Carl Zeiss (German pronunciation: [ˌkaʁl ˈtsaɪs]), branded as
ZEISS, is a German manufacturer of optical systems, industrial
measurements and medical devices, founded in Jena, Germany in 1846 by
optician Carl Zeiss. Together with
Ernst Abbe (joined 1866) and Otto
Schott (joined 1884) they built a base for modern optics and
manufacturing. There are currently two parts of the company, Carl
Zeiss AG located in
Oberkochen with important subsidiaries in Aalen,
Göttingen and Munich, and
GmbH located in Jena.
Carl Zeiss AG is the premier company of the Zeiss Gruppe, one of the
two large divisions of the Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung. The Zeiss Gruppe is
located in Heidenheim and Jena. Also controlled by the
Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung are the glass manufacturers
Schott AG and Jenaer
Glas, located in
Carl Zeiss is one of the
oldest existing optics manufacturers in the world.
1 Corporate history
3 Business relationships
4 Zeiss Ikon cameras
5 Camera lenses
5.1 Cinema lenses
5.2 Medium-format lenses
5.3 Large-format lenses
5.4 ZM lenses
5.5 Z-series SLR lenses
5.6 Otus lenses
5.7 Batis lenses
5.8 Loxia lenses
5.9 Touit lenses
5.10 Milvus lenses
5.11 Super-rotator lenses
5.13 Smartphone lenses
5.14 ZA lenses
6 Other products
6.1 Sports Optics
6.2 Medical Solutions
6.3 Vision Care
6.4 Industrial Metrology
6.7 Fire doors
7 See also
9 External links
First workshop of
Carl Zeiss in the city center of Jena, c. 1847.
2 historical lenses Carl Zeiss, Jena, Nr. 145077 and Nr. 145078,
Tessar 1:4,5 F=5,5cm DRP 142294 (produced before 1910).
Jena Flektogon lens engraved merely "Jena", as exported to
West Germany (1967)
The manufacturer Zeiss in Göttingen
Carl Zeiss opened an optics workshop in
Jena in 1846. By 1847 he was
making microscopes full-time. By 1861 the Zeiss workshop was
considered to be among the best scientific-instrument makers in
Germany with about 20 people working in the company, and business
growing quickly. By 1866 Zeiss sold their 1,000th microscope. In 1872
Ernst Abbe joined Zeiss and along with
Otto Schott designed
greatly improved lenses for the optical instruments they were
producing. After Carl Zeiss's death in 1888, the business was
incorporated as the
Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung in 1889.
By World War I, Zeiss was the world's largest location of camera
production. Zeiss Ikon represented a significant part of the
production along with dozens of other brands and factories, and also
had major works at Dresden.
In 1928 Hensoldt AG was acquired by
Carl Zeiss and has produced the
Zeiss binoculars and riflescopes since 1964, occasionally resulting
in twin products being offered under both the Hensoldt and Zeiss brand
names. The Hensoldt System Technology division (resulting from a
merger of the military optics operations of Leica and Hensoldt) was
continued by Zeiss under the Hensoldt name until 2006.
As part of
Nazi Germany Zwangsarbeiter program, Zeiss used forced
labour during the Second World War. The destruction of the war
caused many companies to divide into smaller subcompanies and others
to merge. There was great respect for the engineering innovation that
came out of Dresden—before the war the world's first 35 mm
single-lens reflex camera, the Kine Exakta, and the first miniature
camera with good picture quality were developed there.
At the end of the war,
Jena was occupied by the US Army. When
Dresden were incorporated into the Soviet occupation zone, later East
Germany, some parts of Zeiss
Jena were relocated by the US army to the
Contessa manufacturing facility in Stuttgart, West Germany, while the
remainder of Zeiss
Jena was reestablished by the (Eastern) German
Democratic Republic as Kombinat VEB Zeiss Jena. As part of the
World War II reparations, the
Soviet army took most of the existing
Zeiss factories and tooling back to the Soviet Union as the Kiev
The western business was restarted in
Oberkochen (in southwestern
Germany) as Opton Optische Werke
GmbH in 1946, which became
Zeiss-Opton Optische Werke
GmbH in 1947, but was soon
renamed to Carl Zeiss. West German Zeiss products were labelled Opton
for sale in the Eastern bloc, while East German Zeiss products were
labelled "Zeiss Jena" or simply "Jena" for sale in Western countries.
In 1973, the Western
Carl Zeiss AG entered into a licensing agreement
with the Japanese camera company
Yashica to produce a series of
high-quality 35 mm film cameras and lenses bearing the
Zeiss brand names. This collaboration continued under Yashica's
successor, Kyocera, until the latter ceased all camera production in
2005. Zeiss later produced lenses for the space industry and, more
recently, has again produced high-quality 35 mm camera lenses.
