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New Leica ASPH Zoom: help with concerns please

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#1 Niels2011

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:01 PM

Hi all, especially those of you who have the Leica ASPH zoom. I've got an ex-demo one from a Leica dealer, but I have some doubts about it's performance, and I would be very grateful to hear from any of you about whether what I'm noticing is normal. Two concerns:
1. On shaking it there is a noticeable internal movement when it is at the lower end (25x - 35x). A rattle, not of something completely loose (!), but like a fixed part with some play moving back and forth a tiny amount. I called the dealer, who shook another ex-demo unit and heard something, and also a new unit and reported hearing something much more slightly. I decided to wait and see. Do any of you have the same thing in your Leicas?
2. Gap in the clouds this evening for 45 mins, seeing moderate, not great. Looking at Jupiter, unbarlowed and barlowed with a baader VIP, different magnifications up to about 220x. Jupiter seems reasonably imaged, but I'm noticing some odd internal reflections, subtle glints and glare and other phenomena in the view as I move Jupiter around the fov. My heart sinks, I'm not used to seeing such stuff with my UWANs, and I am used to seeing obvious ghosting in Kellners, but surely I shouldn't be seeing anything with this eyepiece?

I'm very grateful for your advice!

Niels

#2 johnnyha

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:49 PM

Hey Neil - You can relax. :cool: Jupiter has become very, very bright. I see internal reflections on Jupiter with every single one of my widefield eyepieces. In fact even my premium orthos are showing internal reflections on Jupiter.

I recently got the Leica Zoom ASPH and had the same misgivings - internal reflections on Jupiter! - then I put in a 13 Ethos for comparisons and the internal reflections were worse than the Leica, although I had somehow been using the 13E all this time without really noticing it. I put in my 10XW and yep - internal reflections. Jupiter is so bright now and such an unforgiving target, I don't think any widefield eyepiece is immune to some degree of internal reflection. Try comparing your Leica with other widefields on Jupiter and you'll see what I mean.

Then I turned my Leica to the Moon and all fears dissapated - wow what an amazing view! Good gravy!

I just checked and mine does have a very slight rattle at the low end. I think this is normal - but it's probably best not to shake it around too much checking out the rattle. :grin: Good luck with your Zoom and I hope you figure all this out to your satisfaction.

#3 Niels2011

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:03 PM

Hi Johnnyha,

Thanks! That's very helpful. I had a pm also saying much the same, so I'm reassured. The rattle seems standard it turns out. I think I am being v sensitive because I recently did get a bad unit off eBay and so looking extra hard. Thanks for the good luck wishes, I'm looking forward to some enjoyable viewing - now I just need the clouds to clear...

Niels

#4 johnnyha

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:10 PM

Believe me Neil I'm not happy the ASPH Zoom has internal reflections on Jupiter, I'd rather it didn't! But I just don't know if that's possible, if even my 13E and 10XW, heck even my 16mm ZAO-II shows internal reflections on this superbright Jupiter.

#5 Aquarist

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:19 PM

Niels2011, I just picked up a second unit from Ebay. Can you tell me which seller? Also, were they willing to rectify the situation? Thanks in advance.

#6 Niels2011

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:51 AM

H Steve, I'll pm you,
Niels

#7 Niels2011

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:16 AM

Hi Steve, here's the image of that problem unit I had to return (not my current one).
Warm wishes,
Niels

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#8 Niels2011

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:33 AM

Hi Johnnyha,
Yes, I got another short gap in the clouds and went out again, observing through thin cloud - the reflections were less because of the cloud and I also saw some through my uwan 4mm with Jupiter off axis. I suppose I just haven't paid much attention to these before and the planet's very bright. On the other hand I was really enjoying the ability to zoom with such a wide field of view. It's always been the narrow fov which has put me off zooms in the past. I have the Nikon zoom for my fieldscope and find I only use it occasionally bird watching (although I am going to check it out for astro use, maybe bving, because it gets some good write ups here). But the wide field on the Leica is great.

Warm wishes,
Niels

#9 Bob S.

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:50 AM

Niels, I have two Leica ASPH's and shook both of them with nothing sounding loose at all. Bob

#10 Niels2011

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:22 AM

Hi Bob, thanks very much for taking the trouble. That's helpful information especially as it is different from what I've been hearing - so it seems that the rattle is not necessarily inherent although there are several reports of it in functioning eps. In mine and Johnnyha's and another who pm'd me it is only present at the lower end, most apparent at 25x then getting less up to about 35x. Since your two zooms are without rattle, it would still be very interesting to hear from anyone else too.

My thoughts have been that very possibly it is normal, and maybe in mine might be accentuated by it being ex-demo, and so had some use over several years (the eyecup is definitely on the looser side, though okay). Mine is the older German #41019, rather than the newer Portuguese #41021. I do have the option to get it checked out by Leica UK for peace of mind so I may do that in the future, but after I've had more chance to use it under the stars.

Thanks again,
Niels

#11 Bob S.

