World renowned optics manufacturer Zeiss made a somewhat of a surprise announcement yesterday at CES 2016. The legendary German lens maker teamed up with Fellowes Brands, manufacturers of premium mobile photography accessories for a new lineup of lenses specifically made for smartphones, and in particular the latest offerings from Apple – the new 4K capable iPhone 6S, 6S+ and the previous generation iPhone 6 and 6+.
The smartphone videography market has exploded in the last couple of years, with ads for major brands, and even award winning feature films such as Tangerine, being shot on smartphones.
Coming out under the ExoLens brand name, proudly sporting the Zeiss logo on the side, the three new lenses are – a macro, telephoto and a wide-angle option. As one would expect from a Zeiss lens, the wide-angle and telephoto lenses offer excellent image performance with outstanding edge-to-edge contrast. The macro lens features a zoom function – unique for accessory lenses of this type – for flexible image composition. The new lenses can be used on the iPhone with customized mounting brackets.
According to the press release, the new lenses are characterised by their leading-edge design featuring smooth surfaces made of black anodized aluminium with white labelling. This is a systematic continuation of the distinctive, innovative product design that typifies current families of ZEISS camera lenses.
The modern design offers excellent optic properties and the lenses meet even the highest aesthetic standards,” Scherle says. “The lenses of ExoLens with optics by ZEISS are the best currently available on the market,” he adds. “We have achieved the best possible technical balance between a small size, light weight and high image quality.”
All lenses incorporate the proven T* antireflective coating from ZEISS, which minimizes reflections at the glass-to-air surfaces and improves the transmission of light. The lenses are attached to the device-specific ExoLens machined aluminium bracket using a screw thread.
Another cool thing about the ExoLens bracket is that it features a standard 1/4″ 20 tripod mount as well as a cold shoe for mounting accessories.
At launch, the new ZEISS lenses will be available for the iPhone 6/6S and the iPhone6+/6S+, and they even have their mind set at producing more of these for other smartphone devices – fingers crossed for Android phones sometime in the future.
Check out some of these images shot by Zeiss Ambassadors and their new smartphone lenses.
Image by Topher DeLancy
Image by Christian Dandyk
Image by John Win
There is no info on pricing, but according to Zeiss the first three lenses are supposed to drop sometime in the Summer.