How did ZEISS ramp up production to build Compact Prime CP.2 lenses fast enough to meet demand that exceeded wildest predictions?

To find out for the IBC issue of FDTimes, coming September 9, we visited Carl Zeiss headquarters in Oberkochen. At left is part of the team that builds Compact Prime CP.2 lenses: Cathrin Früholz, Steffen Proksch, Daniele Vitulano, and Sabrina Schulze.

ZEISS Compact Prime CP.2 lenses are assembled by hand in Oberkochen with the same meticulous attention to detail seen in the rest of their Cine Lens line. The glass comes from Japan; the barrels and mechanics are made locally. One person builds an entire CP.2. That’s Cathrin Früholz, at left, putting the finishing touches on a new Compact Prime CP.2 100mm/T2.1 Close Focus lens.

Each lens is built to order. This is fast, lean, cell-type production. Each lens is checked on a ZEISS K8 MTF Tester. Then the famous ZEISS lettered focus barrels are laser engraved on-demand. Quality control is performed at frequent intervals in the assembly area.

I’m not supposed to say how many they build in a day. Suffice it to say that Compact Prime CP.2 lenses leave Oberkochen each day at a rate that could fill the shelves of the biggest rental house or equip the most major motion picture’s multiple camera stunt sequence.

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