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ZEISS LENSES: What do the different names mean?

05 October 2018

ZEISS LENSES: What do the different names mean?

ZEISS produces some of the highest quality lenses available for DSLR & mirrorless cameras, but do you know your Batis from your Loxia, or your Otus from your Touit? If not, read on to find out!

ZEISS Batis: Full Frame | Autofocus | For Sony E-Mount

ZEISS Batis family

Professional full-frame AF lenses for mirrorless system cameras from Sony.

The ZEISS Batis autofocus lenses were specially developed for mirrorless, full-frame sensor cameras from Sony. They have been adapted to work with the camera to form a compact, lightweight system that doesn’t compromise on performance. The lenses are fully compatible with all E-mount cameras and offer not only fast, quiet autofocus, but also protection against dust and moisture.

For creative photography, the innovative OLED display shows the distance from the subject and depth of field to ensure the focusing range can always be perfectly set. The high-speed fixed focal lengths of the ZEISS Batis family offer flawless imaging thanks to their completely revamped optical design. The legendary ZEISS T* anti-reflective coating, combined with more than 125 years of experience in lens development and the latest technologies, ensure that every moment captured with a ZEISS Batis lens provides that exceptional ZEISS look.

The Batis range:

ZEISS Batis 2.8/18
ZEISS Batis 2/25
ZEISS Batis 2/40
ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 – with optical image stabiliser
ZEISS Batis 2.8/135 – with optical image stabiliser

ZEISS Loxia: Full Frame | Manual Focus | For Sony E-Mount

ZEISS Loxia family

Compact, full-frame MF lenses for mirrorless system cameras from Sony.

ZEISS Loxia lenses were specifically designed for Sony α7 cameras. This means that they can make the most of the mirrorless, full frame system, while giving you all the creative possibilities of ‘classic’ photography with manual focus at the same time.

The Loxia range is optimally suited to video recordings: their compact size enables the cameraman to work unobtrusively from various angles and thus avoid disrupting the scenery. They also have the unique 'DeClick' feature for smooth adjustment of the aperture.

ZEISS Loxia lenses are small, robust and made of metal. Nevertheless, they offer harmonious bokeh exceptional image quality. The focus ring has a rotation angle of 180°, which enables fine focusing on the subject.

The Loxia range:

ZEISS Loxia 2.8/21
ZEISS Loxia 2.4/25
ZEISS Loxia 2/35
ZEISS Loxia 2/50
ZEISS Loxia 2.4/85

ZEISS Milvus: Full Frame | Manual Focus | For Canon EF-Mount | For Nikon F-Mount

ZEISS Milvus family

Lenses that unleash the performance of high resolution cameras.

All Milvus lenses feature a T*® antireflective coating from ZEISS. Outstanding stray light reduction is achieved by combining a number of optimally matched measures; in addition to the ZEISS T* coating, all lens edges are provided with a special pitch-black lacquer in a complex manual process. Light traps in mechanical components and specially designed surfaces are integrated to prevent the occurrence of reflections. Each focal length has its own individual optical design with the use of special types of glass displaying anomalous partial dispersion, this reduces the occurrence of colour fringes at high-contrast edges of subjects to an absolute minimum.

ZEISS Milvus family offers the right focal length and the best imaging performance for every situation. The perfect set-up for interviews, documentary work, music videos or corporate movies. With optimum image quality, full focus control, and a cutting-edge design, you can be confident of getting your subject and its creative potential firmly in the foreground, giving unique results every time.

Precise manual focus offers high and consistent image performance across all focal lengths. They are ideal for current DSLR cameras and also for mirrorless system cameras of the Sony α7 series via a Metabones adapter.

Thanks to their high contrast rendition and low level of stray light the ZEISS Milvus lenses ensure impressive results with the latest video standards such as HDR (High Dynamic Range) and resolutions of 6K and more.

