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Carl Zeiss AG

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Carl Zeiss AG
TypeAktiengesellschaft
IndustryImaging
FoundedJena, Germany
1846; 176 years ago (1846)
FounderCarl Zeiss
HeadquartersOberkochen, Germany
Key people
Karl Lamprecht,[1] CEO and President
ProductsSemiconductor lithography equipment, light, electron and ion microscopes, coordinate-measuring machines, medical devices, eyeglasses, binoculars, spotting scopes, telescopes, planetarium projectors, and other optical equipment.
RevenueIncrease7,529 million[2] (2020/21)
Increase EBIT €1,479 million[2] (2020/21)
OwnerCarl-Zeiss-Stiftung
Number of employees
Increase 35,375 (20 December 2021)[2]

Carl Zeiss AG (German: [kaʁl ˈtsaɪs]),[3][4] branded as ZEISS, is a German manufacturer of optical systems and optoelectronics, founded in Jena, Germany in 1846 by optician Carl Zeiss. Together with Ernst Abbe (joined 1866) and Otto Schott (joined 1884) he laid the foundation for today's multi-national company. The current company emerged from a reunification of Carl Zeiss companies in East and West Germany with a consolidation phase in the 1990s.[5] ZEISS is active in four business segments with approximately equal revenue (Industrial Quality and Research, Medical Technology, Consumer Markets and Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology) in almost 50 countries, has 30 production sites and around 25 development sites worldwide.[6]

Carl Zeiss AG is the holding of all subsidiaries within Zeiss Group, of which Carl Zeiss Meditec AG is the only one that is traded at the stock market. Carl Zeiss AG is owned by the foundation Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung. The Zeiss Group has its headquarters in southern Germany, in the small town of Oberkochen, with its second largest, and founding site, being Jena in eastern Germany. Also controlled by the Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung is the glass manufacturer Schott AG, located in Mainz and Jena. Carl Zeiss is one of the oldest existing optics manufacturers in the world.[7]

Discover more about Carl Zeiss AG related topics

Optics

Optics

Optics is the branch of physics that studies the behaviour and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it. Optics usually describes the behaviour of visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light. Because light is an electromagnetic wave, other forms of electromagnetic radiation such as X-rays, microwaves, and radio waves exhibit similar properties.

Optoelectronics

Optoelectronics

Optoelectronics is the study and application of electronic devices and systems that find, detect and control light, usually considered a sub-field of photonics. In this context, light often includes invisible forms of radiation such as gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet and infrared, in addition to visible light. Optoelectronic devices are electrical-to-optical or optical-to-electrical transducers, or instruments that use such devices in their operation.

Jena

Jena

Jena is a German city and the second largest city in Thuringia. Together with the nearby cities of Erfurt and Weimar, it forms the central metropolitan area of Thuringia with approximately 500,000 inhabitants, while the city itself has a population of about 110,000. Jena is a centre of education and research; the Friedrich Schiller University was founded in 1558 and had 18,000 students in 2017 and the Ernst-Abbe-Fachhochschule Jena counts another 5,000 students. Furthermore, there are many institutes of the leading German research societies.

Optician

Optician

An optician, or dispensing optician, is a technical practitioner who designs, fits and dispenses lenses for the correction of a person's vision. Opticians determine the specifications of various ophthalmic appliances that will give the necessary correction to a person's eyesight. Some registered or licensed opticians also design and fit special appliances to correct cosmetic, traumatic or anatomical defects. These devices are called shells or artificial eyes. Other registered or licensed opticians manufacture lenses to their own specifications and design and manufacture spectacle frames and other devices.

Carl Zeiss

Carl Zeiss

Carl Zeiss was a German scientific instrument maker, optician and businessman. In 1846 he founded his workshop, which is still in business as Carl Zeiss AG. Zeiss gathered a group of gifted practical and theoretical opticians and glass makers to reshape most aspects of optical instrument production. His collaboration with Ernst Abbe revolutionized optical theory and practical design of microscopes. Their quest to extend these advances brought Otto Schott into the enterprises to revolutionize optical glass manufacture. The firm of Carl Zeiss grew to one of the largest and most respected optical firms in the world.

Ernst Abbe

Ernst Abbe

Ernst Karl Abbe HonFRMS was a German physicist, optical scientist, entrepreneur, and social reformer. Together with Otto Schott and Carl Zeiss, he developed numerous optical instruments. He was also a co-owner of Carl Zeiss AG, a German manufacturer of scientific microscopes, astronomical telescopes, planetariums, and other advanced optical systems.

Otto Schott

Otto Schott

Friedrich Otto Schott (1851–1935) was a German chemist, glass technologist, and the inventor of borosilicate glass. Schott systematically investigated the relationship between the chemical composition of the glass and its properties. In this way, he solved fundamental problems in glass properties, identifying compositions with optical properties that approach the theoretical limit. Schott's findings were a major advance in the optics for microscopy and optical astronomy. His work has been described as "a watershed in the history of glass composition".

Carl Zeiss Meditec

Carl Zeiss Meditec

Carl Zeiss Meditec AG is a multinational medical technology company and subsidiary of Carl Zeiss AG. It manufactures tools for eye examinations and medical lasers as well as solutions for neurosurgery, dentistry, gynecology and oncology. Among its products are the most common tools used by ophthalmologists and optometrists.

Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung

Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung

The Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung, located in Heidenheim an der Brenz and Jena, Germany, is the sole shareholder of the two companies Carl Zeiss AG and Schott AG. It was founded by Ernst Abbe in 1889 and named after his long-term partner Carl Zeiss. The products of these companies include the classic areas of optics and precision mechanisms, as well as glass, optoelectronics, and glass ceramics. The statutes of the foundation emphasize the social responsibility of the companies and the importance of a fair treatment of the employees.

Oberkochen

Oberkochen

Oberkochen is a municipality in the Ostalbkreis, in Baden-Württemberg, in Germany, central Europe.

Schott AG

Schott AG

Schott AG is a German multinational glass company specializing in the manufacture of glass and glass-ceramics. Headquartered in Mainz, Germany, it is owned by the Carl Zeiss Foundation. The company's founder and namesake, Otto Schott, is credited with the invention of borosilicate glass.

