Melville, NY—Canon Inc. is celebrating a new lens manufacturing milestone. In January 2021, the company produced its 150 millionth RF and EF series interchangeable lens for Canon EOS cameras. What’s more, marking that milestone was the production of the Canon RF70–200mm f/2.8 L IS USM telephoto zoom lens (announced in November 2019).
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. Over the years, EF lenses gained support from a range of users. As a result, production expanded to a total of four manufacturing bases, including Canon Inc., Taiwan; Canon Opto (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd; and Oita Canon Inc. in southern Japan.
EF Lens Milestone
Canon EF lens production passed the 10 million unit mark in 1995; moreover, it crossed the 50 million unit threshold in 2009. In April 2014, the company celebrated its first-in-the-world achievement of manufactured 100 million interchangeable lenses.
Now, setting a new world record for the most interchangeable lenses produced, Canon manufactured its 150 millionth RF and EF lens in January 2021. What’s more, laid end-to-end, all of the RF and EF lenses Canon has manufactured thus far would measure approximately 7,736 miles in length. That’s nearly equivalent to Earth’s diameter, which measures approximately 7,917 miles.
Canon’s proprietary EF lenses launched in March 1987 with the EOS SLR camera system. The lenses have continued to evolve since their introduction, incorporating innovative technologies. These include such firsts as the Ultrasonic Motor (USM); Image Stabilizer (IS) technology; as well as a multilayered diffractive optical (DO) element.
Furthermore, in 2018, Canon introduced the EOS R mirrorless system and the RF series lenses. This system “pursues new heights of quality under the core concept of ‘Speed, Comfort and High Image Quality,’” Canon announced.
Today, the company’s RF and EF lens lineup comprises a total of 118 models. “In addition, thanks to the extensive lineup of lenses, Canon has also maintained the number one market share for digital interchangeable-lens cameras since 2003—a total of 17 years,” the company added.
Additionally, in September 2019, Canon celebrated the production of 100 million EOS-series interchangeable-lens cameras.