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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    18

    Refurbished Nikon D50 - Go or No Go?

    Alright, I just sold off my Sony DSC-V3 and I am buying a Nikon D50 kit with the 18-55mm lens. My question is this: Should I save the 100 bucks and go with the refurb or just buy a new one?

    If anyone has any experience with refurb Nikons, do they often correctly diagnose the source of the problem and fix it or do they result in repeated returns for the same issues?

    Also, what is the issue that has resulted in so many online stores carrying a refurb of this item? Does anyone know the actual problem that was identified with these?

    Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,929
    Just my opinion but for me, the extra $100 for the new body, is worth it for the piece of mind. Its nice to save some cash, but I would suggest to spend the extra and get a new one, so you can sleep at night

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    7
    I am getting a refurb. for $70 you can get a 3 year warranty if you are worried about it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,225

    Warranty???

    Before you buy a refurb, I would check to see what Nikon's policy is on the warranty. If they offer the same warranty as new, then a refurb is often the better choice. After all, refurbs generally come from cameras bought new and returned for some problem? The problem is already fixed. Of course, you want to do a complete mechanical check before you accept the refurb, but with a full warranty, it just has the bugs worked our.

    Another thing you want to know is how many shots are on the camera. If it's a refurb with 20,000 shots on a 40,000 shot shutter, you are buying half a camera. If it has almost no shots, or it's documented to have a replaced shutter, then this would not be the same issue. If the refurb work is undocumented, then I would run, not walk, over to the new camera counter.

    Also, is it a Nikon refurb, or did they send it to a third party shop for refurb? Nikon good. Third party - could be good, but are you willing to bet your money on it?

    If all this is too much trouble, then perhaps the new body is what you really want.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Monterey Bay
    Posts
    6,008
    Quote Originally Posted by erichlund
    Before you buy a refurb, I would check to see what Nikon's policy is on the warranty. If they offer the same warranty as new, then a refurb is often the better choice. After all, refurbs generally come from cameras bought new and returned for some problem? The problem is already fixed. Of course, you want to do a complete mechanical check before you accept the refurb, but with a full warranty, it just has the bugs worked our.

    Another thing you want to know is how many shots are on the camera. If it's a refurb with 20,000 shots on a 40,000 shot shutter, you are buying half a camera. If it has almost no shots, or it's documented to have a replaced shutter, then this would not be the same issue. If the refurb work is undocumented, then I would run, not walk, over to the new camera counter.

    Also, is it a Nikon refurb, or did they send it to a third party shop for refurb? Nikon good. Third party - could be good, but are you willing to bet your money on it?

    If all this is too much trouble, then perhaps the new body is what you really want.
    It's my understanding that refurbished D50's sold through Nikon authorized dealers are factory refurbished. Waranty is 90 days, but for the price the extra 3 year MACK waranty ($70) still makes this a bargain.

    The two factory refurbs I have bought from Nikon (in the past) were both actually new but repackaged for clearance. Both are in other hands now (sold to freinds) but last I saw them (about 4 months ago) they are working fine (5 years later).

    I am considering getting one of these for my wife. For $469 it's cheaper than a decent all-in-one.
    D7000, D70, CP990, CP900, FE.
    50mm f/1.8, Sigma 18-125, Sigma 24-70 f/2.8, Nikon 18-105 VR, Nikon 55-200 VR, Nikon 43-86 f/3.5 AiS, Vivitar 28-90 F/2.8-3.5 Macro, Vivitar 75-205 F/3.8-4.8, SB800.
    Ha! See, I can change...


    http://d70fan.smugmug.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,225
    Quote Originally Posted by George Riehm
    It's my understanding that refurbished D50's sold through Nikon authorized dealers are factory refurbished. Waranty is 90 days, but for the price the extra 3 year MACK waranty ($70) still makes this a bargain.

    The two factory refurbs I have bought from Nikon (in the past) were both actually new but repackaged for clearance. Both are in other hands now (sold to freinds) but last I saw them (about 4 months ago) they are working fine (5 years later).

    I am considering getting one of these for my wife. For $469 it's cheaper than a decent all-in-one.
    I have no experience with MACK warranties. Do they have you send it to Nikon for service, or do they have an alternate source of repair? Considering how tight Nikon has gotten with their service equipment (something pointed out to me by Tom Hogan), it's an issue worth considering. Nikon really doesn't seem to want Nikons serviced by third party sources.

    As I said, I believe buying refurb equipment can be a great deal, and your experience is an example of how good it can be when done right. But I've been burned before, and it can be very frustrating to deal with. So before I buy refurb, I ask lots of questions, and I insist on getting my hands on the product and ensuring that I believe I'm getting good value for my money.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Monterey Bay
    Posts
    6,008
    Certainly all valid points. "Let the buyer beware" is still an applicable warning. I'm thinking that MACK sends the camera to whatever facility can repair it. In this case Nikon is the only choice, as even autorized repair stations end up sending most cameras to Nikon in LA or New Jersey(?).

    One additional thing that everyone might find intersting is that it seems that Nikon starts offering refurbs just prior to discontinuing a camera. Not saying the D50 is being replaced... but.
    D7000, D70, CP990, CP900, FE.
    50mm f/1.8, Sigma 18-125, Sigma 24-70 f/2.8, Nikon 18-105 VR, Nikon 55-200 VR, Nikon 43-86 f/3.5 AiS, Vivitar 28-90 F/2.8-3.5 Macro, Vivitar 75-205 F/3.8-4.8, SB800.
    Ha! See, I can change...


    http://d70fan.smugmug.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,889
    Quote Originally Posted by George Riehm
    One additional thing that everyone might find intersting is that it seems that Nikon starts offering refurbs just prior to discontinuing a camera. Not saying the D50 is being replaced... but.
    I think that you are just stirring again George. All you are doing now is causing potential Nikon owners a lot of angst with the "will I buy now or will I wait" question when you know that it's highly unlikely that there will be a D50 replacement any time soon.

    The real reason for the refurbs appearing is more straightforward and far less conspiritorial. With the D50 Nikon have moved more into the consumer area rather than the traditional pro or enthusiast area that they have operated in with SLRs and DSLRs. Consumers buy from retailers who by and large in the USA have extremely generous no questions asked return policies. What is happening is that there are many more camera's being returned to retailers for whatever reason (buyers remorse, changed mind, want a D70 or D200 instead, whatever). These returned products in most cases have absolutely nothing wrong with them but they all ultimately end up back at Nikon and Nikon need to dispose of them so they are "refurbished" which in many cases probably only involves a check, a factory reset, a clean and a repack and then sold.

    I have never seen a post from anybody who has purchased a refurbished camera from Nikon and not been happy with it. In most cases the comment is that the camera was absolutely as new when received expect for stickers on the box saying that it was refurbished.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    18
    Hey guys, I really appreciate the comments. From what I am looking at this camera at beachcamera.com is a factory refurb and they are also an authorized dealer. I am going to e-mail them to see if they have any legitimate documentation about any particular cameras. If they do I will definitely do it but if they don't I will just talk with them until they give me the warm fuzzy about returns or any problems. Thanks a lot guys.

    One more thing. Should I get the body only and buy some other lens for about 100 dollars or just get the kit? Thanks a lot.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,889
    Unless you have specific uses in mind the kit 18-55 lens is a good starting point, the D70 18-70 is better but would cost more.
    Get one of the kit lenses, use the camera and decide where your photography is taking you, macro, telephoto, potrait, etc and then get the lens or lenses most suited for your interests.

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