Apple Vision Pro ZEISS lenses: Everything you need to know

Zeiss Vision Pro inserts
(Image credit: ZEISS)

Do you wear glasses? Preordering an Apple Vision Pro? Then you'll want to make sure you know all about the ZEISS lenses that Apple is selling alongside the headset to make sure that you can see what's going on in your Spatial computer.

When Apple revealed the headset at WWDC 2023, we not only got a glimpse of what kind of features and apps are coming alongside the Vision Pro headset but also some key information. Now that preorders are live, we know one thing for certain — you won't be able to wear glasses while you've got Vision Pro strapped to your face.

Instead, Apple has linked up with German lens manufacturer ZEISS to offer some alternative lenses that clip into the headset so that you can effectively have a pair of glasses, made for your eyes, built directly into the headset. It helps make the Vision Pro sleeker for one, although it does make for an extra purchase for those who need them.

That will leave you with questions, of course. Where can you get some? How do they work? How much do they cost? We've got all the information handy so that you can make an informed decision.

What are ZEISS Lenses?

Vision Pro spatial photos

(Image credit: Apple)

ZEISS is a German manufacturer of glass lensware that goes into everything from cameras and telescopes to the glasses that you can buy at an optician. Because the Vision Pro is so slim and svelte, your normal glasses won't fit inside — and they aren't set up for the very precise lens setup that the mixed reality of the headset itself.

In order to fix this problem Apple has linked up ZEISS, the aforementioned lens manufacturer to make lenses for the Apple Vision Pro. There are two kinds of these lenses — an option that's made for glasses wearers with prescriptions, and a version for those who use reading glasses.

The former attaches to the inside of the headset with magnets, replacing your glasses. These are for prescription wearers, and you can configure your prescription lenses online when you're preordering your Vision Pro headset. Be aware that Apple says that some prescriptions are not supported — so make sure you've got an up-to-date prescription ready to go when you get the preorder process started. These are only available online: You will not be able to get this style of lens at an Apple Store physical location.

The second kind of lenses for Vision Pro are the reading glass style lenses, and they are a little different. These are available in-store and online, and click rather than magnetize into place. You won't need a prescription for these.


How much are ZEISS lenses?

Apple Vision Pro on plane

(Image credit: Future / Apple)

The ZEISS Optical Inserts Readers cost $99, and the ZEISS Optical Prescription Inserts cost $149.

This is in addition to the $3,499 price of Vision Pro — so you may be walking out of an Apple Store with a minimum of $3,599 taken out of your bank account.

How to buy them

A customer at the opening of Apple's Battersea store in London

(Image credit: Apple)

You configure your prescription ZEISS lenses when you preorder your Vision Pro on the product page. There, you can input your up-to-date prescription details so that Apple can make your lenses to your specifications. Remember that there are some prescriptions that Apple cannot accommodate for, such as those with a prism value, so make sure you're answering all the right questions on the preorder page. Apple will then show you the inserts that you need. You can only get these lenses from the online Apple Store.

The other style of lenses, the reading option, can be bought from both a brick-and-mortar store and online. These are for people who wear over-the-counter reading glasses, and you'll be directed to them when you answer the questions in the lens configurator.

You can also engrave the plastic rings on the lenses — if multiple people use the same Vision Pro with different lens attachments, it will be easier to tell them apart.

What do you need to provide for ZEISS Optical Inserts?

When ordering your ZEISS optical inserts for Vision Pro from Apple, you'll need to provide a couple of important bits of information to ensure your prescription is compatible with the lenses.

ZEISS has a handy guide on its website that helps you find all the information you'll need to provide Apple to purchase the right lenses for your Vision Pro.

The guide says you'll need to use your everyday glasses prescription, make sure the prescription is still in date and not expired, has your name on it, and is valid with all the prescriber information from your optician.

If you have a special prescription, the ZEISS website gives you a fantastic tool to see if you're eligible for Vision Pro optical inserts.

Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use every day to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a monthly newsletter called 'Springboard'. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64, and Daily Star.

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