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Why is Fujifilm Offering Huge Discounts on Lenses?

Let’s tie two recent blog posts together: The Camera Market: Declining Sales and Inertial Design? and the June rebates for Fujifilm, Sony, Nikon, Canon.

Since when does any camera vendor discount 33% to 50% off prior prices?

Granted, one has to purchase the camera body, but still this is unprecedented for this range of camera. I sure hope that Canon and Nikon follow suit! But I deem it unlikely.

A tough market

Check out the whopping discounts on Fujifilm XF lenses, the only condition being purchase of a camera body, but for new buyers that is no issue at all:

  • 18-55mm f/2.8-4: 43% .
  • 14mm f/2.8: 28% off.
  • 18mm f/2.0: 43% off.
  • 35mm f/1.4: 33% off.
  • 60mm f/2.4: 46% off.

This isn’t a bogus regular discount off list price; these are real deals: the Fujifilm XF 35mm f/1.4 @AMAZON was and remains $599 at Amazon.

Why would Fujifilm devalue its brand like this? Deep discounts set bad expectations among customers and screw existing customers by devaluing their investment (resale value). One can understand deep discounts on the camera body, but discounts this aggressive on lenses must involve some powerful forces.

One has to wonder about “unfortunate timing”: Zeiss is releasing the (fantastic) Touit lens line at a time when one of the two target camera mounts for which they are designed (Fujifilm X, Sony NEX) is selling (quite good) lenses at fire sale prices.

As I intend to take Guide to Mirrorless forward, I made a business investment decision: I bought the entire kit so that I can cover the Fujifilm X platform in detail over the summer, as well as offer perspective on Zeiss Touit lenses on Fujifilm X. Sooner or later (assuming Fujifilm X remains viable), it would have been necessary for coverage, so saving $1300 was an unbeatable inducement. Now if only Sony would get its stuff together and deliver a NEX-7N that kills the stupid problems with the NEX-7.

So what’s going on?

  • Fujifilm is not doing well and has to move product at any cost?
  • Economy in general? Mass fears about the future exert behavioral impacts.
  • A saturation point in the market for cameras with nothing all that interesting happening?
  • Plummeting Japanese Yen?
  • Something else?

Your guess is as good as mine.

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