Canon has announced the production of its 100 millionth lens, a milestone reached in about 27 years, since the introduction of the EF-mount in March 1987.
Milestone after milestone after milestone! Canon keeps on reaching new heights as the Japan-based company has revealed that its production of interchangeable lenses hit the 100 million unit landmark.
Canon announces the production of its 100 millionth interchangeable lens
Canon EF lens production has started in 1987 in Japan. The company was making film SLR cameras at the time and it needed more than eights years to reach a production of 10 million units.
Nowadays, the company has hit an industry-first milestone of 100 million interchangeable lenses with the help of the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens.
This is the world’s first telephoto zoom lens with an integrated extender, allowing users to benefit from a maximum focal length of 560mm.
This optic is currently available at Amazon for a price sitting just $200 shy of $12,000. As a result, it is not among the best-selling lenses, as its price is prohibitive to the majority of photographers.
Canon EF lens production timeline
As stated above, the first ten million units have been manufactured in about eight years. After that, Canon has begun selling (therefore making) more and more units.
The 20 millionth EF lens was made in 2001, while the 30 millionth unit was produced in 2005. As of April 2007, the company made 40 million EF lenses, while the amount reached 50 million in December 2009.
The next step was 60 million units and it was reached in January 2011, while in October 2011 the company shipped 70 million interchangeable optics.
In August 2012, Canon revealed that it had manufactured 80 million units. The previous announcement was made in May 2013, when the company produced its 90 millionth lens.
Currently, there are 89 lenses in the EF-mount line-up and the amount is expected to grow this year. On a side note, Canon has achieved the production of its 70 millionth interchangeable lens camera in February 2014.
Nikon is lagging behind despite an important head start
Nikon is arguably Canon’s arch rival and the total production of lenses is important to see how these giants stand against one another. Earlier in 2014, Nikon has announced the production of 85 million Nikkor F-mount lenses.
The FX and DX camera maker will probably reach the production of 90 million F-mount lenses in the near future, but Canon still has an advantage of at least 10 million over its competitor.
It is worth noting that the first F-mount camera and lens were launched in 1959 in the body of the Nikon F. Despite the 28-year head start, Nikon is still lagging behind Canon and the latter is selling optics quicker than the former.
Nikon has reached the 80 millionth lens milestone in June 2013, while the 75 millionth mark has been achieved in November 2012. Moreover, the 70 millionth mark has been reached in May 2012, while the 65 millionth one has been achieved in October 2011.
This means that Canon is making 10 million lenses once every 10-12 months, while Nikon requires a period of 13 months to achieve a similar mark.