Photos Spare Cycles MythBusters

Lenses are tough to make

This video looks into the lens-manufacturing process at JML Optical. Somehow I thought it was a lot more automated than this.

Update: Mark Wallace of Snap Factory points me to the even more detailed Canon Virtual Lens Plant, which has video covering the lens manufacturing process from glass-forming to lens assembly. Canon's process seems even more complex. Just to get the glass for the lens, a glass mixture is blended from raw materials (different mixture for each lens), fused in a crucible, cast, broken apart, and recast into a sheet. Then the sheets are cut to the right shape/weight, ground, reheated, pressed into lens shapes, and annealed. Then you start the 'lens machining', i.e. actually grinding and polishing the lens. For this stage, the lens is rough ground with a diamond grind stone, fine ground with a diamond pellet platter (1/1000mm precision), polished, milled to the right diameter, and coated. The final lens assembly process is all expertly hand-done from the inside of the lens out. It's impressive how many steps have to go right to get to the final product. (got all that?)


Comments (1)

Also check out the step by step video of Canon producing their lenses. It's very detailed and a fun video to watch. I really enjoyed the last part.

Post a comment


related entries.

what is this?

This page contains a single entry from kwc blog posted on May 30, 2007 8:07 PM.

The previous post was Devolution.

The next post is Cheaper HD TiVo on the way?.

Current entries can be found on the main page.