Empowering the Ultimate
in Imaging Expression

A bright red line emblazoned on the lens barrel, the luxury of the letter ‘L’…
The Canon L series of EF lenses is distinguished by unsurpassed imaging performance
and superior operability, durability, and toughness that exemplify professional quality.

Incorporating specialized optical materials such as synthetic fluorite,
Super UD and UD glass, and large-aperture high-precision aspherical lenses, only lenses
that perform to the highest photographic standards are allowed to bear the designation ‘L’.

Luxurious lens arrays are produced according to time-honored optical theories
with ultra high-precision processing technology, all in pursuit of the ideal.

The result:
The Canon L-series of EF lenses.

THE L STORY

Expanding photographers’ potential,
unfettered by preconceptions.
The Canon L-series lens story celebrates
the ongoing pursuit of the ideal.

HISTORY

1969

Canon’s first camera lens to use fluorite

FL-F300mm f/5.6

From early on Canon undertook research to make fluorite, which has characteristics not possessed by optical glass, into a material for camera lenses. Natural fluorite, however, is difficult to find in large crystals and is filled with impurities, making it impossible to use in a lens. Canon succeeded to development of techniques to eliminate the impurities and artificially grow crystals. The Canon’s first lens to use fluorite was the FL-F300mm f/5.6. Not only did fluorite succeed in eliminating color aberration, but it also made it possible to design shorter lenses. This 300mm was an innovative compact super telephoto lens in its day. These fluorite lens elements have been incorporated into many EF lenses as well as many of the lenses in the super telephoto high-performance L Lens Series.

1982

Super wide-angle lens designed with leading-edge Canon software

New FD14mm f/2.8L

This was the lens with the widest angle in the FD lens series, employing aspherical lens elements to eliminate distortion. Canon developed the software to design the aspherical lens using computers. It was necessary to start with the basic and peripheral technologies in order to continue to produce cutting-edge technologies.

1989

World’s largest aperture AF SLR lens

EF50mm f/1.0L USM

This standard lens boasted the largest aperture of any 35mm SLR camera lens when it went on sale. With two ground and polished aspherical elements and four high-index refractive glass lens elements, it delivered outstanding imaging performance with high contrast and minimal flare, even at the maximum aperture of f/1.0. The floating mechanism helped maintain high picture quality even at close focusing distances, while the electronic manual focus function allowed full-time manual focusing with a very light touch even in autofocus mode. This worked to enhance the already quick and rapid autofocus which employed a ring-type USM (Ultrasonic Motor) for the drive.

1993

World’s first* interchangeable zoom lens for SLR cameras with a 10x magnification ratio

EF35-350mm f/3.5-5.6L USM

The expansive 10x zoom ratio was a first for SLR camera zoom lenses. Featuring coverage from wide-angle to super-telephoto, this lens delivered reliable performance in situations that required high mobility, such as sports photography. With its 6-group zoom system with 5 moving groups, the design successfully combined a high zoom ratio with compactness. Two UD lenses were incorporated to correct for color aberrations, which resulted in high-resolution images and outstanding contrast. Moreover, this lens was known for features such as a smoothly rotating tripod collar, a special ring to adjust zooming friction, full-time manual focus, and other conveniences. *For SLR cameras with interchangeable lenses

1997

The first L-series lens featuring an image stabilization mechanism

EF300mm f/4L IS USM

As the first Canon professional lens to be equipped with an image stabilization mechanism, this telephoto lens dramatically enhances shooting mobility by enabling handheld shooting in situations which once required the use of a tripod. The mechanism produces an effect that is equivalent to using a shutter speed that is roughly two stops faster.* The lens features two modes: mode 1, which is effective for shooting stationary subjects, and mode 2, which is suitable for panning. Two UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) lenses in the optical system minimize chromatic aberrations and realize high clarity and contrast throughout entire images. By helping to prove that an image stabilization mechanism is useful even for skilled professional photographers, this product paved the way for a growing number of professional photographers to make routine use of Canon IS lenses with image stabilization mechanisms. *Measuring from 1/(Focal length) second, which is considered to be the slowest possible shutter speed at which users can take handheld photos without causing camera shake.

