The remaining digits in the serial number, SSSSSSS, are a uniquely-identifying number of the lens – likely within the production month.Please note that, while the overall chart is holding out nicely with the lenses we've checked (including several late-2014 models), it is a work-in-process.OEMs, suppliers, and dealers will see their share of industry profits cut to just half, from a current 85% share, by 2030 as the digital auto revolution creates intense competition and squeezes margins.
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.
The Canon lens date code in the sample picture indicates that this Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L Lens (I know the lens model because I took the picture - not from the date code) was made in Utsunomiya, Japan in September 2003.
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While date codes and the shorter serial number are still found on some lenses, this inclusion will likely end completely.
We loved the date code because it made aging a lens easy.
With either the lens' serial number or date code, that question can be answered.
Canon has been transitioning to a 10-digit lens serial number (starting in 2008 with the Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens) and ending the inclusion of a separate manufacturing date code.
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