The eastern Zeiss
Jena was also well known for producing high-quality
Following German reunification, VEB Zeiss Jena—reckoned as one of
the few East German firms that was even potentially able to compete on
a global basis—became Zeiss
Jena GmbH, which became
GmbH in 1990. In 1991,
Jena was split
in two, with
Carl Zeiss AG (Oberkochen) taking over the company's
divisions for microscopy and other precision optics (effectively
reuniting the pre-war
Carl Zeiss enterprise) and moving its microscopy
and planetarium divisions back to Jena.
GmbH was split off as
a specialty company in the areas of photonics, optoelectronics, and
The Hensoldt AG was renamed
Carl Zeiss Sports
GmbH on 1 October
The companies of the Zeiss Gruppe in and around
Dresden have branched
into new technologies: screens and products for the automotive
industry, for example.
Today, there are arguably three companies with primarily Zeiss Ikon
heritage: Zeiss Germany, the Finnish/Swedish Ikon (which bought the
West German Zeiss Ikon AG), and the independent eastern Zeiss Ikon.
On 28 June 2013,
Carl Zeiss officially announced its plan to rename
the brand from "Carl Zeiss" to simply "Zeiss". All the products will
be standardized under the Zeiss brand.
The Zeiss company was responsible for many innovations in optical
design and engineering. Early on,
Carl Zeiss realised that he needed a
competent scientist so as to take the firm beyond just being another
optical workshop. In 1866, the service of Dr
Ernst Abbe was enlisted.
From then on novel products appeared in rapid succession which brought
the Zeiss company to the forefront of optical technology.
Abbe was instrumental in the development of the famous
glass. When he was trying to eliminate astigmatism from microscopes,
he realised that the range of optical glasses available was
insufficient. After some calculations, he realised that performance of
optical instruments would dramatically improve if optical glasses of
appropriate properties were available. His challenge to glass
manufacturers was finally answered by Dr Otto Schott, who established
the famous glassworks at
Jena from which new types of optical glass
began to appear from 1888 to be employed by Zeiss and other makers.
Jena optical glass also opened up the possibility of increased
performance of photographic lenses. The first use of
Jena glass in a
photographic lens was by Voigtländer, but as the lens was an old
design its performance was not greatly improved. Subsequently, the new
glasses would demonstrate their value in correcting astigmatism, and
in the production of apochromatic lenses. Abbe started the design of a
photographic lens of symmetrical design with five elements, but went
Zeiss' domination of photographic lens innovation was due to Dr Paul
Rudolph. In 1890, Rudolph designed an asymmetrical lens with a
cemented group at each side of the diaphragm, appropriately named
"Anastigmat". This lens was made in three series: Series III, IV and
V, with maximum apertures of f/7.2, f/12.5, and f/18 respectively. In
1891, Series I, II and IIIa appeared with respective maximum apertures
of f/4.5, f/6.3, and f/9 and in 1893 came Series IIa of f/8 maximum
aperture. These lenses are now better known by the trademark "Protar"
which was first used in 1900.
At the time, single combination lenses, which occupy one side of the
diaphragm only, were still popular. Rudolph designed one with three
cemented elements in 1893, with the option of fitting two of them
together in a lens barrel as a compound lens, but it was found to be
the same as the Dagor by C.P. Goerz, designed by Emil von Hoegh.
Rudolph then came up with a single combination with four cemented
elements, which can be considered as having all the elements of the
Protar stuck together in one piece. Marketed in 1894, it was called
the Protarlinse Series VII, the most highly corrected single
combination lens with maximum apertures between f/11 and f/12.5,
depending on its focal length.
But the important thing about this Protarlinse is that two of these
lens units can be mounted in the same lens barrel to form a compound
lens of even greater performance and larger aperture, between f/6.3
and f/7.7. In this configuration it was called the Double Protar
Series VIIa. An immense range of focal lengths can thus be obtained by
the various combination of Protarlinse units.
Rudolph also investigated the
Double-Gauss concept of a symmetrical
design with thin positive meniscii enclosing negative elements. The
result was the Planar Series Ia of 1896, with maximum apertures up to
f/3.5, one of the fastest lenses of its time. Whilst it was very
sharp, it suffered from coma which limited its popularity. However,
further developments of this configuration made it the design of
choice for high-speed lenses of standard coverage.
Probably inspired by the Stigmatic lenses designed by Hugh Aldis for
Dallmeyer of London, Rudolph designed a new asymmetrical lens with
four thin elements, the Unar Series Ib, with apertures up to f/4.5.
