CI Photocommunity

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

Worldwide warranty vs national warranty ex US warranty



Anyone know the difference between worldwide warranty and a warranty for a specific country (e.g., US warranty)?

In the US, people expect to pay more if they get US warranty. However, I would like to know what worldwide warranty means and what am I losing in getting worldwide warranty.

I will be sending a note to contax to find out. If none of you know, I will come back and post it here.


...since every camera dealer is arguing differently, i would be curious to know, what the official statement of contax is...

it might be also a different interpretation in each country or continent...


Just an addition to my last comment:

I was talking about the extended warranty of 3 years in the US. In Europe it is now 2 years.

Apart of that, there is of course an international warranty of one year, which is applicable regardless where you purchased the new equipment.

That is the reason why it is called international warranty



Below is the official response from Kyocera about the difference between the international warranty and the national warranty. Seems like if you live in the US, it is useless to get the 1 year international warranty, as it is not honored at all even if it is within the one year period. But read below. Steve


Kyocera products are warranted to be free from defects in material or
workmanship for a period of one or three years from the date of the
original purchase.

Time period of the warranty
Commencement of the warranty period will begin on original purchase
and terminate one or three years thereafter.

What is covered under the warranty
Any defects in parts will be repaired and any adjustments needed for
said product to conform fully to factory prescribed standards will be
made without charge. At our discretion, the product may be replaced
without charge.

What to do for service
Your unit should be securely packed to avoid damage in transit, insured
for full value and sent prepaid with the following:

1. Detailed description of problem
2. Return address and phone number
3. A copy of the dated sales receipt and copy of the warranty card.

What is not covered by warranty
1. Physical damage, misuse, damage caused by dirt, liquid, leakage of
batteries, or other caused not arising out of defects in material or

2. Modifications or damage from t&ering or repair by a
shop or person.
3. Claims of any nature including loss of film, other expenses,
inconvenience, and incidental and consequential damages arising out of
breach of this or any implied warranty, even though caused by
or other fault.
4. Sender is responsible for import duty, custom clearance fees and
general expenses involved on cameras shipped to us form outside the US

International Warranties
Products that are purchased outside North America with an international
warranty will be serviced under the terms of the warranty. For
service please provide the customer's original sales receipt and
warranty card (the warranty card MUST be st&ed with the selling
dealer's name and address).

Products that are purchased within North America with an international
warranty, will be estimated as an out of warranty product or refused

Kyocera Optics Inc.
2301-200 Cottontail Lane
Somerset, NJ 08873


wow, this is getting a hot subject now...

I am not a lawyer, but if this answer is real, Contax is risking a lot with this kind of statement.

The international warranty is called international. That is a fact. It is not called International-ex-US or Non-US warranty.

Therefore it should legally not make any difference, whether you buy that stuff within the US or outside the US. It is still the same international warranty.

The extended 3 year US warranty is just cosmetic. It is nice to have it, but this is not deleting any international 1 year warranty.

I think it might not be the right place to discus this here in the internet in detail. Of course Contax will try to motivate costumers to pay the higher US prices (although US prices are still cheaper than the prices in Europe). But for me this is just bullshitting/pokering with the fear of potential costumers.

I am not aware, that the US is not a free trade country. I am not aware that the import of Contax equipment into the US is illegal. As long as it is legal, Contax has to act according his warranties.

If Contax states out a truly (black and white on a piece of paper) international warranty, they have also deliver this warranty without any kind of restriction. Otherwise they have to rename this warranty paper.

I do not know how Nikon etc. is doing this, but as far as I know, they do not offer this international warranty. products of i.e. Minolta have different names for the bodies just to segment the market better.

In Europe, some car manufacturers tried something similar. They tried to make the life hard for people who bought their car either directly abroad, or via a dealer in Germany as a grey-market car. The car makers got several times a huge fine, because they acted agianst the law.

