Production Years

Canon equipment, mainly camera bodies, lenses and the major accessories have been produced over the years at three factories: Fukushima (F), Oita (O) and Utsunomiya (U) and the first letter of these names are used in the dating process. The process as follows is quite simple but just be aware the FD and the EF systems are different.

Canon FD System

A

1960 / 1986

B

1961 / 1987

C

1962 / 1988

D

1963 / 1989

E

1964 / 1990

F

1965 / 1991

G

1966 / 1992

H

1967 / 1993

I

1968 / 1994

J

1969 / 1995

K

1970 / 1996

L

1971 / 1997

M

1972 / 1998

N

1973 / 1999

O

1974 / 2000

P

1975

Q

1976

R

1977

S

1978

T

1979

U

1980

V

1981

W

1982

X

1983

Y

1984

Z

1985

In the example above, which is the rear of an FD 135mm f/3.5 Lens there is only a single letter which indicates the year of 1981 and the first of the three numbers signifies the seventh month, so July. (the last two numbers have no relevance)

Canon EF System

A

Not used

B

1987

C

1988

D

1989

E

1990

F

1991

G

1992

H

1993

I

1994

J

1995

K

1996

L

1997

M

1998

N

1999

O

2000

P

2001

Q

2002

R

2003

S

2004

T

2005

U

2006

V

2007

W

2008

X

2009

Y

2010

Z

2011

In the example above which is the rear of an EF 24-70mm f/2.8L zoom lens, the factory is the first letter which is Utsunomiya, the second letter is the year; 2006 and the first two numbers indicate the month, so June. (the last two numbers again have no relevance)