In what seems like a cruel joke in this horrible economy, prices for Nikon lenses are on the rise. Three examples that I've noticed this week:
The Nikon 16-85mm is now selling for
The Nikon 18-200mm is now selling for $699.00. It was $629.00 last week.
The Nikon 50mm f1.4G is now selling for $499.00. I can't remember an exact price but I swear I've seen that one for as low as $399.00 in the past.
Price increases appear to be even worse for professional lenses, though I haven't been following those as closely. It's not clear to me what's happening with camera body prices at this point.
As has been noted by Thom Hogan and others on the internet (Nikon Rumors, for example, has been predicting this for weeks), these price hikes are the result of exchange rate fluctuations between the Yen and the Dollar. In other words, because the value of the Yen has fallen in relation to the Dollar, Japanese manufacturers have little choice but to raise prices in the US in order to maintain profit margins. While I more or less understand this, I also think it's poor customer relations by Nikon, especially in this current economic climate. If prices really have to go up, why not issue a press release explaining the situation to your loyal customers? A little more transparency would be nice.