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Thread: Lens prices....how much!!!

  1. #11

    Default Re: Lens prices....how much!!!

    I agree...there must be price fixing within retailers. As you say Richard you take a risk by going with an independent or grey market seller. Failed products are pretty rare so if you stick with grey market you will most likely be in profit overall.
    I'm cautious about Tamron and Sigma only because the lens is not just an optic anymore - its full of electronics and there is no insurance regarding long term compatibility with Camera manufacturers....we've already seen how Canon tried to stop us using third party batteries....will they do that with lenses some day?
    Canon EOS 5D MKIII, 17-40 f4L, 24-105 f4L, 100-400 f4.5-5.6L, 24mm f1.4L II, 50mm f1.2L, 100mm f2.8L macro, 85mm f1.8 USM
    Canon EOS 200D
    EF-S 10-18mm STM, EF-S 18-55mm STM, EF-S18-55mm IS II, EF-S 55-250mm IS STM, EF-S 24mm f2.8 STM, EF-S 35mm Macro STM, EF 50mm f1.8 STM

    brianvickersphotography.com

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Lens prices....how much!!!

    I agree with most of the comments on that article, the guy claims to be a "professional" - doesn't seem to know what he is doing.

    Read the reviews on Lens Rentals blog https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/

    They do not test lenses "provided for reviews" They test the ones that they are lending to their customers (they lend thousands of bodies, lenses and other equipment every week) and they always test at least 10 examples of each lens and include the range of variation they find in their reports. Of course, they also get loads of feedback from their professional customers. They don't have any bias to one maker or another, they just want to supply the kit that their customers want.That's the type of information I trust. In general, however, other sites such as
    https://www.lenstip.com/lenses_reviews.html
    http://www.opticallimits.com/
    and
    https://www.ephotozine.com/
    all come up with very similar opinions on each lens.

    On one of their reviews Lens Rentals says : "Sigma has been pricing the Art series lens about 15-20% less than what you’d find with Canon prices, and absolutely destroying them when it comes to sharpness." Other sites agree.

    This is not to say that Canon doesn't make some stellar lenses, for example if you have the money and need a 70 - 200 or 16 - 35 f2.8 zoom, then the latest versions of the L models are undoubtedly best in class. I just wish people would have an open mind and go by detailed evidence rather than assuming that Canon are always best, or rejecting something on the basis of one article.
    EOS 6D, 5D Mk II, 80D, 70D, 100D, 200D. Canon 10-18, 18 - 55, 55 - 250 IS STM lenses, Canon 16 - 35 mm F4L, 35 mm EF-S macro, 50 mm F1.8 STM, 60 mm EF-S macro, MPE-65 macro, 85 mm F1.8, 200 mm F2.8 L II, Sigma 24 - 35 F2 Art, 135 mm F1.8 Art, 17 - 50 F2.8 DC, 105 mm OS macro, 100 - 400 C, 150 - 600 C.

  3. #13

    Default Re: Lens prices....how much!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
    If I go to different supermarkets and compare the price of branded goods I find that they aren't the same everywhere but vary from shop to shop. Look at the price of photographic equipment and the price is identical at every UK retailer. That's because the "approved distributors" fix the price and will not supply to any retailer who offers the items at a lower price. I can't see how that isn't retail price maintenance which was made illegal in the UK in the 1960s and also by EU law. That's what I mean by competition, every retailer being able to choose the profit margin that they are willing to take, going for larger numbers at a smaller profit each or smaller numbers at a larger margin on each. If some go out of business, so be it, the vast majority of small camera retailers closed years ago anyway, all three in my town, because most of their "bread and butter" income came from the developing and printing business, "death by digital".

    So long as price fixing is in place, some people will always buy grey, which does not mean that taxes haven't been paid, but that the sellers have sourced their products from markets where the wholesale price to them is a lot lower, and they work to much smaller margins. Of course, one loses out on manufacturer's guarantee but that's a calculated risk we take. In any case, the reason UK, EU and US distributors give for their higher prices is that they invest more in service centres etc. I don't use them and so I don't see why I should pay for them. Choice, choice, choice is what we need.


    But they are not "of lower quality". In many cases, professional independent unbiased tests show that the latest from Sigma, in particular, are usually as good as, and often better than, the Canon (or Nikon) equivalents. But some people don't want to believe it, they can't accept that their £1,600 L lens is no better than the £1,000 equivalent from Sigma or Tamron.
    I understand that grey doesn't always mean untaxed but where the price difference is so high that concern must remain ?

    I wasn't necessarily implying that independent brands were inferior to Canon but that might be a potential explanation for a price differential. This may be down to the success of Canon's marketing or that the Canon product offers benefits in the purchasers perception. A possible analogy might be cars from the VAG group.

    With regard to price fixing your lens runs from £349 to £379 according to camerapricebuster so there doesn't appear to be a fixed UK selling price. There might be a price below which Canon UK will not sell the lens to a retailer is that price fixing ? Might I suggest a possible reason why there is a cluster of similar prices from UK retailers is that they monitor each other's prices and don't want to be undercut ?

    Ultimately though Canon are a business whose aim is to maximise their profits

    Sent from my SM-T800 using Tapatalk

  4. #14

    Default Re: Lens prices....how much!!!

    When canon can match the price ,quality and after sales o; there lenses then they will attract more normal people ,take my sigma sport ,35 months old ,and used virtually daily ,I suspected something wasn’t quite right and sent it to sigma u.k to be checked they did indeed find a fault and sent it back to Japan .it took 4 weeks and came back for all intents and purposes like a totally brand new lens . And all under warranty
    This is the sort of service that makes sigma art lenses a must buy

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Lens prices....how much!!!

