Stress Test for Carl Zeiss Lenses

Camera and cine lenses need to operate perfectly in extreme conditions, withstanding everything from scorching heat and bitter cold to sandstorms and severe vibrations. The video shows how Carl Zeiss researchers systematically submit lenses to extreme stresses in order to arrive at findings that can help in future lens design and development.


It is not just on polar, mountain climbing or desert expeditions that lenses are exposed to extreme temperature differences;these can frequently occur in everyday use as well. A snapshot on a winter’s day outside the front door of a building, for example, after which the photographer goes back into a heated apartment, can easily involve a rapid temperature change of between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius.

At its test laboratory in Oberkochen, Germany, Carl Zeiss conducts comprehensive experiments to see how camera and cine lenses respond under these conditions, and to more extreme external influences. For example, the lenses are alternately exposed to severe heat and cold, and then examined for any damage, leaks or mechanical malfunction. Researchers also carry out extensive vibration tests on the lenses to determine in advance how robust they are against the effect of long-term vibrations.

All of these findings are incorporated into the development process for the different lens series. This is an important reason for the success of Carl Zeiss lenses, which users around the world prize for their unbeatable compactness, robustness and durability.