Mainz

Mainz

Mainz is the capital and largest city of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

Corporate history

First workshop of Carl Zeiss in the center of Jena, c. 1847.
First workshop of Carl Zeiss in the center of Jena, c. 1847.
Carl Zeiss Jena (1910)
Carl Zeiss Jena (1910)
One of Stasi's cameras with the special SO-3.5.1 (5/17mm) lens developed by Carl Zeiss, a so-called "needle eye lens", for shooting through keyholes or holes down to 1 mm in diameter.
One of Stasi's cameras with the special SO-3.5.1 (5/17mm) lens developed by Carl Zeiss, a so-called "needle eye lens", for shooting through keyholes or holes down to 1 mm in diameter.
2 historical lenses of Carl Zeiss, Nr. 145077 and Nr. 145078, Tessar 1:4,5 F=5,5cm DRP 142294 (produced before 1910).
2 historical lenses of Carl Zeiss, Nr. 145077 and Nr. 145078, Tessar 1:4,5 F=5,5cm DRP 142294 (produced before 1910).
Carl Zeiss APO-Germinar W B/150
Carl Zeiss APO-Germinar W B/150
VEB Zeiss Jena Flektogon lens engraved with "Jena" to be exported to West Germany (1967)
VEB Zeiss Jena Flektogon lens engraved with "Jena" to be exported to West Germany (1967)
Office of Zeiss in Göttingen
Office of 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 physicist 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,[8] Zeiss was the world's largest company 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 rifle scopes since 1964,[9] 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'a Zwangsarbeiter program, Zeiss used forced labour, including Jews and other minorities during World War II.[10][11] 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 United States Army. When Jena and 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.[12] The Soviet Army took most of the existing Zeiss factories and tooling as World War II spoils back to the Soviet Union, establishing the Kiev camera works.

The western business was restarted in Oberkochen, southwestern Germany, as Opton Optische Werke Oberkochen GmbH in 1946, which became Zeiss-Opton Optische Werke Oberkochen 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 Contax and 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 products.

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 Jenoptik Carl Zeiss Jena GmbH in 1990. In 1991, Jenoptik Carl Zeiss 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. Jenoptik GmbH was split off as a specialty company in the areas of photonics, optoelectronics, and mechatronics.[13][14]

The Hensoldt AG was renamed Carl Zeiss Sports Optics GmbH on 1 October 2006.[15]

The companies of the Zeiss Gruppe in and around Dresden have branched into new technologies: screens and products for the automotive industry, for example.

A 2004 Zeiss Ikon rangefinder with 35mm ƒ/2 Biogon lens.
A 2004 Zeiss Ikon rangefinder with 35mm ƒ/2 Biogon lens.

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.

A division called Carl Zeiss Vision produces lenses for eyeglasses.[16] In 2005, the eyeglass division merged with U.S. company SOLA, which included the former American Optical Company.[17][18]

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.[19]

In April 2019, Zeiss announced the acquisition of Brunswick-based GOM.[20]

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Göttingen

Göttingen

Göttingen is a university city in Lower Saxony, central Germany, the capital of the eponymous district. The River Leine runs through it. At the end of 2019, the population was 118,911.

Carl Zeiss

Carl Zeiss

Carl Zeiss was a German scientific instrument maker, optician and businessman. In 1846 he founded his workshop, which is still in business as Carl Zeiss AG. Zeiss gathered a group of gifted practical and theoretical opticians and glass makers to reshape most aspects of optical instrument production. His collaboration with Ernst Abbe revolutionized optical theory and practical design of microscopes. Their quest to extend these advances brought Otto Schott into the enterprises to revolutionize optical glass manufacture. The firm of Carl Zeiss grew to one of the largest and most respected optical firms in the world.

Physicist

Physicist

A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics, which encompasses the interactions of matter and energy at all length and time scales in the physical universe. Physicists generally are interested in the root or ultimate causes of phenomena, and usually frame their understanding in mathematical terms. Physicists work across a wide range of research fields, spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic and particle physics, through biological physics, to cosmological length scales encompassing the universe as a whole. The field generally includes two types of physicists: experimental physicists who specialize in the observation of natural phenomena and the development and analysis of experiments, and theoretical physicists who specialize in mathematical modeling of physical systems to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena. Physicists can apply their knowledge towards solving practical problems or to developing new technologies.

Ernst Abbe

Ernst Abbe

Ernst Karl Abbe HonFRMS was a German physicist, optical scientist, entrepreneur, and social reformer. Together with Otto Schott and Carl Zeiss, he developed numerous optical instruments. He was also a co-owner of Carl Zeiss AG, a German manufacturer of scientific microscopes, astronomical telescopes, planetariums, and other advanced optical systems.

Otto Schott

Otto Schott

Friedrich Otto Schott (1851–1935) was a German chemist, glass technologist, and the inventor of borosilicate glass. Schott systematically investigated the relationship between the chemical composition of the glass and its properties. In this way, he solved fundamental problems in glass properties, identifying compositions with optical properties that approach the theoretical limit. Schott's findings were a major advance in the optics for microscopy and optical astronomy. His work has been described as "a watershed in the history of glass composition".

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden is the capital city of the German state of Saxony and its second most populous city, after Leipzig. It is the 12th most populous city of Germany, the fourth largest by area, and the third most populous city in the area of former East Germany, after Berlin and Leipzig. Dresden's urban area comprises the towns of Freital, Pirna, Radebeul, Meissen, Coswig, Radeberg and Heidenau and has around 790,000 inhabitants. The Dresden metropolitan area has approximately 1.34 million inhabitants.

Leica Camera

Leica Camera

Leica Camera AG is a German company that manufactures cameras, optical lenses, photographic lenses, binoculars, rifle scopes and microscopes. The company was founded by Ernst Leitz in 1869, in Wetzlar, Germany.

