ZEISS Lenses - a history

ZEISS Lenses - a history

ZEISS Lenses 

In 1846, Carl Zeiss started a business which now serves the world with various kinds and types of lenses for people from all walks of life. Be it for cameras, eyewear, microscopes, telescopes, and more, ZEISS Lenses prove to be the top maker of different lenses for different needs. Various fields of science and technology use ZEISS Lenses for each of their own magnifying needs. Equipped with the highest quality, innovation, and precision, the ZEISS brand always lives up to its slogan: “We make it visible.” 



As a company running an internationally leading enterprise in optical and optoelectronic industries, the ZEISS Group serves a wide array of consumers including various fields of science and technology. With its headquarters in Germany, ZEISS has 50 locations represented in around 50 countries worldwide. The ZEISS Group serves various fields including cinematography, hunting, nature observation, research microscopy solutions, spectroscopy, digital solutions and software development, industrial quality solutions, photography, semiconductor manufacturing technology, sun lenses, medical technology, planetariums, simulation project solutions, development and production services, and vision care among others.


Being the pioneer of scientific optics, Carl Zeiss AG holding company or ZEISS believes to be driven by the passion for excellence to create value for their customers. In doing so, they make this possible by challenging the limits of human imagination through their industry in order to inspire the world in many new ways. As it operates in the optics and optoelectronics industries, ZEISS serves its customers globally with high quality trendsetting ZEISS brand products like binoculars, camera lenses, eyeglass lenses, microscopes, and space telescopes among others. Top of the line and trusted brands including Sony, Nikon, Nokia, and Google Earth use ZEISS Lenses. 

ZEISS History


Founded in Jena, Germany by Carl Zeiss in 1846, the ZEISS Company went through lots of ups and downs including surviving World War I and World War II. Carl Zeiss was a visionary entrepreneur who viewed a world where people can see things with clear vision and make things visible to the naked eye. With this in mind, he came to build the first ever microscope. He opened a workshop for optical instruments and precision mechanics and focused on more and more microscope production.

Since its founding in 1846 as a business, ZEISS was transformed into a large enterprise that’s research-oriented and distributes a wide array of optical products all across the world. However successful it is today, the company also suffered from crises that mirrors the history of Germany when it was split into two after World War II. When Germany reunified, the company merged again as well and grew to be the prestigious ZEISS Company that we know of today.


In 1847, the first employees of ZEISS were trained by Carl Zeiss himself and some of them became trainers themselves. In order to help improve the microscopes the company makes, Carl Zeiss recruited the physicist Ernst Abbe to join forces with him in 1866. When Ernst Abbe’s commitment spread across other areas of the company, he became a partner in 1877 and helped shape the company. Later on, Ernst Abbe also taught students who then became successful for both the company and science, during the times when for a long time industry and science were strictly separated.

Carl Zeiss died in 1888. After his passing, the Carl Zeiss Foundation came to be when Ernst Abbe created it in 1889. This became the sole owner of the company and benefited cultural and social projects, science, as well as the workforce through its profits.


Ernst Abbe’s style of working and his findings were adopted also in other optics fields starting in the 1890s. This paved a way to the creations of new business areas, all-new products, and the company’s rapid growth. One of the company’s technological milestones include the creation of new products. These products and business areas include planetariums, camera and cine lenses, microscopy, industrial metrology, spectroscopy, eyeglass lenses, lithography optics, electron microscopy, medical technology, photomasks, rifle scopes and binoculars among others.

The company’s internationalisation happened before WWI broke out. Its first subsidiary opened in London back in 1893 and other sites were established all around the world but had to close when the war came. ZEISS had to undergo lots of ups and downs between these times and until 1945. Today, several subsidiaries are under the Carl Zeiss AG holding company. 

How the Eyeglass Lenses Began


When the 20th century began, Carl Zeiss revolutionised the eyeglass lenses’ calculation and manufacture. This technical development came to be in 1912 with Moritz von Rohr as the brains behind it. PUNKTAL was marketed after he calculated these point-focal imaging lenses for eyeglasses. These were the first eyeglass lenses that are axially-symmetric in order to minimize the blurring which occurs when you look through a lens’ edge areas. Up until now, the current product line of ZEISS uses it as its integral part. Continuous advancements like incorporating the wearer’s own Gradal series visual parameters or the new coatings, makes the Carl Zeiss Vision still set new standards in areas such as the eyeglass lenses.

The following are the milestones of the ZEISS Eyeglass Lenses since it started up to this time.

  • 1912

PUNKTAL paved the way for the revolution in the eyeglass lens calculation and manufacture through applying Allvar Gullstrand’s scientific approach.

  •  1926

Using scleral lenses for medical purposes became the predecessor to the modern contact lenses.

  •  1935

The coating technique which Alexander Smakula developed to reduce lens reflection was launched.

  • 1949

ZEISS incorporates physiological visual conditions to the design of the eyeglass lenses making them the first ever company among others in the optical industry to do so.

  • 1959

ZEISS launched an anti-reflective eyeglass lens coating as the ET coating.

  • 1974

The company became the first to use the application of the SUPER ET multi-coating or the highly effective anti-reflective coating for eyeglass lenses.

