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Zeiss to Release High-Performance Lenses for the iPhone’s Camera

Zeiss to Release High-Performance Lenses for the iPhone’s Camera

Love it or hate it, mobile photography is the king right now. So what’s a world-renowned lens manufacturer for “traditional” system cameras to do when a large majority of photos these days are coming from smartphones? You adapt. Today Zeiss has announced, in partnership with Fellowes Brands, plans to ship a macro, wide-angle, and telephoto lens for iPhone in Q2 2016.

Collaborating with Fellowes’ ExoLens brand, the three new lenses are designed to be about as aesthetically pleasing as accessory smartphone lenses can get. Like miniaturized versions of their big brother SLR lens designs, the black anodized metal and white labeling look excellent.

As for the internal construction, the wide-angle and telephoto lenses utilize an afocal optical design system in which focus is set to infinity. With the use of aspheric lenses, Zeiss claims the distortion effect is offset for lines that don’t run through the center of the frame. As with any Zeiss lens, they’ve made sure to mention that the edge-to-edge contrast rendition is top-notch, along with corrected chromatic aberrations and bright-dark transitions largely free of colored artifacts. Zeiss also claims that the wide-angle and telephoto lenses are “protected” against dust and water spray, but it’s to be determined the degree to which they mean that.

The ExoLens macro is unique to accessory mobile lenses in that is has a variable focal length. The macro lens also features a detachable, semi-transparent diffuser which allows light to shine through evenly and allows for easy focusing as a spacer.

All lenses attach to the iPhone via the ExoLens bracket which will initially be made for iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, 6, and 6 Plus. The ExoLens machined aluminum bracket features a handy standard tripod mount as well as a cold shoe.

The ExoLens with optics by Zeiss will be made available in late Q2 2016 through select stores, Amazon, and the ExoLens website. If you are interested in seeing sample photos from Zeiss ambassadors, check out this page which has all the information on the new mobile lenses.

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Ryan Mense is a wildlife cameraperson specializing in birds. Alongside gear reviews and news, Ryan heads selection for the Fstoppers Photo of the Day.

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All the light then has to go through the iPhone's lens. Doesn't this mean that the best quality the image can be is only as good as the iPhone's lens?

As you might know, every piece of glass you put in front of your lens, decrease the final quality. These lenses, for them, are the best in this purpose.

I find this most amusing.

The iPhone is 'good' because it is small, a big lens in front of that negates any convenient in my opinion. A Panasonic point and shoot probably is smaller, cheaper, and performs better than this kit

I must've slept through the first quarter of 2016... April 1st already?!

I know mobile phone photography is not really something to overlook at. Manufacturers have supported users with different accessories like Manfrotto, Oloclip, e.g.
Special lenses are not new, and now here with Zeiss entering the field, it just somehow amuses me at the same time disappoints my thoughts about such products.

I will be assuming that these lenses would cost a hefty amount. And by the looks of it, it will defeat the purpose of light and compactness of mobile phones.

I suggest, if one is interested on "upgrading" their mobile photography. Invest to cameras like Fujifilm, Sony or Olympus that has Wi-Fi enabled. (or get a SD card with one)

your gonna shell out a handful of money for a Zeiss lens and then slap it on an iPhone ? if you can afford the lens you should not be using your phone as your "camera". i'm with justin, amusing at best.

I know what David Hannum would say about this.

Lipstick, meet pig.

just about the funniest line I have read today!!

What a bunch of snobby people!

You are not your equipment!


I'm not implying any correlation between expensive gear with and skill. What I think is silly that you would buy expensive gear for the $10 camera in your iPhone.

Clearly these lenses will not be for the lot of you. lol... You know, macro on my iPhone is a ton of fun... its not meant to be "professional". haha. You don't like it? don't buy it. Pretty simple. Olloclip is great, lots of fun to play around with. I'm interested in the macro, but the 15x Olloclip is really nice...

So, I buy this for which ever phone they make it for (like a REAL cell phone, maybe a Galaxy S6) and after a year or two when I need to upgrade my phone, this thing is obsolete? Or will they make new brackets to mount them on the future models?

As others have posted, it's too bulky and only as good as the lens already in the phone.

"Love it or hate it, mobile photography is the king right now."
The king of what....of availability because its in your pocket?
Other than that, celltography is nothing more than a thing you have at hand to take a photo when you dont care about the quality of it.
For the rest of us that take photography seriously, we use a REAL camera which is still light years ahead of any phone because sensor size and glass MATTERS.
I was expecting better from you guys than such silly statements....