Nazi Germany

Nazi Germany

Nazi Germany was the German state between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party controlled the country, transforming it into a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany quickly became a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", alluded to the Nazi claim that Nazi Germany was the successor to the earlier Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and German Empire (1871–1918). The Third Reich, which Hitler and the Nazis referred to as the Thousand-Year Reich, ended in May 1945 after just 12 years when the Allies defeated Germany, ending World War II in Europe.

Forced labour under German rule during World War II

Forced labour under German rule during World War II

The use of slave and forced labour in Nazi Germany and throughout German-occupied Europe during World War II took place on an unprecedented scale. It was a vital part of the German economic exploitation of conquered territories. It also contributed to the mass extermination of populations in occupied Europe. The Germans abducted approximately 12 million people from almost twenty European countries; about two thirds came from Central Europe and Eastern Europe. Many workers died as a result of their living conditions – extreme mistreatment, severe malnutrition, and worse tortures were the main causes of death. Many more became civilian casualties from enemy (Allied) bombing and shelling of their workplaces throughout the war. At its peak the forced labourers constituted 20% of the German work force. Counting deaths and turnover, about 15 million men and women were forced labourers at one point during the war.

Single-lens reflex camera

Single-lens reflex camera

A single-lens reflex camera (SLR) is a camera that typically uses a mirror and prism system that permits the photographer to view through the lens and see exactly what will be captured. With twin lens reflex and rangefinder cameras, the viewed image could be significantly different from the final image. When the shutter button is pressed on most SLRs, the mirror flips out of the light path, allowing light to pass through to the light receptor and the image to be captured.

Kine Exakta

Kine Exakta

The Kine Exakta was the first 35mm single-lens reflex (SLR) still camera in regular production. It was presented by Ihagee Kamerawerk Steenbergen GmbH, Dresden at the Leipziger Frühjahrsmesse in March 1936. The Exakta name had already been used by Ihagee on a roll film SLR camera line since 1933, among these the Vest Pocket Exakta Model B from which the Kine Exakta inherited its general layout and appearance. The word Kine never appeared on the camera itself, only in the instruction manuals and advertising to distinguish it from the roll film variants. Several of its features constituted the foundation for the majority of 35mm SLR cameras produced ever since, although at this stage in a relatively primitive state.

East Germany

East Germany

East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic, was a country in Central Europe that existed from its creation on 7 October 1949 until its dissolution on 3 October 1990. In these years the country was a part of the Eastern Bloc in the Cold War. Commonly described as a communist state, it described itself as a socialist "workers' and peasants' state". With the Potsdam Agreement on 1 August 1945, its territory was administered and occupied by Soviet forces following the end of World War II in Europe—the Soviet occupation zone, bounded on the east by the Oder–Neisse line. The Soviet zone surrounded West Berlin but did not include it and West Berlin remained outside the jurisdiction of the GDR. Many Western scholars and academics describe the GDR as a totalitarian dictatorship.

Innovations

A Zeiss 100 cm aperture reflecting telescope
A Zeiss 100 cm aperture reflecting telescope
Zeiss star projector for a planetarium
Zeiss star projector for a planetarium

The Zeiss company was responsible for many innovations in optical design and engineering in each of their major fields of business. Today this becomes exemplarily visible in the latest EUV lithography systems, the equipment needed to produce the latest generations of semiconductor components. It also includes early high-performance optical microscopes up to today's electron and ion microscopes, which reach a sub-nanometers resolution. It includes technology leadership in the first surgical microscopes and ophthalmic devices. It also includes high-performance contact metrology systems. For many years Zeiss showed innovations in fields as astronomical telescopes, photographic and cinematic lenses.

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 Jena optical glass. When he was trying to eliminate stigmatism from microscopes, he realized 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.

The new 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 no further.

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 a 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 menisci 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 the 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 Tessar configurations.

Rudolph left Zeiss after World War I, 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 designers 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 professional 35mm system camera became available. At this stage the Leica was no more than a convenient and portable snapshot camera. However Leitz could see the potential offered by the Contax and rapidly developed a coupled rangefinder and started to introduce additional lenses. As a system camera there was a need for a range of lenses for the Contax. Bertele's Sonnar series of lenses designed for the Contax was 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 World War II was the technique of applying an anti-reflective coating to lens surfaces invented by Olexander Smakula in 1935.[21] A lens so treated was marked with a red "T", short for "Transparent". The technique of applying multiple layers of coatings was developed from this basis after the war, and known as "T✻" (T-star).[22]

Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515 with Klio shutter and Novar-Anastigmat 11cm ƒ/4.5 lens[23]
Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515 with Klio shutter and Novar-Anastigmat 11cm ƒ/4.5 lens[23]

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, allowing 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 collaborated 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 Sony who uses the Zeiss name on lenses on its video and digital still cameras.

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Ernst Abbe

Ernst Abbe

Ernst Karl Abbe HonFRMS was a German physicist, optical scientist, entrepreneur, and social reformer. Together with Otto Schott and Carl Zeiss, he developed numerous optical instruments. He was also a co-owner of Carl Zeiss AG, a German manufacturer of scientific microscopes, astronomical telescopes, planetariums, and other advanced optical systems.

Astigmatism (optical systems)

Astigmatism (optical systems)

An optical system with astigmatism is one where rays that propagate in two perpendicular planes have different foci. If an optical system with astigmatism is used to form an image of a cross, the vertical and horizontal lines will be in sharp focus at two different distances. The term comes from the Greek α- (a-) meaning "without" and στίγμα (stigma), "a mark, spot, puncture".

Apochromat

Apochromat

An apochromat, or apochromatic lens (apo), is a photographic or other lens that has better correction of chromatic and spherical aberration than the much more common achromat lenses.

Double-Gauss lens

Double-Gauss lens

The double Gauss lens is a compound lens used mostly in camera lenses that reduces optical aberrations over a large focal plane.

Coma (optics)

Coma (optics)

In optics, the coma, or comatic aberration, in an optical system refers to aberration inherent to certain optical designs or due to imperfection in the lens or other components that results in off-axis point sources such as stars appearing distorted, appearing to have a tail (coma) like a comet. Specifically, coma is defined as a variation in magnification over the entrance pupil. In refractive or diffractive optical systems, especially those imaging a wide spectral range, coma can be a function of wavelength, in which case it is a form of chromatic aberration.

