Zeiss Slashes Prices of Three Lenses Following Sigma Lens Announcement

Zeiss Slashes Prices of Three Lenses Following Sigma Lens Announcement

Following Sigma's announcement this morning of four new lenses, Zeiss slashed prices by up to nearly $1,000 on three of their popular full-frame lenses — all without even knowing the price Sigma will charge for its new lenses.

Right now, you can get Zeiss' 15mm f/2.8, 18mm f/3.5, and 135mm f/2 for $951, $400, and $623 less, respectively, than you could yesterday. Needless to say, Zeiss' lenses aren't cheap to start with, but these are still significant discounts over the usual prices.

DxOMark recently placed Sigma's 85mm f/1.4 Art lens above Zeiss' record-holding Otus. Say what you will about lab tests, but it's becoming more and more apparent that we no longer have to sacrifice image quality for price. Sigma's still-untested newest lenses are likely to set new records, as the 14mm f/1.8 already does on its feature combination alone.

[via NikonRumors]

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27 Comments

But at $2000, $1000 and $1500 they're still pretty pricey. Competition is always nice though

See, that's what happens when you have real competition.

maybe. but it's more likely the price drop was already planned and happened to coincide with Sigma's announcement

Adam Ottke's picture

That could have been the case. But the more I thought about it, the more unlikely that became. Yes, it's CP+. But on the other hand, a lot of brands wouldn't discount a product days before a new potential announcement (seeing as that would be the only reasonable reason for the timing of the price drop – they know what week it is...), but would instead wait until right after or at the time of announcing product replacements. Alternatively, discounting to clear inventory before an announcement, brands normally discount weeks or months ahead of planned replacements. So whether or not there is a replacement for any of these lenses from Zeiss, the timing just doesn't make much sense unless it's a direct response to something else (like the Sigma announcement). That's my thinking...

@Ben W Extremely unlikely. Consider that Zeiss is a premium brand. Nothing would have prevented them from announcing this at a different time. As a premium brand they could have simply ignored Sigma, like most premium brands tend to do with the competition, and announced it at a later date.

No, what you have going on is Zeiss being forced into the position of acknowledging the great lens company that Sigma has become. That, in my opinion, is bigger news than Sigma's announcement of another very likely great set of lenses.

Vanity Check's picture

This is most likely what's happened. It's like the fashion retail industry, as a business you purchase x amount of inventory and expect x amount of profit. Ussually this profit is met within the first 25% of the lifespan of the product through the first few sales of the product. After that, anything extra is good but it allows businesses to slash prices and do all sorts of trickery to "stimulate" competition or even to rebutle other products.This is the case in almost all industries.

Nick Murden's picture

I love the fact Sigma is upending the business of lenses. Although fairly new to photography, I had already become bit of a lens snob, always looking to sport the red ring when I could. I have 3 Art lenses, all of which have absolutely blown me away to the point I don't get the red ring out, unless shooting with 70-200 (which I love). I feel like the 'old guard' have gotten away with having marginally superior lenses, but an unjustifiably high mark up, perhaps due to prestige and heritage. Sigma will force their hand, and bring them down to earth (I hope). I'm also now interested in acquiring a Zeiss lens, so it seems everyone could win - me, Sigma and Zeiss.

The amazing part of the great Sigma story is that they were never a premium manufacturer. It seems that once they started dabbling with making their own cameras offering the Foveon X3 sensor the attitude in the company changed, since those cameras required incredible lenses to be able to realize the incredible resolution offered by that amazing sensor. From that point on Sigma set out to make incredible lenses and not too long after introduced their fantastic Art series of lenses. Sigma right now is by far the most impressive company in the industry. They deserve all the accolades and praise. A truly great and impressive story.

Nick Murden's picture

I couldn't agree more Peter. What's more, I was quite early in making my purchases, and when going back to see what else is in stock, I often see they're out of stock. Could this mean that sales are astronomical?

It depends on the number of initial shipments from Sigma. That said, I don't think anyone would doubt that Sigma is killing it in the lens category.

Michael Aubrey's picture

Didn't touch the prices of the Milivus versions, just the Classic. So if you want real weather sealing...

Travis Alex's picture

The state of the photography industry is really interesting right now. Third party lens companies are making superior products for better prices. Mirrorless is changing the game and shaking things up. Nikon is suffering heavy losses. Canon is trying desperatly to get into the mirrorless game. Fuji is getting into Medium Format. GoPro is on the rise again. Drones are hot ticket items. Film photography is making strives to be as strong as ever. Old film lenses are becoming useful again.

