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Video: Fascinating ‘Lens Design 101’ Interview with a ZEISS Master


Dr. Hubert Nasse has been working in optics for almost 30 years. A ZEISS master, many of us dream of sitting down with a man of his optical know-how and just having a conversation in which he enlightens us (pun intended) on the basics of lens design.

Fortunately, photographer and photo educator Matt Granger is making that dream come true for us today with his video interview with Dr. Nasse from Photokina.

Nasse is sure to point out early that he doesn’t work on the design side of things, but the questions he’s posed and answers he gives still fall into this category and his knowledge doesn’t fail him in this regard.


Mysteries like Why are 50mm primes usually more compact that both longer and shorter focal lengths?, Why are certain iconic lenses from the film era not made for DSLRs? and Is it possible to get a zoom to be as sharp as a prime? are just the first three tackled in this engrossing conversation.

At 37 minutes long, it’s a perfect lazy Sunday watch for the optically obsessed and other photo nerds that is packed full of fascinating information. Might want to get a notebook and pencil out for this one.