Canon hit a major production milestone this January, when it rolled out its 150-millionth RF and EF series interchangeable lens for EOS cameras — an RF70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM telephoto zoom. “Laid end-to-end, all of the RF and EF lenses Canon has manufactured thus far would measure approximately 7,736 miles in length — nearly equivalent to the Earth’s diameter, which measures approximately 7,917 miles,” said the company.
Production of interchangeable EF lenses for Canon EOS-series AF SLR film cameras began in 1987 at the Company’s Utsunomiya Plant in Japan, shown below. It featured a lens-based Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for the first time (read about our visit to the factory here).
EF lens production passed the 10-million-unit mark in 1995 and crossed the 50-million-unit threshold in 2009. In April 2014, the company hit the 100 million interchangeable lens milestone. The company now has four manufacturing bases, including Canon Inc., Taiwan; Canon Opto (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.; and Oita Canon Inc. in southern Japan.
Canon’s RF and EF lens series lineup currently comprises a total of 118 models. “In addition, thanks to the extensive lineup of lenses, Canon has maintained the number one market share for digital interchangeable-lens cameras since 2003,” said the company.