Due to its high speed it was used extensively on hand cameras.
The most important Zeiss lens by Rudolph was the Tessar, first sold in
1902 in its Series IIb f/6.3 form. It can be said as a combination of
the front half of the Unar with the rear half of the Protar. This
proved to be a most valuable and flexible design, with tremendous
development potential. Its maximum aperture was increased to f/4.7 in
1917, and reached f/2.7 in 1930. It is probable that every lens
manufacturer has produced lenses of the
Rudolph left Zeiss after the First World War, but many other competent
designers such as Merté, Wandersleb, etc. kept the firm at the
leading edge of photographic lens innovations. One of the most
significant designer was the ex-Ernemann man Dr Ludwig Bertele, famed
for his Ernostar high-speed lens.
With the advent of the
Contax by Zeiss-Ikon, the first serious
challenge to the Leica in the field of professional 35 mm
cameras, both Zeiss-Ikon and
Carl Zeiss decided to beat the Leica in
every possible way. Bertele's Sonnar series of lenses designed for the
Contax were the match in every respect for the Leica for at least two
decades. Other lenses for the
Contax included the Biotar, Biogon,
Orthometar, and various Tessars and Triotars.
The last important Zeiss innovation before the
Second World War
Second World War was
the technique of applying anti-reflective coating to lens surfaces
Olexander Smakula in 1935. A lens so treated was
marked with a red "T", short for "Transparent". The technique of
applying multiple layers of coating was developed from this basis
after the war, and known as "T✻" (T-star).
Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515 with Klio shutter and Nettar ƒ/4.5 lens
After the partitioning of Germany, a new
Carl Zeiss optical company
was established in Oberkochen, while the original Zeiss firm in Jena
continued to operate. At first both firms produced very similar lines
of products, and extensively cooperated in product-sharing, but they
drifted apart as time progressed. Jena's new direction was to
concentrate on developing lenses for 35 mm single-lens reflex
cameras, and many achievements were made, especially in ultra-wide
angle designs. In addition to that,
Oberkochen also worked on
designing lenses for the 35 mm single-lens reflex camera
Contarex, for the medium format camera Hasselblad, for large format
cameras like the
Linhof Technika, interchangeable front element lenses
such as for the 35 mm single-lens reflex
Contaflex and other
types of cameras.
Since the beginning of Zeiss as a photographic lens manufacturer, it
has had a licensing programme which allows other manufacturers to
produce its lenses. Over the years its licensees included
Voigtländer, Bausch & Lomb, Ross, Koristka, Krauss, Kodak. etc.
In the 1970s, the western operation of Zeiss-Ikon got together with
Yashica to produce the new
Contax cameras, and many of the Zeiss
lenses for this camera, among others, were produced by Yashica's
optical arm, Tomioka. As Yashica's owner
Kyocera ended camera
production in 2006, and
Yashica lenses were then made by Cosina, who
also manufactured most of the new Zeiss designs for the new Zeiss Ikon
coupled rangefinder camera. Another licensee active today is
uses the Zeiss name on lenses on its video and digital still cameras.
Zeiss has licensed its name and/or technology to various other
companies, including Hasselblad, Rollei, Yashica, Sony, Logitech, and
Alpa. The nature of the collaboration varies, from co-branding optics
designed by another firm (e.g., Sony) to complete optical design and
manufacturing (e.g., Hasselblad).
On 27 April 2005, the company announced a collaboration with
the camera phone market, with Zeiss providing camera optics. Zeiss
will again provide optics for
Nokia products through a collaboration
HMD Global announced on 6 July 2017.
2004 Zeiss Ikon rangefinder with 35mm ƒ/2 Biogon lens.
Zeiss Ikon cameras
Zeiss Ikon is a camera brand related to Carl Zeiss, but was an
independent company formed by the merger of four camera makers
(Contessa-Nettel, Ernemann, Goerz and Ica) in 1926. Much of the
capital came from Zeiss which also provided most of the lenses and
shutters for the cameras. Among the founders was August Nagel of
Contessa-Nettel, who left the company in 1928 to form the Nagel Works,
and in 1932, his company was bought by Kodak. Post WWII Japanese
Nippon Kogaku would offer the "Nikon" camera and Zeiss Ikon prevented
some European distribution under the theory that "Nikon" was an
infringement on their brand name.
