July 20th marked the 50-year anniversary of a generational-defining moment; the first occasion for man to set foot on the lunar surface. The limits of what seemed possible were now redefined.

Apollo: Enabled and Documented with ZEISS Technology

1968 Apollo 8 Earthrise: the first color photograph of earth from the moon ZEISS Sonnar 5.6/250.

An Apollo mission 6 months earlier (Apollo 8) was the first manned expedition to leave Earth’s orbit and travel toward the moon. As the crew emerged from the dark side of the moon on their 4th lunar orbit, the astronauts were the first humans to view the earth rising above the lunar horizon. The astronauts captured this stunning image: the first color photograph of the earth from the moon.

The view from afar of the small beautiful blue planet floating in the darkness of space created a vivid image of a fragile, precious earth and forever changed the world’s perspective of the planet we call home.

Achieving a Giant Step for Mankind.

The 11th Apollo Mission achieved the milestone goal that had been eloquently laid out to the nation seven years prior by President Kennedy.

Man first sets foot on the moon. ZEISS Biogon 5.6/60

Today, we continue to be fascinated by the stunning photographs the astronauts brought back to earth from their missions. Camera lenses specially designed by ZEISS for use in space played an important role in capturing the images of these monumental achievements of mankind.

ZEISS Technology Made for Space

During the moon landings and the missions leading up to them, photography played a key role: more than 100,000 shots were used to prepare the Apollo missions. During the 6 moon landings between 1969 to 1972 more than 33,000 images were captured with ZEISS lenses.

ZEISS conducted extensive research, modifying and developing camera lenses to address the challenges of the extreme conditions in space. After one of the very first missions, the image quality and reliability with ZEISS camera lenses was recognized as so outstanding that the lenses became part of the astronauts‘ standard equipment.

ZEISS Technology and The Moon Landing.

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Inspiration for the Present

Today, 50 years later, these images from the moon missions are still resonating throughout generations. The photographs from the moon remain a testament to a collective dream becoming a reality.

Today, ZEISS remains true to the innovative heritage that pushes the boundaries of excellence in optics, as it did in the Apollo Mission 50 years ago.