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.