All ZEISS Milvus lenses have an exceptionally long rotation angles of the focus ring for precise focusing. The practical, rubber-covered focus ring features outstanding grip properties for optimal focusing. The ‘de-click’ function in the ZF.2 mount lenses allows filmmakers to adjust the aperture freely and smoothly, enabling professional results even in changing light conditions.

The Milvus range:

ZEISS Milvus 2.8/15
ZEISS Milvus 2.8/18
ZEISS Milvus 2.8/21
ZEISS Milvus 1.4/25
ZEISS Milvus 2/35
ZEISS Milvus 1.4/35
ZEISS Milvus 1.4/50
ZEISS Milvus 1.4/85
ZEISS Milvus 2/135

Milvus Macro:

ZEISS Milvus 2/50M
ZEISS Milvus 2/100M

ZEISS Otus: Full Frame | Manual Focus | For Canon EF-Mount | For Nikon F-Mount

ZEISS Otus family

ZEISS Otus lenses were originally designed to meet the needs of demanding stills photographers looking for the best image result, even when shooting the lens at the largest aperture of f/1.4. With 4K productions becoming the new industry standard, ZEISS Otus lenses are the first choice for ambitious filmmakers. Exceptional high contrast, practically no colour fringes, no distortion and a high aperture of f/1.4 in all three lenses in the family make ZEISS Otus a masterpiece.

The Otus lenses are ZEISS's powerful answer to the fast changing development in modern camera technology. Otus lenses are the perfect match for large sensors like RED Weapon due to their full frame (24 x 36mm) coverage as well as their incredible high resolving power.

Thanks to their extremely smooth internal focus mechanism along with a very long focus angle, ZEISS Otus lenses offer a great solution for a professional cinematography set up with follow focus systems. Otus lenses are the option for people who refuse to compromise on image quality.

The Otus range:

ZEISS Otus 1.4/28
ZEISS Otus 1.4/55
ZEISS Otus 1.4/85 

ZEISS Touit: APS-C | Autofocus | For Sony E-Mount | For Fujifilm X-Mount

ZEISS Touit family

High image quality with a fast and accurate autofocus function.

The ZEISS Touit lens range brings ZEISS quality and expertise to Sony E-mount and Fujifilm X-mount APS-C sensor camera systems. With fast, accurate autofocus and specially designed optics, these prime lenses deliver superb-quality images. Although lightweight and compact, with a metal lens barrel they stand up to many years of use.

The Touit range:

ZEISS Touit 2.8/12
ZEISS Touit 1.8/32

Touit Macro:

ZEISS Touit 2.8/50M

ZEISS Classic: Full Frame | Manual Focus | For Canon EF-Mount | For Nikon F-Mount

Zeiss Classic family

Proven optical design with a legendary bokeh in a sturdy metal barrel.

The ZEISS Classic lenses have enjoyed an outstanding reputation with photographers all over the world for many years now – and rightly so. The solid all-metal mount ensures constant functionality and image performance whilst manual focusing promotes creativity in the design of the image.

The Classic range:

ZEISS Distagon T* 2/25
ZEISS Distagon T* 2,8/25
ZEISS Distagon T* 2/28
ZEISS Distagon T* 1,4/35
ZEISS Planar T* 1,4/50
ZEISS Planar T* 1,4/85

Other names:

Tessar – The name of the design of the lens conceived by German Physicist Paul Rudolph in 1902, these lenses comprise of four elements in three groups.

Biogon – A brand of ZEISS’, they generally tend to be at the wider end of the zoom range.

Distagon – Like Tessar, this is the name of the design of the lens, which was developed in Oberkochen, Germany in the 1950s.

Sonnar – The name of the design of the lens, conceived by Dr. Ludwig Bertele in 1929, they are known to be lightweight with large apertures.


The craftmanship that goes into every ZEISS lens is truly astonishing, if you haven’t seen it yet, you can see Guy’s visit to the ZEISS Museum in Oberkochen, Germany, HERE.

Our full range of ZEISS lenses are available for hire, HERE.