ZEISS and Photography

What is the connection between spectacle lenses and photographic lenses?

People have always liked to keep their memories documented in pictures and they still do today: The dream beach they combed on vacation, their baby’s first smile or a bunch of boisterous friends at a birthday party. Thanks to today’s rapidly progressing digital imaging processes, everyone can now immediately access and use freshly-captured shots. Everything seems to take pictures these days – from cell phones to high-quality reflex cameras. What is the key player that helps you take better photos? The lens.

Zeiss and Photography

In addition to eyeglass lens manufacturing, ZEISS is also a leader in the field of manufacturing lenses for amateur and professional photography. In these fields, as with eyeglass lenses, the precision and performance of the lens are a part of image reproduction.

How Did Photography Start?

Around the year 350 B.C., Greek scholars discovered that through a miniscule opening in a dark room, the outside world was displayed laterally reversed and upside-down on the wall opposite that opening.

Leonardo da Vinci used the term “camera obscura” to describe this phenomenon around the year 1500. This is where the word “camera” comes from. The first actual photograph was created in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. The Frenchman Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre (1787-1851) and the Englishman William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) leveraged photography in the first half of the 19th century with their developments.

Talbot’s photographic negative/positive method made images reproducible. The first wooden daguerreotype cameras were sold by the Parisian company Alphonse Giroux in 1839.

It wasn’t until the 1880s, using the new types of glass developed by Otto Schott, that higher performance lenses were developed. Ernst Abbe and Paul Rudolph at ZEISS used this circumstance to develop new types of lenses in the newly created "Photography Department."

Zeiss and Photography

Famous brands, from Nokia mobile phones to Sony and Rollei, count on ZEISS lenses

The ZEISS Anastigmat® lens appeared in 1889. It was so technically outstanding that 100,000 of these lenses were sold worldwide within the first 10 years. With this lens and the subsequent Planar® and Tessar®, ZEISS gained a leading position in the field of photo optics, a position that holds to this day and from which more innovations have followed.

High-performance lenses are still in demand, and not only by today’s rapid development in the field of digital photography. ZEISS continues to write history here as well: Famous brands, from Nokia mobile phones to Sony and Rollei, count on ZEISS lenses.