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If you’ve been thinking about boosting your collection of Canon or Nikon camera lenses, you may need to set aside a slightly larger budget than you’d planned, thanks to the knock-on effects of the pandemic.
Reports from Canon Rumors suggest that prices for many Canon RF and Canon EF lenses have increased significantly in the USA, while Nikon Rumors says that Nikon Z and F-mount lens prices are apparently due to go up from April 1 in northern Europe. We’ve contacted both Canon and Nikon for official comment, and will update this story when we hear back.
The Canon price rises in the USA appear to have already affected 11 lenses. The biggest price boost is on the Canon RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM, which is now $1,299 at most retailers, an 18% increase of $200. Other RF lenses to have been hit include the RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM (now $1,799, a $200 increase) and its new telephoto primes, the RF 600mm F11 IS STM (now $799, a $100 rise) and the RF 800mm F11 DO IS STM (now $999, a $100 increase).
Nikon’s price boosts appear to be more general, affecting “all imaging cameras and lenses”, according to a letter from Nikon UK posted on Nikon Rumors. Fortunately, sports optics and the Nikon Z9 will be spared from the rises, but the rest of its imaging range will be given “new pricing” that will apply to all orders placed from February 1 that are invoiced on or after April 1. If you manage to settle your invoice before March 31, though, Nikon will apparently honor its old pricing.
So far, it doesn’t appear that these price rises are affecting regions other than those mentioned above. Many Canon RF lenses in the UK, for example, have actually seen price cuts lately, though it’s not clear whether or not this is just the calm before the storm. Inevitably, Nikon appears to blame “a period of severe disruption in global supply chains” and “cost increases to component parts and logistics charges” for its price rises.
We’re still awaiting official comment from Canon about the reason for its price increases, though it’s likely to be a similar story. If you spot any of the lenses listed at the bottom of this article for their old prices, you’d likely be wise to snap them up now before the new prices kick in.
Analysis: an inevitable pandemic tax
Until now, the main pandemic-related issue for photographers has simply been finding camera lenses that are in stock, particularly newer ones for mirrorless systems like the Canon RF and Nikon Z series. But that scarcity has now been followed by an inevitable price rise.
Like all tech companies, camera manufacturers have been hit by severe components shortages, supply chain issues, and staff shortages over a prolonged period during the pandemic, and some of those costs have inevitably been passed onto customers.
The full list of Canon lenses affected by the price rises in the US, compiled by Canon Rumors, is below – and it certainly doesn’t make encouraging reading for anyone who’s been considering buying a new zoom lens. That said, many of Canon’s primes seem to have been spared (so far) and the price hikes don’t appear to have hit other markets yet.
We’re still waiting to see exactly how big Nikon’s increases will be, but it’s likely that they’ll be similar in magnitude to those seen on Canon’s range. So it certainly seems like now is a good time to buy a Canon or Nikon mirrorless lens, if you can find the old prices and get your order through in time.
Photography has always been an expensive hobby, but the pandemic has sadly added an additional premium for those looking to invest in new gear.