Canon L lens
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Canon's series of L lenses (Canon Luxury Lenses) are a professional line of SLR photography lenses made by Canon. Canon produces both L-series zoom and prime lenses for their past FD lens mount and for their current EF lens mount used on all Canon EOS cameras (digital and film). They are notable for their superior image quality and robust design.
Most L series lenses share a number of common characteristics not found in Canon's line of lower-end lenses. L lenses tend to be more durable, incorporating dust-resistant and water-resistant rubber seals on some models. L lenses also contain optics of higher quality, with many lenses containing fluorite or ultra-low dispersion glass elements, ground aspherically. Their front elements do not rotate for the proper operation of some filters, such as circular polarizers. L lenses are often "fast", with wider apertures than comparable lower-end Canon optics. Almost all contain an ultrasonic motor and extra communication pins. (Example without USM is 80-200 2,8 L)
Larger sized L-lenses, such as the 70–200 mm, 100–400 mm zooms, and longer focal length primes (300 mm+), usually have an off-white barrel (sometimes referred to as the color "putty") to reduce heat absorption under the sun that may otherwise affect the performance of the lens, as well as to identify Canon's lenses (for example at sporting events), though these can be confused with Sony A and Pentax K-mount lenses which are also offered in (pure) white. However, shorter focal length L-lenses can be black (such as the Canon EF 24–70 mm f/2.8L) and all L-lens primes under 200 mm are black. L-lenses can be identified by the distinctive red ring on the lens barrel. The off-white colour of the lens barrel is not completely reliable since the Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens is off-white with a green ring.
Wide angle L-lenses typically have a gelatin filter holder on the mounting point of the lens, which allows the photographer to cut a small, square piece of gelatin out of a larger filter sheet and place it on the lens. On film cameras, these are typically used to correct the color temperature, but on digital cameras this is largely unnecessary, as the color temperature can be corrected in software. The mount is still commonly used for neutral density gelatin sheets though, especially on certain wide-angle lenses where the protruding front element precludes the use of any screw-in filters. Some telephoto L-lenses, such as the EF 70-200mm zoom lenses, or the EF 300mm f/4L IS USM do not have rear gelatin filter holders. Super-telephoto lenses such as the EF 500mm f/4L IS USM, or the EF 200mm f/2L IS USM do have a rear 52mm drop-in filter holder, than can be used to hold gelatin type filters.
The following is a list of EF mount L-lenses, including discontinued lenses.
- 8-15mm f/4L USM fisheye
- 11-24mm f/4L USM
- 16-35mm f/2.8L USM (discontinued)
- 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
- 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM
- 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
- 17-35mm f/2.8L USM (discontinued)
- 17-40mm f/4.0L USM
- 20-35mm f/2.8L (discontinued)
- 24-70mm f/2.8L USM (discontinued)
- 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
- 24-70mm f/4L IS USM
- 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
- 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM
- 28-70mm f/2.8L USM (discontinued)
- 28-80mm f/2.8-4.0L USM (discontinued)
- 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM
- 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6L USM (discontinued)
- 50-200mm f/3.5-4.5L (discontinued)
- 70-200mm f/4.0L USM
- 70-200mm f/4.0L IS USM
- 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
- 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (discontinued)
- 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
- 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM
- 80-200mm f/2.8L (discontinued)
- 100-300mm f/5.6L (discontinued)
- 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
- 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
- 200-400mm f/4L IS USM 1.4x Extender
- 14mm f/2.8L USM (discontinued)
- 14mm f/2.8L II USM
- 24mm f/1.4L USM (discontinued)
- 24mm f/1.4L II USM
- 35mm f/1.4L USM (discontinued)
- 35mm f/1.4L II USM
Standard & medium telephoto
- 135mm f/2.0L USM
- 200mm f/1.8L USM (discontinued)
- 200mm f/2.0L IS USM
- 200mm f/2.8L USM (discontinued)
- 200mm f/2.8L II USM
- 300mm f/2.8L USM (discontinued)
- 300mm f/2.8L IS USM (discontinued)
- 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM
- 300mm f/4.0L USM (discontinued)
- 300mm f/4.0L IS USM
- 400mm f/2.8L USM (discontinued)
- 400mm f/2.8L II USM (discontinued)
- 400mm f/2.8L IS USM (discontinued)
- 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM
- 400mm f/5.6L USM
- 500mm f/4.5L USM (discontinued)
- 500mm f/4.0L IS USM (discontinued)
- 500mm f/4.0L IS II USM
- 600mm f/4.0L USM (discontinued)
- 600mm f/4.0L IS USM (discontinued)
- 600mm f/4.0L IS II USM
- 800mm f/5.6L IS USM
- 1200mm f/5.6L USM (discontinued; was special order only)
Canon lens codes
On the back of Canon lenses is a six-digit code, which indicates where the lens was manufactured and when.
Example of a code "UV1212"
The first letter, 'U', represents the factory that made the lens. Three possible first letters are:
- U = Utsunomiya
- F = Fukushima
- O = Ōita
The second letter, 'V', represents the year of manufacture
A = 1960, 1986, 2012 B = 1961, 1987, 2013 C = 1962, 1988, 2014 D = 1963, 1989, 2015 E = 1964, 1990, 2016 F = 1965, 1991 G = 1966, 1992 H = 1967, 1993 I = 1968, 1994 J = 1969, 1995 K = 1970, 1996 L = 1971, 1997 M = 1972, 1998 N = 1973, 1999 O = 1974, 2000 P = 1975, 2001 Q = 1976, 2002 R = 1977, 2003 S = 1978, 2004 T = 1979, 2005 U = 1980, 2006 V = 1981, 2007 W = 1982, 2008 X = 1983, 2009 Y = 1984, 2010 Z = 1985, 2011
The next two digits represent the month of the lens is manufactured.
The last two digits are for internal Canon use.
Therefore, the example (pictured) of UV0512 means the lens was made in the Utsunomiya, Japan factory in May 2007.
- Canon Europa N.V. and Canon Europe Ltd 2002-2015. "Black or White Lenses - Canon Professional Network". Canon Professional Network.