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Equipment Discussions >> Eyepieces

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RodgerHouTex
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 06/02/09

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: Starman1]
      #5821795 - 04/25/13 11:01 AM

Well Mike that's not really true. First of all there are only six BGOs. The zoom range is 9-18mm. I have the BGO set and there is a 7mm, 6mm, and 5mm. So it could replace the 18mm, 12mm, and 9mm. To replace all six BGOs you would need (in my case since I have the Starlight Instruments 2 inch adapter) a high quality 2 inch barlow. Which I don't think exists. But I can imagine what it might cost if it does. I have the Zeiss made Baader barlow that came with the ZAO IIs for another $450 and it's a 1 1/4 inch barlow. A Zeiss 2 inch barlow (if made) would probably be $700. So if you do the math I can replace my six BGOs ($654) with the Leica + adapter ($1090) + mythical Zeiss 2 inch barlow ($700), for a grand total of $1790. In my world, that's just too much.

And I don't mean to say it's a bad eyepiece. I mean to say that it is a ridiculously expensive eyepiece. I don't buy Ethos for that reason. Up until this purchase the most I spent on an eyepiece was the Zeiss Diascope fixed focal length eyepiece with Zeiss adapter for $640 which I really like. So $1090 for the Leica is a lot. Especially if it is just equal to eyepieces I already own which cost 1/10th as much. Not to mention it's not made in Germany as I expected. Thery're made in Portugal which Leica started doing in 1973 to save money. So if that's the case, why is the Leica 50% more than other premium spotting scope zooms?

One good thing is that it has convinced me, since it is on a par with the ZAO IIs as some folks have said, that I won't need to purchase the ZAO IIs. So I will have saved the $4500 or whatever the four of them are going for nowadays.

But more power to you if you have purchased and really enjoy owning this eyepiece. I'm not trying to cast aspersions on any one, I'm just trying to relate my experience so that folks on the fence might, if able, look through one before purchasing and determine if it's right for you. I didn't have the ability to do that.


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5821848 - 04/25/13 11:33 AM

Rodger,
For a lot less than Zeiss would charge, try a 2X, 2" TeleVue PowerMate.
Other than adding magnification, it's about as invisible in use as focal extenders get.
--no change of eye relief
--no vignetting
--no coloration
--no added spherical aberration
--no added chromatic aberration
--no loss of sharpness not related to seeing issues at the higher power.
I'm just sayin'....


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Nyctophobia, Maryland, USA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5821881 - 04/25/13 11:48 AM

Rodger,

Quote:

Well Mike that's not really true. First of all there are only six BGOs. The zoom range is 9-18mm. I have the BGO set and there is a 7mm, 6mm, and 5mm. So it could replace the 18mm, 12mm, and 9mm. To replace all six BGOs you would need (in my case since I have the Starlight Instruments 2 inch adapter) a high quality 2 inch barlow. Which I don't think exists. But I can imagine what it might cost if it does. I have the Zeiss made Baader barlow that came with the ZAO IIs for another $450 and it's a 1 1/4 inch barlow. A Zeiss 2 inch barlow (if made) would probably be $700. So if you do the math I can replace my six BGOs ($654) with the Leica + adapter ($1090) + mythical Zeiss 2 inch barlow ($700), for a grand total of $1790. In my world, that's just too much.




Yep, that's about what I was figuring.

If I were to get the Leica ASPH, though, it would be mostly for deep sky, as an upgrade to my Baader Zoom. In that capacity, I'm considering that the Leica would replace at least some of my XW's, Radians, and the LVW.

Mike


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Nyctophobia, Maryland, USA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5821893 - 04/25/13 11:53 AM

Rodger,

Quote:

One good thing is that it has convinced me, since it is on a par with the ZAO IIs as some folks have said, that I won't need to purchase the ZAO IIs. So I will have saved the $4500 or whatever the four of them are going for nowadays.




I'm not really sold on the Leica as a top-tier planet eyepiece. Maybe you've already discovered that for yourself first hand.

Mike


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chrisg
sage
*****

Reged: 02/15/09

Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5821905 - 04/25/13 11:57 AM

Re: Quality 2" Barlows, there's also the AP Barcon, and Brandon made a fine 2" 2.4x, hopefully this one will return..

How do you like the Leica at 13mm vs your 12.8mm Diascope lens? Would you say the Leica zoom could replace the Zeiss single focal length?


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Doug Culbertson
Post Laureate
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Reged: 01/06/05

Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5821910 - 04/25/13 12:00 PM

Quote:

Rodger,

Quote:

Well Mike that's not really true. First of all there are only six BGOs. The zoom range is 9-18mm. I have the BGO set and there is a 7mm, 6mm, and 5mm. So it could replace the 18mm, 12mm, and 9mm. To replace all six BGOs you would need (in my case since I have the Starlight Instruments 2 inch adapter) a high quality 2 inch barlow. Which I don't think exists. But I can imagine what it might cost if it does. I have the Zeiss made Baader barlow that came with the ZAO IIs for another $450 and it's a 1 1/4 inch barlow. A Zeiss 2 inch barlow (if made) would probably be $700. So if you do the math I can replace my six BGOs ($654) with the Leica + adapter ($1090) + mythical Zeiss 2 inch barlow ($700), for a grand total of $1790. In my world, that's just too much.




Yep, that's about what I was figuring.

If I were to get the Leica ASPH, though, it would be mostly for deep sky, as an upgrade to my Baader Zoom. In that capacity, I'm considering that the Leica would replace at least some of my XW's, Radians, and the LVW.

