Canon builds 110 million lenses, proves how much we all love taking pictures

You can’t do much on a camera without a lens, and that glass — curved to be wide or built long to get you close — helps us see much more than our basic set of eyes. Canon knows this well, and this week has announced it has hit 110 million EF lenses.

That’s the benchmark Canon has hit this year, with the 110 millionth lens a new milestone for the company, showing just how much we all love photos, and the art of taking them.

It’s worth noting that this doesn’t include lenses for the company’s point and shoot cameras or the advanced ones, as EF lenses are specifically for the digital SLR cameras Canon produces, like the 750D which was announced earlier in the year and is currently on the GadgetGuy reviews desk (soon, people, soon!).


In fact, proving it more than ever is the rise of the digital camera, because 20 years ago when digital cameras were just a twinkle in the eye of an executive at the company, Canon had only produced 10 million lenses, and it took eight years to get to that point in 1995.

A little over ten years later in 2006 — when digital SLRs were beginning to come down in price — Canon had 30 million lenses under their belt.

Not even ten years since then, we’re there now, and it has grown 80 million, showing how much the world can’t get enough of lens-based photography, which says a lot about how we’re all photographing on a regular basis.


“World-leading optics is our heritage but what’s important is that people can do things today that simply weren’t possible even two years ago,” said Jason McLean, Director of Consumer Imaging at Canon Australia.

“People are taking more photos on more devices than ever before, which is bringing new people into the interchangeable lens camera category,” he said. “Photography is no longer a hobby for a select group of people: it’s mainstream. With the right gear great people are amazed at what they can achieve.

One factoid worth mentioning is that Canon lens output has grown ten million every year at a rate of between nine and twelve months. By this time next year, you can probably expect Canon will see another ten million lenses, though we can’t imagine equally big player Nikon is all that far behind them.

The 110-millionth lens produced was the EF 11-24mm f/4, seen above.
The 110-millionth lens produced was the EF 11-24mm f/4, seen above.