Zeiss Announces Trio Of iPhone Lens Attachments

zeiss-exolensBy James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Zeiss is jumping into the mobile filmmaking game, and have announced at CES this week a trio of lenses for the iPhone, dubbed the ExoLens. Let’s take a look at what they have to offer.

“We are thrilled to announce our new relationship with ZEISS, who has been setting standards in optics for almost 170 year. 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. ExoLens with optics by ZEISS will redefine quality in the mobile photography space, providing professional-grade results for end users.” –  John E. Fellowes, Chief Executive Officer of Fellowes

The new ExoLens line will include a standard telephoto, wide-angle, and a new zooming macro lens. Fellowes is the manufacturer of the ExoLens line, but with design input from Zeiss, which will clearly provides the specifications, and glass for the lenses themselves (hence the nameplate).

Lens_Family_2-1075x751The ExoLens trio of lenses break down like this: Telephoto and wide angle lenses will be called the Mutar line, while the zoom macro will be dubbed Vario-Proxar. The VarioProxar lens will offer a variable focal length of between 3-12 centimeters and will have an optional clear diffuser which will enable light to stream in on tightly focused subjects coming right up to the lens element.

“The impact of an image is decisively influenced by the lens and its technical properties,” says Dr. Winfried Scherle, Executive Vice President of Carl Zeiss AG and Head of the ZEISS Consumer Optics business group.

The lenses will be made of black anodized aluminum and will have a screw on mount to attach to the aluminum exoskeleton mount, which is actually more of a lens attachment array, than a protective case of any kind. That’s fine by me because you usually have to remove your case in order to slide on a third party lens anyway (except for OlloClip, which addressed this with a sliding door protective case itself).  The ExoLens attachment will have a standard tripod mount and cold shoe.

“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 … with optics by ZEISS, the best currently available on the market. We have achieved the best possible technical balance between a small size, light weight and high image quality.”

The ExoLens elements themselves are standard Zeiss specs with dust and splash resistant coatings, as well as Zeiss  T antireflective coating to minimize glass to air reflection and boost light transmission.

The ExoLens line will initially be available by ZEISS for Apple iPhone 6/6s and Apple iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus, with the goal of adding more devices in the future. So we could see a backwards compatible iPhone 5 option, iPad and maybe even an Android attachment as well.  There’s no word about pricing, but Zeiss expect to ship by end of June. So look for more details as we get closer to NAB.

For more information, click here.


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