Even though we’re in 2019 already, writing a short report on our visit to the city of Wetzlar in 2017 is a must. Wetzlar is home to some of the most renowned optical brands in Germany – Leica, Schmidt & Bender and, of course, Zeiss. I was very lucky to be invited for a factory tour along with Teodor Štimec. The tour, which took place in September 2017, was of educational background. We had the opportunity to test Zeiss optics at their private shooting range not far from the factory facilities. Furthermore, we got a glimpse of the future products that hit the market in 2018 after the IWA fair.
”To truly experience nature, you need to take inspiration from it.” This concept has been reflected in every single Zeiss product for more than 100 years.
Over the years, Zeiss has become an international technological concern in the field of optics and optoelectronics. Today, the sports optics part is based in Wetzlar, but the company was founded in Jena. Carl Zeiss foundation is the sole owner of the holding company Carl Zeiss AG.
Sports optics comprise only a handful of Zeiss’ products – they also develop products in the field of photography, medicine, industrial metrology, etc. Zeiss was and still is an ever-driven pioneer of scientific optics that challenges the limits of human imagination. They create value for their costumers with sheer passion and by inspiring the world in new ways.
Optics Trade has been an authorized dealer of Zeiss products for quite some time. Zeiss is one of the top brands in the field of optics, so having their products in our offer is an absolute privilege. Our cooperation with Zeiss Slovenia has been a successful journey, and we are glad to be at such good terms with each other – good relations are the key to success in business. We believe and hope that they will remain our business partner for a long time to come.
We had a hotel booked just 200 m from the center of Wetzlar, near the factory facility. After the long drive, a good night sleep was more than welcome. The next day, we began with the educational part of the trip which took place in their main lecture room. We learned about their line of work – the focus was on sports optics. Right after the main break, Zeiss showed us their factory rooms. We were lucky to see the whole manufacturing process – from a sheet of metal to finished optics. The thing that struck me the most was that in the era of complete automatization, the touch of the human hand is still irreplaceable when it comes to the processing of housings and lenses. Seeing two employees grinding the housing of the riflescope is something that has lingered in my mind ever since.
After the first part of the factory tour, we were served a great lunch in their dining room, located on the first floor of the premises. We had a pleasure of eating a traditional German lunch. With our bellies full we resumed with the tour to learn more about their products. It’s amazing how much work Zeiss does in the house. We even had the opportunity to test their latest spotting scopes Harpia and Gavia.
The next day was reserved for sightseeing, so we took off to explore the beautiful city center of Wetzlar. We paid a visit to the spot where Oskar Barnack took the first-ever photo taken with a Leica Camera in 1913. The city has a nice medieval-Germanic feel to it, and the architecture is breathtaking. The city is a worthwhile visit, which led me to decide that I will be back in the future. In the afternoon, we headed to the shooting range just outside of the city where we had the opportunity to try and test various riflescopes. We received riflescopes fresh from the Zeiss assembly line. We seized the opportunity to test and zero some of them, which was a great experience. With time passing by, our fun 3-day trip was slowly coming to an end. My trip to Zeiss’ factory was an unforgettable one, and I am honored that I could see what’s happening ‘behind the scenes’ of one of the most renowned optics manufacturers in Europe.
Working with Zeiss is a pleasure. We don’t respect them only for the name they have created over the years with amazing products, but also for their outstanding hospitality. During our cooperation, their doors have always been opened to us, and we are glad to return the favor whenever they need one. We are looking forward to future collaboration.
Source and author: Gašper Podbregar, www.optics-info.com