I don’t get it – Nikon to increase prices in Japan

I thought all the recent price increases were caused buy the weak yen - why is then Nikon raising prices in Japan (effective April 17th)? Here is a list of affected products:

Product Old price New price
F6 Body 315,000 362,250
FM10 body 38,850 43,050
FM10 standardset (AI Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm F3.5-4.8S-) 52,500 57,750
AI Nikkor 20mm F2.8S 85,050 102,900
AI Nikkor 24mm F2.8S 56,700 68,250
AI Nikkor 28mm F2.8S 51,450 61,950
AI Nikkor 35mm F1.4S 90,300 109,200
AI Nikkor 50mm F1.2S 61,950 74,550
AI Nikkor 50mm F1.4S 45,150 54,600
AI Micro-Nikkor 55mm F2.8S 47,250 56,700
AI Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8S 97,650 117,600
AI AF Nikkor ED 14mm F2.8D 231,000 247,800
AI AF Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm F2.8D 108,150 114,450
AI AF Nikkor 20mm F2.8D 75,600 81,900
AI AF Nikkor 24mm F2.8D 51,450 54,600
AI AF Nikkor 28mm F2.8D 37,800 40,950
AI AF Nikkor 35mm F2D 43,050 45,150
AI AF Nikkor 50mm F1.4D 39,900 43,050
AI AF Nikkor 50mm F1.8D 24,150 25,200
AI AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm F2.8D 59,850 63,000
AI AF Nikkor 85mm F1.4D (IF) 147,000 157,500
AI AF Nikkor 85mm F1.8D 53,550 57,750
AI AF DC-Nikkor 105mm F2D 136,500 147,000
AI AF DC-Nikkor 135mm F2D 158,550 170,100
AI AF Nikkor ED 180mm F2.8D (IF) 111,300 119,700
AI AF Micro-Nikkor ED200mm F4D (IF) 203,700 218,400
AI AF-S Nikkor ED 300mm F4D (IF) Black 171,150 183,750
AI AF-S Nikkor ED 300mm F4D (IF) Light Gray 171,150 183,750
AI AF-S Zoom-Nikkor ED 17-35mm F2.8D (IF) 241,500 254,100
AI AF Zoom-Nikkor ED 18-35mm F3.5-4.5D (IF) 81,900 88,200
AI AF Zoom-Nikkor 24-85mm F2.8-4D (IF) 92,400 97,650
AI AF Zoom-Nikkor ED 80-200mm F2.8D <New> 161,700 173,250
AI AF VR Zoom-Nikkor ED 80-400mm F4.5-5.6D 241,500 259,350


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  • Lance

    Is that a complete list of the price increases? If so, it’s largely older product. Maybe the prices of these older products needed an adjustment? Thought; are these made in Japan or imported from China (or elsewhere)? If imported, the weak yen would make sense as the culprit, no?

    • Anonymous

      Strong yen would be the culprit… But I think you are on the right track.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t think it’s just currency. The 50 f1.8 went up 5% and the 35 f1.4 went up 20%.

        • Tom

          A friend tells me it is economies of scale.

          Each lens’ cost is made up of fixed costs like wages and rents and variable costs like materials.

          When sales fall, production is cut back. This reduces variable costs but hardly affects fixed costs, so the cost of each unit doesn’t go down as we might expect, but actually goes up because there are less units to absorb the fixed costs.

          So price rises are due to falling sales. A perverse effect.

  • vic

    The previous price increases were because the Yen was doing very strong against the US and other major currencies. Japan had one of the strongest economies in the G7 in November. However, it was revealled last week that Japan’s economy fell to last place in the G7 last month — basically Japan went from first to last in 3 months. As a result, the Yen has been falling lately. So, Nikon can either decrease prices on US/Canadian/European prices, or they can increase the Japanese prices to match the US/Canadian/European prices. I guess we know what they choose.

  • Willis

    A lot of primes… Strange

  • Willis

    Good point. Yen/dollar has gone from 89 to 96 in less two weeks. US price cuts coming soon?

