US optics specialist Canon has warned customers to beware of counterfeit copies of one of its most popular lenses in the build-up to the gift-giving season.
"It has come to our attention that there are instances of counterfeit EF 50mm f/1.8 II lenses for digital SLR cameras being brought into Canon service centres for repair," said the company in a statement.
"These counterfeit products have neither been designed nor manufactured by Canon, yet they fraudulently display the Canon logo and other Canon trademarks, and … infringe on Canon's trademark rights," it continued.
The company said the exterior of the counterfeit EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens "elaborately imitates the exterior of the genuine lens", although there are differences that can be detected (see picture).
The parts and electric circuits used inside the counterfeit lens are very different from those used inside genuine lenses and "do not satisfy the safety standards of various countries and the safety/quality standards of Canon," said the firm.
Canon has a dedicated webpage to help consumers check whether their product is genuine or fake.