Thursday, August 13, 2009

What is the history of my used / refurbished Canon gear?

Canon EOS products usually have the date codes stamped onto them. They are separate from the numeric serial number and are usually hidden away somewhere often inside the film chamber or on the underside of the lens, on the black light baffle

However, not all EOS products have this code; for example if Taiwan-built units have them at all, it is printed in almost illegible black ink.
If the code looks like ON1105, the first letter represents the name of the factory at which the product was made - often O for the Oita factory (cameras) or U for the factory in Utsonomiya (lenses).
The second letter is the date code; A represents the year 1986 and N is 1999. The next two digits are the month of manufacture, in this case November.
The last two digits are Canon internal codes.
Therefore the camera with the code ON1105 was built in Oita in November 1999.
Unfortunately, the date code doesn’t necessarily tell you very much about the actual condition of an item. An old lens that has been stored away in a box could be in perfect condition but an almost new lens might have been treated badly.
The following links give some great additional information that should help you understand a lot more about the age and origins of your Canon equipment.

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