Canon Serial Number Help

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by beauh44, May 4, 2006.

  1. Hello, I know this has been asked before but when I searched PN, I
    was inundated with stolen equipment serial numbers which don't help.

    I'm changing insurance companies and need to inventory my equipment
    along with the serial numbers. Canon doesn't make this easy! I've
    been looking at the lens-mount end of the lens and it's not
    altogether clear what the serial number is and in some cases there
    are two numbers.

    For example, on my 17-40mm F/4L, stenciled into the metallic ring is
    the number 59835. But then there's another number (sort of on the
    black part) UR0300. I understand that the "URO300" is a date code so
    that one can determine where and when the lens was made. (U =
    Utsunomiya, Japan; The second letter, "R", is a year code that
    indicates the year of manufacture, etc.) However, this doesn't
    *seem* like a true serial number and if it's not, where the heck is

    On my 500mm f/4L IS lens, the "date code" (US0114) seems to be the
    *only* number I can find on it anywhere. Is that my lens's serial
    number and if not, where the heck is it? Does the location vary from
    lens to lens?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
  2. Beau, I can't answer your question but it lead me to ask you a question. What kind of insurance covers you equipment, and what does it cover? Damage, lost, stolen?
  3. Hi Will, I haven't gotten that far yet! I'm just trying to add the stuff to a homeowner's policy. But it's one of those cases of "I can't get there from here" 'cause I'm not sure if I have the correct serial numbers! I was going to call the insurance company this a.m. but I was trying to compile everything (replacement value, take pictures of everything, etc) when I got stuck. I'll let you know what they tell me if and when I ever get that far! ;-)
  4. The L lenses normally have the serial number on the bottom of the barrel at the mount end, often also for non-L, else inside the mount area.

    What I do is check the box on delivery as it is listed there and make sure this matches with that on the lens and (if metioned) on the receipt. I then add this to a database for insurance reasons.
  5. You should be able to find matching instances of the serial number on the lens itself, on the original box, and on warranty card.
  6. AFAIK, the warranty cards have serial numbers on them. I haven't paid that much attention to them, but I know at least some of my warranty cards do.
    On your 17-40, you have correctly identified the date code. It is not a serial number; all 17-40s made in the same month in the same plant will share the same first four characters, so assuming they made at least 101 such lenses that month in that plant (and AFAIK all 17-40s, along with most if not all other EF lenses, are made in Utsonomiya), this number will not be unique. The other number you mention will be the serial number.
    Never having seen a 500/4 in person, I can't help you locate the serial number on it. Again, you're right about the date code. Many consumer lenses don't have serial numbers printed on them, but AFAIK most if not all of the L lenses do. The three Ls I've owned, along with my 1.4x II, have all had serial numbers on them. There should be a serial number somewhere, and if you send me the lens I'll be happy to try to find it for you :) All I can say is that sometimes these things are printed in black ink on a black baffle or other black part of the lens and they can be very tricky to find.
  7. @ Will King - What kind of insurance covers you equipment, and what does it cover? Damage, lost, stolen?

    I have a rider on my home insurance that covers fire, theft and misc loss (in house or on the road) @ $122 anually per $10,000.
  8. Exact location varies from lens to lens. It's typically engraved somewhere, often on the underside of the barrel near the lensmount.

    It may be black on black of white on white, so you need side lighting to see it.
  9. Thanks everyone. I do have a few of the boxes but the box that my 500mm lens came in was probably tossed because it was so big. Believe me, if I had it written anywhere else, I'd like to find it.

    Thanks, Bob - I tried your advice looking in the black part at the lens-mount end using side-light and except for that date code, I swear there is nothing else there. I stared at it for 5 minutes trying to cypher where the hell they put a serial number and it just seems to be missing on my 500mm f/4L IS. Is it possible Canon left mine without one? I'm "this close" to taking a picture of it. That date code is clearly visible but there's just nothing else written on the lens-mount end of this lens that I can see. Grrr...

    As for some of my other lenses that seemingly have two numbers, I'll just write both of them down - that's no big deal. I just don't understand why Canon doesn't make this more easy to find on such an expensive - and I imagine frequently stolen - item. Oh well...
  10. Try looking on the barrel of the lens (not the end face), near the mount, on the underside. That's where it is on my 500/4.5L. It's engraved into the metal. It's also there on my 300/4L. In my case they're black on white so they're easy to see, but on the EF 70-300 IS it's black on black, i.e. it's engraved in the black material of the lens barrel.

    Date codes aren't serial numbers. Serial numbers are just numbers, with no letters, at least all the ones I've seen are. I'm 99.9% certain that all lenses have them.
  11. Thanks Bob! I found it! It is indeed on the side of my 500mm. If you locate the red dot used to align the lens and body and follow around the barrel at that point you'll see it underneath and slightly off to one side. The 70-200mm f/2.8L IS is in a similar location but the serial number on the 17-40mm is located "inside" (as opposed to on the side) at the lens-mount end, seemingly like many "non-L" lenses.

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