Ludwig Bertele

Ludwig Bertele

Ludwig Jakob Bertele was a German optics constructor. His developments received universal recognition and serve as a basis for considerable part of the optical designs used today.

Contax

Contax

Contax began as a camera model in the Zeiss Ikon line in 1932, and later became a brand name. The early cameras were among the finest in the world, typically featuring high quality Zeiss interchangeable lenses. The final products under the Contax name were a line of 35 mm, medium format, and digital cameras engineered and manufactured by Japanese multinational Kyocera, and featuring modern Zeiss optics. In 2005, Kyocera announced that it would no longer produce Contax cameras. The rights to the brand are currently part of Carl Zeiss AG, but no Contax cameras are currently in production, and the brand is considered dormant.

Contarex

Contarex

The Contarex is a 35mm SLR camera made by Zeiss Ikon. It was first presented at Photokina in 1958 and initially scheduled for delivery in the spring of 1959, but it was not made generally available until March 1960. It is popularly known as the Contarex I, the Bullseye or the Cyclops. The camera was aimed at the high-end and professional markets; in 1961, the retail price was $499.

Medium format

Medium format

Medium format has traditionally referred to a film format in photography and the related cameras and equipment that use film. Nowadays, the term applies to film and digital cameras that record images on media larger than the 24 mm × 36 mm used in 35 mm photography, but smaller than 4 in × 5 in.

Hasselblad

Hasselblad

Victor Hasselblad AB is a Swedish manufacturer of medium format cameras, photographic equipment and image scanners based in Gothenburg, Sweden. The company originally became known for its classic analog medium-format cameras that used a waist-level viewfinder. Perhaps the most famous use of the Hasselblad camera was during the Apollo program missions when the first humans landed on the Moon. Almost all of the still photographs taken during these missions used modified Hasselblad cameras. In 2016, Hasselblad introduced the world's first digital compact mirrorless medium-format camera, the X1D-50c, changing the portability of medium-format photography. Hasselblad produces about 10,000 cameras a year from a small three-storey building.

Linhof

Linhof

Linhof is a German company, founded in Munich in 1887 by Valentin Linhof. The company is well known for making premium rollfilm and large format film cameras. Linhof initially focused on making camera shutters and developing the first leaf shutter, which became part of Compur.

Contaflex SLR

Contaflex SLR

The Contaflex series is a family of 35mm leaf-shuttered SLR cameras, produced by Zeiss Ikon in the 1950s and 1960s. The name was first used in 1935 on a 35mm Twin-lens reflex camera, the Contaflex TLR also by Zeiss Ikon, the -flex part in the name referring to integral mirror for the viewfinder. The first models, the Contaflex I and II have fixed lenses, while the later models have interchangeable lenses, and eventually the Contaflexes became a camera system with a wide variety of accessories.

Business relationships

Vivo X60 featured the Zeiss co-engineered imaging system
Vivo X60 featured the Zeiss co-engineered imaging system

Zeiss has licensed its name 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 Nokia in the camera phone market, with Zeiss providing camera optics. The first smartphone to be co-engineered with Zeiss optics was the Nokia N90, Zeiss will again provide optics for Nokia products through a collaboration with HMD Global announced on 6 July 2017.[24]

On 17 December 2020, Vivo and Zeiss announced a long-term strategic partnership to jointly promote and develop breakthrough innovations in mobile imaging technology. The first “Vivo Zeiss co-engineered imaging system” will be featured in the Vivo X60 series. As part of the collaboration agreement, Vivo and Zeiss will establish the Vivo Zeiss Imaging Lab, a joint R&D program to innovate mobile imaging technology for Vivo’s flagship smartphones. [25]

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Vivo X60

Vivo X60

Vivo X60 is a line of Android-based smartphones developed and manufactured by Vivo, it featured the Zeiss co-engineered imaging system.

Hasselblad

Hasselblad

Victor Hasselblad AB is a Swedish manufacturer of medium format cameras, photographic equipment and image scanners based in Gothenburg, Sweden. The company originally became known for its classic analog medium-format cameras that used a waist-level viewfinder. Perhaps the most famous use of the Hasselblad camera was during the Apollo program missions when the first humans landed on the Moon. Almost all of the still photographs taken during these missions used modified Hasselblad cameras. In 2016, Hasselblad introduced the world's first digital compact mirrorless medium-format camera, the X1D-50c, changing the portability of medium-format photography. Hasselblad produces about 10,000 cameras a year from a small three-storey building.

Rollei

Rollei

Rollei was a German manufacturer of optical instruments founded in 1920 by Paul Franke and Reinhold Heidecke in Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, and maker of the Rolleiflex and Rolleicord series of cameras. Later products included specialty and nostalgic type films for the photo hobbyist market.

Yashica

Yashica

Yashica was a Japanese manufacturer of cameras, originally active from 1949 until 2005 when its then-owner, Kyocera, ceased production.

Sony

Sony

Sony Group Corporation , commonly stylized as SONY, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. As a major technology company, it operates as one of the world's largest manufacturers of consumer and professional electronic products, the largest video game console company and the largest video game publisher. Through Sony Entertainment Inc, it is one of the largest music companies and the third largest film studio, making it one of the most comprehensive media companies. It is the largest technology and media conglomerate in Japan. It is also recognized as the most cash-rich Japanese company, with net cash reserves of ¥2 trillion.

Logitech

Logitech

Logitech International S.A. is a Swiss-American multinational manufacturer of computer peripherals and software, with headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Newark, California. The company has offices throughout Europe, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, and is one of the world's leading manufacturers of input and interface devices for personal computers (PCs) and other digital products. It is a component of the flagship Swiss Market Index.

Alpa

Alpa

Alpa was formerly a Swiss camera design company and manufacturer of 35 mm SLR cameras. The current owners bought the company name after bankruptcy of the original company and the company exists today as a designer and manufacturer of high-end medium-format cameras.

