ZEISS Apologises for Anime Photoshoot Featuring Its New Lens

ZEISS Apologises for Anime Photoshoot Featuring Its New Lens

German lens manufacturer ZEISS has issued an apology to its customers for a recent advert that featured a female model holding one of its recently released lenses.

On June 28, ZEISS tweeted a trio of images showing an anime model dressed as the Disney character Ariel striking affectionate poses with the new ZEISS Otus 100mm f/1.4 lens.

The images stirred up a little resentment online, as many viewers felt the images reinforced gender stereotypes — men deploy expertise to use expensive, sophisticated equipment, while women sit and look pretty — that felt out of place in 2019. “If Ariel chose it, maybe have her use it with a camera rather than make her sit like a prop,” came one suggestion.

Shot at Animefest in Brno, Czech Republic, the image was given a caption and presented in a manner that was judged to be associating itself with outdated gender stereotypes that the camera industry occasionally struggles to shake off. Few would have objected to the model posing for the camera, but to be reduced to a fleshy prop to make a product look attractive was felt by some to be inappropriate. 

ZEISS later issued an apology:

In a field that is largely dominated by men and the male gaze, should manufacturers be more aware of the attitudes of their customers? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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73 Comments

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marc gabor's picture

The SJW debate seems secondary to the fact that Zeiss should just apologize for posting such crappy unoriginal content regardless of it being PC or not. Seriously, Zeiss can't find at least one decent photographer who can think a little further out the box than "girl holding lens on gray backdrop" to take some pics for them in exchange for a Sonnar 35mm 2.8 or something???

Nick Haynes's picture

More shock in the comments than in the photos.

I've always felt rather put off by anime. Many others are not. I guess I actually think these pics rather good: the context must be considered.

Of the news that has reached me today from photo sites the thing that really shocks me is the idea of boxing up butterflies to release at weddings. They are unable to consent --- or even understand what is happening.

Mutley Dastardly's picture

Reprogrammating the mind - is that what these people who want to take the mermaid from us - want to do? 1984?

The only thing they need to apologize for is the price! lol, they're amazing glass tho joking aside.

Dave Palmer's picture

The first rule of politics; no matter what you do someone will be unhappy with it. This isn't going to make me get rid of my Zeiss lenses.

Joseph Balson's picture

I'm offended by the use of a rabbit to sell lenses.
https://twitter.com/ZEISSLenses/status/1118871532900581376

Tell the Politically Correct SJW Mafia to take a hike. I like the mermaid, I like the pretty girl, I like the Otus. Never apologize to these virtue signalling bullies. Tell them you are PROUD to have a pretty girl and a product in the same picture. If they don't like it they can go pound sand!

The craziness continues. And apologizing only makes it worse. When you've done nothing wrong, don't ever apologize.

We're entering a world where anyone crying 'offense' is taken too damned seriously. So anything and everything gets attacked. Also we are entering a world where ideology is taken more seriously than reality. A simple fun, playful thing becomes a political football. Jerry Seinfeld, as well as some other comedians have pulled back from comedy, because the professional victim crowd will jump on anything they can possibly consider 'offensive'

Despite the ideological BS, despite 'feminism', despite people insisting on confusing equality with identicalness, men and women are different from one another. Get over it.

Just like chimpanzees, gorillas and bonobos, males and females behave differently on a fundamental level. Humans are mammals, we are primates, and our basic behavior is parallel to these closely related species. Evolution works that way, it does not care about political correctness, only genetic success matters.

Psychological studies have shown that both men AND women both actually view men and women differently. This is hard wired. People worry about the 'male gaze', what is called 'objectification', considering the triggering effect of females on male sexuality as a bad thing (well it's bad if it leads to coercive behavior) but this is a natural component of our biological makeup, common to EVERY mammal species, males respond almost automatically to simple sexual signals (whether display, pheromone or behavior). And humans are part of that. (By contrast, sexual selection is very different from the female side because they are wired to look for different attributes--there is no evolutionary value for this 'objective' triggering. Females instinctively look for different criteria. This is NORMAL).

The sexes will never be the same. You cannot rewrite 50 million years of mammal evolution or 7 million years of human simian evolution because some wingnut idologues decide that this is the way it 'should' be.

Peter von Reichenberg's picture

Dont apologise, Zeiss. Those who have time to shout around how offended they are with this and that are not your customers anyway. Most of them are not even photographers.

Stas Aleksandersson's picture

Well they should apologize for apologizing. Cause I’m about to form a group of people that are getting offended when someone starts apologizing. I don’t know what is gonna happen - cause some companies would need to apologize for some stupid shit to one group of people while offending the other.
What if I’m offended by political correctness?

Ricardo Consonni's picture

I expected Zeiss would be smarter than that, and know that lenses are made to take pictures - men, women, children, landscapes, products, food. If vegans say that they are offended that someone used their lenses to take pictures of a barbecue, will they apologize too?

Drew Pluta's picture

They need to apologize for advertising a $5K lens with some of the worst amature photos I've ever seen associated with a modern ad campaign. I guess Brooklyn Beckham was out now that he's selling Leica's?

Tony Politi's picture

The world has lost it's fucking mind.