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Zeiss releases new lenses for smartphones

By Chester Labaco & Marcus Wong - on 13 Jan 2016, 8:22am

Zeiss releases new lenses for smartphones

Zeiss has teamed up with ExoLens to develop a set of accessory lenses for the Apple iPhone, and the first three – wide-angle, telephoto, and macro – areplanned for launch in late Q2 2016. The lenses will feature the characteristic Zeiss lens design and incorporate Zeiss’s T* antireflective coating which minimizes reflections and maximizes transmission of light.

They will attach to a device-specific ExoLens machined aluminum bracket via screw thread, and the first brackets made will be for the Apple iPhone 6/6s and Apple iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus, with support for more mounts to come in the future.

Wide and Telephoto

These two lenses bear the name Mutar, and are built as afocal systems, which means the lenses have no focal length. This means the limits of focusing are defined by the properties of the camera on your smartphone, as the lenses themselves allow for photography from infinity up to the close-up range. Aspheric lenses used in the construct help to reduce distortion and bring excellent edge-to-edge contrast, while correcting for chromatic aberrations. Both lenses are also designed with protection against dust and water spray, making them perfect for outdoor use.


The Macro lens on the other hand, bears the name “Vario-Proxar”. “Vario” stands for variable focal length, while “Proxar” stands for proximity. This lens is said to allow mobile phones to offer a continuous zoom function , allowing for full-frame capture of objects with diameters between three and twelve centimeters. A semi-transparent diffuser can also be attached to improve the spread of light on the object to be photographed, making it easier to achieve focus.

The Zeiss/ExoLens lenses are planned for a late Q2 2016 launch, but pricing has yet to be announced.

For sample images and to find out more, check the Zeiss blog here.

Sources: Lenspire (Zeiss blog), ExoLens, Mirrorless Rumors