Know the Differences Between Sony/ZEISS and ZEISS Lenses? Here’s the Answer

Know the Differences Between Sony/ZEISS and ZEISS Lenses? Here’s the Answer

Beginning in 1995, consumer electronics giant Sony and high-end optics company ZEISS entered into a partnership that is still going strong. Today on the market you will find Sony, Sony/ZEISS, and ZEISS branded lenses. So what’s the difference between all of these, or are they actually quite similar?

In response to the frequently asked questions by photographers on differences and similarities between these lens product lines, ZEISS has written a blog post laying out the answers. You may be relieved to know that the similarities between product lines appear to be in the design and build quality, and the differences lie more in the production stages, distribution, and after-sale support.

AT TOP: The Sony/ZEISS 55mm 1.8 and the ZEISS Loxia 2/50 lenses side by side. ABOVE: The ZEISS Loxia 2/35.

For example, Sony/ZEISS lenses will have been jointly designed and developed, with ZEISS finalizing prototypes and producing test specifications for production. In Sony’s manufacturing facilities across Asia is where the Sony/ZEISS lenses will be made, but ZEISS still isn’t out of the picture. The Sony factories will use ZEISS-created lens testing equipment to perform quality checks on the Sony/ZEISS lenses. According to the blog, ZEISS is responsible for setting the technical and quality standards in which their partners, such as Sony, must follow. ZEISS also regularly audits the production process, management systems, and measuring installations in Sony factories making Sony/ZEISS lenses.

You can check out the full picture of the ZEISS lens production process as well by reading the full post.

[via ZEISS’ Camera Lens Blog]

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Kyle Farris's picture

Cool. Thanks for sharing this!

Ryan Mense's picture

It's good info that answered a couple questions I had. Glad you liked it as well.

Flint Stone's picture

But the quality and optical performance of Sony crop sensor lenses still lag behind Canon. Their zooms rely on built in software correction in the camera. Then there is the high price tag to boot!

Dan Horne's picture

Is the Panasonic Leica arrangement similar to the Sony/Zeiss one?