The "white" color on some "L" lenses

Started Jan 19, 2006 | Discussions thread
OP Doug Kerr Forum Pro • Posts: 20,898
Canon sez

Hi, Gang,

I just received the following from Chuck Westfall of Canon USA:


Interestingly, Canon has not officially named the color(s) that have been used over the years for its "white" lenses. This specification is never listed for current EF lenses, even in our internal technical documentation. However, the first "white" Canon lens was the FD600mm f/4.5 S.S.C., which was announced in July of 1976. At that time, Canon Inc. described the lens barrel color as "Silver Grey." They said that the new finish was selected due to the suggestions of professional photographers who felt that the lighter color would absorb less heat than a black lens barrel, thus reducing the likelihood of condensation in humid environments. Over time, the color of subsequent "white" lenses became brighter and slightly warmer in tint than the FD600mm, but the functionality has remained the same. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, our "white" lenses were often outnumbered by the black lenses of our competitors at sporting events. But ever since the mid-1990s with the introduction of the EOS-1N and its successors, Canon has gained the #1 position in market share and our "white" lenses have become the norm rather than the exception among professional photographers worldwide.

I think it was the "Silver Grey" name I was reaching for, but it is no longer really apt.

Many thanks so much to Chuck for this information.

Best regards,


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