Fujifilm Shares a Tour of its Japanese Camera and Lens Factory

Fujifilm Japan has published a video tour of one of its camera and lens factories. In total, the company has six production facilities, including four in Japan. The video showcases many of Fujifilm’s various products, including X and GFX series mirrorless cameras and lenses, Fujinon broadcast lenses, and binoculars. It is, however, entirely in Japanese.

First spotted by FujiRumors, the initial part of the video focuses on the lens manufacturing process. Beyond the photographic and video lenses PetaPixel routinely covers, Fujifilm has an extensive scientific and medical imaging division, including products such as endoscopic lenses less than 1mm in diameter.

Fujifilm factory tour

Lenses come in many different sizes, but the manufacturing process is similar across the board. Glass must be cut, polished, and treated with sophisticated coatings to improve optical performance. Glass is melted at extremely high temperatures and then precisely shaped into optimal sizes and shapes. Optical designs are carefully crafted to the sub-micron level.

Fujifilm factory tour

Fujifilm’s lens manufacturing dates to 1940, when the company successfully manufactured a dozen kinds of optical elements. The highly acclaimed Fujinon brand of broadcast lenses started in the 1960s. Today, Fujifilm’s optical technologies include cutting-edge applications such as machine vision and artificial intelligence development.

Fujifilm factory tour

The video shifts gears, moving from optics to camera manufacturing. Building cameras requires precise engineering and very talented employees.

An essential part of the production process starts years prior in design meetings. Fujifilm’s designers and engineers work together frequently to determine what level of features and performance is possible given specific financial and supply constraints.

Fujifilm factory tour

Fujifilm’s successful business relies upon more than simply making the best possible cameras and lenses. Business goals, cost analysis, and available technology must temper design and production.

Fujifilm factory tour

While Fujifilm manufactures many components, it must also work with third-party vendors to source essential parts, adding another layer of complexity to the production and manufacturing process.

Although the video above is marketing material, it offers interesting insight into Fujifilm’s production processes. A recent factory tour by CineD goes into even further detail, showing how Fujifilm hand-assembles its large XF 150-600mm f/5.6-8 R LM OIS WR lens.

A closer look at the Fujifilm camera production process was delivered by Lok Cheung in 2020. In Cheung’s video below, he looks at the Fujifilm GFX100 production line and attempts to help assemble a Fujifilm X-H1 camera.

For those who can’t get enough of tours like this, PetaPixel has featured many other looks at how companies assemble their products, including a tour of Kodak’s film factory, behind the scenes at Ilford, and a look inside Sigma’s new headquarters.

Image credits: Fujifilm Japan