DUW Distagon | The Deep Sea Lens

DUW Distagon – The Deep Sea Lens Enabling outstanding Underwater Inspection and Mapping for Maritime Robotics

Just like outer space, the underwater world is full of secrets and awakens the spirit of discovery in us. Both environments fascinate with their very special laws and challenges. Only a close networking of research and experience makes their discovery and explanation possible.

Precise, photogrammetric measurements in shallow water (UW - under water) and in the deep sea (DUW - deep sea under water)

A new Class of Underwater Lenses

After many decades of experience in underwater (UW) photography and together with our partner GEOMAR, ZEISS has created a new class of underwater lenses enabling precise subsea and deep ocean measurements in high resolution. Our goal is to support the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) & Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) operator with best equipment for visual manipulation and navigation underwater. For years we have been active in deep sea research and developing underwater applications for greater depths and demanding environments.

We can provide customized underwater lenses in known ZEISS quality for a wide range of applications including inspection, measuring and observation. Our customers value the robustness and accuracy of our products combined with a long lifetime under harsh conditions.

Therefore, ZEISS is defining a new platform for real-time capable maritime robotics. Our customers and research partners appreciate the robustness and precision of the products, which impress with a long service life even under the most extreme environmental conditions.

In autumn 2020 we used the first series of ZEISS DUW DISTAGON lenses at depths beyond 5000 m. First results exceeded the current state of the art in underwater imaging. They elevate our pioneering work in deep-sea visual mapping to industrial scales.

Dr. Tom Kwasnitschka, GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel

Project partner

Features DUW Distagon

  • An outstanding underwater optical performance,
  • rated to 6000 m working depth and a large field of view of 100°
  • Front lens in direct contact with seawater (no flat or dome port)
  • Enables up to 8K resolution and digital zoom
  • Extremely high light sensitivity at 100° FOV
  • Corrected field curvature and chromatic aberration
  • Optimized distortion
  • Sun shield optimized for straylight reduction
  • Camera sensor recommendation 2/3" to 1"
  • Saltwater-resistant materials
  • Robust system with high service life
Research in shallow water and deep sea
Forschung in Flachwasser und Tiefsee


  • Subsea survey and seabed mapping
  • Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV)  
  • Marine biology
  • Oil & Gas - pipeline & cable inspection
  • Research, expedition
  • Security
  • AR / VR visualization options for marine robotics


    • ZEISS OEM Solutions Broschüre

      Pages: 24
      File size: 1 MB

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