How to spot counterfeit Nikon filters


It seems that in addition to batteries and battery grips, there are also counterfeit Nikon filters. 1kindphotography has a detailed article on what you should look for to make sure your filter is genuine. Always purchase equipment from authorized Nikon dealers (the "fake" Nikon filter was bought on eBay).



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  • nice to know, thanks

    • St.

      Yeah, but this is when you see the filters next to each other.
      If you have just one of them – how you’ll decide?
      Except the centered logo.

      • Good question and that is why I posted the guide. I myself tried to find information on how to tell if the filter was fake and there was nothing on the web. So I took the plunge and ordered a filter on eBay. The seller was from Asia. After receiving it, I decided to purchase the same lens filter from an authorized Nikon dealer.

        As you can see, there are many differences. If the filter I bought from eBay was real, it should be exactly the same if its being made by the same manufacturer. Even if it was made from a different plant, the process and quality should be exactly the same.

        The fake filters manual was printed on regular paper. Same paper you use at home for your printer where as the real manual was like all other manuals you find in your lens or camera.

        • fred

          How do you know that the “counterfeit” filter isn’t just an earlier version or produced by a different contractor? Nikon outsources manufacture of accessories like straps, and many companies have a hard time themselves saying definitively whether a given example of their product is counterfeit. I’m not saying this is necessarily true of Nikon. Just wondering.

          • I had the same question to the author of the original post. Unless Nikon publishes an official article, we will never know. In the mean time, this remains a rumor.

            • St.


            • If anyone has a source at Nikon, feel free to email me with a contact. Or if someone who works at Nikon can contact me, feel free to.

            • The many differences ranging from quality, color and how it’s put together screams fake. Look at the bottom right corner of the manual. There’s an extra line in the manual. If it was real, it should be the same in material and information.

              Wish I kept the fake so I can send it to Nikon but I returned it back to the seller.

          • Because “earlier” versions would of been sold a long time ago and not in stock if items are being sold frequently.

            If an item was outsourced, it would be the same materials and quality as if Nikon was to make it. Like all companies, they have quality control. As stated, you buy a lens and whether its made in Japan, Thailand or where ever else, the materials from box, manual and parts will be the same.

            Nikon is known for quality products. Why print on regular printing paper?

      • worminator

        Not only would you not be able to decide, you’d probably use it and never, ever tell the difference.

        If it’s really fake and not just Nikon products made from two different factories (a move from Japan to China for example), then some people really put an awful lot of effort into the fake. The packaging and plastic case are 99% identical.

        • Yes, if you bought it and had nothing to compare it to, you would definitely not notice. I’ve seen positive feedback left for the seller and they don’t know that it’s fake.

          As mentioned before and in my article, if it was made in a different plant, the quality should be the same. You can buy a lens today and in 2 years but that same lens again and the packaging will be the same.

          The case looks identical but there are slight differences as I pointed out. The colors are different. The Nikon logo is blurry on the fake filter.

      • Look at the manual.

        • The manual doesn’t make sense to me.

          If it’s counterfeit, those bad guys would simply photocopy the original manual on regular paper. From the picture, it seems like the content is the same, but different in the layout. (E.g. some spacing between lines, and some fonts size.) I don’t think those bad guys would spend time on typing up the content and create a layout like that.

          Also, the white area with “printed in Japan”. The counterfeit one even has an earlier document number “8MTA0463-01”.

          Hoping Nikon would say something about this ASAP. Cos’ this is really annoying.

          Thanks for bringing this up, NR.

  • Dean

    How can I tell I’m on the real Nikon Rumors site? :-0

    • alvix

      in cant…inception..inception… 😀

    • Andy

      You can generally judge that by the lack of intelligence in the comments people post. 🙂

      (I’m by no way implying you’re part of that. I think your post is hilariously funny!)

    • If the comments are talking about computer language translators, your on the right site. 😉

    • Alice

      You don’t trust yourself?

  • Now that the counterfeiters have this guide, they’ll know how to fold their instruction manuals. 😉

    • Alice

      They should pay you some royalty for that, even thief has honor among them.