Nokia

Nokia

Nokia Corporation is a Finnish multinational telecommunications, information technology, and consumer electronics corporation, established in 1865. Nokia's main headquarters are in Espoo, Finland, in the greater Helsinki metropolitan area, but the company's actual roots are in the Tampere region of Pirkanmaa. In 2020, Nokia employed approximately 92,000 people across over 100 countries, did business in more than 130 countries, and reported annual revenues of around €23 billion. Nokia is a public limited company listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange. It is the world's 415th-largest company measured by 2016 revenues according to the Fortune Global 500, having peaked at 85th place in 2009. It is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index.

Smartphone

Smartphone

A smartphone is a portable computer device that combines mobile telephone and computing functions into one unit. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities and extensive mobile operating systems, which facilitate wider software, internet, and multimedia functionality, alongside core phone functions such as voice calls and text messaging. Smartphones typically contain a number of metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuit (IC) chips, include various sensors that can be leveraged by pre-included and third-party software, and support wireless communications protocols.

Nokia N90

Nokia N90

The Nokia N90 is a smartphone, announced as part of Nokia's then-new line of multimedia devices, Nseries, on April 27, 2005. It had a unique swivel design encompassing four 'modes'. It has two displays and has a camera with Carl Zeiss optics and integrated flash, and can record video with audio. The screen can be swiveled 270° to let the phone be handled more like a conventional video camera. The camera lens can also be swiveled. The phone has no vibration feature. The 2.1-inch display has a pixel density of 259 ppi, which made it incredibly sharp and the crispest Nokia screen at the time, and continued to be joint-highest with the N80, E60 and E70 for four years, before being beaten by the Nokia N900 in 2009 with 267 ppi. The Nokia N90 can print with some printers over USB or over Bluetooth.

HMD Global

HMD Global

HMD Global Oy, branded as HMD and Nokia Mobile, is a Finnish mobile phone manufacturer. The company is made up of the mobile phone business that Nokia sold to Microsoft in 2014, then bought back in 2016. HMD began marketing Nokia-branded smartphones and feature phones on 1 December 2016. The company has exclusive rights to the Nokia brand for mobile phones through a licensing agreement. The HMD brand is only used for corporate purposes and does not appear in advertising, whereas the name "Nokia Mobile" is used on social media.

Vivo (technology company)

Vivo (technology company)

Vivo Communication Technology Co. Ltd. is a Chinese multinational technology company headquartered in Dongguan, Guangdong that designs and develops smartphones, smartphone accessories, software and online services. The company develops software for its phones, distributed through its V-Appstore, with iManager included in their proprietary, Android-based operating system, Origin OS in Mainland China, and Funtouch OS elsewhere. Vivo is an independent company and develops its own products. It has 10,000 employees, with research and development centers in Shenzhen, Guangdong, and Nanjing, Jiangsu.

Zeiss cameras

Zeiss ZX digital cameras

The Zeiss ZX1 full-frame 35mm F/2 large-sensor compact camera was announced during Photokina 2018 with the slogan 'Shoot – Edit – Share'. The camera incorporates Adobe editing capacities, and an internal 512GB SSD affording 6,800 DNG-format RAW images or 50,000 JPEG-format compressed images.[26]

Zeiss Ikon film cameras

Picture taken with a Zeiss Ikon Box Tengor 54/2 camera in 1971
Picture taken with a Zeiss Ikon Box Tengor 54/2 camera in 1971

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. After World War II, Japanese Nippon Kogaku offered 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 (badged as Ikonta), 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 World War II.

In 1932 Zeiss Ikon introduced the Contax line of 35mm rangefinder cameras having recognised the potential for a system camera using 35mm film. The Contax I was introduced with a wide range of lenses and accessories for scientific and professional use. In 1936, an improved model the Contax II was introduced and became the favorite of many renowned photographers and journalists, including Robert Capa and Margaret Bourke-White. A second 35mm camera, the Contax III, was mechanically identical with a light meter grafted to the top of the camera.

After World War II, 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. Zeiss Ikon were without designs or facilities for making the Contax and set about producing an improved replacement. These were named the Contax IIa and IIIa, and were smaller and lighter 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 Nikon which was a high quality camera sharing the same lens-mount and most of the features.

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.

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Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams

Ansel Easton Adams was an American landscape photographer and environmentalist known for his black-and-white images of the American West. He helped found Group f/64, an association of photographers advocating "pure" photography which favored sharp focus and the use of the full tonal range of a photograph. He and Fred Archer developed an exacting system of image-making called the Zone System, a method of achieving a desired final print through a deeply technical understanding of how tonal range is recorded and developed during exposure, negative development, and printing. The resulting clarity and depth of such images characterized his photography.

Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange was an American documentary photographer and photojournalist, best known for her Depression-era work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA). Lange's photographs influenced the development of documentary photography and humanized the consequences of the Great Depression.

Robert Capa

Robert Capa

Robert Capa was a Hungarian-American war photographer and photojournalist as well as the companion and professional partner of photographer Gerda Taro. He is considered by some to be the greatest combat and adventure photographer in history.

Margaret Bourke-White

Margaret Bourke-White

Margaret Bourke-White, an American photographer and documentary photographer, became arguably best known as the first foreign photographer permitted to take pictures of Soviet industry under the Soviets' five-year plan, as the first American female war photojournalist, and for taking the photograph that became the cover of the first issue of Life magazine. She died of Parkinson's disease at age 67, about eighteen years after developing symptoms.

Single-lens reflex camera

Single-lens reflex camera

A single-lens reflex camera (SLR) is a camera that typically uses a mirror and prism system that permits the photographer to view through the lens and see exactly what will be captured. With twin lens reflex and rangefinder cameras, the viewed image could be significantly different from the final image. When the shutter button is pressed on most SLRs, the mirror flips out of the light path, allowing light to pass through to the light receptor and the image to be captured.

Contaflex SLR

Contaflex SLR

The Contaflex series is a family of 35mm leaf-shuttered SLR cameras, produced by Zeiss Ikon in the 1950s and 1960s. The name was first used in 1935 on a 35mm Twin-lens reflex camera, the Contaflex TLR also by Zeiss Ikon, the -flex part in the name referring to integral mirror for the viewfinder. The first models, the Contaflex I and II have fixed lenses, while the later models have interchangeable lenses, and eventually the Contaflexes became a camera system with a wide variety of accessories.