2008

World’s first* camera lens to employ SWC(Subwavelength Structure Coating)

EF24mm f/1.4L II USM

This large-diameter 24mm wide-angle lens employs revolutionary SWC (Subwavelength Structure Coating) anti-reflection technology for the first time in the world*. Utilizing nanometer-scale constructions even smaller than the wavelengths of visible light, SWC effectively minimizes lens flare and ghosting caused by extremely large-angle incidence of light, which is difficult to prevent with conventional coatings of vapor-deposited film. SWC proves the effectiveness of a new method of anti-reflection technology that takes advantage of microscopic construction on a lens surface. In addition, the EF24mm f/1.4L II USM employs two high-precision glass-mold aspherical lens elements and two UD lens elements to effectively eliminate various types of aberrations. Moreover, the featured floating mechanism provides high-resolution, high-contrast corner-to-corner image quality throughout the entire picture area. Canon will continue its development advances through related know-how, using SWC as a key technology to expand the freedom of optical product design. *Among photographic lenses

2009

World’s first* interchangeable SLR camera lens to employ Hybrid IS

EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

This medium telephoto macro lens features Canon’s Hybrid IS (Image Stabilizer) – the world’s first* optical image stabilizer capable of compensating for both angle and shift camera shake. Angle shake compensation aids in most shooting situations while shift shake compensation is especially useful when photographing close-ups. In addition to the vibration gyro (angular velocity sensor) found in previous optical IS systems, Hybrid IS includes an acceleration sensor for detecting camera shake that occurs parallel to the focal plane. A new algorithm calculates shake based on readings taken from the two sensors, then adjusts lens elements to compensate for both angle and shift camera shake simultaneously. This two-pronged approach to minimizing the effects of camera shake greatly enhances handheld shooting capability in the macro realm. Furthermore, the EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM includes a UD lens element to correct chromatic aberration. The end results are superb image quality, excellent durability and easy operability, all of which are expected in L-series lenses. *For SLR cameras with interchangeable lenses

2010

Introducing the first EF lens with a fluorine coating

EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM

This telephoto zoom is the first EF lens with a fluorine coating for reducing both the likelihood of dust or smudges affecting image quality and lens cleaning frequency. The flat, smooth surface of the coating, with its superior moisture repellency (including oil), limits the possibility of dust adhering to the lens and facilitates cleaning – often with just a blower brush – should the need arise. Hard-to-remove grease from fingerprints can also be quickly removed with a soft dry cloth without the need for special cleaning solvents. Now, thanks to this fluorine coating, photographers can enjoy cleaner images with less maintenance.

2011

The world’s first* fisheye zoom lens for shooting both circular and rectangular full-frame fisheye photos

EF8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM

This is the world’s first fisheye zoom lens that covers a 180° angle of view horizontally and vertically. Circular fisheye pictures with a 180° angle of view in all directions can be shot with 35mm full-frame D-SLR cameras at the 8mm focal length, effectively recording every object in front of the lens. Moreover, regardless of sensor size, the lens captures fisheye images with a 180° diagonal angle of view. When shooting with cameras that have sensor sizes other than 35mm, an index mark on the side of the zoom ring shows the setting that achieves a fisheye image with a 180° diagonal angle of view. There is also a zoom limiter. Close focusing as near as 0.15 m/0.5 feet allows photographers to take advantage of the unique view provided by the extremely distorted perspectives. *For an SLR camera with an interchangeable lens.

2013

The world’s first* ultra-telephoto zoom lens with built-in extender

EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x

Thanks to a built-in 1.4x extender, this epoch-making ultra-telephoto zoom lens enables users to change its focal range from 200-400mm to 280-560mm with a quick, simple operation. This opens up new shooting possibilities, allowing a photographer to switch on the fly from 400mm to 560mm focal length while taking photos and looking through the viewfinder, for example. A unique optical design incorporating a fluorite lens and four UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) lenses enhances this lens’ capability to capture images that are comparable to images that ultra-telephoto single focal-length lenses capture, and does so over the entire zoom range, even when the extender is used. Although it sports 33 elements in 24 groups – a number of elements that ranks among the highest of the EF lens series – the lens is made surprisingly compact, conveniently operable and reliably durable by making the most of cutting-edge mechanical design, materials and production technologies. Moreover, the lens’ maximum focal length can be increased to the equivalent of 780mm by using the built-in extender in conjunction with an attached EF 1.4x III extender. This combination allows for a maximum aperture of f/8, making it possible to use AF with cameras such as the EOS-1D X. Attaching an EF 2x III extender instead of an EF 1.4x III extender effectively transforms the lens into an ultra-telephoto zoom lens with a maximum focal length of 1,120mm. With all of its capabilities, this high-performance zoom lens paves the way for new telephoto shooting possibilities. *Among interchangeable lenses for SLRs

2014

Incorporating ASC for further reduction of flare and ghosting

EF100-400mm
f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

ASC (Air Sphere Coating), which forms a film incorporating silicon dioxide and air over the vapor-deposition coating, creating an ultra-low refractive index layer, is used for the first time in this lens. Producing excellent anti-reflective effects, particularly with respect to incident light entering at nearly vertical angles, this coating results in a significant reduction in flare and ghosting. Addition of fluorite and Super UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) lens elements produces exceptional rendering power. Featuring image stabilization offering camera-shake compensation for approximately four shutter speed steps to support hand-held telephoto shooting, a rotation zoom that permits minute composition adjustments at set positions, and a minimum focusing distance of 0.98m, this versatile high-performance lens comes into its own in a variety of shooting scenarios.

