TOKYO, January 19, 2006 — Canon Inc. today announced the achievement of a new lens-production milestone as production of the company's EF lenses passed the 30-million mark.
Production of interchangeable EF lenses for Canon EOS-series AF (autofocus) SLR cameras began in 1987 at the company's Utsunomiya Plant. Canon produced its 10-millionth EF lens in August 1995, its 20-millionth in February 2001 and, a mere five years later, has now reached the 30-million plateau. This achievement reflects users' high level of satisfaction with the performance and quality realized by EF lenses, as well as the service offered through Canon's marketing operations.
Canon's proprietary EF (electro-focus) lens, which combines a large-diameter fully electronic lens mount and an internal autofocus motor, was born in 1987. In November of the same year, Canon introduced the industry's first*1 Ultrasonic Motor (USM)-powered lens: the EF 300mm f/2.8L USM. In September 1989, the EF 50mm f/1.0L USM, featuring the world's largest aperture*1 of f/1.0, was launched and in September 1995 the EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, equipped with the world's first*1 Image Stabilizer to correct for the effect of camera shake, made its debut. Further, in December 2001, Canon delivered the world's first super telephoto lens incorporating a diffractive optical element for camera lenses*1: the EF 400mm F4 DO IS USM. Canon's EF lens lineup, through the introduction of the latest innovative technologies, has consistently been recognized as the state of the art in the industry.
In conjunction with the launch in September 2003 of the highly acclaimed EOS Kiss Digital SLR camera, which has achieved outstanding success worldwide with sales to date surpassing 1.2 million units, Canon expanded its EF lens lineup with the introduction of the EF-S series of lenses, optimized for use with digital SLR cameras that incorporate APS-C size (22.2 x 14.8 mm) image sensors.
Canon's current EF lens lineup comprises 60*2 models, the most comprehensive selection*3 in the industry. Canon EF lenses span the gamut from ultra-wide 14mm to super-telephoto 600mm lenses and include standard and super-telephoto zoom models, large-aperture lenses, and TS-E lenses, which are equipped with a special tilt-shift mechanism that permits the manipulation of image perspective and distortion. Canon EF lenses have garnered high praise from a wide user base, from professional and advanced amateur photographers to novice photo enthusiasts, and earned Canon top share of the interchangeable lens market.
Also, as EF lenses are ideally suited for use with Canon's EOS D-series of digital SLR cameras in addition to its 35mm film SLR cameras, the company aims to continue developing the lineup as the core of the EOS system.
Canon, through continual innovations in every area of production technology, including optical design and electronics, will continue its efforts to deliver attractive products in response to user needs, opening up new directions in the future of photographic expression.
*1. For 35mm AF SLR cameras
*2. Including EF-S lenses and two EF lens extenders
*3. As of January 17, 2006.
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