The earliest Zeiss Ikon cameras were a range of medium and large
format folding cameras, for film and glass plate photography. The most
expensive was the Universal Juwel (Jewel) an Ica designed glass plate
camera with origins in 1909. This was a favorite of both Ansel Adams
and Dorothea Lange. Despite German production, the folding Super
Ikonta was among the mainstays of British Army photographers during
In 1932 Zeiss Ikon introduced the
Contax line of 35mm rangefinder
cameras, in an attempt to compete with the Leica series, from Leitz,
another giant in German optics. Though it had more features, the first
Contax (I) was overly complicated and had problems with quality.
However, in 1936, the
Contax II upstaged the Leica in many ways and
became the favorite of many renowned photographers and journalists,
Robert Capa and Margaret Bourke White. A second 35mm camera,
Contax III was mechanically identical with an light meter grafted
to the top of the camera.
Post WWII the Soviets removed the
Contax factory to Kiev, as war
reparations, and produced the
Contax II and III cameras under the Kiev
brand. The first Kiev cameras were identical except for logos, thus
Zeiss Ikon was forced to redesign their cameras to be competitive.
These were named the
Contax IIa and IIIa, and were smaller, lighter,
and less complex than the original designs. But by the time the IIa
and IIIa hit the market, they faced strong competition from many
European and Asian brands, notably the visually similar
was a high quality camera sharing the same lens-mount and most of the
By the mid 1950s Zeiss Ikon was focusing on single lens reflex cameras
and while offering rangefinders, they were not adding features and
became uncompetitive with Japanese brands including Canon, Yashica,
Minolta, and Nikon. The Zeiss Ikon
Contaflex single-lens reflex
cameras, were viable in the mid 1950s, but soon lost market share to
the Japanese brands.
More recent 35mm rangefinder cameras are simply named "Zeiss Ikon."
The most recent "Zeiss Ikon" rangefinder camera was an M mount camera
with automatic exposure, introduced by Zeiss in 2004, manufactured in
Japan by Cosina, and now discontinued.
Carl Zeiss AG has long been renowned for its motion picture lenses.
Zeiss manufactures prime, and zoom lenses for 35mm, 16mm, and 65mm
film production. They also make lenses for digital cinema, and high
definition video. Zeiss is mainly known in the trade for their
association with the German camera manufacturer
Arri for whom they
currently produce lenses.
Current models of Zeiss cinema lenses are:
Master Prime T✻XP Distagon 14 mm T1.3
Master Prime T✻XP Distagon 16 mm T1.3
Master Prime T✻XP Distagon 18 mm T1.3
Master Prime T✻XP Distagon 21 mm T1.3
Master Prime T✻XP Distagon 25 mm T1.3
Master Prime T✻XP Distagon 27 mm T1.3
Master Prime T✻XP Distagon 32 mm T1.3
Master Prime T✻XP Distagon 35 mm T1.3
Master Prime T✻XP Distagon 40 mm T1.3
Master Prime T✻XP Planar 50 mm T1.3
Master Prime T✻XP Planar 65 mm T1.3
Master Prime T✻XP Sonnar 75 mm T1.3
Master Prime T✻XP Sonnar 100 mm T1.3
Master Prime T✻XP Sonnar 150 mm T1.3
Master Zoom T✻XP 16.5–110 mm T2.6
Master Macro T✻XP Makro-Planar 100 mm T2.0/T4.3
Lightweight Zoom LWZ.2 T✻XP Vario-Sonnar 15.5–45 mm T2.6
Ultra Prime 8R T✻ Distagon 8 mm T2.8
Ultra Prime T✻ Distagon 10 mm T2.1
