Category Archives: Hardware

Canon lens date codes and EF lens chronology

Lens manufacturing codes

Some older Canon lenses are stamped with a manufacturing code consisting of two letters and (typically) four numbers.

Before 1986, the code may be in a letter/4 digit/letter format

The first letter indicates the manufacturing site:
U = Utsunomiya, F = Fukushima, O = Oita

The second letter is the year the lens was made

A = 2012, 1986, 1960 B = 2013, 1987, 1961 C = 2014, 1988, 1962 D = 2015, 1989, 1963 E = 2016, 1990, 1964 F = 1991, 1965
G = 1992, 1966 H = 1993, 1967 I = 1994, 1968 J = 1995, 1969 K = 1996, 1970 L = 1997, 1971
M = 1998, 1972 N = 1999, 1973 O = 2000, 1974 P = 2001, 1975 Q = 2002, 1976 R = 2003, 1977
S = 2004, 1978 T = 2005, 1979 U = 2006, 1980 V = 2007, 1981 W = 2008, 1982 X = 2009, 1983
Y = 2010, 1984 Z = 2011, 1985

So the UC1204 Canon Date code would indicate a lens made at Utsunomiya in December 1988

 

The date codes restarted at ‘A’ again in 2012. This TS-E24 mk2 lens ‘UD0406’ was purchased in 2015 (box dated May 2015)

It seems that the old date code system is still in use – a TS-E17 UC0903 (Sept. 2014) is consistent with the box date (Oct. 2014)

lens date code

[Thanks Ciriaco for the update]

The 3rd and 4th digits are an internal Canon manufacturing code. Starting in 1990, Canon only date coded some specific lenses

All L-series lenses EF15mm f/2.8 Fisheye EF24mm f/2.8 EF28mm f/2.8 EF28-70mm f/3.5-4.5
EF28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 II EF35mm f/2 EF35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 EF35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 EF35-105mm f/3.5-4.5
EF35-135mm f/3.5-4.5 EF50-200mm f/3.5-4.5 EF50mm f/1.8 EF50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro EF70-210mm f/4
EF100-200mm f/4.5 EF100-300mm f/5.6 EF135mm f/2.8 Soft Focus MP-E65 f/2.8 Macro TS-E45mm f/2.8
TS-E90mm f/2.8

A newer lens date code

Note that the codes have become less common on recent lenses, with serial numbers in a different ‘xx y zzzzzzz’ format.

This is indicated on this EF8-15 f/4L fisheye zoom 7900001555

Canon ef8-15 lens showing manufacturing code and serial number

The first two digits are a date code, indicating month and year of manufacture.

In this case ’79’ equates with June 2011′

The next number ‘0’ is believed to be a batch or manufacturing revision number (it has been used in the service/recall process)

The remaining seven digits ‘0001555’ are a basic serial number (this was a very early lens – one of the first shipped in the UK)

How to interpret the date code? It’s been suggested that the code starts in January 2008 with the number 38 and increments each month of the year.

We believe the code was reset to 01 for Jan 2013 – but this is still not known for certain. The figures here should be taken as a guide. If you find a change in codes, please do let us know and we’ll see what we can add to this info.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2008 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49
2009 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61
2010 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73
2011 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 83 85
2012 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97
2013 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12
2014 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
2015 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36
2016 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48
2017 49 50 51 52 53 54 55

The code seems to work for modern ‘L’ lenses, but take this example of an EF50/1.4

Canon EF50 f/1.4 lens showing manufacturing date codes

The lens was purchased in March 2012, so the code ’83’ for October 2011 is reasonable. The digit ‘5’ for a revision code is also reasonable for a lens that’s been around for a few years (1993), but we are left with a 5 digit serial number.

The ‘revision’ code is not certain, with a 2014 50/1.4 starting 17080xxx – OK for 17 (May 14), but ‘0’ for the rev code?

…Thanks to a reader for sending this in – if you have any more examples, please do let us know?

So, a way of identifying dates, but not quite so clear as the old letter codes.

