Zeiss optics included in latest ExoLens accessory lenses for the iPhone
Smartphone accessory lens manufacturer ExoLens is to introduce three new lenses that use optics and designs from Zeiss. The lenses will be a zoom macro adapter as well as wide-angle and telephoto converters that will screw into a frame that fits around the phone. The macro lens will allow focusing from as close as 30mm, and will convert the effective focal length of the iPhone lens to a 40-80mm zoom in full-frame terms. The wide angle adapter will offer 0.6x magnification to make the iPhone lens act as an18mm would, while the telephoto adapter has a 2x magnification that delivers the appearance of a 58mm lens.
Both converters allow focusing to infinity, from 50cm (the wide-angle) and 36mm (the telephoto), while the zoom macro lens has a focusing range that’s restricted to 30-78mm.
Zeiss says that the Mutar-design converters have been calculated to suppress chromatic aberrations, especially fringing, and aspheric lenses have been used to ensure accurate drawing by reducing curvilinear distortions. Contrast is said to be maintained and T* coatings are used on all glass/air surfaces to keep flare under control. The wide-angle converter uses four elements in four groups, while the telephoto version uses five elements in three groups.
The company has labelled the macro zoom lens a Vario-Proxar for its ability to vary the focal length of the camera lens and its ability to close-focus. Zeiss says it is the only continuous zoom accessory for smartphones, and that it maintains coverage of the entire sensor while zooming takes place. The magnification is such that objects as small as three centimeters can fill the frame, and the lens comes with a semi-transparent diffuser hood that aims to simultaneously improve the quality of the light while providing a guide to the closest focus distance.
The metal frame that the lenses screw in to features a tripod socket as well as an accessory shoe for lights etc.
No prices have been announced yet, but Zeiss and ExoLens say the accessories will be available before the middle of 2016. Initially they will be made for iPhone 6/6s and 6 Plus and 6s Plus.
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