Leica Raises Prices on M Lenses

It was generally known that Leica would be raising prices on M lenses (but not bodies or accessories) in January of 2012, but some reports are coming in from dealers that prices have, effective immediately - gone up. Examples of the new list prices include the Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 which went from $1,995.00 to $2,195.00, the Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH will go up from $3,695.00 to $3,995.00, and the Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH will go from $10,495.00 to $10,995.00. The letter from Leica to dealers:

Please find attached the January 1, 2012 Leica Authorized Dealer Price List which is effective immediately. We regret the need for this round of increases and have taken all prudent steps to mitigate and even avoid it. However, due to a significant rise in the cost of certain materials used to manufacture Leica lenses, Leica has been forced to increase its lens prices accordingly. The increase in costs relates in particular to certain types of speciality glass containing rare-earth materials. Rare-earth materials are also used to polish optics in the production of lens elements. Further significant increases in costs have resulted from the rise in noble metals base prices, and the cost of labor. Leica’s focus remains first and foremost on providing a premium customer experience and products of outstanding build and performance quality. The level of price increase will depend on each lens design and its production requirements.