  • Jorvan

    If there is a $ to be made. Jackass will do anything! It’s the nasty human nature.

    • . . . of the vocal (active) minority.

      I believe most people are generally good.

    • Yes, counterfeiters will do anything to make money. Just look at all the fake Sandisk memory cards out there on the market. It’s scary how counterfeits can look so real to the naked eye.

  • Rob Ueberfeldt

    Nikon filters are nothing special, I prefer Hoya and they are usually cheaper.

    • Lewinp

      Yes but Nikon filters are neccessary to capture the full benefits of all 36 mp on a D800.

    • I like B+W more than Nikon filters…why would people buy nikon filters?

      • Nikon Shooter

        Why would you buy any protective filter? If you are worried about messing up your front element then you should use the hood and/or buy some insurance. Otherwise you’ve just defeated the purpose of buying that expensive lens that you are so eager to protect. I also love how filter manufacturers can get you to pay a hundred bucks for supposedly a “really nice” piece of clear glass. As opposed to what??? Photographers are just like golfers- you can sell them anything.

        • fred

          A good multicoated filter will not ruin the quality potential of your lens. Cleaning your front element is more likely to degrade your lens. Hoods don’t protect against dust, soot, sand, little kids with greasy fingers, or gravel kicked up by vehicle tires. Most people would rather protect their lens with a filter than argue with an insurance company.

    • karl

      Nikon filters are on par with the best of B&W. Hoya filters are nothing special.

      or are their UV/NC filters any better ?

      • Rygel Bufonidae

        I like B&W too but they are so hard to clean or at least get streak free. What am I doing wrong? Anyone else have that problem?

      • Olle

        In my opinion a very bad test since it excludes the professional filters from kenko (zeta) and hoya (hd). Its like comparing a kit lens with a pro lens. From extensive reviews b&w actually doesnt score that high (i dont have source for this since I am on my phone)

      • Anonymus Maximus


        I would have liked that the test includes how much image resolution is affected if at all?

        Isn’t that key?

    • Nikon filters are excellent. I’d put them up against B+W any day.

  • FX DX

    The only way you can be sure is to buy from Authroized Nikon Dealer. Buy a $40 filter on ebay for less than $20 and there is a 99% chance that it will be a fake filter.

    Use common sense and you should be fine.

    • Agreed. But there will also be people who want to try and save a couple of bucks. I’m actually one of them. As you can see, you pay what you get.

  • peteee363

    why do i need a nikon filter? hoya, and the like have served me well for 30 plus years. most of my old nikkor large format lenses didn’t even have a nikon filter made. it is just important to keep a basic filter on your lens, such as a uv filter. also my 14mm nikkor does not even have the possibility to even put a front filter on it.

  • T.I.M

    Once, I found a fake invisible man (made in China), he was visible under infrared light.
    Make sure you always get the real one (made in France).

  • This would have been more useful if an image comparison was done with the fake and the real Nikon filter. Is that how we normally compare lenses.

  • broxibear

    But what if the fake filters are better than the real ones lol ?
    Hoya had the same issues a while back

    • T.I.M

      I tested Nikon NC filters (72mm) with special lens Test Charts, Nikon filters are very good, even better than my favorite Hoya brand.

  • Doug

    In this case fake photographic material was better than the real thing:

  • Ed

    Damn.. I think I have two of those. Both bought on Ebay also. The other two that conform to the “real” NC filters I got from Adorama or B&H (I forget).

    I’m just going by the lettering on the side of the units and the thickness of the filters. The NC filters I bought from Adorama/B&H were visibly thinner when compared side-by-side to the Ebay ones. Also, the labeling on the side was exactly as the above units except the counterfeit ones seem to have the words spaced closer together.

    Great, another $160 I need to spend on getting those two replaced 🙁

  • Beuler

    Ah, those Venture Crapitalists of the Peeplz Republik are at it again. No such thing as ‘intellectual property’ or ‘patent’ in Mao’s Little Red Book, is there?

