Objective lens in the hands of a woman

Did You Know…

…that Glass Can Be More Expensive than Gold?


Glass is not only found in windows, on your nose, or in your kitchen cupboard. There are countless types of proven material, which differ in their melting points, refractive indexes, and opacities. These differences are crucial for the production of lenses for use in photography and cinematography. This is why data on grindability, thermal expansion, and homogeneity of the refractive index is precisely documented for each type. The results are impressive: High-quality lenses make camera and cine lenses from ZEISS suitable for demanding applications.

ZEISS uses more than 100 different types of high-quality optical glass to create 350 different lens elements for up to 150 different objective lenses. Some of these processed optical glasses and crystals cost more than gold and are almost as heavy as steel.

What is the best way to process glass? First, employees grind the raw glass with the aid of computer-guided machines to create the lens elements. The second step is to polish them and check them for accuracy. Grinding, polishing, cleaning, and measuring complete the process – repeated until the perfect shape has been achieved. Finally, the specialists perform one last manual “cleanliness test.” The lens elements are now ready to be installed. After all, quality is the most important thing when the release is pressed.

25 August 2009