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Canon Date Codes

 

Canon camera date codes

According to Bob Atkins, the site of whom I would suggest the Canon collectors to visit, : « Because they are chronological, serial numbers usually do tell the approximate age of a Canon SLR or SLR lens, but Canon Inc. has never put out any sort of public info about it. However, there's another way to get the information: look inside the body's film chamber for an alphanumeric code printed in black ink on the black surface of the film chamber. You may have to hold the camera under a strong light to see it. What you'll see is a date code, possibly something like "U1140F". »

Bob says : « The first letter tells the year the camera was manufactured: in this case, 1980. It's an alphabetic code; A = 1960, B = 1961,....T = 1979, U = 1980, and so on up to Z = 1985. The next 2 numbers tell you what month the camera was made, in this example, November. (the leading zero for the month code is sometimes omitted, so an A-1 with a code of "Y362" would have been manufactured in March, 1984, for instance.) The following 2 numbers are an internal code that is irrelevant for determining age, but year and month is close enough anyway, IMO. (This internal code is also occasionally omitted based on reports from Canon owners.) The last letter stands for the name of the factory. In this case, "F" stands for Fukushima which was the main Canon SLR factory for about 20 years from the early 70s until 1991. (The factory code is rarely omitted, if ever.) »

He adds : « Starting in 1986, the year code was restarted with "A" again, but the factory code was placed before it. Now that Canon SLRs are no longer manufactured at Fukushima, you're more likely to see a code starting with "O" for Oita. So, for SLRs manufactured in 1994, you might see a code starting with "OI" followed by the month code. »

« Incidentally, the same type of code is printed on the back of most EF lenses as well, typically in small white characters on a black baffle in the rear lens mount. Since Canon's SLR lens factory is in Utsonomiya, you might see a date code starting with "UG" for a lens manufactured in 1992, for example. Previous to 1986, though, the lens date codes did not include the factory letter. »

(Courtesy of Bob Atkins http://www.bobatkins.com. All Rights Reserved)

This gives the following table for the months and the years so far.

Date Codes table
Letter 1st series 2nd series 3rd series Digits Months
A 1960 1986 2012 1 or 01 January
B 1961 1987 2013 2 or 02 February
C 1962 1988   3 or 03 March
D 1963 1989   4 or 04 April
E 1964 1990   5 or 05 May
F 1965 1991   6 or 06 June
G 1966 1992   7 or 07 July
H 1967 1993   8 or 08 August
I 1968 1994   9 or 09 September
J 1969 1995   10 October
K 1970 1996   11 November
L 1971 1997   12 December
M 1972 1998      
N 1973 1999      
O 1974 2000      
P 1975 2001      
Q 1976 2002      
R 1977 2003      
S 1978 2004      
T 1979 2005      
U 1980 2006      
V 1981 2007      
W 1982 2008      
X 1983 2009      
Y 1984 2010      
Z 1985 2011      

Canon Lens Date Codes

Beside the rear lens element of many (but not all) Canon lenses is a date code (as seen above) in the form of "UR0902". This code is also present on many other Canon products including camera 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:

Date Codes table
Letter 1st series 2nd series 3rd series
A 1960 1986 2012
B 1961 1987 2013
C 1962 1988 2014
D 1963 1989

2015

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 2001  
Q 1976 2002  
R 1977 2003  
S 1978 2004  
T 1979 2005  
U 1980 2006  
V 1981 2007  
W 1982 2008  
X 1983 2009  
Y 1984 2010  
Z 1985 2011  

 


Last update : Feb-26-2014 16:02:12: CET

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