Again, I am not a lawer, and I do not think that any statement in the internet can give us clear facts, because we can not verify the author.

But I think everybody should use common sense and differentiate between marketing efforts and logical realities.

Every company has the right to take different prices in different countries, but in a free country, every costumer has also the choice to buy where he wants to and use excactly this discrepancies the manufacturer is trying to hold up artificially for his own benefit.

Another thought for the super-cautious people out there: There is just one factory for Contax and Zeiss Products, which is in Japan. No matter where you buy your boxes, they are all the same and all from the same factory. There is no mediocre quality inbetween these products.

If you think about it, it seems more and more just marketing and the silly hope (or dream?) of a manufactuerer to segment the world into countries with walls. And that in a time where everybody can fly for a few bucks everywhere and the internet is blowing old attitudes in seconds away.

Just my 2 cents




Look at this from the Contax's point of view.

If you buy a camera from an authorized U.S. dealer, you have a valid, dated warranty and reciept that shows where and when the camera was purchased. You (and Contax) know that the camera was under the care of an autorized dealer up until the moment you purcahsed it. Therefore, anything that is wrong with it is their responsibility.

If you buy a gray market camera, you're basically buying a second-hand camera (even though may be new in its box). Gray market goods for sale in the U.S. were purchased from a dealer or distributor in another country. The gray market dealer then sells it to you. You're buying the camera second-hand from a gray-market dealer, not new from Contax.

I'd be surprised if a gray market camera had a signed and st&ed warranty card from an authorized dealer, because these deals are usally done under-the-table and most dealers will not want gray market sales to be traced back to them.

So, when you buy a gray market camera, how old is it? How long ago was it originally purchased? How was it stored, how was it shipped? Was the camera kept for five years in a wet basement before it was sold to you? Was it dropped? Is the camera really defective, or does it have a problem that developed long after it was purchased but before you got it? How do you know the camera was not t&ed with? Do you (or Contax) know anything about its history at all? What's to prevent the gray market distributor from knowingly selling you a camera that they damaged, hoping that the warranty will cover it?

If the camera was not under the control of Contax or its authorized dealers before it was sold to you, it's unfair to expect Contax to assume responsibility for it. If you choose to bypass the Contax distribution system (which means that you didn't pay for warranty coverage in the U.S.), then warranty problems are an issue between you and the original purchaser of the camera (the gray-market distributor). Remember, you are not the person who purchased the camera from Contax, so you are not entitled to warranty coverage.

If the gray market importer is ethical, they should have their own warranty system in place, plus the warranty where the camera was originally purchased should still be valid (if the dealer did, actually, sign and date the card).

- Paul


Contax does this the way nearly every manufacturer's rep in the US does it. It's lawful, and it protects their import structure, and prevents them from undermining their dealers. One would guess that the cost of warranty support and full dealer service account for the price difference. Delta International has givne me great service on purchases, but I assume they are not useful for anything else. Ken Hansen and even B&H will show you the cameras, let you play with them, explain them, etc. Hansen will set them up, give you advice. Both give you a pretty good warranty from Contax (or Nikon, etc.) This is the way the system works. I don't think that Kyocera is outside the law or on the wrong side of right.


Well-Known Member
Not sure this is the right place to post this item, but couldn't find a more suitable one.
In attempting to obtain pricing on some 645 accessories with my local Contax Dealer yesterday, I was informed that there is no Canadian Contax Representative right now, and the dealer has been instructed to contact Kyocera in NJ, USA
He wasn't even sure that Kyocera in Ontario,was still around! I can only assume that Kyocera is "looking" for a Canada-wide rep.
Leica went through this some years ago in Canada and all purchases were made via Leica USA.As a prepaid subscriber to Leica Fotografie at the time, my subscription went "belly up" with the ex -distributor and I learned what it was to be an unsecured creditor!
I hope Kyocera will support its Contax products in Canada,'though I'm not holding my breath. If anyone out there knows or learns of anything, perhaps they can post to this site. Maybe I'll go back to Hasselblad!


