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Old Tuesday 20th September 2016, 16:03   #1
BruceH
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Determining the Age of a 10X42 L IS by Serial Number

In another thread, Kimmo was trying to determine if the Canon 10X42 L IS being discussed by another member was a recent sample by asking about the serial number.

So, Kimmo or anyone else, how do you interpret the serial number to determine information about the age. The number on mine is 217000xx. My best guess from the little I know about the history is it is 2014 or early 2015.

Thanks.
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Last edited by BruceH : Tuesday 20th September 2016 at 16:42. Reason: Added history comment
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Old Tuesday 20th September 2016, 18:22   #2
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Can anyone help me find the serial number on my Canon 10x42?
I've looked all over and don't see any, not even inside the battery compartment.
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Old Tuesday 20th September 2016, 18:25   #3
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Look further.
It is angled and not easily seen.
Maybe use a magnifying glass.
Between the tubes.
External.

17700xxx here.

It may be that different markets have different markers, as well as different year numbers.
Maybe 3rd digit model indicator??

I spent ages going through Dallmeyer manufacturing lens ledgers.
Kodak, Hasselblad and others have codes.
Nikon camera numbers are not as they seem.
Minolta numbers strange.
Canon lenses have factory indicators.

Perhaps Bletchley Park could help.

Last edited by Binastro : Tuesday 20th September 2016 at 19:04.
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Old Tuesday 20th September 2016, 19:31   #4
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Bruce,

This link is what I have used, and although I cannot be sure the logic applies to binoculars in the Canon range, the results the table gives seem plausible enough with all the ones I have checked

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/C...ens-Aging.aspx

Yours would be made in September 2014 and Binastro's May of 2014. Mine would be from November 2010. I bought mine about two years ago, but knew they had been on the dealer's shelf for a couple of years and were of stock that may have been at the importer's for a while prior to that, so the date is plausible if a bit early. How do these dates seem with respect to your purchase dates?

Kimmo
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Old Tuesday 20th September 2016, 20:47   #5
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Thank you Kimmo. I have been curious about that since I bought them. The Sept. 2014 date fits with what I know. Mine were purchased second hand on July 1, 2015. The previous owner said he brought them new from Amazon for a special project, I think near the beginning of 2015, then ultimately decided he no longer had a need for them.

Thought I would summarize who has what .......

Per the chart, the first two characters represent the month and year increased sequentially every month until hitting near 99, then starting over again with 01 in Jan, 2013. The third looks to be a batch number which is unchanged, and the last five are the serial number.

Kimmo xx x xxxxx - Nov 2010
Dennis 87 7 002xx - Feb 2012
BruceH 21 7 000xx - Sep. 2014
Binastro 17 7 00xxx - May 2014

I am wondering if the serial number starts over at zero each month. If so, then they made 200 plus in February of 2012. If that is the case, my two digit number in Sept of 2015 makes me think the serial number was reset to zero on September 1.
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Old Wednesday 21st September 2016, 00:20   #6
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My glass was bought new from Amazon, serial number 21 08200147, bought in late 2007.
If the Canon 10 digit coding was in effect then, it would imply an Aug 2006 manufacture.

The serial number marker (thank you, Binastro) between the tubes is only a strip of plastic held in a small recess. In my case, it has faded almost completely. A magnifier with a strong light can still barely allow the 147 to be discerned. Fortunately I also kept the box cover with the serial number.
Guess Canon is no different from Zeiss, they too had serial numbers on bits that could easily go missing...
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Old Wednesday 21st September 2016, 16:12   #7
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Has Canon improved any aspect of the 10X42 IS WP since their first release in 2005? That's the earliest I see reviews for the bin from Amazon.
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Old Wednesday 21st September 2016, 17:17   #8
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Mine was bought in 2015 from ebay.com for $650. You missed that one Dennis! It was new in box with all documents, but without a case which is useless anyway. It now sits in an nice Opticron leather case which has, unfortunately, been discontinued. It's numbered 82600xxx so manufactured in September 2011.

I have always wondered why it was so cheap, but give the manufacturing date 0f 2011 and the purchase date of 2015 it would appear that it had probably been sitting on a shelf somewhere and the case had been lost so the seller just wanted to cover his costs.

Although I had to pay postage, tax and import duty of $200 the total cost was still only $850 - 566 at the exchange rate at the time. That was half the UK price at the time.

Sometimes you can be lucky.

Stan

PS. I will post what lead up to me buying it on another thread
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Old Wednesday 21st September 2016, 17:47   #9
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10x30 IS Mk II 37100xxx January 2016 probably.