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Understanding AF Detection at f/8 on DSLR Cameras

Misunderstanding 1: The inability to focus at small apertures is nothing to do with amount of light. You still have a lot of light with f/8 in sunny day, much more than at f/2.8 indoors. It is actually related to Phase Detection AF mechanism which operates much like range finder comparing images from different angles to determine it’s in-focus or not. Small lens aperture just blocks light paths from different angles, and as the result, makes AF sensor unable to work reliably or not at all.

Misunderstanding 2: Older Nikon cameras may not auto-focus reliably with a lens having a maximum aperture smaller than f/5.6. That may sound bad, if you assume that it means the camera will not auto-focus reliably when the aperture is closed down to f/5.6. That is not what Nikon is saying! Instead they are telling us that auto-focus may not work reliably on older Nikon cameras with a lens having a maximum aperture of f/5.6, with the emphasis on the word maximum.

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D750 vs D810 vs D5 vs D850 vs 5D mark IV

 

Parameter D750 D810 D5 D850 5D Mark IV
Introduce Year 2014/09 2014/06 2016/01 2017/09 2016/08
Sensor Resolution 24.3 MP 36.3 MP 20.8 MP 45.7 MP 30.4 MP
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS CMOS BSI CMOS CMOS
ISO Score by DxOmark 2956 2853 2434 ???? 2993
Low Pass Filter Yes No   No Yes
Image Processor EXPEED 4 EXPEED 4 EXPEED 5 EXPEED 5 DIGIC 6+
Buffer size (RAW 14 bit) 15 28 200 51 21
Storage Media 2x SD 1x CF, 1x SD 2x XQD or 2x CF 1x QXD, 1x SD (UHS-II) 1x CF, 1x SD (UHS-I)
Continuous Shooting Speed 6.5 FPS 5 FPS 12 FPS 7.0 fps 7.0 fps
Exposure Metering Sensor 91,000-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering III 91,000-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering III 180,000-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering III 181,000-pixel RGB sensor 150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor
Autofocus System Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX II Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX   Multi-CAM 20K  
Dedicate AF Engine No No Yes Yes  
Number of AF Points 51 AF points, 15 cross-type 51 AF points, 15 cross-type 153 AF points, 99 cross-type 153 AF points, 99 cross-type 61 AF points, 41 cross-type
Detection Range -3 to +19 EV -2 to +19 EV -4 to +20 EV -4 to +20 EV -3 to +18 EV
AF Detection Up to f/8 (11 AF points) Up to f/8 (11 AF points)   Up to f/8, 15 sensors  
LCD Size and Type 3.2″ TFT-LCD Tilting 3.2″ TFT-LCD 3.2″ Touchscreen TFT-LCD 3.2″ Tilting + Touchscreen LCD 3.2″ Touchscreen LCD
Dual Pixel AF       No Yes
Dual Pixel RAW       No Yes
Built-in GPS No No No No Yes
Battery EN-EL15 EN-EL15 EN-EL18a EN-EL15a  
Battery Life 1,230 shots (CIPA) 1200 shots (CIPA) 3,780 shots (CIPA) 1840 shots (CIPA) 900 shots (CIPA)
Battery Charger MH-25a Quick Charger MH-25a Quick Charger   MH-25a Quick Charger  
USB Version 3 3 3 3 3
Weight (Body Only) 26.5 oz. (750g) 31.1 oz. (880g) 1,405g (With Battery + 2x XQD) 915g 800g
MSRP Price $2,299 (as introduced) $3,299 (as introduced) $6,499 $3,299 (as introduced) $3,499 (as introduced)

 

Nikon D850 vs Canon 5D Mark IV Specification Comparison

 

