Earlier this week, Canon announced that they have manufactured their 80 millionth EF lens, an impressive milestone.

Earlier this week, Canon announced that they have now manufactured more than 80 million EF lenses. No matter how you put it, that’s a lot of glass!

The first EF, or Electro-Focus mount lens was introduced in 1987, and as the name suggests, it ushered in the era of Canon autofocus lenses and EOS cameras. It took Canon 8 years to manufacture their first 10 million EF lenses, but due to the affordability and resulting popularity of Canon EOS DSLRs, it only took them 10 months to manufacture the last 10 million, and 19 months for the last 20 million. Very impressive numbers, indeed!

Here’s the celebratory press release issued by Canon Europe:

London, UK, 21 August 2012 – Canon today announces the achievement of a new lens manufacturing milestone, following the production of the company’s 80-millionth EF lens. This new milestone comes just nine months after announcing the production of the 70-millionth lens in October 2011 and coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Canon EOS System.

“Since the first ever EF lens was produced in 1987, we’ve been dedicated to providing the best possible performance to users of all levels.” said Steven Marshall, Product Marketing Director, Consumer Imaging, Canon Europe. “Using decades of expertise and the latest optical technologies, our EF lens range offers both outstanding image quality and creative flexibility – whether you shoot stills or video. This is an incredible milestone, and speaks volumes about the quality and popularity of our EF lens line-up.”

EF lenses – consistent precision, complete versatility
Production of Canon’s world-renowned EF lens series first began in March 1987 alongside the introduction of Canon’s first EOS SLR camera system at the company’s Utsunomiya plant. Over the past 25 years the range has continued to pioneer technical advancement in the industry through the introduction of a series of innovative technologies, including the world’s first¹ Ultrasonic Motor-powered lens (USM) and Image Stabilizer (IS) technology, as well as a multi-layered diffractive optical (DO) element, and Subwavelength Structure Coating (SWC) anti-reflection technology.

Designed to offer both photographers and videographers exceptional creative flexibility, the EF lens series now comprises over 76 different models². In addition to a range of EF and EF-S lenses designed for DSLRs, the range now includes an expanding selection of 4K-resolution EF Cinema Lenses that provide class-leading professional video performance. In July 2012, Canon also announced a new line of EF-M lenses developed specifically for the company’s EOS M compact system camera, which combine Canon’s signature image quality with compact, lightweight designs.

EF lens production milestones:
Since production began in 1987, development has expanded to a total of four production facilities.

  • 1995: Production of EF lenses surpasses 10-million units
  • 2001: Production of EF lenses surpasses 20-million units
  • 2006: 30-million EF lenses produced
  • 2008: 40-million-unit milestone reached in April
  • 2009: 50-million units produced
  • 2011: 60-million units reached in January
  • 2011: Production of EF lenses rises by ten million in just nine months to reach the 70-million mark in October

¹Among interchangeable lenses for SLR cameras
²Including two EF lens extenders and models available outside of Japan

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