Have Pro Lenses Gotten More Expensive?

Pro lenses are delivering so much more sharpness and resolution that older lens designs sometimes start to show flaws that were not apparent with earlier cameras. whenever a new version of a lens is introduced, photographers are shocked by the new price as it is almost always substantially higher than the lens it is replacing. When the new Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM II lens came out, it was priced about $400 more than the lens it was replacing. There is a new Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II just released which is replacing the current lens that was introduced 10 years ago. The price for the new 24-70 is a whopping $900 more than it predecessor!

A German photographer has done an amazing job of analyzing price histories for most Canon lenses and the data shows that the overall average price increase is about 2% per year – less than inflation! These large price increases we see with new lens introductions may seem excessive, but the actual data shows a different story.

You can take a look at his analysis and the conversation it has generated here.