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January 2010

Canon has announced it is celebrating a new milestone in the history of SLR photography, as production of the company’s EF lenses – which began in 1987 with the birth of Canon’s EOS SLR system – has now reached 50 million units.

This lens landmark was achieved during the manufacture of the EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens and means that Canon has produced over 10 million EF lenses in less than two years since the 40 million EF lens production landmark was reached.

Canon’s EF lens range dates back to 1987 when the first EF lenses rewrote the SLR rulebook with their large-diameter, fully electronic lens mount, and the incorporation of a drive motor within the lens. The 1987 EF lens range coincided with the arrival of the first camera in the EOS system, the EOS 650, and has seen many groundbreaking advances since. These include:

  • 1987 – Canon introduced the first lens with an Ultrasonic Motor - the EF300mm f/2.8L USM for professional sports and wildlife photographers.
  • 1995 - Canon launched the world’s first interchangeable lens with Image Stabilizer – the EF75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM for sports and wildlife enthusiasts.
  • 2001 - the debut of the first lens to incorporate Canon’s multi layered diffractive optics elements – the EF400mm f/4 DO IS USM for professional sports and wildlife photographers on the move.
  • 2008 - the arrival of the first lens to use Canon’s SWC (SubWavelength Structure Coating) – the EF24mm f/1.4L II USM for professional landscape photographers.
  • 2009 – Canon announced the world’s first lens with Hybrid IS – the EF100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM for close-up work.
  • 2010 - Canon launched the high-quality, telephoto zoom lens - the EF70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM - for all types of professional photography.

The General Manager of Lens Products Marketing Management Division Canon Inc., Kazuyuki Suzuki, commented: “This announcement shows an immense achievement in Canon’s ability to grow and adapt to reach this impressive target in such a short space of time. Canon is proud to support so many photographers of all abilities through its extensive range of DSLRs, including the recently launched 7D, designed to create a whole new photographic experience.”

Canon currently offers the world’s most extensive range of DSLR lenses with over 60 different lenses in the range. In the coming years, Canon has promised to continue to promote technical innovation, from optical design to electronics and production engineering, with the aim of further contributing to the creation of a new ‘photo culture’.