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

4th February 2021

150 Million RF & EF lenses commemorative logo   Canon’s complete RF & EF lens series - 2021
150 Million RF & EF lenses commemorative logo / Canon’s complete RF & EF lens series – 2021

Auckland, New Zealand – 4 February 2021: Canon Inc. today announces the achievement of a new lens-manufacturing milestone with the production of the Company’s 150-millionth RF and EF1 series interchangeable lens for EOS cameras – an RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM telephoto zoom lens (released in November 2019)  occurring in January 2021.

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 in Japan. 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, Canon celebrated its world-first achievement of having manufactured 100 million interchangeable lenses. Now, Canon is setting a new world record for the most interchangeable lenses produced, with the Company manufacturing 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 (approx. 12,742 km)2.

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. These innovations include 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 line-up comprises a total of 118 models4, expanding the possibilities of image capture. In addition, thanks to the support provided by its rich line-up of lenses, Canon has maintained the No.1 global 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 line-up, 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 world’s-first technologies6

Model name & Release date Main features and technologies
EF 300mm f/2.8L USM7
Nov. 1987
World’s first8 use of a lens-based Ultrasonic Motor (USM)Lens-based Ultrasonic Motor
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.
EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM9
Sep. 1995
Image Stabilizer (IS) technologyWorld’s first8 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 stabilisation results, this technology expands the possibilities for handheld photography.
EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM10
Dec. 2001
Image Stabilizer (IS) technologyWorld’s first8 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.
EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM
Dec. 2008
Image Stabilizer (IS) technologyWorld’s first11 use of Subwavelength Structure Coating (SWC)
SWC technology minimises reflections by aligning countless wedge-shaped structures more minute than the wavelength of visible light on the surface of a camera lens.
EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
Oct. 2009
Image Stabilizer (IS) technologyWorld’s first8 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.
EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM
Jul. 2011
Image Stabilizer (IS) technologyWorld’s first8 fisheye lens to deliver both 180-degree diagonal angle of view and 180-degree circular fisheye
The EF 8-15mm 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.
EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x
May 2013
Image Stabilizer (IS) technologyWorld’s first8 super-telephoto zoom lens to employ an internal extender
Featuring a built-in 1.4x extender, the EF 200-400mm 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.
EF 11-24mm f/4L USM
Feb. 2015
Image Stabilizer (IS) technologyWorld’s first8 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 EF 11-24mm f/4L USM effectively corrects for aberrations commonly associated with ultra-wide-angle lenses, delivering superior image-quality performance.
RF 28-70mm F2 L USM
Dec. 2018
Image Stabilizer (IS) technologyWorld’s first12 standard zoom lens to deliver f/2 aperture across the entire zoom range, compatible with 35mm equivalent full-frame sensor cameras
Employs a large internal mount diameter and a short back focus to realise an f/2 aperture across the entire zoom range, a feat which was considerably difficult for EF series lenses.

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 EF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5, EF 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5, and EF 50mm f/1.8 lenses. The EF mount utilised by the camera and lenses not only made possible highly accurate AF, but also anticipated future technological developments including digitalisation, high-speed continuous shooting, image stabilisation, and video recording. This forward-thinking mindset has helped Canon 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 the years, Canon has continued to expand the possibilities of photographic expression by producing a rich line-up of EF lenses — including zoom lenses, IS lenses, wide-aperture lenses, macro lenses, and tilt-shift lenses — and a number of world-first technologies.

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 RF 24-105 f/4 L IS USM. Leveraging their characteristically large internal mount diameter of 54mm 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 released13.

Moving forward, Canon will continue its mission to expand users’ range of photographic expression as the Company pursues the creation of the ideal lens.

Total production of RF & EF lenses
Total production of RF & EF lenses (millions)

For further information on Canon’s 150 million interchangeable RF and EF lens milestone, please visit:

1 Includes EF, EF-S, RF, EF-M and EF Cinema lenses and lens extenders. As of February 3, 2021.

2 Calculated based on the length of the lens’ bodies. Based on Canon research.

3 Among interchangeable SLR camera lenses. Based on Canon research.

4 Includes four lens extenders. As of February 3, 2021.

5 In terms of market share by number of units sold. Based on Canon research.

6 Reference: In pursuit of the ideal lens.

7 As of February 3, 2021, production for this lens has already been discontinued. Successor: EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM (released in August 2011).

8 Among interchangeable SLR camera lenses.

9 As of February 3, 2021, production for this lens has already been discontinued. Successor: EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM (released in December 2016).

10 As of February 3, 2021, 2016, production for this lens has already been discontinued. Successor: EF 400 f/4 DO IS II USM (released in November 2014).

11 Among photography lenses.

12 Among interchangeable lenses supporting autofocus across the entire standard zoom range and compatible with 35mm equivalent full-frame sensor cameras.

13 Includes lenses announced prior to February 3, 2021. Includes two lens extenders.

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