I guess this isn't new but "Wow" on recent price jumps.

Started May 12, 2011 | Discussions thread
Rick Knepper
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Re: I guess this isn't new but "Wow" on recent price jumps.
In reply to mikeyL, May 14, 2011

mikeyL wrote:

I don't pretend to be an expert on exchange rates, but a simple 5 minute search of the dollar vs. the yen shows a relatively steady downward trend of the dollar versus the yen from 2007 until now, with a dollar being worth about 120 yen at the high point in 2007 until now when it is worth about 80 yen. That's a decrease of 1/3, pretty significant, and seemingly would more than explain the price differences we have seen all by itself. Add on to that the massive economic impact to the country as a whole and many manufacturers in particular of the recent environmental disaster, and it seems to me that we are lucky prices have not risen by more than they have.

I think we are talking about two different things.

But first, and I will state this as a fact, Canon USA calculates possible exchange rate fluctuations into their MSRP. That is why prices are comparatively stable versus the actual exchange rate. Also, in these conditions, shouldn't Japanese manufactrurers be lowering prices to encourage sales? Google Japan & deflation. I will concede that current pricing may include a small adjustment for a strong yen vs. the USD.

Now, what I am talking about is Canon's apparent long term strategy of raising general prices of L series lenses under the cover of lens upgrades and new introductions. This is the new standard I am talking about and could extend to some of the better non-L lenses.

For example, I watched the 24L & 35L for years starting in 2003 and the price for both hovered around the mid-$1100s until the introduction of the 24L II at $1699. Some even claim the upgrade was superficial at best but be that as it may, it was a great excuse to raise the price. All of this began with the 85L II upgrade and has run unabated since with several upgrades or new introductions per year.

The 35L is currently selling for $1469 at B&H roughly $300 more than the $1150 it sold for for years. You can't possibly believe that if the yen returned to 2007 levels the price would drop back to $1150. (Actually, I doubt we'll ever be able to ascertain whether this would be true or not as I believe Canon will soon introduce the 35L II and its new price will at be least $1699).

I think we all would agree that price increases are no fun, but these would seem to me to have some pretty basic and relatively obvious causes given everything that has happened with the financial markets and with the catastrophe over there.

I guess based on the above I'm ready to cut Canon and any of the other Japanese manufacturers some slack when it comes to pricing at this point.

I do not think you have to cut them any slack. I simply do not believe manufacturers are responsible for any of the recent price hikes post-tsunami. It would be a bad public relations move except among a small cadre of apologists. This is all distributors and/or retailers but if you have direct proof otherwise I'd like to read it.

ML

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