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Canon Lens Date Coding Revealed near rear element
Old 10-11-2009   #1
kkdanamatt
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Canon Lens Date Coding Revealed near rear element

I don't know if this information has appeared here before, but I'm sharing 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.

Last edited by kkdanamatt : 11-10-2009 at 12:19. Reason: mistake in title
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