Engineering

The mighty ZEISS: from Hollywood to outer space, discover the history of world’s most powerful lenses

“Through our eyes the universe is perceiving itself.” —Alan Watts, philosopher

What would Carl Zeiss feel if we told him 170 years ago that his innovative technologies would create a movement so powerful that we can see the beginning of our universe, witness the birth of the first galaxies and stars, possibly even the ‘first light’?

ZEISS have been harnessing light through future-oriented technologies since their inception in 1846 in Jena, Germany. Today, their optics are at the heart of the everything, from blockbuster movies to space missions.

In 1969, ZEISS created a special lens for NASA, used to take the legendary photographs of the ‘dark’ side of the moon by Apollo 11 astronauts. This lens has come a long way: from Jena to the moon, and then to filmographic history when director Stanley Kubrick used only candlelight on the set of Barry Lyndon—resulting in an Oscar for Best Camera. 

NASA Apollo 11 Zeiss photography NASA Apollo 11 Zeiss photography

ZEISS utilise the extraordinary properties of light—its ability to be focused, its breathtaking speed and extremely short pulses—to inspire innovation. One of these inventions is, of course, the eyeglass lens.

Think of a pair of glasses fitted with ZEISS lenses that you wear today. They aren’t ordinary glasses. They come with DuraVision® platinum coating, 250 times thinner than a piece of paper, and an integrated system which makes it three times more robust than other anti-reflective coatings. 

Carl Zeiss Quality Assurance

ZEISS utilise the extraordinary properties of light—its ability to be focused, its breathtaking speed and extremely short pulses—to inspire innovation. One of these inventions is, of course, the eyeglass lens.

Think of a pair of glasses fitted with ZEISS lenses that you wear today. They aren’t ordinary glasses. They come with DuraVision® platinum coating, 250 times thinner than a piece of paper, and an integrated system which makes it three times more robust than other anti-reflective coatings. 

NASA Apollo 11 First Footprint on the Moon

There’s much that can be written about the visionary firsts of ZEISS. What truly inspires us is their continuous dedication to make the little things better. The stuff that isn't noticed at first, but can't be ignored once you know about it. That’s why we chose to work with ZEISS from the start.

ZEISS are dreamers. Star-catchers reaching for the farthest thing out there. An unstoppable army of lensologists who have been revolutionising vision for 170 years. Here at KITE, we love to dream together. To find awe in the world around us, and the possibilities of vision. We want to create meaningful partnerships with the best thinkers because—let’s face it—we can’t change the world by ourselves. That’s why all our optical glasses are fitted with ZEISS lenses.