Leica M mount

Leica M mount

The Leica M mount is a camera lens mount introduced in 1954 with the Leica M3, and a range of lenses. It has been used on all the Leica M-series cameras and certain accessories up to the current film Leica M-A and digital Leica M11 cameras.

Camera lenses

Cinema lenses

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

Medium-format lenses

Carl Zeiss AG has produced lenses for Hasselblad[27] and Rollei cameras, including:

  • CFi/CFE-Lenses for 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
  • FE-Lenses for Hasselblad 200
    • 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
  • Rolleiflex TLR
    • Tessar 75mm ƒ/3.5
    • Planar 80mm ƒ/2.8
    • Distagon 55mm ƒ/4

Large-format lenses

Zeiss has produced lenses for large format and press cameras, including:

  • 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 lenses
    • Sonnar 180mm ƒ/4.8
    • Sonnar 250mm ƒ/5.6
  • Biogon lenses
    • 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)
  • Lenses for Linhof cameras
    • 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 today.

ZM lenses

Zeiss ZM lenses fit Leica M mount cameras, including Leica M series, the 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
  • Distagon T✻ 35mm ƒ/1.4
  • Biogon T✻ 35mm ƒ/2
  • C Biogon T✻ 35mm ƒ/2.8
  • C Sonnar T✻ 50mm ƒ/1.5
  • Planar T✻ 50mm ƒ/2
  • Tele-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 Japan by Cosina to Zeiss specifications.

Optical design ZE ZF ZF.2 ZF-I ZF-IR ZK ZS
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

ZE lenses fit the Canon EF lens mount. They feature electronic contacts allowing for focus-confirmation, and electric aperture operation as with standard Canon EF lenses.[28]

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 with 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, similar to Nikon AI-P lenses. They allow electronic focus confirmation, full metering compatibility, and electronic aperture control with 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 infrared.

ZK lenses fit the Pentax K-mount. They have no electronics, are manual focus only, KA couplers. Zeiss announced the discontinuation of the ZK line in September 2010.

ZS lenses fit the 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 exception of 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.

Otus lenses

Zeiss Otus 55mm & 85mm ƒ/1.4 lens
Zeiss Otus 55mm & 85mm ƒ/1.4 lens
Zeiss Otus 28mm 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 35 mm format.

Batis lenses

Zeiss Batis ƒ/2.0 25 mm
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.

Loxia lenses

Zeiss produces manual focus Loxia lenses for the Sony E-mount. Like Sony "FE" lenses, they cover the 35mm format. The 35/2 and 50/2 are carried over from the existing ZM line.

Touit lenses

Zeiss produces autofocus Touit lenses for the Fujifilm X-mount and Sony E-mount. They cover the APS-C format.

Milvus lenses

Zeiss Milvus ƒ/1.4 50 mm
Zeiss Milvus ƒ/1.4 50 mm

Zeiss produces manual focus Milvus lenses for the Nikon F-mount (ZF.2) and Canon EF lens mount (ZE), covering the 35mm format. The 15/2.8, 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2, 100/2, and 135/2 are carried over from the previous Z-series (now referred to as Zeiss Classic).

Super-rotator lenses

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, Nikon F, Sony Alpha/Konica Minolta/Minolta A mount. Other mounts on request. Manual focus only, no electronics. Manufactured in Germany and Ukraine.

  • Hartblei Superrotator Carl Zeiss Distagon T✻ IF 1:4.0 40 mm
  • Hartblei Superrotator Carl Zeiss Planar T✻ 1:2.8 80 mm
  • Hartblei Superrotator Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T✻ 1:4.0 120 mm

NASA

Zeiss designed the optical components for the James Webb Space Telescope.[29]

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 reused by 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 view.[30]

Nokia 808 PureView with Zeiss lens[31]
Nokia 808 PureView with Zeiss lens[31]

Smartphone lenses

Zeiss worked with Nokia, and later with Microsoft Mobile as they continued production of the Lumia series.[32] 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,[24] beginning with the Nokia 8.[33]

ZA lenses

ZA ("Zeiss Alpha") lenses are designed and manufactured by Sony in 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/Minolta A-mount system. 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.
    • Sony α Carl Zeiss Distagon T✻ 1:2 24 mm ZA SSM (SAL-24F20Z)
    • Sony α Carl Zeiss Planar T✻ 1:1.4 50 mm ZA SSM (SAL-50F14Z)
    • Sony α Carl Zeiss Planar T✻ 1:1.4 85 mm ZA (SAL-85F14Z)
    • Sony α Carl Zeiss Sonnar T✻ 1:1.8 135 mm ZA (SAL-135F18Z)
    • Sony α Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T✻ 1:2.8 16–35 mm ZA SSM (SAL-1635Z)
    • Sony α Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T✻ 1:2.8 16–35 mm ZA SSM II (SAL-1635Z2)
    • Sony α Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T✻ DT 1:3.5–1:4.5 16–80 mm ZA (SAL-1680Z)
    • Sony α Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T✻ 1:2.8 24–70 mm ZA SSM (SAL-2470Z)
    • Sony α Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T✻ 1:2.8 24–70 mm ZA SSM II (SAL-2470Z2)
  • 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.
    • Sony α 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)
    • Sony α Carl Zeiss Sonnar T✻ FE 1:2.8 35 mm ZA (SEL-35F28Z)
    • Sony α Zeiss Planar T✻ FE 1:1.4 50 mm ZA (SEL-50F14Z)
    • Sony α 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 (SEL-1635Z)
    • Sony α Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T✻ E 1:4 16–70 mm ZA OSS (SEL-1670Z)
    • Sony α Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T✻ FE 1:4 24–70 mm ZA OSS (SEL-2470Z)

In addition to these Sony collaboration lenses, Zeiss offers Touit (APS-C format), Loxia (35mm format) and Batis (35mm format) lenses for E-mount.

