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Canon announces production of 90 millionth EF lens

By dpreview staff on May 29, 2013 at 09:42 GMT
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Canon has announced that it has now produced 90 million EF lenses since the launch of the EOS system in 1987. The proliferation of digital SLRs has seen a rapid increase in lens production in recent years, and the company's 90 millionth lens - an EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM - was manufactured on May 23 2013, just over 9 months after its 80 millionth. The company's lens lineup currently consists of no fewer than 84 models, ranging from the inexpensive EF 50mm f/1.8 II to high-end exotica such as the recently-announced EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x - the world's first SLR lens with a built-in switchable teleconverter.

Press release:

Canon Celebrates Significant Milestone with the Production of 90 Million EF Interchangeable Lenses

MELVILLE, N.Y., May 29, 2013 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced its parent company, Canon Inc., has reached a new lens-manufacturing milestone with the production of its 90-millionth EF-series interchangeable lens for EOS cameras. Canon turned out its 90-millionth lens, an EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM (released in September 2012), on May 23, 2013.

The production of interchangeable EF lenses for Canon EOS-series AF (autofocus) single-lens reflex film cameras began in 1987 at the Company’s Utsunomiya Plant.  Since that time, supported by a wide range of users, demand has steadily increased and production has expanded. Today, Canon produces EF lenses at four of the Company’s manufacturing bases, including Canon Inc., Taiwan; Canon Opto (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.; and Oita Canon Inc. in southern Japan.

EF lens production surpassed the 10-million-unit mark in 1995, doubled to 20 million lenses in 2001, and went on to reach 30 million units in 2006 and 40 million units in 2008. Afterward, due to the rapid spread of EOS digital SLR cameras, production of EF lenses gained further momentum, crossing the 50-million-unit threshold in 2009, reaching 60 million units in January 2011, and hitting the 70-million-unit mark in October of the same year. In August 2012, lens production reached 80 million units and now, a little over nine months later, the company commemorates its latest manufacturing milestone of 90 million lenses.

Canon’s proprietary EF lenses, launched in March 1987 along with the EOS SLR camera system, have continued to evolve since their introduction, leading the industry through the incorporation of a wide range of innovative technologies, including the Ultrasonic Motor (USM), Image Stabilizer (IS) technology, a multi-layered diffractive optical (DO) element, and Subwavelength Structure Coating (SWC) anti-reflection technology.

With the introduction in May this year of the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x, super-telephoto zoom lens with a built-in 1.4x extender that makes possible a 200-560 mm focal length range, along with EF Cinema Lenses for digital cinematography, Canon’s extensive EF lens-series lineup now comprises a total of 84 models.1

Canon will continue refining its diverse imaging technologies based on its core optical technologies, striving to produce exceptional and reliable lenses and cameras that cater to the varying needs of photographers—from first-time users to advanced amateurs and professionals—while contributing to expanding the photographic and video imaging culture.

1Including two EF lens extenders and three models available outside of Japan. As of May 29, 2013.

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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM


Total comments: 18
By GordonAtWork (10 months ago)

Whatever you think, that image of all the lenses is mighty impressive.

Hooman  Khosravi
By Hooman Khosravi (11 months ago)

Canon is doing very well in Lens and even updating them , but They forget to work on Sensor Technology seriously, They are really behind in that area , Specially in APSC format.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
By MediaDigitalVideo (11 months ago)

Produced is not the same as selling. What's in stock by Canon factory and dealers ?

Donnie G
By Donnie G (11 months ago)

Congratulations Canon! Also, it's great to see the haters posting in force because it validates that Canon is still at the top of its game. Can hardly wait to hear the howls from the haters when Canon reaches that 100th million lens milestone in February or March of next year.

By massimogori (11 months ago)

Many haters, Donnie, left Canon for better makers. I am just one of these.

By mpgxsvcd (11 months ago)

They have been hard at work producing as many lenses as possible and not really making their cameras any better. They know that so many users are stuck with a bag full of their lenses so they will never switch to any other brand.

By meland (11 months ago)

Good grief, there seem to be some extraordinarily negative people posting here - or is it a group exercise for a 'Sarcasm for Beginners' Class?

By massimogori (11 months ago)

Recent announcement of the EF 200-400?!!!! Come on! There's an article here on dpreview sayng that Canon was developing that lens. It dates back to Feb. 2011!!!!

We are talking here of the daily business of Canon, not about complicated stuff like lens caps and fakefirmware updates.

Hope they set the price high enough to recover the huge development efforts required to put a converter on the back of a lens.

1 upvote
By Vadimka (11 months ago)

I don't know... It's smells kind of fishy...
Based on the mathematical progression that they are giving us, it does look like they will reach 100m lenses sale in like few month time...
So why make a big deal of this meager 90m number.
Or maybe it's just a marketing trick, seeing how much sales they lost to Mirrorless competitors.
Or is it like, hey look at us, yes we didn't make anything innovative in the past 10 years, but boy, do we like to recycle our 27 years old lens lineup in order to turn a better profit.

1 upvote
By MarshallG (11 months ago)

Clearly, there are plenty of excellent quality second-hand lenses to be found!

1 upvote
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (11 months ago)

Let’s be honest: the vast majority of those 90 million were not so much lenses as lens-shaped objects constructed of plastic and tape.

By match14 (11 months ago)

Are Canon lenses that poorly made?

By Limbsjones (11 months ago)

Poor environment...half of those 90mill are going to be in a landfill somewhere at somepoint

By onlooker (11 months ago)

I hope you do not own any computers since they have a much shorter lifespan than lenses - by far. I guess you have sent this message via carrier pigeon.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
By JEROME NOLAS (11 months ago)

So that's why we still don't have a decent APS-C compact?

1 upvote
By qianp2k (11 months ago)

SL1/100D is a decent compact APS-C DSLR, the world smallest DSLR and ready to use all these EF/EF-S lenses. You didn't say mirrorless.

By Combatmedic870 (11 months ago)


For the price, the sl1 should have the 60D's inards, not the t4i's.

By mpgxsvcd (11 months ago)

Since the T4i has the T2i innards you should have said "For the price, the sl1 should have the 60D's inards, not the t2i's".

1 upvote
Total comments: 18