Ultra Prime T✻ Distagon 12 mm T1.9
Ultra Prime T✻ Distagon 14 mm T1.9
Ultra Prime T✻ Distagon 16 mm T1.9
Ultra Prime T✻ Distagon 20 mm T1.9
Ultra Prime T✻ Distagon 24 mm T1.9
Ultra Prime T✻ Distagon 28 mm T1.9
Ultra Prime T✻ Distagon 32 mm T1.9
Ultra Prime T✻ Distagon 40 mm T1.9
Ultra Prime T✻ Planar 50 mm T1.9
Ultra Prime T✻ Planar 65 mm T1.9
Ultra Prime T✻ Planar 85 mm T1.9
Ultra Prime T✻ Sonnar 100 mm T1.9
Ultra Prime T✻ Sonnar 135 mm T1.9
Ultra Prime T✻ Sonnar 180 mm T1.9
Compact Prime CP.2 T✻ Distagon 18 mm T3.6
Compact Prime CP.2 T✻XP Distagon 21 mm T2.9
Compact Prime CP.2 T✻XP Distagon 25 mm T2.9
Compact Prime CP.2 T✻XP Distagon 28 mm T2.1
Compact Prime CP.2 T✻XP Distagon 35 mm T2.1
Compact Prime CP.2 T✻XP Distagon 50 mm T2.1
Compact Prime CP.2 T✻ Planar 50 mm T2.1 Macro
Compact Prime CP.2 T✻ Planar 85 mm T2.1
Compact Prime CP.2 T✻ Makro-Planar 100 mm T2.1 CF
Ultra 16 T✻XP Distagon 6 mm T1.3
Ultra 16 T✻XP Distagon 8 mm T1.3
Ultra 16 T✻XP Distagon 9.5 mm T1.3
Ultra 16 T✻XP Distagon 12 mm T1.3
Ultra 16 T✻XP Distagon 14 mm T1.3
Ultra 16 T✻XP Distagon 18 mm T1.3
Ultra 16 T✻XP Distagon 25 mm T1.3
Ultra 16 T✻XP Planar 35 mm T1.3
Ultra 16 T✻XP Planar 50 mm T1.3
DigiPrime T✻ 3.9 mm T1.9
DigiPrime T✻ 5 mm T1.9
DigiPrime T✻ 7 mm T1.6
DigiPrime T✻ 10 mm T1.6
DigiPrime T✻ 14 mm T1.6
DigiPrime T✻ 20 mm T1.6
DigiPrime T✻ 28 mm T1.6
DigiPrime T✻ 40 mm T1.6
DigiPrime T✻ 52 mm T1.6
DigiPrime T✻ 70 mm T1.6
DigiPrime T✻ 135 mm T1.9
DigiZoom T✻ Vario-Sonnar 6–24 mm T1.9
DigiZoom T✻ Vario-Sonnar 17–112 mm T1.9
Carl Zeiss AG has produced lenses for Hasselblad and Rollei
Hasselblad 500 (V System)
F-Distagon T✻ 30mm ƒ/3.5
Distagon T✻ 40mm ƒ/4
Distagon T✻ 50mm ƒ/4
Distagon T✻ 50mm ƒ/4 ZV
Distagon T✻ 60mm ƒ/3.5
Planar T✻ 80mm ƒ/2,8
Planar T✻ 100mm ƒ/3.5
Makro-Planar T✻ 120mm ƒ/4
Makro-Planar T✻ 120mm ƒ/4 ZV
Sonnar T✻ 150mm ƒ/4
Sonnar T✻ 180mm ƒ/4
Sonnar T✻ 250mm ƒ/5.6
Tele-Superachromat T✻ 350mm ƒ/5,6
Distagon T✻ 50mm ƒ/2,8 FE
Planar T✻ 110mm ƒ/2 FE
Hasselblad SWC Biogon 38mm ƒ/4.5
Rollei 6000 system
F-Distagon 30mm ƒ/3.5 HFT PQ
Distagon 40mm ƒ/4 FLE HFT
Distagon 50mm ƒ/4 FLE HFT
Distagon 60mm ƒ/3.5 HFT PQ
Planar 80mm ƒ/2.8 HFT PQS
Planar 110mm ƒ/2 HFT PQ
Sonnar 150mm ƒ/4 HFT PQS
Sonnar 250mm ƒ/5.6 HFT PQS
Makro-Planar 120mm ƒ/4 HFT PQS
Planar 75mm ƒ/3.5
Distagon 55mm ƒ/4
Zeiss has produced lenses for large format and press cameras,
Tessar lenses (4 elements in 3 groups)
Tessar 100mm ƒ/3.5 (6.5×9 cm format)
Tessar 105mm ƒ/3.5 (6.5×9 cm fmt)
Tessar 150mm ƒ/4.5 (9×12 cm fmt)
Planar lenses (5 elements in 4 groups)
Planar 80mm ƒ/2.8 (6×7 cm fmt)
Planar 100mm ƒ/2.8 (6.5×9 cm fmt)
Planar 135mm ƒ/3.5
Planar 135mm ƒ/3.5 T✻
Planar 150mm ƒ/2.8
Sonnar 180mm ƒ/4.8
Sonnar 250mm ƒ/5.6
Biogon 45mm ƒ/4.5 (6×7 cm fmt)
Biogon 53mm ƒ/4.5 (6.5×9 cm fmt)
Biogon 75mm ƒ/4.5 (9×12 cm fmt)
Biogon 53mm ƒ/4.5
Hologon 110mm ƒ/8
Planar 135mm ƒ/3.5
Sonnar 250mm ƒ/5.6
Zeiss has departed the large-format optics field along with Nikon,
leaving Schneider and Rodenstock as the primary makers of such lenses
Zeiss ZM lenses fit
Leica M mount
Leica M mount cameras, including Leica M series,
Ricoh GXR A12, and many mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras
through the use of adapters. Some ZM lenses are manufactured in
Germany by Zeiss, others in Japan by Cosina. Lenses designated "C" are
considered compact or classic lenses.
