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Canon Lens Date Codes – How Old Is Your Canon Lens?

Canon Lens Date Code 5

Ever wonder, how old your Canon lens is? It’s very easy to find it out using Canon Date Code. Not all, but most canon lenses have a date code located at the back of the lens (lens mount) in a particular format like “UY1013″ (left image).

The first letter is the Factory Code, indicates the Factory where the lens was made. Before 1986, this letter was at the very end of the code. In this example “U” indicates Canon’s Utsunomiya Factory, Japan. Likewise, if your lens date code starts with “F” indicates Fukushima Factory, Japan & “O” means Oita Factory, Japan

The second letter is the Year Code, indicates the year of manufacture. Every year Canon increments this letter. They  started with A in 1960 and made it to Z by 1985. In 1986 they started again at A. In this example “Y”, means year 2010. Here is a chart to make it simple…

Canon Date Code Chart
A 1960 1986 2012
B 1961 1987 2013
C 1962 1988 2014
D 1963 1989 2015
E 1964 1990 2016
F 1965 1991 2017
G 1966 1992 2018
H 1967 1993 2019
I 1968 1994 2020
J 1969 1995 2021
K 1970 1996 2022
L 1971 1997 2023
M 1972 1998 2024
N 1973 1999 2025
O 1974 2000 2026
P 1975 2001 2027
Q 1976 2002 2028
R 1977 2003 2029
S 1978 2004 2030
T 1979 2005 2031
U 1980 2006 2032
V 1981 2007 2033
W 1982 2008 2034
X 1983 2009 2035
Y 1984 2010 2036
Z 1985 2011 2037

The first two numbers [in this example "10"] indicates the month, the lens was manufactured. For example, 01 means January and  12 means December. Sometimes the leading zero of the month code is omitted.

Last two numbers “10” are unknown, have no role in determining lens age & occasionally omitted.

Now, applying the formula on above Canon EF 135 f/2 L Lens’s Date Code “UY1013″ we can say, it was made in October 2010 in Utsunomiya, Japan .

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