How to determine the production year of a Leica lens based on the serial number

Here is a quick and easy way to get the year of manufacturing of Leica lenses (L, R, and screw mount) based on the serial number which is located on the front of the lens:

Update: A reader just sent me another way of determining the production year of Leica cameras and lenses: just got to this website, and type the serial number.

And another update on the serial numbers after 2004:

4 000 000-4 010 600: 2004
4 010 601-4 025 900: 2005
4 025 901-4 034 900: 2006
4 034 901-4 057 000: 2007
4 057 001-4 080 000: 2008
4 080 001–>  2009

Serial number 

start - end:

Year of manufacturing
156 001-195 000 1933
195 001-236 000 1934
236 001-284 600 1935
284 601-345 000 1936
345 001-416 500 1937
416 501-490 000 1938
490 001-538 500 1939
538 501-565 000 1940
565 001-582 294 1941
582 295-593 000 1942
593 001-594 880 1943
594 881-595 000 1944
595 001-601 000 1945
601 001-633 000 1946
633 001-647 000 1947
647 001-682 000 1948
682 001-756 000 1949
756 001-840 000 1950
840 001-950 000 1951
950 001-1 051 000 1952
1 051 000-1 124 000 1953
1 124 001-1 236 000 1954
1 236 001-1 333 000 1955
1 333 001-1 459 000 1956
1 459 001-1 548 000 1957
1 548 001-1 645 300 1958
1 645 301-1 717 000 1959
1 717 001-1 827 000 1960
1 827 001-1 913 000 1961
1 913 001-1 967 100 1962
1 967 101-2 015 700 1963
2 015 701-2 077 500 1964
2 077 501-2 156 300 1965
2 156 301-2 236 500 1966
2 236 501-2 254 400 1967
2 254 401-2 312 750 1968
2 312 751-2 384 700 1969
2 384 701-2 468 500 1970
2 468 501-2 503 100 1971
2 503 101-2 556 500 1972
2 556 501-2 663 400 1973
2 663 401-2 731 900 1974
2 731 901-2 761 100 1975
2 761 101-2 809 400 1976
2 809 401-2 880 600 1977
2 880 601-2 967 250 1978
2 967 251-3 013 650 1979
3 013 651-3 087 000 1980
3 087 001-3 160 500 1981
3 160 501-3 249 100 1982
3 249 101-3 294 900 1983
3 294 901-3 346 200 1984
3 346 201-3 383 200 1985
3 383 201-3 422 890 1986
3 422 891-3 455 870 1987
3 455 871-3 478 900 1988
3 478 901-3 503 150 1989
3 503 151-3 540 467 1990
3 540 468-3 583 830 1991
3 585 831-3 610 680 1992
3 610 381-3 644 475 1993
3 644 476-3 677 030 1994
3 677 031-3 730 290 1995
3 730 291-3 770 920 1996
3 770 930-3 818 624 1997
3 818 625-3 857 849 1998
3 857 850-3 882 996 1999
3 882 997-4 000 000 2000 ~ 2004
4000000 and above After 2004

Via Leica Camera Blog Russia

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  • hi

    does this apply to both M and R lenses?

    • http://leicarumors.com LR admin

      yes, this is for all L, R, and screw mount Leica lenses

  • http://www.overgaard.dk Thorsten Overgaard

    The years after 2004 also have numbers:

    4 000 000 4 010 600 2004
    4 010 601 4 025 900 2005
    4 025 901 4 034 900 2006
    4 034 901 4 057 000 2007
    4 057 001 4 080 000 2008
    4 080 001 2009 –>

    • http://leicarumors.com LR admin

      thanks, I will add those to the list

  • J Shin

    I remember reading somewhere, probably Erwin Puts or Leica FAQ, that these are the years when the numbers were allocated to be used by the factory. The actual manufacture may have been in the next year or so. The date of sales might be way off, of course. Guide books appear to use these years, however, so the years are accurate enough for determining different models of lenses; when they are not, the guide books also list serial numbers, I think.

  • Nicolas

    Funny that your lens no 4069097 is unknown to the Leica lens database…

    • http://leicarumors.com LR admin

      This picture was taken on 09.09.09 – they day the M9 was released and the camera and lens belong to Leica, this could explain why the serial number is not listed.

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