Carl is Gone, ZEISS will stay


Carl Zeiss lenses have been around since 1946. The company is actually called Carl Zeiss AG though, but for as long as I can remember, we’ve called the lenses just “Zeiss”. However, the variation in names and branding have been significant in it’s lifetime. Now it’s official though. Like Apple dropping computers from their name, Zeiss is getting rid of Carl and is officially unifying the brand under the “ZEISS” name.

Unifying because the brand split up into an East and West division for most of it’s existence, with much fighting over branding and design. Check the header for a few examples of the different logos and brand names that have come and gone.

In 1991 the company re-unified and has since struggled with re-integrating it’s different brands. The blue square ZEISS badge will be on all future products. Those of us with the last generation of “Carl Zeiss” branded lenses, congrats, you have a cool piece of history now!


ZEISS has a blog post that gives a great recap of the history of the company and shares a bit more on why they are consolidating their brand to the most recognizable word. I recommend giving it a read if you’re a lens geek.

Full Disclosure: ZEISS is a sponsor of Wide Open Camera, I actually have no idea what that means but I know they have an advertisement on the right side of this post, so it’s kind of obvious. No, they didn’t ask me to write this, I just stumbled across the news like every other weirdo on the internet. But let’s be realistic, who doesn’t have some nostalgic love for that German glass?

Jared Abrams is a cinematographer based in Hollywood, California. After many years as a professional camera assistant he switched over to still photography. About two years ago a new Canon camera changed the way the world sees both motion and still photography. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time.