Camera Feature Nikon D850 Canon 5D Mark IV Comparison Notes
Sensor Resolution 45.7 MP 30.4 MP More pixel for wildlife & landscape photography  
Sensor Type BSI CMOS CMOS Better ISO (35xx vs 2993 DxO Score) Not yet known the ISO score but Sony BSI CMOS is well-known for low light (as of A7Rii)
Low-Pass Filter No Yes No AA filter brings more sharpness, but may result in moiré issue in bird photography Some claims that moiré issue is not significant
Buffer: RAW 14-bit Lossless Compressed 51 21    
Storage Media 1x QXD, 1x SD (UHS-II) 1x CF, 1x SD (UHS-I)    
Continuous Shooting Speed 7.0 fps, 9.0 fps with MB-D18 7.0 fps    
Number of AF Points 153 AF points, 99 cross-type 61 AF points, 41 cross-type   Some point out that 5D mark IV actually has more working cross AF points at aperture F/8
AF Detection Range -4 to +20 EV -3 to +18 EV -4 mean better  focus in low light  
Auto AF Fine-Tune Yes No    
Focus Peaking Yes No    
Focus Stacking Yes No    
Video Maximum Resolution 3,840 x 2,160 (4K) @ up to 30 fps 4,096 x 2,160 (4K) @ up to 30 fps    
Video Crop Factor 1.0x 1.74x    
LCD Size and Type 3.2″ Tilting Touchscreen LCD 3.2″ Touchscreen LCD Tilt LCD gives more flexible to shoot from different angles Less practical if AF is not good in live view
Dual Pixel AF No Yes Much better focus ability with Live View and for Video Nikon has contrast AF only when using live view, which is very slow.
Dual Pixel RAW No Yes    
LCD Resolution 2,359,000 dots 1,620,000 dots    
Built-in GPS No Yes GPS-enabled is good for wildlife photography  
Bluetooth Yes No    
Battery Life 1840 shots (CIPA) 900 shots (CIPA) Longer is better, but 900 is good enough.  
Button Illumination Yes No    
Weight (Body Only) 915g 800g    
Dimensions 146.0 x 124.0 x 78.5mm 150.7 x 116.4 x 75.9mm    
MSRP Price $3,299 (as introduced) $3,499 (as introduced) Canon 5D4: 65tr

Nikon D850: ??

(Table content: courtesy photographylife.com)

 

 

 

Comparison between 3528 LEDs and 5050 LEDs: What are SMD 3528 and SMD 5050 LEDs?

Comparison between 3528 LEDs and 5050 LEDs: What are SMD 3528 and SMD 5050 LEDs?

Here’s an easy-to-understand comparison between LED chip numbers and sizes.

(Hint: the numbers are only the size of the chip!)

New to LEDs? What are LED strip lights and what can they do?

smd-led-comparison-of-5050-2835-3528-3014

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Using Lightning-to-USB-Adapter to copy photo from USB drive to iPhone/iPad

03-apple-lightning-to-usb-camera-adapter

Using Lightning-To-USB Adapter to copy images from USB Flash Drive to iPhone/iPad:

  • Requirement:
    • All image files need to put in a folder name: DCIM
    • Image files must have a filename with exactly 8 characters long (no spaces) plus the file extension (i.e., my-movie.mov; DSCN0164.jpg).
  • How to copy file:
    • If connected iPhone/iPad sees the flash drive, it’ll open all photos in thumbnails. You cannot view more than thumbnails off the drive. To see them bigger, you must import them.
    • Select to import few photo or import all photos.
    • Once you import, pay attention to the dialogue boxes because it’ll offer to delete the photos from the flash drive for you.
    • (You can not export photo from iPhone to flash drive).

 

Sony camera series

Highlights of Sony cameras:

  • A7 iii (2/2018)
  • A7Riii (10/2017)
  • RX0 (9/2017)
  • A9 (04/2017)
  • A99 ii (11/2016)
  • A6500 (10/2016)
  • RX100 v (10/2016)
  • A6300 (03/2016)
  • A7Sii (09/2015)
  • A7Rii (06/2015)
  • RX100 iv (06/2015)
  • A7ii (12/2014)
  • A7S (04/2014)
  • A6000 (03/2014)
  • A7R (10/2013)
  • A7 (10/2013)
  • more…

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