Sony Style USA cuts lens prices

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SELECTED ALPHA system lens prices – including the 70-200mm f/2.8 SSM – have been cut on the direct sales SonyStyle website for the USA. B&H and other retailers are following suit.

SAL 70-200mm APO G SSM

Sony Style normally charges list price and has reduced the price of the 70-200mm by a substantial $400 from $2,399 to $1,999. The 16mm f/2.8 fisheye has been cut by $200, the 20mm f/2.8 by $100, and so on. The overall reduction in prices of the former Minolta designs, which are now Sony SAL lenses, brings them down to much lower than the last Minolta or Konica Minolta prices and should be reflected in price cuts on the street. On September 4th, B&H lowered their 70-200mm price to $1,899.

No change was seen today on the Sony Style UK pages. The 70-200mm was still shown at £1,573+VAT, or roughly $3,100 before tax which most UK photographers will consider to be an insult, an imposition and a blatant liberty as well as a good reason not to buy the lens.

The US price cuts may explain why some stores had a ‘recall’ of Sony stock last month, according to staff (this apparently affected the Ritz retailing group including Wolf stores, but not all outlets). One common reason for such recalls to warehouse is for the manufacturer to audit the stock, negotiate a new order for the coming year, and give credits against the higher cost of old stock (retrospective discounts). These depend on a worthwhile new order and stocking commitment, of course, they don’t just give money back! If the lens range is to be reduced in price to be more competitive with Canon and Nikon, it makes sense that some stock withdrawal would be needed before all the product returns to shelves at the new price points.

It’s good use for all Alpha owners, not so good for those who have just bought high value lenses. More competitive glass will be essential to sell the new model after its launch on Thursday this week. It could also be a sign that the second wave of Sony and Zeiss designed Alpha system lenses is just about to roll in, and realigned prices are needed to ensure these are competitive too.

No news was released to flag up the price cuts. We found out about it from a reader checking up on the list prices of some lenses they had recently bought.

– David Kilpatrick

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