Canon celebrates another milestone 150 million EF and RF lenses
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Canon celebrates another milestone 150 million EF and RF lenses

Canon is celebrating a new milestone, 150 million EF lenses.  That's well, alot of lenses ;)

I actually did some digging being the camera nerd I am, and here's how Canon has faired on these milestones over the years.  The dates for 10 and 20 million EF lenses are estimated to the month since no one cared back then.  I'm going by announcement date, because in reality, Canon never really gave the official date of when that momentous lens was produced (usually only the month).  So it's probably only accurate to around +/- 5 to 10 days.

Date Milestone (millions) Approx Days to Accomplish
01/01/95 10 2618
02/01/01 20 2223
01/19/06 30 1813
04/28/08 40 830
01/29/10 50 641
02/07/11 60 374
10/18/11 70 253
08/21/12 80 308
05/09/13 90 261
04/30/14 100 356
07/08/15 110 434
09/08/16 120 428
10/17/17 130 404
12/19/18 140 428
02/01/21 150 775

For the more visual, here's a chart!

What causes the pause on this milestone from the 140 million? Quite possibly the amount of slowdown in both factories and supply chains because of COVID-19, and the amount of new RF lenses that were put into the pipeline.

Canon USA's press release;

Canon Celebrates Significant Milestone with Production of 150 Million Interchangeable RF And EF Lenses

MELVILLE, NY, February 3, 2021– Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced today that its parent company, Canon Inc., reached a new lens-manufacturing milestone with the production in January 2021, of the Company’s 150-millionth RF and EF series interchangeable lens for EOS cameras1— an RF70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM telephoto zoom lens (released 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 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-end2, all of the RF and EF lenses Canon has manufactured thus far would measure approximately 7,736 miles in length — nearly equivalent to the Earth’s diameter, which measures approximately 7,917 miles.

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 firsts3 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 models4, expanding the possibilities for image capture. In addition, thanks to the extensive lineup of lenses, Canon has maintained the number one market share for digital interchangeable-lens cameras since 2003 — a total of 17 years5— 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.

Model name &

Release date

Main features and technologies

EF300mm f/2.8L USM6

Nov. 1987

World’s first7 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 USM8

Sept. 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 superb image stabilization results, this technology expands the possibilities for handheld photography.


EF400mm f/4 DO IS USM9

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 first10 use of Subwavelength Structure Coating (SWC)

SWC technology helps to minimize 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 an 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

July 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 superb image-quality performance


RF28-70mm F2 L USM Dec. 2018

World’s first11 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.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions to the United States and to Latin America and the Caribbean markets. With approximately $30.4 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents granted in 2020† and is one of Fortune Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies in 2020. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company's RSS news feed by visiting and follow us on Twitter @CanonUSA. 

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