Jump to content


Photo

To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question

  • Please log in to reply
66 replies to this topic

#26 Tamiji Homma

Tamiji Homma

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3097
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2007
  • Loc: California, USA

Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:44 AM

Mike,

Here is Leica ASPH Zoom eyepiece with Starlight Instruments' 2" adapter.
I asked them to build custom adapter before. Now they are selling the adatper as standard product.

The 2" adapter is bayonet adapter to attach eyepiece, the bottom of 2" adapter has M48 and M42 threads. On right, Baader part# T2-14 1.25" nosepiece.

You can use T2 1.25" adapter to make it 1.25" eyepiece (need extra inward focus distance).
You can use standard 2" filter. But not both :)

Posted Image

Baader #T2-14 (1.25" nosepiece) attached at bottom Starlight Instruments's adapter:
Posted Image

From left to right, APM 2" adapter (M42) for Meopta Zoom, APM old Leica ASPH Zoom adapter, Leica ASPH Zoom on top of Starlight Instruments's adapter:
Posted Image

Size comparison in 1.25" mode:
Posted Image

Tammy

#27 Ain Soph Aur

Ain Soph Aur

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 708
  • Joined: 10 Aug 2011
  • Loc: West Tennessee

Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:49 AM

The APM 2" adapter is attached to the barrel of the Leica with three rather small non-metallic set screws. Attaching the adapter is pretty easy, although one has to make sure the set screws are screwed in very firmly to keep the eyepiece from rotating in the adapter.

I am not sure if the 1.25" adapter uses the same method, but I plan on ordering one next month. Also, you can request that the adapters do not have a safety-undercut which may add a week or so to the order process.

I can post a picture of the adapter this evening if needed.

#28 Tamiji Homma

Tamiji Homma

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3097
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2007
  • Loc: California, USA

Posted 11 April 2013 - 12:00 PM

I can post a picture of the adapter this evening if needed.



On left, old APM Leica 2" adapter, on right Starlight Instruments' 2" adapter, view from eyepiece side:

Posted Image

Tammy

#29 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16363
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Per sylvam ad astra

Posted 11 April 2013 - 12:45 PM

Tammy,

Thanks much for this info!

Here is Leica ASPH Zoom eyepiece with Starlight Instruments' 2" adapter.
I asked them to build custom adapter before. Now they are selling the adatper as standard product.


So now when we order a Leica ASPH Zoom with 2" adapter from APM, they will come with the Starlight Instruments 2" adapter? Is that knurled screw the only point of attachment between the adapter and the eyepiece? Not that that is necessarily a bad thing. I think I'd rather have a knurled screw that I can turn by hand than tiny setscrews that require a little hexkey to turn.

You can use T2 1.25" adapter to make it 1.25" eyepiece (need extra inward focus distance).


You can use standard 2" filter. But not both :)


That's fine. In 2" mode I can screw a 2" filter directly onto the eyepiece. In 1.25" mode I'll insert the eyepiece in a 1.25" filter wheel. That's exactly what I want to do. Additional inward focus distance should not matter because I will be using a Barlow or OCA at the neck of the filter wheel.

Baader #T2-14 (1.25" nosepiece) attached at bottom Starlight Instruments's adapter


Is it possible that this nosepiece is the same unit that is included with the Baader Hyperion Zoom to convert it to 1.25" mode? If so, I already have this piece. If not, I should have no problem getting one.

Well, judging by this new information, maybe I will be able to use a Leica Zoom in my Paracorr and also in my filter wheel without much fuss or fumbling in the dark. :waytogo: It would basically be a simple matter of attaching/removing the #T2-14 nosepiece. What do you think?

:grin:
Mike

#30 Tamiji Homma

Tamiji Homma

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3097
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2007
  • Loc: California, USA

Posted 11 April 2013 - 01:36 PM

So now when we order a Leica ASPH Zoom with 2" adapter from APM, they will come with the Starlight Instruments 2" adapter? Is that knurled screw the only point of attachment between the adapter and the eyepiece? Not that that is necessarily a bad thing.