Distagon T✻ 15mm ƒ/2.8 (Made in Germany)
Distagon T✻ 18mm ƒ/4
Distagon T✻ 21mm ƒ/2.8
C Biogon T✻ 21mm ƒ/4.5
Biogon T✻ 25mm ƒ/2.8
Biogon T✻ 28mm ƒ/2.8
Biogon T✻ 35mm ƒ/2
C Biogon T✻ 35mm ƒ/2.8
C Sonnar T✻ 50mm ƒ/1.5
Planar T✻ 50mm ƒ/2
Tessar T✻ 85mm ƒ/4
Sonnar T✻ 85mm ƒ/2 (Made in Germany)
Zeiss claims that the 25mm ƒ/2.8 ZM achieves a resolution of 400
lp/mm in the center of the image at ƒ/4, which is equal to the
calculated diffraction limit for this aperture.
Z-series SLR lenses
Zeiss produces optically identical manual-focus lenses for multiple
SLR lens mounts under the ZE, ZF, ZK, and ZS lines, manufactured in
Cosina to Zeiss specifications.
Distagon T✻ 15mm ƒ/2.8
Distagon T✻ 18mm ƒ/3.5
Distagon T✻ 21mm ƒ/2.8
Distagon T✻ 25mm ƒ/2.0
Distagon T✻ 25mm ƒ/2.8
Distagon T✻ 28mm ƒ/2.0
Distagon T✻ 35mm ƒ/1.4
Distagon T✻ 35mm ƒ/2.0
Planar T✻ 50mm ƒ/1.4
Makro-Planar T✻ 50mm ƒ/2.0
Planar T✻ 85mm ƒ/1.4
Makro-Planar T✻ 100mm ƒ/2.0
Apo Sonnar T✻ 135mm ƒ/2.0
ZF series lenses fit the
Nikon F-mount. Four design variations are
designated ZF, ZF.2, ZF-I, and ZF-IR. All are manual-focus designs
Nikon AI-S type aperture indexing.
ZF lenses have AI-S aperture indexing, half-stop aperture ring
detents, and no electronic features.
ZF.2 lenses are like ZF lenses, with the addition CPU functionality,
Nikon AI-P lenses. They allow electronic focus
confirmation, full metering compatibility, and electronic aperture
Nikon SLR cameras which require CPU lenses.
ZF-I lenses feature mechanical locks for focus and aperture, and
additional environmental sealing, for industrial applications.
ZF-IR lenses are adapted to infrared imaging, with coatings that
transmit wavelengths up to 1100 nm, and focus scales marked for
ZE lenses fit the Canon EF mount. They feature electronic contacts
allowing for focus-confirmation, and electric aperture operation as
with standard Canon EF lenses.
ZK lenses fit the Pentax K mount. They have no electronics, are manual
focus only, KA couplers. Zeiss announced in September 2010 the
discontinuation of the ZK line.
ZS lenses fit the
M42 lens mount
M42 lens mount (Pentacon/Practica/Pentax screw
mount). By use of mount adapters they can be adapted to most
35 mm bayonet camera mounts including Canon FD and EF, Pentax K,
Minolta SR and Sony/Konica Minolta/
Minolta A mounts (with the
Nikon F mount), usually losing open-aperture-metering,
multi-segment metering, focus confirmation, automatic flash zoom
capabilities as well as some built-in shake reduction performance and
Exif data accuracy.
Zeiss Otus 55mm & 85mm ƒ/1.4 lens
Zeiss Otus 28mm ƒ/1.4 lens
Zeiss produces manual focus Otus lenses for the
Nikon F-mount and
Canon EF mount, with electronic features equivalent to Zeiss ZF.2 and
ZE lenses respectively. Otus lenses are complex no-compromise designs
which Zeiss refers to as the "best in the world" in the normal lens
and short telephoto categories. They cover the 35mm format.
Otus Apo Distagon T✻ 28mm ƒ/1.4
Otus Apo Distagon T✻ 55mm ƒ/1.4
Otus Apo Planar T✻ 85mm ƒ/1.4
Zeiss Batis ƒ/2.0 25 mm
Zeiss produces autofocus Batis lenses for the
Sony E-mount. Like Sony
"FE" lenses, they cover the 35mm format.
Batis Distagon T✻ 18mm f/2.8
Batis Distagon T✻ 25mm f/2
Batis Sonnar T✻ 85mm f/1.8
Batis Sonnar T✻ 135mm f/2.8
Zeiss produces manual focus Loxia lenses for the
Sony E-mount. Like
Sony "FE" lenses, they cover the 35mm format.