    • DJK

      Rebates more likely. That way if the Yen reverses course yet again they can just drop the rebates and avoid another round of crying over price increases.

  • Vlad

    The price increase will affect film SLR bodies, manual focus lenses (excluding PC lenses) and D type auto focus lenses only (at least this time). As the reason for this increase they state the sudden increase in resource prices, as well as other things like changes in environmental laws.
    It should be noted that this is a change in Nikon’s MSRP, and that the effect on the street price will probably not be as big (but still tangible). The F6 is around JPY220,000 on the street at the moment. I better get that 50mm F1.4D before April… This makes me wonder if this is the beginning of a long process to fade out “old fashioned” products.

  • Pablov

    The Yen is not weak.
    It has increased against other currencies in the last months.

    USA is at economical crisis and the dollar currency does not get weak, it gets stronger instead (against other countries currencies)

    Japan is at crisis too (seems to be worst), the Yen diddn’t get weak, but stronger instead.

    In my country I keep following the US and Yen currencies, and both are stronger than months ago.

    The dollar gets stronger on every Wall street fall. This is due, maninly, to investors selling shares to get dollars, so the demand for dollars is bigger then its value increases too. That’s why in so many countries the dollar currency has grown since the first days of wall street debacle at Q3-4 of 2008

    I don’t know why the Yen get stronger against other currencies. There must be many factors too.

    Despite of all these currencies, I still don’t understand why the camera and lenses prices raise in the US and some other countries.
    Is not as simple as the Yen or the Dollar currency has changed then the lenses get more expensive, because both has grown against Lot of other currencies

    Every country sets its own ways to keep control (or not) over exchanges

    • Gary L

      [b]”I don’t know why the Yen get stronger against other currencies. There must be many factors too.”[/b]

      A bit lower, I posted this, which MIGHT answer your question.

      [b]”Since the global deleveraging begun, the demand for yen was artificially strong, due to the reversal of the carry trades being unwound world wide, so for that reason, BoJ could not fight it. But now, we are nearing the end of that game. Soon you’ll see manipulation once again …… although, the yen might be weakening all on its own.”[/b]

      (I tried HTML tags. Sorry if I blew it and they did not work. The only way to find out is to try …..:-) )

      • Anonymous

        The Yen, US dollar and now defunct German Mark have always been safe haven currencies in economic turmoil. The reasons are complex and varied. As my economics teacher once pointed out, get three economists in the room and you’ll get four opinions at any one time.

        As none of these lenses are on my wish list and I don’t shop in Japan, I couldn’t care less.

        Is there really nothing leaked from PMA ?

  • in the same time Pentax is cutting their prices – I really don’t get it…

    • Joel

      no one buygin them??? the K20d is down here (australia) but the lenses are much higher than a year ago..

    • reverse logic

      “Pentax is cutting their prices…”

      Pentax will have some money to keep going, Nikon won’t.

    • David

      Just think your self lucky your not in norway …the 300mm f2.8 VR was between 30 000 and 31 000 kr last week , now it costs 46 000 kr and above ……thats a hefty increase of at least 50%

  • Warren

    Nikon is trying to survive by increasing prices. I don’t think raising prices is going to work.


  • anony

    Nikon hasn’t raised its product prices at all in China.

  • Ralf

    It was never about the exchange rate but about corporate greed and an excuse. Prices never fell a lot when the Yen was weak.

    • Gary L

      Just about ALL companies which derive the bulk of their revenue from International Sales, hedge their currency exposure in the currency/futures markets. And this stands truer for Japanese companies, since they were among the 1st to have global operations, on larger scale, in the hey-days of the 80’s. Also addition to Bank of Japan being a notorious currency manipulator for decades.

      Since the global deleveraging begun, the demand for yen was artificially strong, due to the reversal of the carry trades being unwound world wide, so for that reason, BoJ could not fight it. But now, we are nearing the end of that game. Soon you’ll see manipulation once again …… although, the yen might be weakening all on its own.