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Arri

Arri

The Arri Group is a German manufacturer of motion picture film equipment. Based in Munich, the company was founded in 1917. It produces professional motion picture cameras, lenses, lighting and post-production equipment. Hermann Simon mentioned this company in his book Hidden Champions of the 21st Century as an example of a "hidden champion". The Arri Alexa camera system was used to film Academy Award winners for Best Cinematography including Hugo, Life of Pi, Gravity, Birdman, The Revenant and 1917.

Large format

Large format

Large format refers to any imaging format of 9 cm × 12 cm or larger. Large format is larger than "medium format", the 6 cm × 6 cm or 6 cm × 9 cm size of Hasselblad, Mamiya, Rollei, Kowa, and Pentax cameras, and much larger than the 24 mm × 36 mm frame of 35 mm format.

Press camera

Press camera

A press camera is a medium or large format view camera that was predominantly used by press photographers in the early to mid-20th century. It was largely replaced for press photography by 35mm film cameras in the 1960s, and subsequently, by digital cameras. The quintessential press camera was the Speed Graphic. Press cameras are still used as portable and rugged view cameras.

Linhof

Linhof

Linhof is a German company, founded in Munich in 1887 by Valentin Linhof. The company is well known for making premium rollfilm and large format film cameras. Linhof initially focused on making camera shutters and developing the first leaf shutter, which became part of Compur.

Hologon

Hologon

The Zeiss Hologon is an ultra wide-angle f=15mm f/8 triplet lens, providing a 110° angle of view for 35mm format cameras. The Hologon was originally fitted to a dedicated camera, the Zeiss Ikon Contarex Hologon in the late 1960s; as sales of that camera were poor and the Zeiss Ikon company itself was going bankrupt, an additional 225 lenses were made in Leica M mount and released for sale in 1972 as the only Zeiss-branded lenses for Leica rangefinders until the ZM line was released in 2005. The Hologon name was revived in 1994 for a recomputed f=16mm f/8 lens fitted to the Contax G series of rangefinder cameras.

Nikon

Nikon

Nikon Corporation , also known just as Nikon, is a Japanese multinational corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, specializing in optics and imaging products. The companies held by Nikon form the Nikon Group.

Leica M mount

Leica M mount

The Leica M mount is a camera lens mount introduced in 1954 with the Leica M3, and a range of lenses. It has been used on all the Leica M-series cameras and certain accessories up to the current film Leica M-A and digital Leica M11 cameras.

Ricoh GXR

Ricoh GXR

The Ricoh GXR is a compact digital camera first announced by Ricoh Company, Ltd, Tokyo on November 10, 2009. Unlike conventional cameras which either have a fixed lens and sensor or interchangeable lens and a fixed sensor, the GXR takes interchangeable units, each housing a lens, sensor and image processing engine. This allows each unit to have these features optimised to one another and a specific task, whereas with conventional interchangeable lens cameras, each different lens must use the same sensor and engine. The sealed units also prevent dust from reaching the sensor, which can be a problem with other cameras where the sensor is exposed whilst a lens is being changed. A significant disadvantage of this system is the extra cost involved in having to buy a whole new sensor with every new lens.

Diffraction-limited system

Diffraction-limited system

The resolution of an optical imaging system – a microscope, telescope, or camera – can be limited by factors such as imperfections in the lenses or misalignment. However, there is a principal limit to the resolution of any optical system, due to the physics of diffraction. An optical system with resolution performance at the instrument's theoretical limit is said to be diffraction-limited.

Canon EF lens mount

Canon EF lens mount

The EF lens mount is the standard lens mount on the Canon EOS family of SLR film and digital cameras. EF stands for "Electro-Focus": automatic focusing on EF lenses is handled by a dedicated electric motor built into the lens. Mechanically, it is a bayonet-style mount, and all communication between camera and lens takes place through electrical contacts; there are no mechanical levers or plungers. The mount was first introduced in 1987.

Nikon F-mount

Nikon F-mount

The Nikon F-mount is a type of interchangeable lens mount developed by Nikon for its 35mm format single-lens reflex cameras. The F-mount was first introduced on the Nikon F camera in 1959, and features a three-lug bayonet mount with a 44 mm throat and a flange to focal plane distance of 46.5 mm. The company continues, with the 2020 D6 model, to use variations of the same lens mount specification for its film and digital SLR cameras.

Infrared

Infrared

Infrared (IR), sometimes called infrared light, is electromagnetic radiation (EMR) with wavelengths longer than those of visible light. It is therefore invisible to the human eye. IR is generally understood to encompass wavelengths from around 1 millimeter (300 GHz) to the nominal red edge of the visible spectrum, around 700 nanometers (430 THz). Longer IR wavelengths are sometimes included as part of the terahertz radiation range. Almost all black-body radiation from objects near room temperature is at infrared wavelengths. As a form of electromagnetic radiation, IR propagates energy and momentum, exerts radiation pressure, and has properties corresponding to both those of a wave and of a particle, the photon.

Other products

Zeiss pocket stereoscope
Zeiss pocket stereoscope

Zeiss offers 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, 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 were to come on the market. In addition to the viewing of 2D and 3D movies, it will be possible to play computer games when fitted with the equipment.[34]

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).[35]

Sports optics

Carl Zeiss Sports Optics division produces rifle telescopic sights, 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.

Since 2019 the following Zeiss sport optics products series are in production:[36]

Binoculars

    • Terra
    • Conquest HD[37]
    • Victory HT[38]
    • Victory SF[39]
    • Victory RF range finding binoculars[40]
    • 20x60 T* S

Spotting scopes

    • Dialyt
    • Conquest Gavia
    • Victory Harpia

Rifle scopes

Medical solutions

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.

Vision care

Carl Zeiss Vision Care division develops, manufactures and distributes ophthalmic lenses, optical coatings, and dispensary technologies and services. Zeiss is known for ophthalmic lenses made from high refractive index glass, allowing stronger prescription lenses to be thinner.

