Vivo has recently focused its operations in Portugal, with the official launch of five smartphone models, promising more news soon. Today, the manufacturer introduced the strengthening of its partnership with Zeiss, one of the largest specialists in digital imaging for cameras. The goal is to strengthen the partnership, after the Series X70 Pro+ models (which have not yet been launched in Europe), as well as having the Vivo X Fold, the first foldable model, currently launched not only in China, but also enhanced with Zeiss lenses.
During the Xpert Talk event, the brand highlighted the importance of creating Zeiss signature products, in terms of color calibration and its framing system. But the floor was given to its technology partner for its future smartphone lenses, who explained the entire quality control process imposed on companies using their products.
175 years experience in the market
Oliver Schindelbeck, Senior Director of Smartphone Technology, Mobile Imaging, from Zeiss, attended the webinar to share the challenges and evolution of the brand, in the field of lenses, which has been in the market for 175 years. Founded in Vienna in the 19th century, the company focused on optical, microscopic and other equipment.
Zeiss is a global company, with an estimated revenue of 7.5 billion euros, present in 50 countries and has more than 35 thousand employees worldwide. It has an average of 580 patents per year, as a result of investing 812 million in research and development, which equates to 13% of its revenue.
Regarding its evolution as photographic lenses, it began with the famous pinhole camera, which consists of a lens inside a box, into which light enters through a small hole. In 1902, Tessar introduced the first lens, small and light enough to carry anywhere. The company claims that this was one of the first portable cameras. Over the years, the company has been adding more complex systems, with more lenses, meeting today’s needs for telescopic or ultra-wide-angle cameras.
Current smartphones have units with four to five cameras, which means a bold build with respect to their lenses. The company says the foundation for quality starts long before its hardware is even built. Zeiss qualifies its partners after analyzing production, quality control and production capacity of partners, as well as identifying partners.
Rigor in calibration of photographic lenses
The strictness imposed by the digital lens manufacturer requires monitoring, which extends throughout the construction period of the equipment that will receive its imaging products. Every component of the machine is checked, using your own tools in the process. The company controls, measures and determines all performance characteristics of the equipment during the stages of its construction, such as image distortion, shadows and other parameters.
References are used and benchmarked with a visual simulation that helps to better understand the quality of image elements. Measurements made in simulations allow us to adjust the quality of products according to the standards that Zeiss imposes on its partners.
See photos of Vivo X70 Pro in gallery
Another element that lens improvement allows is the reduction of “ghosting”, as part of the artifacts that can be created, for example, by the effects of lens flare, that is, when the camera is exposed to direct sunlight. Zeiss has systems that improve the balance of reflections, which reduces a large percentage of the amount of light that is transmitted. His method for digital twins is to simulate light directed into an image, so technicians can adjust the amount of reflections that are projected onto the images. This technology, used mainly in the cinema, has reached smartphones.
Zeiss has also improved its optical coverage system, reducing glass reflections from 4% on unshielded systems to 0.5% with its solution. The company has been improving its lenses since 1935, patenting a T-coating for microscopes, and has evolved in all these years, from sonar in the 1940s/50s, to today’s smartphone systems.
To embody the lens flare optimization system, a photo was taken with the Vivo X50 Pro compared to the X60 Pro with the Zeiss Vario-Tessar system active and the difference is noticeable, in terms of reducing reflections when subjects are directly exposed to the sun.
In 1846, each microscope was examined directly by Carl Zeiss, the founder of the company, and if he was not satisfied with the improvement of the equipment, he used his hammer to destroy them. A symbolic gesture indicative of the strict quality control that the company has always been known for. Today, fortunately, technology makes it possible to build tools that help measure your products.
The system consists of three phases, verification testing and engineering, based on prototyping, followed by major development, with hardware and software performance, and finally the final phase of refining its elements. Zeiss has about 20 image quality parameters required to meet, using about 150 camera units, and more than 5,000 test images for each smartphone model candidate for certification.
Bokeh effects, color correction, and white balance, in order to create images with great color fidelity, are elements that your technology works with as well. Color correction is also designed to deliver the most faithful images to our eyes. “Don’t believe everything you see as a result on cameras, because most of them work to get better colors, highlight things,” concluded Oliver Schindelbeck in his webinar.
He also points out that in the future, we may see one or two technologies applied to camera lenses, including a “fish-eye” effect. But it is not surprising to see new concepts in the future for those currently being established.