10x30 IS Mk I 2200xxxC August 1998 ?? possibly. Rather poor IS and internal moisture bought secondhand. I doubt I'd buy another IS used. 1998 instruction book. unfilled warranty card.
A Bushnell IS was also a secondhand mistake.

The Bushnell 10x35 worked for about half an hour then played up. Way out of warranty.
It looks like new, everything complete, but to describe this example as a piece of junk is praising it too highly.
You can use it as is but who would want to.

Last edited by Binastro : Wednesday 21st September 2016 at 18:11.
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Old Wednesday 21st September 2016, 17:55   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanbo View Post
........... It's numbered 82600xxx so manufactured in September 2011.
..............
Stan

PS. I will post what lead up to me buying it on another thread
Your number of 82-6-00xxx is the first of the eight digit numbers showing a 6 for the third digit rather than 7. I wonder if that means Canon made a change to those with the 7 as the third digit. The link from Kimmo says the third digit represents a batch number. Since Kimmo has the oldest 8 digit unit so far, hopefully he will post some more detail on his serial number. I suspect the third digit will be 6 or maybe lower.


21 08200147 - Aug 2006 - Etudiant

72 x xxxxx - Nov 2010 - Kimmo
82 6 00xxx - Sep 2011 - Stan
87 7 002xx - Feb 2012 - Dennis
17 7 00xxx - May 2014 - Binastro
21 7 000xx - Sep 2014 - BruceH
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Last edited by BruceH : Thursday 22nd September 2016 at 16:57. Reason: Added the first two digits for Kimmo's unit, reformat list.
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Old Thursday 22nd September 2016, 01:30   #11
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Has Canon improved any aspect of the 10X42 IS WP since their first release in 2005? That's the earliest I see reviews for the bin from Amazon.
There was some change to the internal field stops, because the early models were actually 10x37 rather than 10x42, because of internal obstruction.
Apart from that, there may have been coating improvements, although the glass still does not have any Lotutec style hydrophobic coatings, at least afaik.

More generally, if the last 3 digits represent the monthly production number for that batch, it indicates Canon produces only a few thousand 10x42s annually. These are hobby shop quantities compared to the millions of camera lenses Canon sells every year. It suggests a business volume of millions or at best tens of millions of dollars, in a company with annual revenues of $30 billion.
The binocular business is irrelevant to Canon financially. At best, it might be a space where Canon demonstrates its technical prowess, which is the basis for the Canon IS line of binoculars imho.
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Old Thursday 22nd September 2016, 11:00   #12
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The changes to the internal field stops were well documented on some German optics forums (Juelich, if I recall), and included improved baffling also. Likewise, there have been two different German magazine tests over the years that had measured transmission values, the first an early one, from the first few years of this model, and the latter from some four-five years back. There was about 5% increase in transmission between these, and I saw the difference readily in my now-sold early model and my current late 2010 model. I haven't done comparisons between my present Canon and the latest production units, but will try to do that sometimes this fall.

I don't recall the exact figures from the tests, but it was something like 83% daylight transmission in the early one and 87-88% in the latter. So roughly like from first generation Ultravids to Ultravid HD +.

Kimmo
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Old Thursday 22nd September 2016, 13:17   #13
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Thanks etudiant and kabsetz. I am amazed that a 12 year old design is being favorably compared to the upgraded alphas of 2016 for handheld resolution. As Canon upgraded the 10x30 and 12x36 last year they might do the same for 10x42. If Canon can reduce the weight by 200gm and upgrade the eyepiece I'll be happy to replace my current 10x42.
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Old Thursday 22nd September 2016, 16:18   #14
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Thanks etudiant and kabsetz. I am amazed that a 12 year old design is being favorably compared to the upgraded alphas of 2016 for handheld resolution. As Canon upgraded the 10x30 and 12x36 last year they might do the same for 10x42. If Canon can reduce the weight by 200gm and upgrade the eyepiece I'll be happy to replace my current 10x42.
The simple fact is that the Canon 10x42 IS-L is a real bargain for the price and there is nothing else like it. Everybody should own at least one.
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Old Thursday 22nd September 2016, 22:57   #15
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The simple fact is that the Canon 10x42 IS-L is a real bargain for the price and there is nothing else likehat it. Everybody should own at least one.
On the matter of everybody owning one of them; Etudiant said in post #11 above that Canon only produces a few thousand of them a year, so good luck with that!

Get them while they are hot!

Bob
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Old Friday 23rd September 2016, 00:32   #16
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On the matter of everybody owning one of them; Etudiant said in post #11 above that Canon only produces a few thousand of them a year, so good luck with that!

Get them while they are hot!