When I said "standard product", it is off-the-shelf product from Starlight Instruments, not from APM.

So you don't get Starlight Instruments' adapter from APM. You need to buy the adapter from Starlight Instruments.

The setscrew on Starlight Instruments' adapter is to prevent eyepiece to turn, the bayonet mechanism to set the eyepiece in the adapter and setscrew to prevent eyepiece from turning when zooming in/out.

I no longer have Hyperion Zoom so I can not confirm the nosepiece is the same as T2-14. Hyperion 24 1.25" nosepiece is different from T2-14.

In general, Leica ASPH eyepiece with adapter needs extra inward focus distance, if your scope is inward focus distance challenging, you may not come to focus to infinity.

There were several big Dobs (with/without Paracor) at star party that couldn't come to focus to infinity. Just to be sure you have good inward focus distance before you buy. I think that Leica with Starlight Instruments' adapter needed about 16mm more than XW 10 with zero-profile 2" adapter. New APM adapter may have shorter lightpath but I don't know for sure.

Tammy

#31 RodgerHouTex

RodgerHouTex

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1454
  • Joined: 02 Jun 2009
  • Loc: Houston, Texas, USA

Posted 11 April 2013 - 01:50 PM

Well I'm certainly glad this thread existed. I wouldn't want the APM adapter becasuse you are basically screwing set screws into the body of the eyepiece which has caused some problems. See the Vendors section. I would want the Starlight adapter which allows you to just twist the eyepiece into it like you would if it was going into a Leica spotting scope. (That is how my Zeiss+adapter works.) Now the bad news - the Starlight adapter is $190 and the eyepiece is $900 for a grand total of $1090. Although I could afford it, I just can't bring myself to spend that much money on a single eyepiece. The most I've ever spent was around $600 for the Zeiss Diascope eyepiece and the Zeiss adapter. And that was a reach. So I guess I'll have to make do with the eyepieces I have.

#32 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16363
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Per sylvam ad astra

Posted 11 April 2013 - 01:55 PM

Tammy,

So now when we order a Leica ASPH Zoom with 2" adapter from APM, they will come with the Starlight Instruments 2" adapter? Is that knurled screw the only point of attachment between the adapter and the eyepiece? Not that that is necessarily a bad thing.



When I said "standard product", it is off-the-shelf product from Starlight Instruments, not from APM.

So you don't get Starlight Instruments' adapter from APM. You need to buy the adapter from Starlight Instruments.


OK, I get you now. You were referring back to Starlight Instruments as the source of the adapter as a "standard product," and not that APM supplies them as "standard" with the Leica Zoom.

Mike

#33 johnnyha

johnnyha

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6500
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA

Posted 12 April 2013 - 01:35 AM

It would be a shame for anyone to miss out on this excellent eyepiece because they had notions about the adapter causing problems. The Leica will now ship with nylon allen screws, I have the first iteration of this and they work great. The adapter that I had that caused the pinching problem (yes it was me!) was an older adapter that Tammy gave me, that used very sharp pointed metal allen screws. The current adapter before the new nylon switch-over used metal allen screws with a flat end that do not pinch the barrel. I don't think anyone should worry about the barrel pinching again, Markus has taken care of it. :cool:

#34 Smithfr2000

Smithfr2000

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 95
  • Joined: 12 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Nantes - France

Posted 12 April 2013 - 02:20 AM

I received mine with the M48 adaptater...and nylon screws, few days ago.
I don't understand how adaptater could be a problem :confused:

If you hesitate between 2" et 1.25" : Why don't you take the 1.25" ? You could use it with your current stuff (filter wheel), and if necessary, you could use it in a 2" focuser with a mere 2"-1.25" reducer.

It sounds like you look for any reason to not pull the trigger. Like you did, i read thouroughly most of the threads about it on CN, and was confirmed some thoughts by MP from leica owners.

