ExoLens, a division of Fellowes, today announced a partnership with highly-respected camera lens maker Zeiss to release “ExoLens with optics by Zeiss,” a series of three new high-quality add-on lenses for the iPhone 6/6s and Plus models. Incorporating Zeiss’s T* anti-reflective coating, the lenses offer optical quality comparable to the Zeiss lenses found in Sony cameras, improving on already-released ExoLens systems for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Each lens screws into a machined aluminum mounting and tripod bracket that attaches to Apple’s devices. One even offers zoom capabilities…
Prominently found in Sony digital cameras, Zeiss’s optics are a photographic industry gold standard, relying upon high-quality glass and thoughtful optical designs to minimize distortion and chromatic aberration while preserving color and contrast. The “first three” Zeiss-developed ExoLenses for iPhone include Mutar-branded 0.6x wide-angle and 2x telephoto lenses, each in a black anodized aluminum housing with water- and dust-resistant coatings, as well as a Vario-Proxar macro lens that enables continuous zoom to capture subjects 3-12cm in diameter, and includes a detachable diffusor/spacer.
Fellowes promises that all three lenses offer “edge-to-edge image excellence and no discernible distortion or chromatic aberration,” a major difference relative to existing iPhone add-on lenses, most of which introduce at least a little distortion — sometimes a lot. Prices were not announced for the Zeiss lens kits, but the existing iPhone 6 kit sells for $130, with the iPhone 6 Plus version at $150, each bundled with one mounting bracket, two lenses, caps, and other items. The new versions are expected to ship late in the second quarter of this year.
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I don’t understand this. Its not enlarging the image sensor. What is the point? I cant see the image looking all that much better….
Well that’s pretty simple.
A camera is really two things : a sensor and a lens.
Here you can change the lens.
It’s not necessarily supposed to make the image look better, it’s to change the focal length of the camera. the 2X telephoto lens will basically “zoom” the image in closer, so if you’re far away from the subject and you want it to fill the frame more, you put the 2X lens on and you can get the shot you want. Depending on the aperture of the lens, it will also make the background and foreground more out of focus, something you get with DSLR cameras.
The 0.6X lens will help you fit more in the frame if you are too close to an object, or if you want to take closeup shots of something and get a distorted image.
Understood, but why spend this much money when you could easily purchase one MUCH cheaper to do the exact same thing. $150 is a lot for a kit to do little to nothing more than a $10 kit could do!
At some point, after being blown away from the superb images from my Galaxy Note 4 (that I imagine the latest iPhones equal), I thought that phones will replace dedicated cameras. And then I got back into owning a real camera again by buying a Panasonic GX8 plus 20mm f1.7 pancake lens. The tactile controls, (adjustable) OLED viewfinder, larger sensor (less of an issue with today’s phones that somehow manage pretty well in low light), auto focus speed and stunning 4K video (with stereo audio recording of course) reminded me that you cannot do street photography with a phone because there is no viewfinder making intimate composition impossible. Further, the flip out display on the GX8 (and similar cameras) makes selfies, timer shots and video blogging and more not reliant on the inferior secondary camera on the screen side of most phones.
On the other hand, if you’re doing daylight architectural, scenic and landscape photography then a phone plus these Zeiss lenses would be fine.
I think they borrowed the idea from Moment lens and stepped it up a bit by using Carl Zeiss T* lenses.
Add-on wide angle and fish eye lenses are quite popular for mobile phones and I have used many.
From cheap generic clip-on to popular ones like the Olloclip to ones made with professional glass from Century Optics (iProLens) – all of them have some degree of distortion and Chromatic Aberration especially on the edges of the image. The quality of your image really depends on what glass you have on the camera, so I’ve always stayed away from the cheap add-on lenses with poor glass.
Moment lenses ( http://momentlens.co/ ) were the first to make a proper add-on lens for iPhones that were razor sharp, edge to edge with no Chromatic Aberration and I really love the wide-angle lens for occasions where the stock iPhone lens isn’t wide enough. They started as a Kickstarter and I am glad to see that they are doing well.
I look forward to trying the EXOlens; with the Zeiss’s T* anti-reflective coating, I hope the image contrast and clarity matches my other cameras that have Zeiss T* glass and coating.
Has anyone tried these Zeiss lenses?
I love the idea of a Zeiss lens on the iPhone to assist with the wide-angle stock focal length, but there is no way I’m using my iPhone without a case. The ExoLens cases on their other products is a better solution. I find it questionable why they would redesign the lens mounts for these to expose the iPhone in stock form. My phone is NEVER without a case, and won’t be for the addition of a high dollar lens. Too bad.