Loxia Distagon T✻ 21mm f/2.8
Loxia Biogon T✻ 35mm f/2.0
Loxia Planar T✻ 50mm f/2.0
Loxia Sonnar T✻ 85mm f/2.4
Zeiss produces autofocus Touit lenses for the
Fujifilm X-mount and
Sony E-mount. They cover the
Touit Distagon T✻ 12mm f/2.8
Touit Planar T✻ 32mm f/1.8
Touit Makro Planar T✻ 50mm f/2.8 Macro
Zeiss Milvus ƒ/1.4 50 mm
Zeiss produces manual focus Milvus lenses for the
Nikon F-mount (ZF.2)
Canon EF-mount (ZE), covering the 35mm format.
Milvus Distagon T✻ 21mm ƒ/2.8
Milvus Distagon T✻ 35mm ƒ/2
Milvus Distagon T✻ 50mm ƒ/1.4
Milvus Makro-Planar T✻ 50mm ƒ/2
Milvus Planar T✻ 85mm ƒ/1.4
Milvus Makro-Planar T✻ 100mm ƒ/2
These are 360° tilt/shift lenses (based on Zeiss medium format lens
designs) for 35 mm format including full-frame digital. Available
mounts: Canon EF,
Sony Alpha/Konica Minolta/
Minolta A mount.
Other mounts on request.
Manual focus only, no electronics.
Manufactured in Germany and Ukraine.
Carl Zeiss Distagon T✻ IF 1:4.0 40 mm
Carl Zeiss Planar T✻ 1:2.8 80 mm
Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T✻ 1:4.0 120 mm
Zeiss is currently in the process of designing the optical components
for the James Webb Space
Telescope set to replace the Hubble Space
Telescope sometime in 2018.
A unique triplet of ultra-fast 50 mm f/0.7 lenses originally
created by Zeiss for NASA's lunar program had the distinction of being
Stanley Kubrick in the filming of his historical drama Barry
Lyndon. The period atmosphere of the film demanded that several indoor
scenes be filmed by candlelight. To facilitate this, Kubrick had the
lenses modified to mount onto a cinema camera and two of them
subsequently further modified in separate ways to give wider angles of
Nokia 808 PureView with Zeiss lens
Zeiss worked with Nokia, and later with
Microsoft as they continued
production of the Lumia series. The
Nokia 808 PureView features a
lens custom-developed by Zeiss for its 1/1.2 inch sensor; as did
its successor, the
Nokia Lumia 1020. The
Nokia N90 and
Nokia N8 also
used Zeiss optics. In 2017, Zeiss again provided optics for Nokia
products through a collaboration with HMD Global, beginning with
ZA ("Zeiss Alpha") lenses are designed and manufactured by
Japan, and co-branded with the Zeiss name.
Sony and Zeiss
collaboratively set design and quality parameters for ZA lenses.
A-mount ZA-lenses fit the
Sony Alpha/Konica Minolta/
They are fully dedicated autofocus lenses with eight electrical
contacts, ROM-IC, and distance encoder ('(D)-function' to support ADI
flash). All except for the DT lens are full-frame lenses.
Carl Zeiss Distagon T✻ 1:2 24 mm ZA SSM (SAL-24F20Z)
Carl Zeiss Planar T✻ 1:1.4 50 mm ZA SSM (SAL-50F14Z)
Carl Zeiss Planar T✻ 1:1.4 85 mm ZA (SAL-85F14Z)
Carl Zeiss Sonnar T✻ 1:1.8 135 mm ZA (SAL-135F18Z)
Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T✻ 1:2.8 16–35 mm ZA SSM
Sony α Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T✻ 1:2.8 16–35 mm ZA SSM II
Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T✻ DT 1:3.5-1:4.5 16–80 mm ZA
Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T✻ 1:2.8 24–70 mm ZA SSM
Sony α Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T✻ 1:2.8 24–70 mm ZA SSM II
E-mount ZA-lenses are fully dedicated
Sony E-mount autofocus lenses.
Lenses carrying the E designation cover the
APS-C format, while lenses
designated FE cover 35mm format.
