During the moon landings and the missions leading up to them, photography – and therefore cameras and lenses – played a key role: approximately 100,000 shots were used to plan the Apollo missions (1961 to 1972). During the six moon landings (1969 to 1972) around 33,000 images were captured.

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 to the moon, the image quality with ZEISS lenses was recognized as so outstanding that the lenses became part of the astronauts‘ standard equipment.

50 years later, these images from the moon missions are still legendary, in part due to their exceptional quality.

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1962

Mercury-Atlas 8

First ZEISS camera lens in space

ZEISS Planar 2.8/80

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1965

Gemini 4

First American space walk

ZEISS Camera Ikon Contarex Special 35 with ZEISS Planar 2/50

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1966

Gemini 9

A docking maneuver

ZEISS Biogon 4.5

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1968

Apollo 8

Earthrise: the first color photograph of earth from the moon

ZEISS Sonnar 5.6/250

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1969

Apollo 11

Man first sets foot on the moon

ZEISS Biogon 5.6/60

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1971

Apollo 15

Lunar Module in lunarscape

ZEISS Tele-Tessar 8/500

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1972

Apollo 16

Experimental camera lens takes UV photos of earth

ZEISS UV Sonnar 4.3/105