Katsumi Iseki is not a so-called "craftsman"—highly skilled in a single technique. This is because the assembly and adjustment of high-precision products such as microscopes and semiconductor inspection equipment requires a variety of different techniques.
We watched him working on the assembly and adjustment of the zoom section of Stereoscopic Zoom Microscope SMZ1500.
The zoom section comprises at least 20 optical components, and these must first be cleaned of all dirt. At first glance, this operation, which is known as "wiping," appears simple. However, wiping components to a uniform standard of complete cleanliness in a short time requires considerable expertise.
After being wiped clean, the components are inserted into the lens tube. They must be immediately inserted and fixed in place with absolute accuracy. Even the slightest scratch or speck of dirt cannot be permitted on an optical component. This is very precise and delicate work.
Next, while looking into the tube with a special tool, Mr. Iseki adjusts numerous parameters to within standard limits, such as the focus adjustment for both left and right eyes, the optical-axis slippage, and the amount of image shift due to change in zoom magnification. It takes a considerable number of years to acquire the skill to perform this sequence quickly. Technicians who specialize in the assembly and adjustment of optical components are rare.