I have been asked, many times, to supply all of the official Canon Product ID Codes for each of the five different versions of CANON's EF 28-105mm lenses. Here they are!There have been so many variations of this particular model that the only absolutely certain way to identify which version you are inspecting is to verify the official manufacturer's product code. This information should help you to be certain that you are buying the exact model that you have been searching for.
I have verified all of the official Canon product code numbers for each of the different versions of the of the Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lenses.
The original " Flower Icon" version (with only five aperture blades) is identified by the official Canon Product ID # 24945197. This is the oldest and least sought-after version of this model. It has the yellow flower symbol printed on the barrel and is also displayed at the short end of the distance scale, inside the window.
The upgraded "seven-blade" aperture version of the MK I (there are no Roman numerals present in the printed model number displayed on the front trim ring of this lens). This version went out of production in August of 2000. It is commonly referred to as " The Macro". The actual word "MACRO", in yellow ink, appears exactly where the flower icon had been located on the original version. The official Canon Product Code number for this model is C21-9701. This version represents the best 'value". It offers nearly identical performance to the Japanese Mark II, but it is not quite as rare, consequently, the price is usually more reasonable.
THIS IS A PHOTO OF THE "MACRO" VERSION WITH THE ORIGINAL RETAIL BOX
The extremely rare Japanese version of the "II USM" is often simply called the "Mark II" (a Roman numeral II is clearly displayed within the model number). The Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM that was Made in Japan, is identified by the official Canon Product Code C21-0121. This number was extremely difficult to locate because very few of these RARE GEMS are still accompanied by the original retail box (the only place where the product code is actually printed). It took almost a month to find one, but finally, here is it is!
THIS IS A PHOTO OF THE JAPANESE MARK II WITH THE ORIGINAL RETAIL BOX
The less desirable (but also considerably less expensive) Taiwanese version of the II USM is identified by the Canon Product Code # 6469A005. If you find any EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM marketed as "new", it will certainly be this version! It has the words "Canon Inc. Made in Taiwan" stamped into the rear baffle, where it is normally very well hidden.
The new plastic hunk of junk, Canon EF 28-105mm f/4-5.6 USM , uses a cheap Micro Motor USM, not the superior "Ring Type" that is used in all of the other lenses discussed here. This lens has replaced all previous versions of the venerable EF 28-105mm. AVOID THIS LENS AT ALL COSTS... PERIOD! ALL OF THE EARLIER VERSIONS (INCLUDING THE ANCIENT "FLOWER ICON" MODEL) ARE HEAD & SHOULDERS ABOVE IT IN QUALITY, CONSTRUCTION AND PERFORMANCE. THE CANON PRODUCT ID CODE IS # 8001A002. Write this number down to be certain that you don't accidentally get stuck with one of these terrible examples of a camera lens. The small amount of money that you might save by buying this lens is just not worth the enormous quality differences between these models!
I am specifically recommending the Japanese "Mark II" or the "Macro" versions as the finest examples of the EF 28-105mm Canon zoom lenses. Now that you are "armed" with the actual Canon product ID numbers, you can be much more certain that you have actually found the "correct" lens.
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