Want a Better Lens for Your Smartphone? Zeiss to Offer Premium Mobile Optics

Zeiss and the Fellowes’ ExoLens brand have joined forces to create a new line of premium accessory lenses for mobile phones. The new attachable smartphone lenses feature a snazzy design with smooth surfaces made of black anodized aluminum with white labeling. More importantly, they will offer quality optics from the respected Zeiss brand.

You can attach the new Zeiss mobile lenses to your smartphone via ExoLens' machined aluminum brackets using a screw thread. The ExoLens bracket features 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 Apple iPhone 6/6s and iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus—adding more devices in the future.

Global deliveries of the first lenses by ExoLens to be developed jointly with ZEISS are scheduled for later in 2016. The first three lenses (wide-angle, telephoto and macro) will be launched later this year. The wide-angle and telephoto lenses offer ideal image performance and 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 Apple iPhone with customized mounting brackets.

The jointly developed lenses turn the integrated mobile phone lens into either a wide-angle or telephoto lens. The optical design used for both 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—the focus is set at infinity. This enables photography of objects from infinity to the close-up range, the limits of which are defined only by the technical properties of the mobile phone camera. This makes this optical design suitable for both landscape and detailed photography. Distortion would impair the composition as straight lines which are not imaged through the image center would be reproduced as curved lines. This adverse effect has been offset by the use of aspheric lenses in the optical design. Both lenses therefore offer image excellence and outstanding contrast rendition right to the edges.

The macro lens complements the wide-angle and telephoto lenses and enables currently unparalleled close-up photography with a mobile phone 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 image excellence and no discernible distortion or chromatic aberration. It is currently also the only accessory lens for mobile phones to offer a continuous zoom function, permitting the full-frame capture of objects with diameters of between three and twelve centimeters. An optionally attachable and semi-transparent diffusor servers as a spacer, allowing light to shine evenly on the object to be photographed and enabling convenient focusing, even with a short object distance and shallow depth-of-field.

More info on the Zeiss ExoLens here.