2015

The world’s widest angle* ultra-wide zoom

EF11-24mm f/4L USM

The world’s widest angle full-frame ultra-wide zoom achieves an impressive 11mm focal length. The lens array incorporates four aspherical lenses, including the world’s largest diameter ground aspherical lens (87mm diameter). Unstinting application of proprietary Canon technology minimizes distortion that commonly occurs with wide-angle lenses, achieving imaging performance befitting the coveted “L” designation. In addition to ground aspherical lenses, incorporation of UD and Super UD lenses corrects chromatic aberration, while application of both anti-reflective SWC (Subwavelength Structure Coating) and ASC (Air Sphere Coating), reduces ghosting and flare. *Among interchangeable SLR and mirrorless camera lenses; fish-eye lenses excepted. *Among aspherical lens elements in interchangeable SLR and mirrorless camera lenses.

2015

Introduction of BR lens

EF35mm f/1.4L II USM

This lens is the first to incorporate the proprietary Canon BR (Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics) lens, developed for ideal correction of chromatic aberration. Featuring unique anomalous dispersion characteristics that are capable of greatly refracting blue light (short wavelengths spectrum), BR optics correct chromatic aberration that typically occurs in large-aperture lenses. In addition to the BR lens, incorporation of polished aspherical and UD lenses ensures exceptional rendering performance from the center to the periphery of the frame, even when shooting at maximum aperture. The wide f/1.4 aperture facilitates hand-held shooting in low light and attractive out-of-focus effects, while the viewfinder perspective is bright and clear.

2018

The world's first* large-aperture standard zoom lens that achieves a maximum aperture of f/2 across the range of zoom.

RF28-70mm F2 L USM

The RF28-70mm F2 L USM is the world's first lens that achieves a maximum f/2 aperture across a wide range of focal distances, from 28mm to 70mm. The lens takes advantage of the RF mount's large diameter and short back focus to enable flexible optical design and to achieve outstanding imaging performance and ease of handling. Its effective arrangement of four aspherical elements and a super UD element delivers imaging power for high resolution and high contrast, from the center to the periphery of the image. Although a zoom lens, it packs imaging performance approaching that of single focus lenses, making it suited to portraits, landscape photography, and, with its bright maximum f/2 aperture, wedding and astronomy photography. The RF28-70mm F2 L USM can respond to scenarios that had required multiple single focal-length lenses, making it a zoom lens that delivers new powers of expressiveness to anyone seeking outstanding image expression. It marks the start of lenses with a brand new appeal made possible by the RF mount. *Among interchangeable autofocus standard zoom lenses for 35mm full frame digital cameras.

2018

World's lightest*1; first adoption of heat shield coating

EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM

World's lightest*2; first adoption of heat shield coating

EF600mm f/4L IS III USM

Canon's first large-aperture super telephoto lenses to adopt a heat shield coating while achieving unprecedented reductions in weight. At about 2,840g, the EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM is the world's lightest f/2.8 interchangeable lens with a 400mm focal length. At about 3,050g, the EF600mm f/4L IS III USM is the world's lightest f/4 interchangeable lens with a 600mm focal length. Both deliver significantly lower weight together with high image quality. Using fluorite and super UD elements and new glass materials, the lenses adopt a newly designed lens construction that consolidates the optical system, from the second lens onward, toward the rear. With its electronic focus ring and lighter image stabilization unit, we enabled a more lightweight mechanical design. The lens also employs a proprietary heat shield coating that holds down temperature increase in the lenses. The lens barrel design restrains thermal conduction, while a new white coating suppresses temperature rise in the lens barrel by enhancing reflectivity of infrared rays in sunlight. Together, these features enhance reliability during extended shooting under the scorching sun. *1Among 400mm focal length f/2.8 lenses for cameras (SLR and mirrorless). *2Among 600mm focal length f/4 lenses for cameras (SLR and mirrorless).