    I understand that grey doesn't always mean untaxed but where the price difference is so high that concern must remain ?
    If it were a matter of not paying the tax then I would expect the savings by buying grey to be pretty much the same across the board, but they are not, they vary widely from brand to brand and from item to item. As an example, a lens I have often looked at with interest is the Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art, which has been available at a pretty much unchanged price here of £571 for a long time. I thought I could get it much cheaper grey, but in fact the lowest grey price I have found is £549.99, hardly any saving, and that is from the same seller that I bought the Canon 35 mm macro from, at the much reduced price already discussed. In fact the Sigma is presently available from reputable dealer Mifsuds in the UK for £548, lower than the grey price.

    In general, there are much bigger savings to be made by buying Canon grey than for Sigma. I conclude that this is because there is much more regional price variation in Canon. This is consistent with Canon's structure, where Canon inc Japan makes the products and sells them on to the largely independent regional distributors (e.g. Canon UK) who are then free to decide what price they will charge to retailers. Asian distributors appear to charge their retailers much lower prices than Canon UK or US for example and that is where the grey importers buy their stock.
    EOS 6D, 5D Mk II, 80D, 70D, 100D, 200D. Canon 10-18, 18 - 55, 55 - 250 IS STM lenses, Canon 16 - 35 mm F4L, 35 mm EF-S macro, 50 mm F1.8 STM, 60 mm EF-S macro, MPE-65 macro, 85 mm F1.8, 200 mm F2.8 L II, Sigma 24 - 35 F2 Art, 135 mm F1.8 Art, 17 - 50 F2.8 DC, 105 mm OS macro, 100 - 400 C, 150 - 600 C.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Lens prices....how much!!!

    Excuse my ignorance, but if I buy a Canon lens from Hongkong or Japan, will I get an import tax bill when it arrives in the uk?
    Getting better

  7. #17

    Default Re: Lens prices....how much!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
    If it were a matter of not paying the tax then I would expect the savings by buying grey to be pretty much the same across the board, but they are not, they vary widely from brand to brand and from item to item. As an example, a lens I have often looked at with interest is the Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art, which has been available at a pretty much unchanged price here of £571 for a long time. I thought I could get it much cheaper grey, but in fact the lowest grey price I have found is £549.99, hardly any saving, and that is from the same seller that I bought the Canon 35 mm macro from, at the much reduced price already discussed. In fact the Sigma is presently available from reputable dealer Mifsuds in the UK for £548, lower than the grey price.

    In general, there are much bigger savings to be made by buying Canon grey than for Sigma. I conclude that this is because there is much more regional price variation in Canon. This is consistent with Canon's structure, where Canon inc Japan makes the products and sells them on to the largely independent regional distributors (e.g. Canon UK) who are then free to decide what price they will charge to retailers. Asian distributors appear to charge their retailers much lower prices than Canon UK or US for example and that is where the grey importers buy their stock.
    I think this may well contribute significantly to the variation. Possibly by having regional distributors creates pricing more on what the market can stand rather than a fixed profit margin

    Sent from my XT1032 using Tapatalk

  8. #18

    Default Re: Lens prices....how much!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by tigerburnie View Post
    Excuse my ignorance, but if I buy a Canon lens from Hongkong or Japan, will I get an import tax bill when it arrives in the uk?
    In short terms yes you should but it is not unknown for the item to be misdescribed to avoid paying the VAT on import. If that is the case it is your liabilty to do so. If you do not subsequently declare and pay the VAT due to HMRC you may have committed an offence

    Sent from my XT1032 using Tapatalk

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Lens prices....how much!!!

    Generally speaking the end customer doesn't receive the item direct from Hongkong or wherever. The importers have some sort of base in the UK or elsewhere in the EU and items are despatched to the customer from there. It is therefore not the responsibility of the end user to pay taxes, but the importer. So many items enter the country in this way that I'm sure HMRC must keep a close eye on them. I think the importers probably have one delivery a week or similar, with all the items ordered together, and then send out the items to the customers. In the case of HDEW at least, you can arrange to collect your item from their office if you wish.

    When I've bought items supplied from outside the EU and sent directly to me, there are two scenarios. In most cases, such as those from Amazon Marketplace suppliers, all taxes are paid and documented. In others, where I've ordered direct from the supplier, I've had a letter in the post informing me of how much tax is due, I've paid it via the internet and received the parcel a day or two later with a label stuck on the outside stating that taxes have been paid. Suppliers should always make it clear when you order if they will pay the taxes or not.

    Over the years Canon, and others, have tried to make cases in both EU and US courts to prevent anyone other than their authorised distributors from importing their products, but the courts have always rejected their arguments. They might not like it, but it isn't illegal.
    EOS 6D, 5D Mk II, 80D, 70D, 100D, 200D. Canon 10-18, 18 - 55, 55 - 250 IS STM lenses, Canon 16 - 35 mm F4L, 35 mm EF-S macro, 50 mm F1.8 STM, 60 mm EF-S macro, MPE-65 macro, 85 mm F1.8, 200 mm F2.8 L II, Sigma 24 - 35 F2 Art, 135 mm F1.8 Art, 17 - 50 F2.8 DC, 105 mm OS macro, 100 - 400 C, 150 - 600 C.

  10. #20

    Default Re: Lens prices....how much!!!

    Looking at Canon’s sales and profits, their argument would be commercially their policy works. Also we lose sight of historical norms. List price of mark 1 EOS 1d was £4995 19 years ago. Canon 50mm f1.0 sold for £2799 in 1989 so I would say their prices are largely in line with these levels. I shoot nearly entirely preowned myself as Canon kit is very reliable, shoot 200mm f1.8 and 28-80mm f2.8-4 and they still work perfectly.

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