Price rises across the board in the UK photographic world
The devaluation of the pound sterling has had a dramatic effect on the photographic industry. Apart from Billingham bags, Classic Cases and a few other accessories, almost everything we buy for our hobby is imported and subject to the sterling rate of exchange.
Most of the big camera manufacturers have already raised their prices by up to 15 percent and those that haven't will have to do so soon. Olympus, Panasonic, Canon, Nikon, Sony, they've all taken action to account for the pound's devaluation. However, there has been no news from Leica. I am sure a revised price list isn't far away.
I have mentioned this before: If you are wanting a camera or lens now is the time to grab it. When the Leica Q (if you can get one) is cheaper than the Sony RX1 then the writing is well and truly on the price tag.
Sadly some of the more popular items, such as the Q, are probably almost beyond redemption. Order one now and you might find the price has risen before you take delivery. It's frustrating but there has been plenty of evidence since June that swingeing price increases on all imported camera gear were in the offing.
Some of this price inflation will percolate downwards to second-hand equipment, especially to classic Leicas and bodies. One of the clear responses to the falling pound is that European and other foreign buyers have been descending on British dealers like locusts. Secondhand stuff of all ages has been disappearing rapidly in the direction of UPS and this will continue until prices reach equilibrium. Buying in used M3 bodies, for instance, will become more expensive—think of the Bièvres photo fair in France and the extra cost of everything in sterling terms when next year’s event comes round. All this will mean higher prices across the board.
If you are sitting pretty on a hoard of lenses and bodies my best advice is to continue keeping them under your rump. Whatever you already own will go up in value. It is better to have £5,000-worth of Leica lenses on the shelf than cash in the bank at today's non-existent interest rates.