Get Creative With Your Photography


Until recently, the creativity of smartphone photographers and videographers has been
limited by the technology behind the built-in cameras. Yet with the rise of mobile phone accessories, a new world of opportunities has opened up to meet the needs of photographers ‘on-the-go’. To tap into this trend, ZEISS has teamed up with ExoLens to develop a range of premium lenses which bring the same DSLR aspherical lens technology to iPhones.

We speak to Michael Schiehlen, Senior Director of Sales, Service & Marketing at Carl Zeiss AG, about the newest range of lenses for the iPhone 7, including the telephoto, wide-angle and macro-zoom; examine the technology behind the lenses; and what makes them the perfect tool for ambitious smartphone photographers.

  • The image quality of built-in smartphone cameras is high and getting better with every new model launched on the market. What additional value do smartphone photographers get from the three ExoLens PRO with optics by ZEISS lenses?

 The fact that built-in smartphone cameras are increasing in quality is undeniable but the ExoLens lens technology sets it apart. These innovations have the potential to unleash new levels of creativity. For example:

  • The wide-angle lens allows you to capture a wider field of view and thus, a more detailed image – this is perfect for taking pictures such as landscapes, architecture or of a group of people. Capturing a wide field of detail at this level is not possible with standard built-in smartphone cameras.
  • The telephoto lens, on the other hand, allows you to get closer to a subject without zooming; and most importantly to retain image quality – if you zoom with a built-in smartphone camera, the image quality is reduced and photos can often look pixelated.
  • The macro lens is ideal for close-ups and creates images of excellent quality – from the centre of the picture all the way to the edges. Again, creating artistic shots that are not possible to capture with built-in smartphone cameras.


  • How are the ExoLens PRO with optics by ZEISS lenses different from other products on the market?

Our lenses deliver an outstanding image quality that is new to the market. Both the wide-angle and telephoto lenses contain an aspherical lens which was previously reserved for DSLR cameras – images taken are practically free of distortion with excellent edge-to-edge contrast and no chromatic aberrations. The macro lens allows you to accurately capture subjects that are three to twelve centimetres in size, creating high quality images.

The design is also unique: our lenses all have detachable screens, and are made from top of the range materials, making them sturdy and protected against dust and water damage. Even the bracket has been made to measure, ensuring a perfect fit to your handset.

  • Why did ZEISS decide to team up with ExoLens?

The partnership seemed like a natural step for two companies with the same vision. ZEISS has been driving optical innovations in photography since 1890 and ExoLens is a pioneer in smartphone photography. ZEISS has set new standards with products such as those from the Otus lens range for DSLR cameras and the Batis series for mirrorless full-format cameras. Together with ExoLens’ smartphone technology expertise, we have seized the opportunity to answer the market need for quality and versatility in mobile photography.

  • To what extent do the quality criteria of smartphone lenses differ from those of classical (DSLR) camera lenses?

Of course there are differences in construction – but we have the same high quality criteria for all our lenses. Our goal is to be “best-in-class” in every product category.

  • The lenses support a 4K resolution. Does that mean the lenses also appeal to smartphone videographers?

Definitely. The lenses are the ideal tools for ambitious smartphone filmmakers who can benefit from the same features as photographers. For example, when you are using the video mode in the native iPhone app, the field of view is extremely narrow and limits the available shots for videographers. Using the wide-angle lens allows the field of view to be much wider without compromising on the resolution.

The ExoLens bracket also includes an integrated tripod connector and cold shoe mount, allowing third-party accessories such as lighting systems and microphones to be attached. The versatility of the system means the ExoLens PRO with ZEISS optics is perfect for filmmakers, vloggers and mobile journalists who are looking to record high quality videos.

If you’re keen to hear more about how the ZEISS technology could revolutionise the photos you take from your iPhone, you can get involved with our #ExoPro campaign. Click here for tutorials and advice from professional photographers and see how you can become an #ExoPro.


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