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:04 AM

Hi Bob, thanks very much for taking the trouble. That's helpful information especially as it is different from what I've been hearing - so it seems that the rattle is not necessarily inherent although there are several reports of it in functioning eps. In mine and Johnnyha's and another who pm'd me it is only present at the lower end, most apparent at 25x then getting less up to about 35x. Since your two zooms are without rattle, it would still be very interesting to hear from anyone else too.

My thoughts have been that very possibly it is normal, and maybe in mine might be accentuated by it being ex-demo, and so had some use over several years (the eyecup is definitely on the looser side, though okay). Mine is the older German #41019, rather than the newer Portuguese #41021. I do have the option to get it checked out by Leica UK for peace of mind so I may do that in the future, but after I've had more chance to use it under the stars.

Thanks again,
Niels


Niels, I went and rechecked and both were in the 25x mode when I attempted to get any kind of a rattle and again there was not one. I purchased both of these ep's from Markus Ludes of APM in Germany. Both were manufacturered in Portugal with serial numbers:2270091 and 2270210. Hope that helps. There may be some kind of a link to serial numbers and date of manufacture? Bob

#12 Niels2011

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:02 AM

Hi Bob, thanks very much for taking the trouble. That's helpful information especially as it is different from what I've been hearing - so it seems that the rattle is not necessarily inherent although there are several reports of it in functioning eps. In mine and Johnnyha's and another who pm'd me it is only present at the lower end, most apparent at 25x then getting less up to about 35x. Since your two zooms are without rattle, it would still be very interesting to hear from anyone else too.

My thoughts have been that very possibly it is normal, and maybe in mine might be accentuated by it being ex-demo, and so had some use over several years (the eyecup is definitely on the looser side, though okay). Mine is the older German #41019, rather than the newer Portuguese #41021. I do have the option to get it checked out by Leica UK for peace of mind so I may do that in the future, but after I've had more chance to use it under the stars.

Thanks again,
Niels


Niels, I went and rechecked and both were in the 25x mode when I attempted to get any kind of a rattle and again there was not one. I purchased both of these ep's from Markus Ludes of APM in Germany. Both were manufacturered in Portugal with serial numbers:2270091 and 2270210. Hope that helps. There may be some kind of a link to serial numbers and date of manufacture? Bob


Thanks Bob, that's helpful again to clarify that. I also wondered about the different production runs, although I haven't got my serial number handy. I expect that will be hard to clear up unless everyone starts shaking their eps (!). Thanks again,

Warm wishes,
Niels

#13 andydj5xp

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:30 PM

Hi Bob, thanks very much for taking the trouble. That's helpful information especially as it is different from what I've been hearing - so it seems that the rattle is not necessarily inherent although there are several reports of it in functioning eps. In mine and Johnnyha's and another who pm'd me it is only present at the lower end, most apparent at 25x then getting less up to about 35x. Since your two zooms are without rattle, it would still be very interesting to hear from anyone else too.

My thoughts have been that very possibly it is normal, and maybe in mine might be accentuated by it being ex-demo, and so had some use over several years (the eyecup is definitely on the looser side, though okay). Mine is the older German #41019, rather than the newer Portuguese #41021. I do have the option to get it checked out by Leica UK for peace of mind so I may do that in the future, but after I've had more chance to use it under the stars.

Thanks again,
Niels


Niels,

mine is from the first German made batch (also Leica 41019, SN #2263703, January 2009). It also exhibits a gentle rattle at the longer focal lengths and also - although VERY gentle - at the shorter focal lengths.

Therefore, don't worry.

Andreas

#14 Niels2011

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:15 PM

Hi Bob, thanks very much for taking the trouble. That's helpful information especially as it is different from what I've been hearing - so it seems that the rattle is not necessarily inherent although there are several reports of it in functioning eps. In mine and Johnnyha's and another who pm'd me it is only present at the lower end, most apparent at 25x then getting less up to about 35x. Since your two zooms are without rattle, it would still be very interesting to hear from anyone else too.

My thoughts have been that very possibly it is normal, and maybe in mine might be accentuated by it being ex-demo, and so had some use over several years (the eyecup is definitely on the looser side, though okay). Mine is the older German #41019, rather than the newer Portuguese #41021. I do have the option to get it checked out by Leica UK for peace of mind so I may do that in the future, but after I've had more chance to use it under the stars.

Thanks again,
Niels


Niels,

mine is from the first German made batch (also Leica 41019, SN #2263703, January 2009). It also exhibits a gentle rattle at the longer focal lengths and also - although VERY gentle - at the shorter focal lengths.

Therefore, don't worry.

Andreas


Thanks Andreas, and good advice! And thanks to everyone for the helpful advice and info,

Warm wishes,
Niels

#15 johnnyha

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:32 PM

Neils - Sorry I kept calling you Neil! :grin: Hey I was just out viewing with my Leica ASPH zoom and if you want to dispel any doubts about the quality of this eyepiece, take a gander at M42... :bigshock:

#16 Bob S.

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:03 AM

Neils - Sorry I kept calling you Neil! :grin: Hey I was just out viewing with my Leica ASPH zoom and if you want to dispel any doubts about the quality of this eyepiece, take a gander at M42...


