Canon: How Old is Your Canon Lens?
In 1986, with the design of the EOS System (Electro-Optical System, EOS started to ship in 1987), Canon started added a date code to their lenses.
Many of the new Canon lenses do not have a date code.
A large number of the Canon lenses have a date code in the form of "UX0311". Often it's on the lens mount.
The first letter, "U", indicates that the lens was made in Utsunomiya factory.
U = Utsunomiya, Japan
F = Fukushima, Japan
O = Oita, Japan
The second letter, "X", is a year code that indicates the year of manufacture. Canon increments this letter each year starting with A in 1986 and in 2012 it's â€œsupposedâ€ to rotate back to A:
- The first two numbers, "03", is the month number the lens was manufactured, in this case March. Sometimes, the leading zero of the month is omitted.
- The next two numbers, "11", are not the day of the month but some Canon internal code.
This lens, a 24-105 f/4 with a date code of: "UX0311", was manufactured in Utsunomiya, Japan in March 2009. On the other hand, my 70-200 f/4L doesn't have a date code.