Canon celebrates significant milestone with production of 150 million interchangeable RF and EF lenses

4 February, 2021

National, February 04th, 2021— Canon announced today the achievement of a new lens-manufacturing milestone with the production on January, 2021, of the Company’s 150-millionth RF and EF series interchangeable lens for EOS cameras—an RF70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM telephoto zoom lens (released in November 2019).

Production of interchangeable RF and 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, RF and EF lenses have gained support from a wide range of users and production has since 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 production passed the 10-million-unit mark in 1995 and crossed the 50-million-unit threshold in 2009. In April 2014, the Company celebrated its first-in-the-world achievement of having manufactured 100 million interchangeable lenses, and now, setting a new world record for the most interchangeable lenses produced, Canon manufactured its 150-millionth RF and EF lens in January 2021. Laid end-to-end, all of the RF and EF lenses Canon has manufactured thus far would measure approximately 12,450 km in length—nearly equivalent to the Earth’s diameter, which measures approximately 12,742 km.

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 such world’s firsts as the Ultrasonic Motor (USM), Image Stabilizer (IS) technology, and a multilayered diffractive optical (DO) element. 

In 2018, Canon introduced the EOS R system and the RF series lenses, which pursues new heights of quality under the core concept of, “Speed, Comfort and High Image Quality.” Today, the Company’s extensive RF and EF lens series lineup currently comprises a total of 118 models, expanding the possibilities of image capture. In addition, thanks to the support provided by its rich lineup of lenses, Canon has maintained the No.1 market share for digital interchangeable-lens cameras since 2003—a total of 17 years—and in September 2019, the Company celebrated the production of 100 million EOS-series interchangeable-lens cameras.

Canon will continue refining its imaging technologies centered on its RF and EF lens lineup, striving to 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.

Canon EF lenses equipped with the world’s-first technologies

Model name & Release date Main features and technologies
EF300mm f/2.8L USM Nov. 1987 World’s first use of a lens-based Ultrasonic Motor (USM)
USM technology delivers fast autofocusing thanks to its high torque and responsiveness. By converting ultrasonic vibrations into rotational energy, the technology makes possible quiet, smooth AF drive performance.
EF75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Sep. 1995 World’s first7 use of Image Stabilizer (IS) technology
Users can see the results of IS technology through the viewfinder. Delivering high precision and stability for exceptional image stabilization results, this technology expands the possibilities for handheld photography.
EF400mm f/4 DO IS USM Dec. 2001 World’s first7 use of a diffractive optical (DO) lens element
Diffraction is an optical phenomenon in which light waves bend as they pass around the edges of an object. DO lens elements use this phenomenon to correct for a variety of aberrations by controlling the path that light travels.
EF24mm f/1.4L II USM Dec. 2008 World’s first use of Subwavelength Structure Coating (SWC)
SWC technology minimizes reflections by aligning countless wedge-shaped structures more minute than the wavelength of visible light on the surface of a camera lens.
EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Oct. 2009 World’s first7 use of Hybrid IS, which compensates for both angle camera shake and shift camera shake
Employing a newly developed algorithm, Hybrid IS optimally adjusts for camera shake based on information gathered by two sensors located in the lens. By precisely driving the optical correction system, the technology simultaneously corrects for angle and shift camera shake.
EF8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Jul. 2011 World’s first7 fisheye lens to deliver both 180-degree diagonal angle of view and 180-degree circular fisheye
The EF8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM enables the capture of images with dramatic deformations, exaggerated perspectives and extreme depths of field, making possible images that are significantly distorted, similar to what a fish might see were it to look skyward from under the water surface.
EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x May 2013 World’s first7 super-telephoto zoom lens to employ an internal extender
Featuring a built-in 1.4x extender, the EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x’s zoom range can be expanded with a simple one-touch operation even in locations where users are unable to switch lenses.
EF11-24mm f/4L USM Feb. 2015 World’s first7 lens offering ultra-wide-angle 11 mm minimum focal length
In addition to achieving the world’s widest angle of view starting at a minimum focal length of 11 mm, the EF11-24mm f/4L USM effectively corrects for aberrations commonly associated with ultra-wide-angle lenses, delivering superior image-quality performance.
RF28-70mm F2 L USM Dec. 2018 World’s first standard zoom lens to deliver f/2 aperture across the entire zoom range
Employs a large internal mount diameter and a short back focus to realize an f/2 aperture across the entire zoom range, a feat which was considerably difficult for EF series lenses.