I especially love this because its now a big push for companies to either 1. Step their game up, or 2. Bring prices down to compete. Nikons price on their 70-200 version 3 is priced not to sell. So its Sony's full frame 70-200 Full Frame E Mount.

To be fair Fujifilm was a big time veteran of medium format film cameras. I owned one myself. Incredible camera with an incredible lens.

Kyle Medina's picture

Yeah on the annoucenment page somebody thought Sigma releasing a 70-200 Art would be dumb. Um hello Nikons is $2700!! They create one for $1500 it would destroy Nikon's sales!! Even Canon. As you can see, it already causing Zeiss to react.

Eric Lefebvre's picture

I own the current (non-art) Sigma 70-200 f2.8

When it came time to buy a 70-200, I decided to rent the Canon and Sigma versions for testing for a week-end.

My verdict was that the Canon was better than the Sigma ... but not 1200$ better. The sigma was 1400$ while the canon lens was 2600$.

My prices are in Canadian funds.

I'd shot a lot with the Canon 70-200 f2.8 (rented it about 20 times for weddings) and I have zero complaints with the Sigma.

The sigma focuses a little slower, the optics while still great are not quite as good as the canon lens, no weather sealing, the focus and zoom rings are reversed. Just minor little things really.

So (while I am not in the market for a new 70-200 lens) I'm kind of excited to see what they come up with for the 70-200 art.

Now if Sigma could get into the low cost Cine lens market. :)

David Vaughn's picture

If you think Sony's e-mount 70-200 is expensive just look at their a-mount. $3000 for a mediocre Minolta optical formula from 2003.

The prices of Sony's lenses is hilarious, as are their sizes. When that range launched I thought they were advertising portability. Look at an a7 with any of those G master lenses on them. Proposterous.

You can't beat the physics...

Kyle Medina's picture

Exactly. A lot people don't understand this. I see it to often.

Paulo Macedo's picture

Pretty much what Intel will do with the i7 lineup 6900K and so on, after AMD Ryzen is out.
Hence you have a true competition, with lower prices, you end up lowering your prices too.

Usman Dawood's picture

I don't know if this is directly due to Sigma releases. Based on the conversations I've been having with some people "in the know" they were planning on reducing the price of their classic lenses regardless. People are leaning more towards paying for the Milvus line as opposed to their classic range. They're planning on stopping production of their classic range eventually and it makes sense to drop prices now.

Adam Ottke's picture

That makes sense. But it's not like the Milvus line came out yesterday. Sigma's lenses did. That timing...hmm.

Usman Dawood's picture

The timing is a little suspect lol. I think it may have just given them that extra push towards dropping their prices :P.

jean pierre (pete) guaron's picture

Everyone is free to love or hate whatever they want to. I tried two of Sigma's ART lenses - the 24mm and the 50mm. The 24mm was a dud, and I traded it in. The 50mm is fine, but the Otus 55mm is better - as long as you don't care about AF and you don't mind the extra weight. Having wasted hundreds of dollars on the 24mm ART, I don't care to consider Sigma's attempts at pushing Zeiss's 85mm Otus off the stage - once bitten, twice shy.

(The 24mm had shocking focus issues - theoretically capable of "correction" at my end by shoving the back focus adjustment out to practically the full limit on my cams, but it was an inadequate solution. After trying their "dock" which is supposed to help you correct their lenses, and begging the experts in two pro camera shops for help, I simply abandoned it as a lost cause).

Quality costs - and you get what you pay for. In general I'd accept the DxO test results. On this one, I'd prefer to try both for myself, before I decided to take the ART 85mm ahead of the Otus 85mm. Apart from any other consideration, some of the issues DxO tests for stop short of all the things I love about my Otus lenses - it's not just "technical" superiority that I look for, there are aesthetics involved too, and they can NOT be tested for.

It is a good move for Zeiss. Nikon and Canon should permanently lower their prices on their lens as well. Why customers have to buy an inferior lens just because of brand loyalty? I bought sigma 35 f/1.4 for nikon last week. I just couldn't wait Nikon to release the next 35mm f/1.4 (it may take them year to do that).

Zeiss is a big company. Nothing happens in big companies that fast.

Morris Erickson's picture

This is not a major incident. Zeiss is closing out the last of the "classic" lenses for the Milvus line. The same optics with new housing and (perhaps) updated element coating. You can compare tests and charts all day, but a Zeiss image for sight is like listening to music with the depth of a tube amplifier. There is a price for the difference if you can sense it - the worth is subjective. Zeiss is worried about Sigma like BMW is worried about Toyota because it can go just as fast - yes it can, but the experience is different.

The 15mm is a bargain if you don't need to use Lee filters. The 135mm is arguably one of the five best lenses ever produced.