IMO, there are 2 issus to take into account before purchase for a newton : Infocus travel (i checked for me and i have enough travel),
If used with a paracorr : choosing the right set up to achieve the right barlow factor without touching the paracorr lens.
All is here : http://www.cloudynig...4235705/page...

In my case it will be : VIP Barlow with 2" extension tube to reach 2X or 2.5X.

#35 t.r.

t.r.

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4416
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2008
  • Loc: 1123,6536,5321

Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:01 AM

I think the whole problem stemmed from simply overtightening the pointed grub screws, which then pinched into the zoom EXACTLY where the barlow mechanism is located, impeeding its operation. Problem solved...NO issue now.

#36 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16363
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Per sylvam ad astra

Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:45 AM

Johnny,

It would be a shame for anyone to miss out on this excellent eyepiece because they had notions about the adapter causing problems. The Leica will now ship with nylon allen screws, I have the first iteration of this and they work great. The adapter that I had that caused the pinching problem (yes it was me!) was an older adapter that Tammy gave me, that used very sharp pointed metal allen screws. The current adapter before the new nylon switch-over used metal allen screws with a flat end that do not pinch the barrel. I don't think anyone should worry about the barrel pinching again, Markus has taken care of it. :cool:


I'm glad that Markus corrected the pinching problem, but that was never my concern about the adapters. I want to be able to switch between using the Leica in a Paracorr and in a filter wheel. That is my concern.

Mike

#37 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16363
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Per sylvam ad astra

Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:08 AM

I received mine with the M48 adaptater...and nylon screws, few days ago.
I don't understand how adaptater could be a problem :confused:



I've explained that the potential problem is I might not be able to use the Leica in a Paracorr and in a filter wheel. I've never said anything about any other problem with the adapters.

If you hesitate between 2" et 1.25" : Why don't you take the 1.25" ? You could use it with your current stuff (filter wheel), and if necessary, you could use it in a 2" focuser with a mere 2"-1.25" reducer.


This would be fine for the filter wheel. But I also want to use the Leica in a Paracorr at an optimised setting. If the Leica comes installed with the 1.25" adapter, and then I insert it into a 1.25"-2" adapter, I might not be able to position the eyepiece in the Paracorr at the optimal setting for coma correction. It'd be a real shame to pay $950 for an eyepiece that can't be set correctly in my Paracorr.

It sounds like you look for any reason to not pull the trigger. Like you did, i read thouroughly most of the threads about it on CN, and was confirmed some thoughts by MP from leica owners.


No, not at all. I've given the exact reason, not just any reason. It is important to me to be able to use the Lecia in a Paracorr at an optimal setting and also in a filter wheel. If I can't do both, I don't want the Leica.

IMO, there are 2 issus to take into account before purchase for a newton : Infocus travel (i checked for me and i have enough travel), If used with a paracorr : choosing the right set up to achieve the right barlow factor without touching the paracorr lens.


I doubt if the Leica used natively or with Paracorr will have any problem with lack of in-focus in my 10" Dob. The problem I have with some eyepieces is not enough out-focus, so I have to put in an extension. In any case, my focuser has two exchangeable visual backs that I can try.

The Paracorr will always sit at one specific location along the optic train. The problem is whether or not the Leica can be positioned at the optimal setting within the Paracorr for coma correction. I have a Paracorr Type I. A Leica with the 1.25" special adapter and 1.25"-2" adapter might put the eyepiece too high above the Paracorr lenses for optimum coma correction.

If desired, I have a 2" Barlow that can be inserted into the focuser before the Paracorr + Leica. Or I can screw the lens cell from the Barlow onto the bottom of the Paracorr. I don't need to position a Barlow between the Paracorr and the Leica.

Mike

#38 Smithfr2000

Smithfr2000

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 95
  • Joined: 12 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Nantes - France

Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:22 AM

So you would have to switch between 2" adaptater and 1.25". Don't see any other way. Not very handy.

