Black Friday Deals on DSLRs and Lenses – Not Really So Much of a Deal

So before the foolishness starts, I would like to take this moment to point out to anyone looking to score a nice deal on a photography / DSLR / lens present for themselves or others… that the majority of photography related “deals” that occur on black friday are no such thing.

The prices are often exactly the same if not more than what you would have paid a couple of months ago.

Which sounds confusing… how can it be a “sale” if it’s not actually discounted?

In the world of photography gear, Canon Nikon and Sony all have strict pricing policies that simply do not allow for genuine discounts. This is why B&H and Adorama offer cash back deals.

What Nikon, Canon, and Sony actually do is set a manufacturer price. That is not the regular price, but rather the highest possible price that you’ll pay at official firsthand dealers.


The Canon 50mm f/1.4 has an official price of $400.

It is normally discounted from that price by $50 to $70. Meaning at any other time of the year the price for this lens ranges from $330 to $350.

Now with the $100 discount being offered now… that brings the price to $300.

A $30, or ~ 10%, discount.

As an aside, the Canon 50mm f/1.4 is one of the few lenses that get a genuine discount during the holiday period. This is due to the fact that the lens design is something like 20 years old now and costs Canon little on a per unit basis to produce. Other newer lenses like the 35mm do not get genuine discounts, but simply bounce around inside a general price band that still allows Canon to produce the newer expensive designs at a profit.

But back to the point!

The official price is NOT the normal price.

There is almost always a discount.

It is the discount amount that varies and unless you’ve been paying attention for a serious length of time you need to be very careful about what you buy during these Black Friday sales.

Last year I saw the prices of several Canon lenses (like the Canon 50mm f/1.2) actually INCREASE by $50 during the “sale”.

What I’m trying to say is pay attention and don’t fall for the hype.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.