A Look at How Nikon’s Nikkor Lenses Are Made, From Start to Finish

On January 28, Nikon announced the 80th anniversary of the launch of the Nikkor lens brand, and that the total number of lenses manufactured since the beginning has exceeded 75 million units. The lineup now includes more than 80 types of lenses.

To celebrate the occasion, Nikon released the above video, which offers a behind-the-scenes look into how its widely used lenses are made. The video starts from the production of the glass from sand and goes through final assembly, all in three-and-a-half minutes.

You might recognize some of the shots in the video from a similar video by Nikon we featured last month. That one focused on the manufacturing of the optical glass.







Nikon owns a separate business that creates the glass used in its lenses. It’s called Hikari Glass, and is located in Yuzawa, Akita.


Japanese blog freshakita.exblog.jp recently had the opportunity to take a tour of the business, and snapped a number of interesting behind-the-scenes photographs of the glass being made.

P.S. In case you’re wondering how the “Nikkor” brand name was chosen, here’s the explanation Nikon gives in its anniversary press release:

The brand name for Nikon lenses, NIKKOR has become synonymous with high-performance, high-quality SLR lenses. The NIKKOR name comes from adding “R”—a common practice in the naming of photographic lenses at the time the name was established—to “Nikko”, the Romanized abbreviation for Nippon Kogaku K.K. In 1933, the large-format lens for aerial photography was released with the name Aero-Nikkor.

P.P.S. Here’s a semi-related random factoid about photo gear manufacturing: each Canon 6D DSLR takes 40 minutes to assemble from beginning to end at the Canon factory in Oita Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan.