CARL ZEISS TURNS 200

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Carl Zeiss the man was honored and celebrated on September 11, 2016, marking his 200th birthday. With this event, the founding father of Carl Zeiss Optics the company was graced with his very own German Optical Museum in Jena, Germany, highlighting his achievements and legacy created in the very city where he first opened a small precision optics and mechanical workshop. In Jena, September 11th is known as Carl Zeiss Day.

With drive, precision and no fear of failure, Carl Zeiss created revolutionary microscopes and blended science and optics to produce some of the most advanced optical devices in the world. In the autumn of 1846, with a small loan of 100 thalers from his father, he first began to produce scientific microscope instruments.

Quality, accuracy and science were the main drivers for Zeiss in the dedication to continuously improve his craft, and the reputation of his work soon created a flourishing demand for his products. As popularity grew, he never let go of his hunger for perfection and often took totally new approaches to how optics were developed and used. His willingness to scrub everything and start from scratch when necessary attracted many other like-minded scientific supporters, and it wasn’t long before Carl Zeiss and his team were on their way to success and optical glory.

Notable achievements during Carl Zeiss’s life include the founding of the compound microscope in 1857. This was followed by a joint venture in 1866 with Ernst Abbe (who lent his name to the value that measures the variation of refractive index versus wavelength) in which the two partners began to create a new precise microscope lens based on an entirely new compacted mathematical foundation. With this formula, ZEISS Optics quickly found success and became the industry trailblazer for microscope creation. In fact, from 1872 forward, only objective microscope lenses created with Abbe’s calculation were sold.

This achievement led to another collaboration in 1879 with Otto Schott and resulted in the development of new types of industry-improving optical glass designs. After Zeiss’s death in 1888, additional triumphs achieved by the company founded by Zeiss included the creation of binoculars in 1894, the projection planetarium in 1923, the first surgical microscope in 1953, the first laser scanning microscope in 1982, the IOL Master in 1999 and the VR One Headset in 2015 (see page 60).

ZEISS today has developed into an international enterprise producing and continuously enhancing the world of optics and lens technologies. We as eyecare professionals benefit from these optical lenses, anti-reflective coatings, microscopes, pre-testing devices, exam room visual equipment and optical measurement tools.

New achievements include a collaboration with ExoLens and Fellows to offer mobile phone accessory photography. Currently available with Apple devices, the ExoLens mobile device bracket tripod and ZEISS lenses can be outfitted to include wide-angle, telephoto and macro shot capability while on the go.

Coatings have always been a ZEISS specialty, and the company’s latest offerings provide tiered options for durability, hardness, anti-static, improved clarity and ease of cleaning. Two of the premium AR coating solutions to consider from ZEISS are DuraVision Platinum and DuraVision Blue Protect. The ZEISS website has a customized coating section, where patients and providers can learn more about how to match the right AR coating to meet the lifestyle needs of the wearer. Here you can find a simple checklist approach in order to match the patient with the right coating.

In terms of precision lenses, ZEISS offers ECPs a variety of lifestyle solutions to best meet patient need. Options include the ZEISS Individual Single Vision lens, ZEISS Progressive Individual 2 lens, ZEISS Digital Lens, ZEISS Officelens and the new ZEISS DriveSafe lens. ZEISS also offers sun lenses and self-tinting ZEISS PhotoFusion lenses (see page 50).

Available in both single vision and progressive forms, DriveSafe lenses help drivers feel safer and more relaxed, especially during rainy or nighttime conditions.


Frank Gimbel, ABOC-AC, is an advanced certified optician and owner of Gimbel Eye Associates in Wayne, PA. He was employed by Carl Zeiss Vision during his many years in the optical field.

Carl Zeiss Vision, Inc. // 800.358.8258 // zeiss.com/lenses // customer.service@zeiss.com

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