Carl Zeiss Sonnar T✻ E 1:1.8 24 mm ZA (SEL-24F18Z)
Sony α Zeiss Distagon T✻ FE 1:1.4 35 mm ZA (SEL-35F14Z)
Carl Zeiss Sonnar T✻ FE 1:2.8 35 mm ZA (SEL-35F28Z)
Zeiss Planar T✻ FE 1:1.4 50 mm ZA (SEL-50F14Z)
Carl Zeiss Sonnar T✻ FE 1:1.8 55 mm ZA (SEL-55F18Z)
Sony α Zeiss Vario-
Tessar T✻ FE 1:4 16–35 mm ZA OSS
Carl Zeiss Vario-
Tessar T✻ E 1:4 16–70 mm ZA OSS
Carl Zeiss Vario-
Tessar T✻ FE 1:4 24–70 mm ZA OSS
In addition to these
Sony collaboration lenses, Zeiss offers Touit
APS-C format), Loxia (35mm format) and Batis (35mm format) lenses for
Zeiss pocket stereoscope
Zeiss and its subsidiaries offer a wide range of products related to
optics and vision. These include camera and cine lenses, microscopes
and microscopy software, binoculars and spotting scopes, eyeglasses
and lenses, planetariums and dome video-systems, optics for military
applications (head tracker systems, submarine periscopes, targeting
systems), optical sensors, industrial metrology systems and
ophthalmology products. Even video glasses belong to the product
range. In the summer of 2012, the new video glasses Cinemizer OLED
will come on the market. In addition to the viewing of 2D and 3D
movies, it will be possible to play
PC games when it is fitted with
equipment. The largest part of
Carl Zeiss AG's revenue is
generated by its Semiconductor Manufacturing Technologies division,
which produces lithographic systems for the semiconductor industry as
well as process control solutions (electron microscopes, mask repair
tools, helium ion microscopes).
Carl Zeiss Sports
Optics division produces rifle scopes, spotting
scopes, binoculars, and distance measuring devices for outdoors
enthusiasts. The three main product lines are the Conquest line, which
is manufactured in Germany and assembled in the United States, and
Victory line, which is produced entirely in Germany, and the Terra
line, which is made in Asia.
This branch of
Carl Zeiss is managed by
Carl Zeiss Meditec. It is
divided in Ophthalmology/Optometry, Neurosurgery, ENT, Spine, P&R,
Dentistry, Radiotherapy and Gynecology.
Carl Zeiss Vision Care division develops, manufactures and distributes
ophthalmic lenses, lens coatings, and dispensary technologies and
services. Zeiss is known for ophthalmic lenses made from high
refractive index glass, allowing stronger prescription lenses to be
Their progressive lens ZEISS Progressive Individual has won multiple
awards including the OLA awards in 2009 presented at Washington,
D.C. and the VisionPlus or
VP Awards in 2014 at Mumbai, India.
Zeiss Industrial Metrology specializes in high-accuracy measurement
systems, including coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), computed
tomography measurement machines (non-medical), optical measuring
equipment, metrology software and measurement sensor systems. The
Industrial Metrology subsidiary provides this equipment to a wide
range of manufacturing facilities worldwide.
Zeiss has manufactured coordinate measuring machines since 1919,
offering very basic manually operated CMMs. In 1973, Zeiss introduced
the UMM 500, using a Zeiss sensor system and Hewlett-Packard
computer. Zeiss has since vastly improved and diversified their
product line and now feature many high accuracy CMMs, the
Metrotom, a CT x-ray scanning measuring machine, with the ability
to quickly and completely measure a part in 3 dimensions without ever
touching the part, and the O-INSPECT, a fully optical measurement
Zeiss is currently a member of the International Association of CMM
Many of the sensor systems produced by Zeiss are proprietary
technologies, using technologies exclusively patented by Zeiss, and
therefore can offer better accuracy and repeatability than its
Zeiss was the first manufacturer of coordinate measurement machines to
introduce computer numerical control (CNC) technology to a coordinate
measurement machine. Zeiss was the first company to offer CNC stylus
changer capability for the said machines.
Carl Zeiss SMT lenses are used in chip-lithography machines for
focusing the extremely short wavelengths.
Zeiss offers different types of microscopes:
Laser scanning microscopes (LSMs)
Scanning electron microscopes (SEMs)
Scanning helium ion microscopes (SHIMs)
The name Zeiss Ikon can also be found in old cinemas, on fire shutters
on the projection windows. These had heat fuses that melted and
dropped the shutter over the hole if the film caught fire in the
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Carl Zeiss Sports
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Carl Zeiss Officially Renamed To Zeiss".
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Carl Zeiss - 1935 - Alexander Smakula
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Nokia and Zeiss brands reunite for the Android era". Retrieved
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Golem, retrieved 3 March 2012.
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zeiss.
Zeiss Company Timeline starting 1973
Carl Zeiss Company Timeline starting 1909
Carl Zeiss Company History, an older article but updated and covering
Zeiss history up to about 2000, with interesting content and