Except if you switch from filter wheel to filter slide (like me), but you don't wish to. :(

#39 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16363
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Per sylvam ad astra

Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:23 AM

Rodger,

Now the bad news - the Starlight adapter is $190 and the eyepiece is $900 for a grand total of $1090. Although I could afford it, I just can't bring myself to spend that much money on a single eyepiece. The most I've ever spent was around $600 for the Zeiss Diascope eyepiece and the Zeiss adapter. And that was a reach. So I guess I'll have to make do with the eyepieces I have.


$1090 ... hmmm... :thinking: Yes, I could sell enough eyepieces to cover that, but should I? I've never spent more than $400 for a single eyepiece.

But I do like the convenience of a good Zoom eyepiece. Ironically, though I have a lot of eyepieces, I do not like switching out eyepieces, especially when I'm at a dark site, where I have limited time each month to observe. So I would not mind seeing a number of these eyepieces leave if the one eyepiece replacing them can do everything I want it to do.

If I didn't have a wide variety of types of telescopes, and a wide variety of objects I like to observe, I probably wouldn't have nearly so many eyepieces. But ideally, I want it to be more about the objects, and not so much about the optics.

That's why in the field I often have a Zoom in the focuser rather than spend time switching among eyepieces, and use a filter wheel rather than spend time screwing filters on and off the eyepieces. And that's why if I pull the trigger on a Leica, it better be ready to go from filter wheel to Paracorr and back again with little fuss but with optimum performance.

Mike

#40 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16363
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Per sylvam ad astra

Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:28 AM

So you would have to switch between 2" adaptater and 1.25". Don't see any other way. Not very handy.

Except if you switch from filter wheel to filter slide (like me).


Well, if I had the Starlight Instruments 2" adapter on the Leica, I could screw on the Baader nosepiece to switch to 1.25" mode. That would not be so bad. It would be a lot easier and faster than fiddling with tiny setcrews in the dark.

But the remaining question for me is: Can the Leica + Starlight Instruments 2" adapter be positioned at the optimal setting for coma correction in my Paracorr Type I?

Mike

#41 Ain Soph Aur

Ain Soph Aur

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 708
  • Joined: 10 Aug 2011
  • Loc: West Tennessee

Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:56 AM

I suspect that the APM 1.25" adapter will have a much shorter optical path compared to the Baader 1.25" adapter screwed into either APM or Starlight 2" adapter.

When ordering the ASPH from APM, it comes with the adapter of your choice. Perhaps APM would sell the Leica a bit cheaper without an adapter if one wanted to go with Starlight.

I do know that the cost for an additional adapter from APM to the US is 80 € shipped, and being impressed with the 2" adapter I will be placing an order for the 1.25" next month.

#42 RodgerHouTex

RodgerHouTex

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1454
  • Joined: 02 Jun 2009
  • Loc: Houston, Texas, USA

Posted 12 April 2013 - 09:12 AM

Mike,

One of the things, other than price, that concerns me is the limited zoom range. 9mm to 18mm isn't alot in the grand scheme of things. I typically use 5mm and 6mm eyepieces in my refractors for planetary and 12mm for wide field viewing. With my SCTs and Dobs 10mm for planets but 25mm for wide fields. So from that standpoint it wouldn't work as one eyepiece for everything. Maybe your needs are different with your scopes.

And by the way I'm still not a fan of the set screws holding the eyepiece in. More that once with heavy eyepieces my diagonal holder has swung down towards the ground while using it, and the only thing that saved the eyepiece was the compression ring. I'm not sure nylon screws would hold. If I was going to buy the eyepiece I would go with the Starlight adapter for sure.

#43 Mark9473

Mark9473

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8603
  • Joined: 21 Jul 2005
  • Loc: 51°N 4°E

Posted 12 April 2013 - 09:20 AM

One of the things, other than price, that concerns me is the limited zoom range. 9mm to 18mm isn't alot in the grand scheme of things.

APM also sell a Zeiss 6.7-25.1 mm zoom that I'm very curious about.

#44 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16363
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Per sylvam ad astra

Posted 12 April 2013 - 09:20 AM

I suspect that the APM 1.25" adapter will have a much shorter optical path compared to the Baader 1.25" adapter screwed into either APM or Starlight 2" adapter.


