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Posted on Apr 19, 2015 in Blog, Photography | 0 comments

How lens filters are made

How lens filters are made

Have you ever seen how lens filters are made? If no, this might be a good opportunity to step into the labs of a lens filters manufacturer. It’s not quite a short movie but it’s so interesting to see how filters are created from a chemical liquid to final product in an entirely hand made process. Well, I guess big brands are producing their filters in a mass production process while here you can see everything is done manually, step by step. Let’s dive into in magic of lens filters:

It’s amazing, isn’t it? I knew only some imformation about how lens filters are made. Now, I can understand the process, and you too. It’s also amazing the raw material for lens filters is a liquid(!), a monomer, a resin, and the guys turn it into a rigid piece of polycarbonate they are able to work with for transforming it into a filter. I find it strange to see how many clips they use for retaining the liquid into those two sheets of glass. In fact not the idea of retaining the liquid is strange but the usage of clips. I expected something more technological from such a manufacturer. And they are using clips!

The testing of the resin sheet for checking it’s perfectly flat is, from my point of view the most technological step. Although it’s done manually. At least the lady looks on a screen for optical aberations. The hardness tester made me smile. Ok, I understand it’s got to be the right hardness to be useful in the next processes and to create a final perfect product. But isn’t it too manual? And the laminating of the resin sheet, the marking with common markers like in school and the dunking of the sheet, the resin dyeing to be more accurate, and correcting the darkness of the filters, are incredibly manual processes.

Another amazing idea is that the company, although produces hand made lens filters, has an increasing demand for these products, forcing them to find solutions to making the manufacturing process faster, such as “baking” the sheets, reducing the time from two days to one day to increase the baking capacity and so the number of filters they are able to sell. And I wonder: do the big brands manufacture lens filters in a mass production process or maybe they are buying the filters from manufacturers such as Lee Filters?

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