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Customer Discussions > Photography forum

Best time of year to buy camera or lenses

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Showing 1-13 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 7, 2012, 4:24:37 PM PST
Ann F says:
Hi, all,

Is there a time of year that's better than others for buying a camera or lenses?

Is the holiday season good or is it better to wait until the new year or after CES in mid-January?


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2012, 9:54:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2012, 9:57:49 PM PST
®ichard says:
Usually when a new model comes out and the previous one gets a good discount. Otherwise most consumer models (nikon as a reference the D5100 price has been falling for a few months now) comes in the fall winter season. Price don't drop too much until it ages (a slow progressive yearly price drop). Black Friday and Christmas, some retailer might package some deals and give a small discount, just to get consumers from the other retailers, but it usually the cheaper models. Pro-model cameras hardy ever go on sale, unless it is getting old in the tooth.

For lenses, I follow Nikon/nikkor, sigma, tamron and tokina. My price references starts around 2010. Prices raised across the board when the tsunami took out Japan a few years ago. Tokina 11-16 was $599 and became 659, Sigma 85mm 1.4 went up to 959. Nikkor lenses all went too. Now the Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 is back to 599 (also they have more expensive version too). The Sigma 85mm 1.4 dropped to 900. Tamron stayed the same as their lenses were mostly cheaper in general. Tamron newer models are getting better VR/VC and/or better autofocusing. Those lenses are more expensive, but you are paying for new features. Nikon prices dropped on some models but most are still up there. I remembered getting the nikkor 18-200vr for 650 before 2010 and now it is still around 850. So, the same as camera, older lens models dropped back to pre-tsunami price and the newer models (new features added) are even more expensive. Camera gears inflation seem to happen every new generation. Tamron has mail in rebates all the time. Tokina and sigma, I don't see much or at all. Nikon lenses deals are better when you get them as a combo with a new camera body. Nikkor lenses don't really go on sale. Nikon locked their prices fairly good, the saving from one retailer to another is very small. Great deals are probably grey market products that people might not read the fine print.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012, 4:51:07 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012, 4:53:32 AM PST
Neo Lee says:
Not sure when but every now and then, Canon would sell the EF-S 55-250mm lens for about $40 after instant rebate if you add it with a Canon DSLR in the cart and check out together. Check the DSLR camera you want to buy, and just below the price, there should be rebates information. Back in July 2010, I got this lens ($200 retail) for $10 after rebate.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012, 9:02:45 AM PST
S. Owens says:
It probably varies but I got my Canon T3 w/ 18-55mm here for $435 right after Christmas and haven't seen it sold for less since then. As for lenses I think it's all over the place. I say the EF-S 55-250 for about $140 as a Gold Box special before Christmas but when I ordered my camera it was back up to around $200 even as part of the camera kit. Since that time I've seen it offered with some big discounts when purchased with a new camera but I did manage to get it here for $149 last August.

Although it doesn't help if you want it NOW or don't like shopping for it I'll say that if you can find the lower price for it and then wait it out it may come back around before too long.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012, 7:44:14 PM PST
Neo Lee says:
"Canon T3 w/ 18-55mm here for $435 right after Christmas and haven't seen it sold for less since then."

It has always been on sale on eBay for $399-410 with free shipping. That is brand new by top-rated sellers.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2012, 5:53:01 PM PST
brad-man says:
If you go to and click on a lens model you're interested in, then go nearly to the bottom of the page you will find a price history graph which will show you the past pricing trend for that lens. Knowing the past prices, coupled with an eye on present pricing, will allow you to know "a good deal" when you see one. Keep in mind that the graph shows the historical "retail" prices of the lenses. Usually someone has a "better deal", particularly if you don't mind gray market products.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012, 12:54:11 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 10, 2012, 1:09:54 AM PST
Neo Lee says:
Or better yet, install PriceBlink extension on whatever browser you're using. It automatically and instantly checks the best prices and price history of the product as soon as you open a page related to the product. Plus, it works with all kinds of products. It will save you a lot of money.

Just a friendly reminder, don't just buy from a shop that offers the best price. 42nd Street Photo shop, for instance, is known for bait-and-switch scams, and PriceBlink often lists it as having the best price. Just stick with the reputable shops and top-rated eBay sellers. In case of doubt, find the store review on

Posted on Nov 10, 2012, 5:56:33 AM PST
Ann F says:
Thank you so much, everybody, for all your help! This is great info and I appreciate it so much.

Posted on Nov 23, 2012, 3:31:06 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 23, 2012, 3:31:35 PM PST]

Posted on Nov 24, 2012, 5:53:18 AM PST
got mayo?™ says:
Really good bundles yesterday and likely this weekend . Check out

My brother got a canon t3i w/ kit lens bundle with an extra lens, tripod, bag , 16gb stick and more for what is usually the base price of the camera on sale.

Posted on Nov 24, 2012, 10:42:33 AM PST
®ichard says:
There were bunch of sales on black Friday. nikon lenses were a few hundreds off. The d7000 with 18-105 was 999, still is at my local camera store. There were sale on camcorders too, so people just got to look at the ads.

I use to check out price of all items, and you can get alert if it drops to a price you listed.

Posted on Feb 23, 2013, 2:03:07 PM PST
I bought a T3i after watching the ads and looking in craigslist for a long time, probably at least 6 months. Best deal I found was at Sears on Black Friday. I glad I took that deal because I haven't found a better deal since. I like that T3i so much I am now looking for a "weather sealed" 7D. On craigslist the prices for used cameras aren't much lower than the prices for new cameras.

Posted on Feb 23, 2013, 8:24:05 PM PST
The best time to buy a camera or lens is when you want to take photos. You can always make more money, but you can never get the time back you could be out taking photographs and not shopping. If you need it, buy it, it really is that simple.
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Discussion in:  Photography forum
Participants:  9
Total posts:  13
Initial post:  Nov 7, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 23, 2013

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