Leica released a video that details the meticulous manufacturing process behind their lenses. The standard Leica lens is made in Germany, and consists of 100 different parts. The beautiful thing about the video is how much of the process is done by hand. While robots are in charge of things like engraving serial numbers, the etchings are then hand-lacquered. In the video you can see humans painting, cementing and testing the lenses among other things. We’re not so useless after all.
Knowing what goes on behind the scenes should make things easier the next time you’re browsing for lenses online and see that the Leica 50 mm f2.5 is almost $2,000. You can nod your head with understanding instead of grasping your chest in shock and horror. Or do a little bit of both.