Thornwood, NY—Zeiss and Fellowes Brands, manufacturer of mobile photography accessories, announced their collaboration in the design and development of accessory lenses for mobile phones.
The first three lenses—a wide angle, telephoto and macro—are scheduled to launch in late Q2 2016. The wide-angle and telephoto lenses are designed to offer “excellent image performance with outstanding edge-to-edge contrast.” The macro lens features a zoom function for flexible image composition, which is unique for accessory lenses of this type. The new lenses can be used on the Apple iPhone with customized mounting brackets.
“We are thrilled to announce our new relationship with Zeiss, who has been setting standards in optics for almost 170 years,” said John E. Fellowes, CEO, Fellowes. “Following the launch of our new ExoLens mobile phone photography line last year, our partnership with Zeiss will enable unique and innovative consumer lens solutions.”
The new lenses are characterized by a design that features smooth surfaces made of black anodized aluminum with white labeling. This is reminiscent of the distinctive design that typifies current Zeiss camera lenses. All lenses incorporate Zeiss’s proven T* antireflective coating, which minimizes reflections at the glass-to-air surfaces and improves the transmission of light.
The lenses are attached to a device-specific ExoLens machined-aluminum bracket using a screw thread. The bracket has a standard tripod mount (1/4″-20) as well as a cold shoe for mounting accessories. At launch, ExoLens with optics by Zeiss will be available for iPhone 6/6s and iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus.
The jointly developed lenses turn the integrated mobile phone lens into either a wide-angle, telephoto or macro lens. The optical design for the wide-angle and telephoto lenses bears the name Mutar. This stands for an afocal system and is therefore different from traditional interchangeable lenses for system cameras. The lens has no focal length, i.e., the focus is set at infinity. This enables photography of objects from infinity to the close-up range, the limits of which are defined by the smartphone’s technical properties.
According to Zeiss, “Chromatic aberrations are also corrected. Bright-dark transitions in the image, and highlights in particular, are largely free from colored artifacts. Protection against dust and water spray makes the wide-angle or telephoto lens perfect for the challenges of outdoor use.”
Zeiss ExoLens Macro Lens
The ExoLens macro lens complements the wide-angle as well as the telephoto lenses. It also enables close-up photography with a smartphone camera. The optical design of the macro lens bears the name Vario-Proxar. “Vario” stands for the variability of the focal length (zoom), and Proxar for proximity. Like the wide-angle and telephoto lenses, the macro lens offers edge-to-edge performance and no discernible distortion or chromatic aberration. It also offers a continuous zoom function, permitting the full-frame capture of objects with diameters of between 3–12cm. An optional semi-transparent diffuser serves as a spacer, allowing light to shine evenly on the object to be photographed and enabling convenient focusing. zeiss.com