Although I’ve never used lens filters, many photographers do and with good reason. Not only do lens filters offer protection from unwanted scratches and dust on the front element of a lens, they can also add a whole host of specialized effects.
One of the most trusted names in the filter industry is LEE Filters and today the firm gives us an inside look at what it takes to make a high quality lens filter that doesn’t degrade the quality of the image captured by the lens it’s protecting.
In the twelve-minute video, photographer Karl Taylor is given a tour of the LEE filter facilities by Ralph Young, the director of sales at LEE Filters.
From the initial production of the blank resin elements to packaging the finished product, the tour shows just how much work and attention to detail is required to hand-make each and every filter that leaves the factory. Likewise, it’s impressive to see just how much of the process is hands-on. In a world with so much manufacturing automation, it’s a treat to see that each filter is made from beginning to end in the care of a human.
One of the most prominent details to take away from this is the realization of how many different inspections take place from one step to the next to ensure each filter turns out absolutely perfect.
Proof of this precision is revealed when Taylor tries to make his own gradient filter, which ultimately falls short of the various quality assurance measures. Maybe next time, Karl.
This video is labelled “Part 1,” so there’s likely more to come. We’ll update this article with sequels when released, so keep it bookmarked.