  • Jason

    Last week at a camera shop in China i was offered fake Nikon remote accessories. The seller told they where not real and the prices reflected this.
    ML-L3 (IR Remote)
    MC-36 (Cable Remote)
    Both where in the familiar grey box with yellow trim, looked convincing enough and I didn’t have real ones to hand to compare.

  • Jason

    After market D800 grips will be keenly anticipated.
    MB-D12 battery grip for the new D800 is listed for $616 it might be closer to $500 street price, how do Nikon justify this? (You can buy a DSLR for that) This comes without batteries and you’ll need to BL-5 Battery Chamber.

    For any potential new customer choosing between Nikon D800 and Canon 5D MKIII This FPS comparison and the extra $600+ to get just 6FPS on the D800 could be a real deal breaker.
    I really hope Nikon drop the price for the genuine MB-D12 battery grip. Most loyal customers would may for the original if it was sensibly priced $200 -$300.

    • Even at $200-300 people, some buyers opted for aftermarket grips. I purchased my MB-D11 for over $200 and I see some people go and purchase $60-80 aftermarket grips because they didn’t want to spend over $100 for a grip.

      Me personally, I would spend no more than $250 on a grip. I’m not a fan of aftermarket accessories but if the price is ridiculous, I may have to resort to aftermarket accessories.

      • I have both the MB-D10 and an aftermarket version. While the aftermarket one is quite decent and probably 80% as good as the Nikon… It’s worth *every* penny in my eyes for that extra 20%. I will never underestimate again the feeling of a grip that is built to the same spec as my camera.

        I LOATHE the idea of spending $500 on one. Even $350 and I wouldn’t complain while still thinking it’s too high.

  • Thank you for this. It is great to know. I buy mostly Nikon filters because of their build quality and fit. I had one fall apart on me recently. The inside retaining spring popped out, and so did the glass. I’ll have to go back and look at the boxing. I’d bet it was a fake.

  • Jason

    We sell genuine Hoya Filters and those retainer springs will pop out even in the mail, if they are dropped or thrown around during the shipping process. It doesn’t mean its fake. The real give-away is the print quality as previous poster mentions.

  • JeroenW

    Thank you! I was already struggling to sell a genuine 62mm polarizer. That’s going to be impossible now

  • PeterM

    Very good info.
    What about Amazon. Is this store reliable (authorized)?

    • If the item is Sold and Shipped by Amazon than Yes. If its sold by a 3rd party sellers, be cautious. I know Adorama and a few legit camera stores (ie Cameta) also sell on Amazon, so they are safe as well since they are authorized Nikon dealers.

  • Why not just mark these fakes as a private label and sell them?

  • Why not market these under a private label?

    • No one would buy from a no name company and the price would be a lot cheaper. So they counterfeit items to pass as real and sell for more money to unsuspecting customers.

  • andrew

    This is terrible. I’ve just checked all my gear. It’s fake. All the shots I’ve taken with this gear is thus fake. I’m gutted!!

    • Hero

      Thats what happened when u go cheapskate on your gears.

      • Rock Kenman


  • Doug

    Well CR is down, i guess the amount of noobs are bigger than the amount of Nikon users

    • no, it means that I upgraded my servers before the D4/D800 announcement 🙂

  • Rock Kenman

    The quickest and easiest way to check if something is fake is to look for the “Made in China” label. Even their food is fake — if it isn’t make with poisonous industrial chemicals, it is probably made out of paper instead.

  • teejay

    I ordered ones from ebay 2 days before i saw this article. On the Nikonian website some users say that this could be a different batch. I compared mine that i bought from ebay and seems that I have a mixture of fake and real stuff on the box. The logo is centered but has a faded gray color.

    One thing I notice is that there is a greenish tint if i angle the glass, if i hold it straight on and put it close to my eyes, it doesn’t look like there is any glass at all unlike my UV Hoya filters which have a faint yellow cast. I’ll be testing it with my lens and see if there are any difference in IQ with and without the filter.
    I’m prety sure at the moment that this could be from a different batch of manufacturer compared to the other filter, unless Nikon comes out with an official statement that there could be fake filters in the market.,

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