Canon RF 85mm f/1.5 production numbers
A few collectors and users have been asking about production numbers of some CANON RF lenses. Since I produced my book back in 2008, I have managed to collect two OFFICIAL Canon Inc Counter Books, one for the Cameras and the other for the Lenses.
Along with the CANON LENS counter book (1981) I have some written CANON Inc documentation (1946-1956) I received from Peter Dechert (PD) sometime before I went to print.
According to the PD documentation in 1952 there were 137 85mm f/1.5 lenses produced and these would have been marked “SERENAR” and in my book these are T1 versions.
Again, from PD info, in 1953 there was 464 lenses produced, 1954, 205 lenses, 1955, 177 lenses and the final date 1956, 247 lenses making a total of 1093 produced and all these would have been marked CANON LENS.
In my book I mention “6/1960” as the final date of production but at the time of my research I deduced that date when it failed to appear in any official Canon Literature after a certain time frame.
The Counter book has a time line and it ends the production of the 85mm f/1.5 lens as being in JULY (07) so I wasn’t far of the mark.
Between 1957 and 1960 it looks like only 106 lenses were produced in that focal length.
The new 85mm f/1.8 was introduced in 1961 and at HALF the weight (470grm) of the 85mm f/1.5 (735grm), the f/1.8 was a better performer and put paid to the sales of the heavier lens.
According the COUNTER BOOK the total production of 85mm f/1.5 (II) lenses was 1199 lenses but DOES NOT include the 85mm f/1.5 T1 (I) lens as that line is blank.
Adding 1199 + 137 =1336 lenses (SERENAR and CANON LENS) for a total production of the RF 85mm f/1.5 lens between 1953-1960.
SO the total production for the 85mm f/1.5 RF lens is 1336 units.
An interesting lens is the SOLID CHROME 85mm f/1.5 CANON LENS (T2) my calculations that no more than 50 lenses were produced. It would be somewhere between 30 and 50 units were produced making this a VERY RARE lens indeed.
More can be read in my book on pages 130-133.