I've been reading (and drooling over) about the new lenses that Canon is releasing (and has released in the past couple of years).
I must admit that the most common reaction that I come across is the (understandable) disappointment over the $ and € price increases over these products.
One common comment is that Canon is "taking advantage" of its dominant position in the market and increasing the prices of its lenses in order to "rake it in"...
So, I decided to separate the facts from the myth and took a short **EDIT it ended up being not short at all! /EDIT** visit to the "Canon Lens Museum" in order to take a look at historical prices of the EF lens lineup (**EDIT and for historical context I looked at the New DF, FD, FL, R and S mount lens price histories /EDIT**).
I sampled the price of a few lenses (all f/2.8L except for one **EDIT - My charts now contain all lenses that have history of more than 2 models over their lifetime - EDIT**) that have had different iterations/updates over the years to determine exactly how "outrageous" the price increases have been.
Surprise, surprise! The latest versions have actually had the smallest price increases (ave % price increase per year) compared to their previous brethren...
Of course, it doesn't change the fact that the new lenses are expensive, but what I conclude from my short "research" is that Canon is not really at fault here, but rather the exchange rates. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, the Japanese Yen has been very strong compared to other currencies.
Of course people will use electronics prices (also Japanese made) to "prove" that my point is wrong, but don't forget that glass is glass and does not follow Moore's Law. Glass does not get smaller/faster/cheaper every 24 months...
I hope you find this interesting. I thought it was so I decided to share...
<EDIT - UPDATED 04.08.2014 >
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/oiGoDE Canon WA by Andrikos, on Flickr
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/oiGoEw Canon Normal by Andrikos, on Flickr
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/oAarp1 Canon MTele by Andrikos, on Flickr
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/ozZdj5 Canon LTele by Andrikos, on Flickr
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/ozVu9g Canon STele by Andrikos, on Flickr
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/oiGE7x Canon Special by Andrikos, on Flickr
PS I'll be updating this regularly, so feel free to come back and revisit the new data.