Carl Zeiss and lenses for Nokia smartphones

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There's an interesting set of two articles over at Conversations this week, with Karen Bartlett visiting the Carl Zeiss factory at Oberkochen and being given the grand tour. The company makes the lenses in the cameras of many of Nokia's Symbian and Windows Phone smartphones, of course - the articles are a little generic, but there are plenty of fascinating nuggets and photos to enjoy.

From the piece:

808 PureView lens

The size of the Carl Zeiss lens for the new Nokia  808 PureView is smaller than a sugar cube,  and the lens for aNokia Lumia 800 is only slightly bigger than a pin – but both produce images as sharp as a ZEISS lens used on a professional photographic camera.


Schindelbeck has worked on some notable milestones in the partnership between Nokia and Carl Zeiss:

“The first model we made with Nokia was the N90, and it was crucial in breaking the 2 megapixels mark. For Carl Zeiss this is the minimum sensor resolution in order to transport good Carl Zeiss image quality. Below that the resolution is too low to have benefits from a high quality lens” 

As for the Nokia N8. Well, this is team that still goes into raptures over making the lens for the N8.

If there is one misunderstanding that they are all desperate to dispel, it is the myth of the megapixel. Fewer than 2 megapixels really affects image quality, but bigger than that is not necessarily better. Paper prints or PC-displays usually do not need a much higher resolution.

“Reducing the performance of a camera down to one number does not give you a true reflection of a camera,” says Oliver Schindelbeck. “It is wrong to say 8 megapixels are better than 5 megapixels. That tells you nothing about colour shading, or noise reduction – or any of the other things that really matter.” Human eyesight doesn’t focus just on resolution, he adds – it’s much more.

Good stuff. I remember testing the cameras in the Nokia E75 and 5730, ostensibly almost identical smartphones, but the former with a no-name plastic lens and the latter with a Carl Zeiss lens - there was a tangible difference in the sharpness and colours from the 5730's camera when taking exactly the same shot.

Source / Credit: Nokia Conversations