That really doesn't bother me, because I'd be using the Leica + Starlight 2" adapter + Baader 1.25" adapter in a filter wheel with OCA or Barlow. I should have no problem with in-focus. The potential problem is for the Paracorr. I'm not sure if the Leica + Starlight 2" adapter can be positioned at the best setting for coma correction in my Paracorr I.

When ordering the ASPH from APM, it comes with the adapter of your choice. Perhaps APM would sell the Leica a bit cheaper without an adapter if one wanted to go with Starlight.


That would be something to look into, since I wouldn't be using the APM adapter.

Mike

#45 Daud

Daud

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 414
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2006
  • Loc: AZ, Scottsdale

Posted 12 April 2013 - 09:23 AM

With the volume Markus is apparently selling and his relation to Leica documented by the pinched zoom free repair, I am wondering why he has not asked for a custom run of say 50 eyepieces in 1.25" format. Maybe if he has enough preorders ?

#46 RodgerHouTex

RodgerHouTex

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1454
  • Joined: 02 Jun 2009
  • Loc: Houston, Texas, USA

Posted 12 April 2013 - 10:33 AM

Me too, and it's only $750 and I already have the 2" Zeiss adapter.

#47 Ain Soph Aur

Ain Soph Aur

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 708
  • Joined: 10 Aug 2011
  • Loc: West Tennessee

Posted 12 April 2013 - 10:34 AM

Hi Daud. The current 2" APM adapter is outstanding and affordable. 10 seconds off, maybe 20 seconds on. Recessed non-marring flat-head set screws mean easy work even in low light conditions. Even in normal light conditions, you cannot see the set screw so you are working with tactile senses anyway. It is really not much more trouble than swapping out a filter, etc. And if one is moving from 2" to 1.25" format they are probably swaping diagonals and other equipment also, so this is really a non-issue in my opinion. And nothing comparable to the gain of outstanding optics, parfocal zoom, amazing f.o.v and the trivial task of swapping adapters.

#48 Ain Soph Aur

Ain Soph Aur

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 708
  • Joined: 10 Aug 2011
  • Loc: West Tennessee

Posted 12 April 2013 - 10:45 AM

That would be something to look into, since I wouldn't be using the APM adapter.


If APM won't sell at discount with an adapter, get the 1.25" adapter. Although if your available focus can handle the extra 2 cm or so adding a Baader adapter to the end of an 2" adapter, a shorter image train is always more convenient.

Another thing to take into consideration is that It looks like the new APM 2" adapter is lower profile that pictures I have seen of previous models. Perhaps my adapter not having an undercut makes it look shorter, not sure. I don't own a Paracorr so am not sure if a lower profile is even an issue with a Paracorr. I would be more than happy to pull out my calipers and measure if that would be helpful to anyone,

#49 Tamiji Homma

Tamiji Homma

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3097
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2007
  • Loc: California, USA

Posted 12 April 2013 - 10:49 AM

With the volume Markus is apparently selling and his relation to Leica documented by the pinched zoom free repair, I am wondering why he has not asked for a custom run of say 50 eyepieces in 1.25" format. Maybe if he has enough preorders ?


I don't think just 50 eyepiece order can move Leica to build astronomical version :)

The Starlight Instruments' Leica ASPH Zoom eyepiece adapter quote was $510 a piece when I asked them to build custom one for me. As I remembered that they saw potential future sale, so they built 6 adapters, they reduced price to somewhere $340 for me, I think.

I don't know how many they sold but the price was dropped to $190 lately so they must be selling beyond original 6 pieces.

Tammy

#50 Ain Soph Aur

Ain Soph Aur

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 708
  • Joined: 10 Aug 2011
  • Loc: West Tennessee

Posted 12 April 2013 - 11:44 AM

Tammy, can you give a brief synopsis that what the Starlight adapter offers that the APM does not to your knowledge? There seems to be a preference in this thread for the Starlight, which would cost extra money compared to the APM supplied with the eyepiece.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics