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Canon has made over 150 million lenses – nearly enough to wrap around the planet

Canon makes 150 millionth EF/RF lens – nearly enough to wrap around the planet
(Image credit: Future / Canon)

Canon has just celebrated an astonishing milestone: it has now produced its 150th millionth EF / RF lens. 

Production of EF lenses began in March 1987, with the original launch of the EOS SLR system. The RF lens line was introduced in October 2018, with the launch of the Canon EOS R (opens in new tab) – and the 150 millionth lens to roll off the production line was the Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM (opens in new tab), in January 2021.

• Read more: Best Canon lenses (opens in new tab)

Churning out 150 million lenses in 37 years is enormously impressive. To put that into some sort of context, it equates to over eight lenses produced every minute for approaching four decades.  

To put it into more dramatic context, if you laid all of those 150 million lenses end to end, they would measure approximately 7,736 miles – which is nearly enough to wrap around planet Earth, whose diameter is around 7,917 miles.

Indeed, if you factor in all the lenses Canon has ever made, the total length would far exceed the Earth's diameter. After all, this is only counting EF and RF lenses; there's also 1959's R mount, 1964's FL mount, 1971's FD mount, 2003's EF-S mount, and 2012's EF-M mount. 

Still, hitting 150 million lenses with just 2 mounts is a monumental achievement. The EF and RF lineup comprises a total of 118 models – though going forward, Canon told us that its focus is on the RF mount, and there will be no new EF lenses (opens in new tab) unless the market demands it (and, after 37 years, Canon already makes virtually every EF lens you could possibly want). 

Canon began production of EF lenses at its Utsunomiya plant in Japan, about 70 miles north of Tokyo. Since then manufacturing has expanded to three other facilities in southern Japan, Taiwan and Malaysia.

Read more: 

Canon EOS R review (opens in new tab)
Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM review (opens in new tab)
Best Canon RF lenses (opens in new tab)

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The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.