We have discussed the cost of Leica prices here on several occasions, with the main reasons being the extremely tight tolerances that Leica applies to their equipment, and the fact that mass production is totally absent at Leica.
Quite often we can see people argue that Canon and Nikon equipment is so much less expensive, that Leica is just charging more because they established themselves as a luxury brand.
It is interesting that just recently both Nikon and Canon have proven the argument that they would have to charge similar prices like Leica if any of their equipment were made in rather limited numbers. Both companies introduced lenses which, by their very nature, cater to only a limited market. For that reason mass production does not enter the discussion. Thus the cost of these lenses is rather high.
One of the lenses is the Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS USM 1.4x lens with a cost of $11,799.00 and $649.00 for the custom case. Nikon introduced the Nikkor 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens at a cost of $17,896.95. That puts either one of these lenses solidly in the price category that Leica is so often criticized for.
Nikkor 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR
I have often argued that neither Nikon or Canon are able to perform miracles, that their equipment would sell for similar prices as Leica equipment does if it were made along the same guidelines as Leica. These two new lenses from Nikon and Canon (Nikon makes as many lenses in one day as Leica manufactures during a whole year) seem to prove that point. As a matter of fact, the high sales volume of most of their lenses allows both companies to regain the development costs of these two lenses faster than is the case with Leica, otherwise they would be even more expensive.
The old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ still is true today, and it is good to see that Leica is applying their high standards across the board.