Bob
From your lips.....
I'm confident Canon could make as many as everyone wants, the problem is not everyone appears to want one.
The wretched 1 year warranty may be a deterrent to sales, or maybe the lumpish appearance of the glass. Nevertheless, it is the best birding glass on the market imho. It is a hidden gem, alpha optics with unique capabilities for half the price of conventional glass.
Perhaps the myth of the rational consumer is just that.
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Old Friday 23rd September 2016, 04:49   #17
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From your lips.....
I'm confident Canon could make as many as everyone wants, the problem is not everyone appears to want one.
The wretched 1 year warranty may be a deterrent to sales, or maybe the lumpish appearance of the glass. Nevertheless, it is the best birding glass on the market imho. It is a hidden gem, alpha optics with unique capabilities for half the price of conventional glass.
Perhaps the myth of the rational consumer is just that.
I am hesitant to buy the Canon 10x42 IS because along with "lumpish appearance" you mentioned there is the 1.1kg weight, awkward eye pieces, unprotected objective lenses, and horror stories about Canon service charging an arm and a leg for repairs. A drop or ding could seriously mess up the Electronics/IS and it is no surprise why consumers are wary.
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Old Friday 23rd September 2016, 12:57   #18
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I am hesitant to buy the Canon 10x42 IS because along with "lumpish appearance" you mentioned there is the 1.1kg weight, awkward eye pieces, unprotected objective lenses, and horror stories about Canon service charging an arm and a leg for repairs. A drop or ding could seriously mess up the Electronics/IS and it is no surprise why consumers are wary.

The objective lenses are in fact protected, what is exposed is a flat cover glass. Adding a short lens hood (52mm, about $6 each from Amazon) is a helpful modification.
The weight is best dealt with by using a good shoulder strap (The Optech utility strap mentioned here by NSNO works well and is more flexible than a harness.
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=329721 )
The short warranty is an issue, although the design seems pretty robust in practice. Also, the glass is very good, with or without the IS, so an IS failure is not immediately fatal. Sadly Canon service is subpar when compared to Swaro or Zeiss, they really don't do binoculars very much and it shows.
The 10x42 appearance and the eye cups are not negotiable. There was a cutaway posted by Henry some time back, it showed that the Canon engineers put the parts together as tight as possible and then wrapped a shell around it.

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Old Friday 23rd September 2016, 20:21   #19
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The cutaways are here:

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=294550

With tongue in cheek, I'd say that these show that the 10x42 L IS is the only true alpha on the market. All the other alphas are only overpriced antique collectibles.

Kimmo
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Old Saturday 24th September 2016, 01:14   #20
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With tongue in cheek, I'd say that these show that the 10x42 L IS is the only true alpha on the market. All the other alphas are only overpriced antique collectibles.

Kimmo
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed. (with due respect to Alexander Pope)
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Old Saturday 24th September 2016, 16:10   #21
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What is missing are 2 weights that should be supplied free so that one can improve biceps etc.

I have never been able to decide whether the variable prisms become more opaque with time, say ten years, and if transmission is reduced.

It could equally be that my eyes transmit less over the last 15 years.
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Old Saturday 24th September 2016, 18:00   #22
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What is missing are 2 weights that should be supplied free so that one can improve biceps etc.

I have never been able to decide whether the variable prisms become more opaque with time, say ten years, and if transmission is reduced.

It could equally be that my eyes transmit less over the last 15 years.
Canon recommends at least an hour of binocular hoisting daily for well toned biceps.

The transmission question is an open issue. My almost 10 year old 10x42 is showing signs of age, the objective cover glass fogs up when going outside on colder days (-10 C or lower) and they also seem a little hazy in some light conditions. Kimmo noted that his newer unit had improved transmission, but that may reflect newer coatings rather than aging variable prism material. Does anyone know what they are made of?
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Old Wednesday 7th December 2016, 02:31   #23
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my 10x42 arrived today, the serial number starts with 42 XXXXXX, based on the decoding logic mentioned on this thread, it means

1. Manufactured in May 2008
or
2. Manufactured in June 2016
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Old Wednesday 7th December 2016, 14:06   #24
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Hopefully June 2016 or July 2024 and sent back in time.
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Old Wednesday 7th December 2016, 15:09   #25
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Hopefully June 2016 or July 2024 and sent back in time.
The last 3 digits of the serial number is in low hundreds, I think it means its probably a new version, since while not impossible it will be difficult to expect something manufactured 8 years ago is still sticking around in the stock.

If my assumption is true, that is Canon made new Bino's 2016 they may be wrapping up their stock of IS and getting ready for a new version launch next year or discontinuing this model all together. I strongly think its the former.
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