Johnny, You are sooooo right on this. With the Leica ASPH in my 20" f/3 telescope, I was able to get the G and I stars in the Trapezium to "wink" at me when it was placed in a 4x TeleVue Powermate and I was zooming in and out on the Trapezium at 389c-777x. It was only the second time I have seen those stars through a conventional eyepiece. I can see them more easily with my Gen III image intensifying eyepiece but that amplifies the light 50,000x ;) Neils, for what it is worth, like Andreas who did most of the early research on this ep and did the same thing, I gave up my Zeiss Abbe Ortho II's because the Leica Vario 25x-50x Zoom was as good as or better than the Zeiss glass. It still blows my mind to publicly say that because it almost does not make any sense to me that a zoom could outperform a fixed focal length eyepiece. Bob

#17 Niels2011

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:04 PM

Neils - Sorry I kept calling you Neil! :grin: Hey I was just out viewing with my Leica ASPH zoom and if you want to dispel any doubts about the quality of this eyepiece, take a gander at M42... :bigshock:


Hi Johnny, no problem! :grin: Good to hear about your viewing of M42. Yes, now you've reminded me of my brief first light with the Leica a couple of weeks ago (brief because I was showing my neighbour my scope and the skies that night - he's interested in getting his own). First thing I looked at was M42, with an immediate impression of being struck by detail and the extension of the 'wings' although I didn't have a chance to really quantify that impression much - I swapped in my UWANs and had an impression of a little more detail and contrast in the unbarlowed Leica on axis (but this is impressions not systematic). The E and F stars were apparent at the high end 8.9mm / 112x, and it's the first time I saw the F star, probably helped because I recently found out where it is. Seemed like my 7mm UWAN at 142x only just kept pace, in that I could also see the F star, but no better despite the higher mag (I thought the Leica was better, but again not systematic). Seeing was good that night, though transparency a bit less than moderate with sky glow within my orange zone a bit more than usually apparent. We had some unusually good views of Jupiter with more detail than I've seen before, and some intricate detail around the GRS - most of that with the UWANs, partly because I didn't yet have a barlow for the zoom - but at 112x the Leica was also pin sharp although no comparison possible. So now I come to think about it - some happy memories from that first night. My neighbour (mostly looking through the UWANs) was blown away and may have caught the bug. It couldn't have been a better night for him what with M42, Jupiter with good seeing, the Pleiades, and M31 for good measure to introduce the idea of faint fuzziness.

We've had an awful lot of cloud lately - so my fingers are crossed for some more weather breaks soon and a lot more time to play with the Leica, first on moon and Jupiter and M42, and also on some galaxies once the moon goes again. 'Scope Nights' had tomorrow as green, but downgraded to red just now because of wind (ha! wind!), so that's still looking like a goer.

Best wishes,
Niels

#18 Aquarist

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:20 PM

Well, the weather in the UK, while not superb, is a whole lot better than here. Enjoy Niels and thanks for the help.

#19 Niels2011

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:33 PM

Neils - Sorry I kept calling you Neil! :grin: Hey I was just out viewing with my Leica ASPH zoom and if you want to dispel any doubts about the quality of this eyepiece, take a gander at M42...


Johnny, You are sooooo right on this. With the Leica ASPH in my 20" f/3 telescope, I was able to get the G and I stars in the Trapezium to "wink" at me when it was placed in a 4x TeleVue Powermate and I was zooming in and out on the Trapezium at 389c-777x. It was only the second time I have seen those stars through a conventional eyepiece. I can see them more easily with my Gen III image intensifying eyepiece but that amplifies the light 50,000x ;) Neils, for what it is worth, like Andreas who did most of the early research on this ep and did the same thing, I gave up my Zeiss Abbe Ortho II's because the Leica Vario 25x-50x Zoom was as good as or better than the Zeiss glass. It still blows my mind to publicly say that because it almost does not make any sense to me that a zoom could outperform a fixed focal length eyepiece. Bob


Hi Bob, yes it really is impressive that you and Andreas with your experience have given up your ZAO-IIs because the Leica is so good. I've never had a chance to look through one. It was because I was on a hunt for 'simple glass' and looking to get some Baader Genuine Orthos (and very disappointed that they'd been discontinued) that I came across mention of the Leica zoom and have ended up following that route because for me and my primary galaxy interest the wide view seems better and the fact that it zooms also. I'm also getting more interested in the moon and planets as it happens, so that is going to be expanded by this new zoom I think. I imagine a lot of people have been similarly inspired. Markus Ludes posted on Astronomie.de a couple of weeks ago that in 2012 he sold 100 Leica zooms, and 70 of those went to North America, 20 went to Japan, and the other 5 went to a variety of other countries.

Best wishes,
Niels

#20 Niels2011

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:41 PM

Well, the weather in the UK, while not superb, is a whole lot better than here. Enjoy Niels and thanks for the help.


Hi, thanks and it's a pleasure - I hope the weather clears up in Illinois too! And you enjoy the new zooms
Warm wishes,
Niels






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