Taking a Camera Lens Apart, Just to See What's Inside!

Ever wanted to take a camera lens apart to see what's inside? Be prepared for a seemingly endless array of the worlds tiniest screws, a fountain of various rings, and a bit of grease.

  • Canon FD 50mm f/1.8
  • Mini Screwdriver
  • Elapsed Time: 38 Minutes

Deconstructing A Camera Lens

I have to say the ingenuity that goes into making even an old lens is truly incredible. It's easier to understand after watching this video, why lens manufacturers with a long track record of building lenses often have a higher quality product. Sure you can just hire a team Mathematicians, Industrial Engineers, and Optical Scientists and begin building lenses, but decades of research and development provide truly invaluable experience in crafting a beautiful lens. It was especially hard to fathom the knowledge required to build a lens, when I could hardly figure out how to just take it apart.

taking a camera lens apart, 2 of 3 Lens Elements

taking a camera lens apart

taking a camera lens apart, Aperture Blades

Lens Manufacturers: Who Came First?

Here is a rough timeline of lens manufacturers and the year they began, from Voight to Venus!

  • Voigtländer - 1756
  • Leica - 1849
  • Zeiss - 1874
  • Kodak - 1888
  • Schneider Kreuznach - 1913
  • Nikon - 1917
  • Olympus - 1919
  • Pentax - 1919
  • Canon - 1937
  • Tamron - 1950
  • Sigma - 1961
  • Soligor - 1968
  • Samyang - 1972
  • Venus - 2014

The Innovative History Behind Canon EF Lens Technology

If instead of taking a camera lens apart, you'd like to one come together, the two videos below are quite interesting.