Reference: In pursuit of the ideal lens

The history of lenses for Canon’s EOS series of interchangeable-lens cameras began in 1987 with the release of the EOS 650, the world’s first autofocus (AF) SLR camera to employ an electronic lens mount, and the EF35-70mm f/3.5-4.5, EF35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 and EF50mm f/1.8 lenses. The EF mount utilized by the camera and lenses not only made possible highly accurate AF, but also anticipated future technological developments including digitalization, high-speed continuous shooting, image stabilization and video recording. This forward-thinking mindset has helped support photographers for more than 30 years.

Amid the transition from film cameras to digital in the 1990s, the adoption of video recording technology for DSLR cameras in the late 2000s and the Company’s entry into the video production industry the birth of the Cinema EOS System in 2012, Canon has continued to develop cameras that meet the needs of their time. Throughout this time, Canon has continued to expand the possibilities of photographic expression by producing a rich lineup of EF lenses—including zoom lenses, IS lenses, wide-aperture lenses, macro lenses and tilt-shift lenses—and a number of world-first technologies.

And now, anticipating the next 30 years of social change and technological development, Canon introduced the RF mount alongside its launch of the EOS R system in 2018. In the same year, the EOS R mirrorless camera debuted together with four RF lenses including the RF24-105 F4 L IS USM. Leveraging their characteristic large internal mount diameter of 54 mm and a short back focus, RF lenses enjoy greater freedom for lens design that makes possible new levels of high image quality and high performance in compact sizes. To date, a total of 19 RF lens models have been released. Going forward, Canon will continue its mission to expand users’ range of photographic expression as it pursues the creation of the ideal lens.

About Canon Group

Ever since its foundation in 1937, Canon is guided by the “Kyosei” philosophy of living and working together for the common good. Canon strives to create and deliver world-class products, becoming a top global corporation by diversifying into new business fields throughout the world. Focusing on optical technologies, Canon produces office equipment, consumer and professional imaging devices, network cameras, healthcare and industrial equipment. Through the close connection between its global head office in Tokyo and regional headquarters in America, Europe, Asia, Oceania and regional headquarters in Japan, Canon combines its global and local operations organically. In 1996, Canon launched its Excellent Global Corporation Plan with the goal of serving the society with advanced technologies and becoming a trustworthy and responsible corporate citizen. The year 2016 was the first year of Phase 5 of the Plan. Currently, Canon boasts a strong global presence of 376 subsidiaries all over the world, supported by 197,776 employees. (Data as of December 31, 2017)

About Canon India

Canon India Pvt. Ltd., a 100% subsidiary of Canon Singapore Pvt. Ltd., is a world leader in imaging technologies. Set up in 1997, Canon markets over 200 comprehensive range of sophisticated contemporary digital imaging products and solutions in India. The company today has offices and warehouses in 14 cities across India and employs over 1000 people and over 850 channel partners. Canon India till date has opened over 250 retailer stores accredited as “Image Square” across 100+ cities in the country. Canon India’s service reach extends to over 597 towns covering 18,978 PIN codes across India - which comprises of 200+ Camera collection points, 16 Camera repair centers, 276 Printer repair centers, 191 Copier, Scanner and Large Format Printer Sales & Service dealers. (Data as of January 13, 2021).

In sync with its corporate tagline- ‘Delighting You Always’, reinforced by World class technology, Canon offers an extended product portfolio, including copier MFDs, Managed Document Services, Printers, Document and Cheque Scanners, Digital Cameras, DSLRs, Cinematic Imaging Products catering to the multiple market segments of consumer, SME, B2B, Commercial, Government & PSUs.

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