View Full Version : What Does Red "E.P." Mean?
I notice that some Canon rangefinder stuff has a red "E.P." in a red diamond engraved on it. What does this mean? Does it make the gear worth more? Does it make it take better pictures (sounds stupid - I mean, does it signify higher-quality?)
Yes, usually stands for Export Permit.
I don't know what EP stands for - the initials, I mean. However, I believe it means that it was originally sold in the Post Exchange (PX) to a US Serviceman or Servicewoman serving overseas - often in Japan, Germany, Vietnam, or Korea.
It does not signify higher quality - but it does signify a distinguished and honorable past (my opinion).
It may also mean (no promises, but a good guess) that it spent most of its life being protected and treasured as a prized possession, and not being kicked to death as a working tool in the hands of a photo professional. I suppose you could say in that way it might signify higher quality - but I would not count on that automatically.
Your question is far from stupid - it's a good one, and one a new person to rangefinder photography would not likely know the answer to. Great question - and welcome to RFF. Hope you like it here!
Perhaps particularly for cameras sold at a PX in Japan? Japan has very high taxes for cameras sold to citizens for local use. Totally different packages used for domestic and export cameras, often different model names, to keep the locals from trying to cheat the tax man.
This information is from Peter Decherts book "Canon Rangefinder Cameras 1933-68"
There was a requirement put in place by the occupation forces after WWII that all Japanese products be marked. "Made in Occupied Japan" abbreviated as MIOJ. This began to appear on model S-II Canons with serial number 20000 sometimes with the ideogram <CPO> (Central Purchasing Office) which stood for an item sold through the Military Post Exchange system. This first mark only lasted about a year before it was replaced with the <EP> mark in Red we all see so often. The CPO version can be found in Japanese charcters as well though rare. The MIOJ make was dropped in 1951 in the Model III line.
This <EP> mark can be found on all types of products not just Canon cameras. This <EP> mark can be found on Canon camera's as recent as FTb's from 1971-72.
It has nothing to do with quality or any other aspect of the cameras manufacturer. And while there are a couple of models of Canon RF's that are rarely found without the mark as they were made specifically for the Military Exchange. The model IIF were almost all sold through the Exchange system and is know as the PX camera for this reason
I have paraphrased most of this info and would have rather provided a link to the info directly but as the book is out of print and not to the best of my knowledge on line in any form.
The information is all based on Peter's work who's book I think any Canon RF user should find a copy of and buy.
vBulletin® v3.6.8, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.