Nikon Imaging Japan published a video on their official Youtube channel, oferring a glimpse at the Nikkor glass manufacturing process, couple of weeks ago.
We all know how discreet Japanese makers of photographic equipment are in regard to their future products, their specifications and launch dates. However, once in a while, it seems they are willing to shed a little light on their manufacturing process.
Latest Nikkor special movie, filmed with Nikon D800
Nikon offered a virtual Christmas present to their consumers, by uploading on 25th of December, last year, a short video about optical glass manufacturing process, the cornerstone of Nikkor lenses. The video, filmed with a Nikon D800, showcases some of the daily operations that Nikkor glass goes through in an optical glass making plant, before ending in your lenses:
As in other industries, quality control and precision are key factors also in lenses manufacturing. What is striking though, for our robotized decade, is the careful visual inspection of the glass, the manual sorting and the craftsmanship needed for this thorough process, as seen in Nikon video.
More from Nikon Imagining Japan
Another video from Nikon Imaging Japan
Some of the four main manufacturing processes for producing a lens are highlighted in the above two videos:
- grinding and polishing lens elements;
- coating lenses;
- producing the barrel;
- assembling the lens.
Further presentations on lenses manufacturing
If you want to dig a little deeper into the lenses manufacturing process, here is an older Discovery Channel documentary posted on YouTube, couple of year ago: How camera lenses are made. This video describes in more detail the technological steps for creating the picture perfect lens.
Another series of three videos describe the inner process of manufacturing a Canon 500mm lens.
Nikkor. The brand name for Nikon Lenses
Nikkor is the brand name of photographic lenses made by Nikon Corporation, including lenses for the Nikon F-Mount.
In 1933, the large-format lens for aerial photography was released as the first Nikkor lens. By November 2012, total production of Nikkor lenses for Nikon interchangeable lens cameras (ILCs) reached 75 million units.
Nikon has a dedicated online portal for its Nikkor lenses, where you can find some great tools and resources about the capabilities of the Nikkor lenses, their naming scheme, VR technology and a handy lens simulator.