Canon EOS FAQ
Canon Date Codes
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 information about serial numbers. However, the is another way to get the information
about a camera body or lens. For cameras, 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
So a body with the Code "U1140F" was made in November of 1980 at the Fukushima factory.
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.
The same type of code is printed on the back of many (but not all) EF lenses as
well, typically in small white characters on a black baffle in the rear lens
mount. Normally it will read somethings like "UT0308". The "U" is the factory, the "T" is the
year of manufacture (2005), the "03" is the month (March) and the final two numbers seem to be
some sort of internal Canon code. Prior
to 1986 the lens date codes did not include the factory letter.
© Copyright Bob Atkins All Rights Reserved