  • 1979

ZEISS brought to the market the magnifying visual aid with the 3.8x telescopic magnification which was based on the Keplerian telescope.

  • 1983

ZEISS unveils its Gradal HS which is a progressive lens that has identical optical properties in all directions for both eyes. All eyeglass lenses display this trademark now.


  • 1992

VIDEO INFRAL, the world’s first ever computer-guided centration device was unveiled by ZEISS. This device enables exact centration data determination while the patient’s head and body are in a natural posture.

  • 2000

ZEISS introduces Gradal Individual, the first individual progressive lenses. These lenses take into account the wearer’s own visual parameters.

  • 2007

ZEISS became the first ever company to market the i.Scription, a combination of the subjective refraction and the wave front measurement.

  • 2011

The company launches the DuraVision, its hardest anti-reflective coating up to date.

ZEISS Spectacle Lenses


Over the years, ZEISS has proved to be on top of the line as they continue to produce state-of-the-art lenses for all their customers’ age and vision needs. High-end facilities and research studies brought about many innovations for the ZEISS product line. They never fail to see to it to address all and any of their customers’ demand when it comes to their lenses needs. They make their lenses not only suit the needs of their wearers but also to make it withstand time while putting into consideration not only the style but also the healthcare of the wearer, thus making it worth the money.

ZEISS have developed a wide range of optical products for centuries, making them not only the pioneer but also the leader in the optical and optoelectronic industries. Their lenses are made with precision according to each customers’ lifestyle needs. Many companies choose ZEISS as their source for their lens needs due to the fact that no other lens manufacturer across the world does it better than ZEISS.

Here are the lenses that Zeiss manufacture for various lifestyle, technology, and usage. We may not even know it, but we may be using one of ZEISS’ lenses from among the things we use now, like our gadgets and eyewear for example. Refer to the following guides as to what your lens needs may be, whether it’s for business or just for personal use. 


Lens Types

1.      Single Vision Lenses

ZEISS designed each of every ZEISS Single Vision Lens with a focus on appearance, wearing comfort, and visual quality. Whether the customers need lenses for reading or prescribed with a solution correcting ametropia – you will find a solution in the ZEISS single vision lenses family. ZEISS Single Vision Lenses come standard with the full UV protection.


2.       Digital Lenses

This product category design meets the vision needs of people who are in their 30s and 40s. This category specially suits those who often use gadgets or digital and mobile devices who start experiencing near vision discomfort even for the first time. ZEISS clear lenses also provide full UV protection.

3.       Progressive Lenses

With the ZEISS free form progressive lenses, customers can get an optimised lens solution suited for each of their individual vision needs. The development and the excellent standards for manufacturing of the ZEISS premium progressive lens give and provide smooth transition all throughout the lens, regardless of where the patient is looking.  Furthermore, the clear ZEISS lenses also have a full UV protection. 

Lens Portfolios

1.      SmartLife Lenses – For a connected and on-the-move lifestyle.

2.      DriveSafe Lenses – For a better and safer driving experience.

3.      Officelenses – A complete portfolio for near to intermediate distances.

4.      EnergizeMe Lenses – Let your customers refresh their tired eyes, after wearing contact lenses.

5.      Progressive Precision Lenses – Lenses for tailor-made progressive vision.

Coatings, Technology, Sun Solutions

1.      UVProtect Technology – Full UV protection in clear lenses.

2.      DuraVision Coatings – Clearer vision, greater protection, and excellent appearance.

3.      i.Scription Technology – For improved vision, day and night.

4.      BlueGuard Lenses – The next generation of blue light blocking lenses.

5.      Self-tinting Lenses – Powerful self-tinting lenses for performance and convenience.



ZEISS has indeed powered the optical and optoelectronic industry with premium lenses that have helped in so many ways to make people’s lives better. It helped science as well as technology also in bringing us a much clearer imaging in terms of microscopy and space explorations. The inconvenience of having a blurred vision can wreak havoc in any person's life. But all the more difficult if vision is totally lost due to lenses used which are not compatible enough for the eyewear needs of the customer. Therefore it is important to make sure that the right lenses are used with proper care and diagnosis so as to aid in the discomfort that a blurred vision gives.

When Carl Zeiss founded this company and as Ernst Abbe continued it, they saw to it that the company must live up to their slogan which says, “We make it visible.” And not only that because they have even surpassed that goal when other optic needs of the world were met including usage of the ZEISS lenses in various fields of science and technology. With constant studies and their never ending dedication for the industry, ZEISS lenses still have a long way to go and surely more innovations are coming in the near future.


With ZEISS Lenses, the world has surely become clearer. Even our space and microscopic explorations have gained even clearer imaging, thanks to ZEISS. This company has indeed contributed so much even in the field of medical technology. With ZEISS, we can be sure of a future where science and technology gets a clearer picture even to the tiniest detail of our bodies as well as our universe. With the powerful lenses that they continue to improve and enhance, we can surely think of a future where we can see the tiniest and the farthest things like we are just looking at them with our naked eyes. This is how ZEISS made a difference in people’s lives as they uphold the vision that Carl Zeiss and Ernst Abbe have started and worked so hard for right from the start. They have indeed made it visible for everyone.



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