Active Member
Who did you check with about Contax in Canada? I knew them reasonably well when there was a office in Mississuaga. I think there are Canadian sales reps and I'm told that the official and authorised service is Nortown Photo in Mississauga. I know Dino at DRM sells parts and stuff for Yashica/Contax. If you check with Dino he'll should be able to tell you who to see, and who does what. Jeff


Well-Known Member
My dealer called me back today. Apparently I can order from Kyocera in NJ, but he can't! He did give me DRM photo's name, but they are warranty/repairs,not equipment suppliers. Kyocera USA is currently looking for a Canadian Distributor;should have one in a month.
As for the suggestion that I call Kyocera USA, anyone who has done so will know why I haven't bothered! Waiting for non-existent callbacks, etc. I will either order from US or wait out the time. I did also purchase from Ebay; probably a more wise alternative actually


The Canadian office is officially closed as of May 1st. I am not sure who is handing distribution in Canada. There was rumor that Gentec might get it, but I am unsure. All product is still shipped out of the US. I am still handling parts and out of warranty repairs, so give me a shout if I can be of assistance.

Dino Manti


Active Member
Steve Leonardo.

I posed this very question to Kyocera NJ a while ago. According to what was told to me the difference between international and USA warranties is:

1) USA warranties are only covered in the USA. Therefore if you happen to be in another country when you camera breaks down you must ship the camera back to a repair facility in USA or wait until you return to the USA. Hopefully you'll have a back up camera if such an event occurs while abroad.

2) If you legitimately purchase a camera overseas it will usually have a one year international warranty, therefore, for one year your camera can be repaired any where in the world, including the USA, as long as you can find an official Kyocera repair facility.

Further, when I inquired why the difference in years of warranty coverage. I was told in so many words that such decision is discretionary on the part of the forces that be at Kyocera.

To me such a decision at first glance appeared arbitruary but in hindsight the international warranty is more flexible and convienient for those in the USA and overseas whom travel overseas often.

Perhaps, Kyocera made such a financial decision based on an understanding that those whom live outside the USA travel more frequently and in greater numbers than those in the USA. This view would make sense for cost cutting purposes.

Clearly, the USA warranty is best for those whom do little traveling abroad.

I hope this helped


May I point out, that local laws also play a great role. In the European Union, we have two years warranty, so all the companies stick to this. If it also goes for international warranties, I don't know.


I would imagine just not buying it from an authorized Contax dealer (and don't ask me how these dealers get their cameras!). You can do that anywhere ("overseas" obviously has different meanings depending on where you are...).



Active Member

Re: "How do you illegitimately purchase a camera overseas?"

1. Juan imagined correctly. One can purchase via gray or black market anywhere in the world. In such cases warranties, if one is provided, must be handled via a third party repair service not Kyocera. Thus, my use of the word legitimate was meant in that context. I simply thought it might be helpful to distinguish between a warranty covered by Kyocera and one that is not.

Juan is also correct that my use of the word overseas was meant to apply to those whom live overseas and whom often travel outside their country of origin to the USA or to other countries.

I hope this helps to clarify my initial post.



Well-Known Member
How do you know that a particular dealer is "authorized" or not? There is no list of authorized dealers on their web site, as far as I know...and I have a hard enough time contacting them to get a part, much less spending my time trying to get someone to give me an answer to this question!




I hope what the Kyocera person told you was correct. I have talked to a few different reps for other photo equipment companies(digital backs and strobes) who told me that if I purchased their equipment outside of the US and had an int'l warranty it would not be honored here in the US. I think this is a way to "motivate" US customers to purchase products from US sources. I would recommend anyone in the US thinking of purchasing int'l warrantied gear to talk to a rep themselves before buying, just to be safe. Warranties are used as a marketing hammer to keep customers in their local markets.