Carl Zeiss AG is a German manufacturer of optical systems, industrial measurements and medical devices, The company was founded in Jena, Germany in 1846 by Carl Zeiss, Ernst Abbe, and Otto Schott.
After WWII and the division of Germany, the company was split in two. In the company's original location in Jena, East Germany, products were branded Zeiss Jena when sold to the west. In West Germany, a company first called Opton Optische Werke Oberkochen GmbH, but soon renamed Carl Zeiss GmbH, was established to continue production of Zeiss lenses and cameras. After reunification of Germany, the two companies merged to form a single company in 1990.
Zeiss licenses its brand and lens designs to third-party companies. Sony, Cosina, Hasselblad, Rollei, Yashica (Kyocera), Logitech and Alpa are among the companies that have manufactured Zeiss-branded lenses.
Lenses manufactured by Carl Zeiss AG are considered to be of exceptional quality. However, the models manufactured in East Germany (Zeiss Jena) is not highly regarded. Zeiss-branded lenses manufactured by third-party companies is not always of the same exceptional quality as those manufactured in Germany.