Canon Serial Number Coding revealed

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Karl K, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. Karl K

    Karl K Subscriber

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    This may have appeared before, but I'll share it anyway:

    Beside the rear lens element of many (but not all) Canon lenses is a date code in the form of "UR0902". This code is also present on other Canon products including bodies.

    The first letter, "U", indicates that the lens was made in Canon's Utsunomiya, Japan factory. Prior to 1986, this letter is moved to the last position of the date code.

    U = Utsunomiya, Japan
    F = Fukushima, Japan
    O = Oita, Japan

    The second letter, "R", is a year code that indicates the year of manufacture. Canon increments this letter each year starting with A in 1986 and prior to that, A in 1960 without the leading factory code. Here is a table to make things simple:

    A = 1986, 1960
    B = 1987, 1961
    C = 1988, 1962
    D = 1989, 1963
    E = 1990, 1964
    F = 1991, 1965
    G = 1992, 1966
    H = 1993, 1967
    I = 1994, 1968
    J = 1995, 1969
    K = 1996, 1970
    L = 1997, 1971
    M = 1998, 1972
    N = 1999, 1973
    O = 2000, 1974
    P = 2001, 1975
    Q = 2002, 1976
    R = 2003, 1977
    S = 2004, 1978
    T = 2005, 1979
    U = 2006, 1980
    V = 2007, 1981
    W = 2008, 1982
    X = 2009, 1983
    Y = 2010, 1984
    Z = 2011, 1985

    The first 2 numbers "09" is the month the lens was manufactured. 02 is February. 11 is November. Leading zero of the month code is sometimes omitted. The last 2 numbers "02" are a Canon internal code that is occasionally omitted and are meaningless regarding production date.
     
  2. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    In FD camera bodys the code is usually in the film chamber and quite hard to read because it is printed in black on a black surface.
     
  3. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

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  4. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    For my day off, and with curiosity biting, I hauled 'Brutus' my trusty EOS1N before me, and removed the TS-E 24 f3.5L.
    The lens shows the marking UL0302 while the 1N body shows UJ0605. I can see no marking on the power drive booster E1. Isn't that incredible?
    We devout analogue users are creating beautiful works of art with film cameras that stepped down long ago, while the trigger-happy digi brigade are still mastering the slippery J-curve.
     
  5. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I'm not "creating beautiful works of art", I'm still struggling to take good photographs.