Originally developed for SLR cameras requiring a long back focal distance for short focal lengths because of the mirror box (the distance between the back lens element and the film plane must be considerably longer than the focal length), the Distagon lenses (retrofocus design) are also ideal for mirrorless system cameras thanks to their optimized ray path. Even with longer focal lengths, the high-performance Distagon optical design enables consistently good correction all the way to the corners of the image and very low field curvature.
The Planar lens design is the most successful – and most frequently copied – camera lens design of all time. Modifications to the tried-and-tested six-lens basic type ensure that it achieves the high imaging quality required by modern sensors. Lenses with a Planar optical design enable consistent performance across a large range of image scales – the key requirement for universal macro-lenses.
A lens with relatively few glass-air surfaces, it was developed by Dr. Ludwig Bertele at ZEISS in 1930. At the time it was one of the fastest high-speed lenses for 35 mm photography, with apertures as large as 1:1.5 and high contrast thanks to effective stray light reduction. Its high speed and high contrast helped give the lens its name, which is derived from the word “sun,” the symbol of maximum brightness. You continue to find the aforementioned benefits with modern lenses in the normal and telephoto ranges whose optical design is based on this basic type.
A lens with such a large field angle that it can capture as much of the photographer's surroundings as possible in a single shot – this is the origin of the name Biogon®. The largely symmetrical Biogon optical design enables the use of very compact, moderate to extremely wide-angle lenses, including with rangefinder and mirrorless system cameras. The lenses feature exceptionally good distortion correction, chromatic properties and image field flattening.
Based on special types of high-index optical glass from the Schott Glaswerke and Dr. Paul Rudolph's optical design, the Tessar lens achieved world renown for its definition: the eagle eye of your camera. The ZEISS Tessar lens originally featured a four-lens design and is reflected in the product name: Tessar is derived from the Greek word tessares, meaning four.
Lens made of special glass with anomalous partial dispersion
Lens with aspheric optical surface
Aspheric elements and special glass
"Floating elements" design