This tour around Fuji’s Sendai factory shows $4,000 lenses being built by hand

Feb 6, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Feb 6, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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I don’t know about you, but I find factory tours fascinating, especially when so much equipment is still being assembled by hand. Sure, the individual components manufacture may be automated, but to see them all come together to create the final by hand product is a wonderful sight. It’s also interesting to see how each company differs in their approach & working environment, too.

I used to think all this stuff was 99% automated until I started seeing tours of factories like Leica and Sony. This time we get to look inside Fujifilm’s Japanese Sendai factory, thanks to the folks at Cinema5D. The Sendai factory is where they make Fujinon MK lenses, the Fujifilm X-T2, Fujifilm GFX and a few other cool toys.

YouTube video

Seeing the process through which each staff member and visitor must go in order to enter the assembly area is rather reassuring. Every possible part that could shed hair, dust or other potential nasties is covered to prevent contaminating the assembly line.

First, we see an overview of the Fujinon MK18-55 T2.9 lens construction, and it still amazes me to see just how much is done by hand. Then we go on to see a little of the Fujifilm XT-2’s assembly.

As well as the obvious care and attention to detail made with each item’s construction, A recent post on the Fujifilm blog says that they randomly pull 10% of all lenses for random inspection. Each is loaded unpackaged and loaded onto a camera to ensure proper operation.

That was also a big surprise for me. I didn’t think they’d test anywhere near that many samples. Probably goes some way toward explaining why Fuji users are so happy with their kit.

[via Cinema5D]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “This tour around Fuji’s Sendai factory shows $4,000 lenses being built by hand”

  1. pandacongolais Avatar
    pandacongolais

    Could we see how $500 lenses being built by machines ?