Their progressive lens ZEISS Progressive Individual has won multiple awards including the OLA awards in 2009 presented at Washington, D.C.[46] and the VisionPlus or VP Awards in 2014 at Mumbai, India.[47]

Virtual reality

Sold through VR Optician (previously vr-lens.eu) as 'Virtual Reality Headset Prescription Lens Adapters', Carl Zeiss Vision is the lens provider for VR Optician's aftermarket prescription lens adaptors.[48] These lens adaptors are sold for a wide variety of Virtual Reality headsets, allowing those with visual impairments to use them without wearing glasses or contact lenses.

Industrial metrology

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.[49]

Zeiss has manufactured coordinate measuring machines since 1919,[50] offering very basic manually operated CMMs. In 1973, Zeiss introduced the UMM 500, using a Zeiss sensor system and Hewlett-Packard computer.[51] Zeiss has since vastly improved and diversified their product line and now feature many high accuracy CMMs, the Metrotom,[51] 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,[51] a fully optical measurement machine.

Zeiss is currently a member of the International Association of CMM Manufacturers (IACMM).[51]

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 competitors.[52]

Zeiss was the first manufacturer of coordinate measurement machines to introduce computer numerical control (CNC) technology to a coordinate measurement machine and was the first company to offer CNC stylus changer capability for these machines.[51]

Semiconductor manufacturing technology

Carl Zeiss SMT systems for DUV and EUV electromagnetic radiation are used in chip-lithography machines for focusing the extremely short wavelengths.[53] Together with the company ASML and its subsidies and partners Zeiss is the sole supplier of the lithography systems that are able to manufacture core layers of the latest semiconductor chips.

Microscopes

Zeiss offers different types of microscopes:

Fire doors

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 projection booth.

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Binoculars

Binoculars

Binoculars or field glasses are two refracting telescopes mounted side-by-side and aligned to point in the same direction, allowing the viewer to use both eyes when viewing distant objects. Most binoculars are sized to be held using both hands, although sizes vary widely from opera glasses to large pedestal-mounted military models.

Planetarium

Planetarium

A planetarium is a theatre built primarily for presenting educational and entertaining shows about astronomy and the night sky, or for training in celestial navigation.

Ophthalmology

Ophthalmology

Ophthalmology is a surgical subspecialty within medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders.

PC game

PC game

A personal computer game, also known as a PC game or computer game, is a type of video game played on a personal computer (PC) rather than a video game console or arcade machine. Its defining characteristics include: more diverse and user-determined gaming hardware and software; and generally greater capacity in input, processing, video and audio output. The uncoordinated nature of the PC game market, and now its lack of physical media, make precisely assessing its size difficult. In 2018, the global PC games market was valued at about $27.7 billion.

Carl Zeiss Meditec

Carl Zeiss Meditec

Carl Zeiss Meditec AG is a multinational medical technology company and subsidiary of Carl Zeiss AG. It manufactures tools for eye examinations and medical lasers as well as solutions for neurosurgery, dentistry, gynecology and oncology. Among its products are the most common tools used by ophthalmologists and optometrists.

Lens

Lens

A lens is a transmissive optical device which focuses or disperses a light beam by means of refraction. A simple lens consists of a single piece of transparent material, while a compound lens consists of several simple lenses (elements), usually arranged along a common axis. Lenses are made from materials such as glass or plastic, and are ground and polished or molded to a desired shape. A lens can focus light to form an image, unlike a prism, which refracts light without focusing. Devices that similarly focus or disperse waves and radiation other than visible light are also called lenses, such as microwave lenses, electron lenses, acoustic lenses, or explosive lenses.

Optical coating

Optical coating

An optical coating is one or more thin layers of material deposited on an optical component such as a lens, prism or mirror, which alters the way in which the optic reflects and transmits light. These coatings have become a key technology in the field of optics. One type of optical coating is an anti-reflective coating, which reduces unwanted reflections from surfaces, and is commonly used on spectacle and camera lenses. Another type is the high-reflector coating, which can be used to produce mirrors that reflect greater than 99.99% of the light that falls on them. More complex optical coatings exhibit high reflection over some range of wavelengths, and anti-reflection over another range, allowing the production of dichroic thin-film filters.

Coordinate-measuring machine

Coordinate-measuring machine

A coordinate measuring machine (CMM) is a device that measures the geometry of physical objects by sensing discrete points on the surface of the object with a probe. Various types of probes are used in CMMs, the most common being mechanical and laser sensors, though optical and white light sensor do exist. Depending on the machine, the probe position may be manually controlled by an operator or it may be computer controlled. CMMs typically specify a probe's position in terms of its displacement from a reference position in a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system. In addition to moving the probe along the X, Y, and Z axes, many machines also allow the probe angle to be controlled to allow measurement of surfaces that would otherwise be unreachable.

CT scan

CT scan

A computed tomography scan is a medical imaging technique used to obtain detailed internal images of the body. The personnel that perform CT scans are called radiographers or radiology technologists.

Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard

The Hewlett-Packard Company, commonly shortened to Hewlett-Packard or HP, was an American multinational information technology company headquartered in Palo Alto, California. HP developed and provided a wide variety of hardware components, as well as software and related services to consumers, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health, and education sectors. The company was founded in a one-car garage in Palo Alto by Bill Hewlett and David Packard in 1939, and initially produced a line of electronic test and measurement equipment. The HP Garage at 367 Addison Avenue is now designated an official California Historical Landmark, and is marked with a plaque calling it the "Birthplace of 'Silicon Valley'".

Numerical control

Numerical control

Numerical control is the automated control of machining tools by means of a computer. A CNC machine processes a piece of material to meet specifications by following coded programmed instructions and without a manual operator directly controlling the machining operation.

Carl Zeiss SMT

Carl Zeiss SMT

Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH comprises the Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology business group of ZEISS and develops and produces equipment for the manufacture of microchips. The company is majority owned by Carl Zeiss AG, with a 24.9% minority stake by ASML Holding.

Source: "Carl Zeiss AG", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Zeiss_AG.

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See also
References
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  38. ^ Zeiss Victory HT binoculars
  39. ^ Zeiss Victory SF binoculars test
  40. ^ Zeiss Victory RF binoculars
  41. ^ Zeiss entry level optics
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Further reading
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