree to take the Fuji back for service in Japan and ship it back to you is practically like winning the lottery.  (No joke) .  We all like hearing about these types of stories, but the fact is, they are few. 

You've been extremely lucky.  🙏

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.6.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10

~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8 ~CarePaks Are Worth It

"However on this camera there was dust inside the rangefinder/viewfinder. I messaged the seller who immediately offered a full refund..."

You guys are getting played. 

Happy Holidays.

MikeSowsun
Authority
Authority

I have bought a few film cameras and accessories from eBay sellers in Japan, and like you, I have found the items to be in very good to excellent condition. When you add up the shipping and duty, it does cost a bit more, but I feel the extra cost is worth it because I know I will be getting the items in great condition. 

The Japanese eBay sellers I have dealt with use FedEx shipping, and usually arrives in only a few days. Sometimes the “buy it now” price includes FedEx shipping. 

Here is the last item I bought from Japan:

D06C2153-6260-4C6A-BEF1-AC194E8318D6.jpeg

Mike Sowsun

dpsaiz
Enthusiast

Canon cameras, lenses and accessories are all the same. How is the hardware requirements different? Why would Canon design a flash/camera to use different system of power in one country to another? When I travel I have an international electrical plug kit so that I can use my American standard of plug in just about any other country the adapter plugs in and I can use my battery charger in that country. 

I disagree with that assessment. If your in another country and you have issues with your Canon equipment and call CPS and they direct you to a service center in that country or one closer are they going to deny you service because your camera is for the north American market? I don't think so. 

While it may be the case where some hardware would be identical across all regions, they can indeed be different due to:

  • Different wireless specifications.
  • Different installed firmware.
  • Probably some other things.
--
Ricky

Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

Actually they are not the same.  For example, certain body's sold in Japan only have limited language selection settings.  This is based on the hardware.  

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.6.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10

~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8 ~CarePaks Are Worth It
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