The US dollar has crashed in the past year (if you want to understand why, read The Creature From Jekyll Island). It’s amazing to see Canon offering year-end rebates instead of across-the-board price increases of 20% for us poor saps in the USA.
The word is that effective in 2008 Leica will raise prices in the USA by about 10% on most items (the Leica M8 has already had its price raised and will stay the same price for now). So if you have been lusting over that new M8 digital and/or a few Leica M or R lenses, now’s the time. (Zeiss also makes many good lenses for use on Leica M mount).
The next question is whether Zeiss and Nikon and Canon will also raise prices. Maybe now is the time to buy that Zeiss ZF lens (B&H Photo has all of the ZF line in stock). It seems likely that a sustained or worsening dollar crash will force the hand of many multi-nationals—there is no way they can make money with the 20% “haircut” they’re taking now. So expect to see price increases become commonplace if the dollar doesn’t strengthen.