      Perhaps ADMIN could post the currency charts i provided, and if new ones are needed/wanted, I would be glad to lob updates as often as requested.

  • Tom

    It seems to be older lenses only – only a few AF-S lenses – and they are the older designs that will probably be updated soon anyway. Indeed, this looks rather like a list of lenses that will either be deleted or updated in due course.

    I would think the rises have nothing to do with currency and are due to profit margins on older designs. They tend to use non-eco-glass so perhaps this is another contributing factor along with re-tooling costs for low production runs, etc.

    Nikon is a Japanese corporation and it clearly does not follow a “greed is good” business ethic. It clearly has a sounder business philosophy that puts equal emphasis on quality as profit.

  • Gary L

    I believe t’was my first post here, in response to the 1st price hike “heads up”, when I stated that I was not buying into the healthy heap of BS Nikon was serving, opining that they were hiking then, only to discount/rebate a bit later (March-April??) using the higher pricing as the basis for discounting, in effect, giving us crapolla of a discount. I feel even stronger now about that probable scheme.

    Also, the higher prices on the old stuff, allowed them to put higher price tags on the new products being announced in this period, thus making the new stuff more reasonably priced.

    The frenzy buying to beat the announced price increases, of course, did not harm any either.

    All in all, Nikon has demonstrated a total lack of regard and appreciation for their LOYAL customer base, and it is not the p&s buyer, nor the newb who just got his/her first D40 that has kept them in biz up to now, nor are they they ones to dole out $1k+ for primes, nor for bodies upgrades on regular basis in the future. They want a loyal following & customer base, but not in a reciprocal relationship.

    We’ll soon see if the price hike has back fired.

    Their “beeneez” is changing ever faster, and they better learn to compete vs. a much tougher crowd: the electronics manufacturers. I would not discount Nikon becoming a division of some larger company, especially if they pull a couple more idiotic stunts like this one, and the global economy keeps on floundering, making the need for their products anything but a priority.

    I bet, before long, someone will come-up with a drop dead body, with adaptors so to allow, their body to work perfectly fine with any line of mounts. All one would need to correct/finetune the body+lens, would be firmware tweaks, on the body side, which, could also be tweakable just like a computer BIOS, or even today’s DSLRs manual settings.

    But for now, lets kick back and see what loyal friends at Nikon, will do next.

  • Gary L

    One more detail which went un-noticed. The cost of semis, has plummeted during the past 2 years. I am 100% certain that Nikon has saved on that front.

    Also, the cost of other raw materials has fallen CONSIDERABLY, during the past 12 months, which should have help offset the alleged losses caused by the “yen appreciation”.

  • Chris

    More significant are the figures that exports from Japan have dropped 47% to Europe and 53% to the US.

    Who’d have though it with those price rises, huh?

  • Pablov

    I guess in the future we might see some kind of fusion between Sony and Nikon, or Nikon with another company

  • arktouros

    Also think that most of nikons stuff is produced in Thailand. So it would be a relationship between Yen – pound/euro/dollar – Thailand’s currency?

  • Anon

    This is not just about exchange rates. Nikon is raising prices in anticipation of monetary inflation.

    Many governments, Japan included, are debasing their currencies by issuing more money. That creates inflation – which is exactly what they want, to counteract deflation of asset prices. But once the deflation has stopped (and it may have already), inflation continues. A yen, or a dollar, will not buy as much as it did before.

  • blake

    Japanese exports are down nearly 45% this year, thus they need to increase revenue to reduce risk.

  • ronin

    As I said, the increase was not due to currency fluctuations so much- although that was the reason speculated in these pages- but a desperation move to shore up declining margins. Besides, raw materials in labor by Nikon from outside Japan would have offset the revaluations.

    Now that the yen is in a 3-month low against the dollar, without falling US prices, we see that Nikon is simply trying to stay alive. By gambling big that people will pay even more for discretionary toys when they are worried about their own jobs and making ends meet. I fear this price increase when there is no wage increase will end badly for Nikon. I hope I am wrong.

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