Mike




THe Leica ASPH did replace all of my Pentax XWs, but I was fortunate in that I found a kind person who allowed me to use his ASPH for a month, which enabled me to make a very informed decision. Previously, I had waffled for over a year as to whether I wanted to own this eyepiece, and probably still wouldn't own it if not for that person's kindness.


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leonard
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 10/19/07

Loc: West Virginia
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: Doug Culbertson]
      #5821963 - 04/25/13 12:32 PM



Hi Doug,

>>>> THe Leica ASPH did replace all of my Pentax XWs <<<

Could you explain some to the things you observed between the two that convinced you to sell the XW's and keep the ASPH.

Thanks


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Doug Culbertson
Post Laureate
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Reged: 01/06/05

Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: leonard]
      #5821977 - 04/25/13 12:38 PM

In short, I found that the ASPH surpassed the XWs in both sharpness and contrast, while I felt that the tone was similar in all of the eyepieces. In fact, I found the ASPH to be so close to the ZAO IIs that were loaned to me at the same time that I could not tell the difference between them, but I could tell the difference between the ZAO IIs and ASPH and the XWs.

FWIW, my comparisons were done over several nights and targets included the moon, Jupiter, and a few brighter DSOs. Telescopes used were a 14.5" Starmaster/Zambuto, an EON 120ED, and an Orion XT 10i with Ed Stevens mirror.

FWIW, I did a review of the borrowed ASPH and ZAO IIs, as well as a follow up review with my own ASPH once I received it, but I'm too lazy to dig those up right now.


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Nyctophobia, Maryland, USA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: Doug Culbertson]
      #5822152 - 04/25/13 01:23 PM

Here is an opinion by an experienced observer (BillP) which seems to say that the Leica ASPH is not quite as good as the ZAO-II or XO:

Quote:

In 10" Dob the extra scatter from the extra elements meant loss of finest planetary details compared to ZAO and XO, but even so, I enjoyed using the Leica more and ended up after testing using it instead of the ZAO or XO to observe with.



Leica ASPH zoom: experiences?

For me, "finest planetary details" are what it's all about when observing planets. As I said, I don't think the Leica is quite a top-tier planet eyepiece. Close but not quite. I'm keeping the XO's.

Mike


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Doug Culbertson
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Reged: 01/06/05

Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5822252 - 04/25/13 01:55 PM

So Bill and I disagree. Different eyes, but you believe who you believe. As for me, I believe my own eyes.

FWIW, I've been observing for over 20 years, so the reference to Bill being an "experienced observer" doesn't hold much water with me.

Edited by Doug Culbertson (04/25/13 01:55 PM)


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Nyctophobia, Maryland, USA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: Doug Culbertson]
      #5822276 - 04/25/13 02:08 PM

Two experienced observers can still see different things at the eyepiece. For some topics, I think there might be nearly as many opinions as there are observers. That's why these threads become so long and controversial. I'm not attempting to give a final judgment - how could I, since I've never looked through a Leica ASPH? I'm just trying to sort things out for myself.

In any case, for me the point is moot. If I buy a Leica ASPH, it will be for deep sky, not so much planets or the Moon. If I happen to discover that for my eyes the Leica is just as good as the XO's for planets, so much the better.

Mike


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andydj5xp
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 05/27/04

Loc: 52.269 N/10.571 E
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: Doug Culbertson]
      #5822283 - 04/25/13 02:11 PM

Quote:

FWIW, I did a review of the borrowed ASPH and ZAO IIs, as well as a follow up review with my own ASPH once I received it, but I'm too lazy to dig those up right now.




Doug, are you referring to this one Leica ASPH in a fast Newt ?

Andreas


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RodgerHouTex
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Reged: 06/02/09

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: chrisg]
      #5822661 - 04/25/13 05:22 PM

I haven't had the time to compare the Zeiss Diascope and the Leica yet. For those premium barlows are any of them still made? When I googled it I found the Celestron and I think Zhummel.

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leonard
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 10/19/07

Loc: West Virginia
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: Doug Culbertson]
      #5822769 - 04/25/13 06:40 PM



Thanks Doug.


Leonard


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Bob S.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/14/05

Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: leonard]
      #5823649 - 04/26/13 06:18 AM Attachment (23 downloads)

Life has a way of distracting you from the things that really matter. I had a fellow named Josh Balsam who had built me a portable Bahtinov mask for my 20" JPA to get critical focus with my Mallincams or DSLR's to consider making me an apodizing mask. Josh utilized the scheme presented by one of the club members of the Colorado astronomical society and it arrived a few days ago. Last night with an almost full moon and Saturn close by was the perfect time to test out the apodizing mask. I did at least x6 A/B comparisons of the planet with and without the apodizing mask in place. 5/6 times, the image of the planet was sharper with the prismatic/psychedelic apodizing mask in place. I used my Leica ASPH zoom to get just the right amount of magnification to get the sharpest images when doing the comparisons for the slightly varying seeing conditions. The results were very pleasing and I can't wait to try it out on double stars. Suiter and others discuss the benefits of apodization. It appears to need at least 10" of aperture or greater to accomodate the reduction of light to the primary. Great fun and Saturn was showing very sharp ring detail but more interesting planet atmospheric detail/color than I am accustomed to seeing. Bob

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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Nyctophobia, Maryland, USA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: Bob S.]
      #5823687 - 04/26/13 07:06 AM

Bob S.,

Quote:

Life has a way of distracting you from the things that really matter. I had a fellow named Josh Balsam who had built me a portable Bahtinov mask for my 20" JPA to get critical focus with my Mallincams or DSLR's to consider making me an apodizing mask. Josh utilized the scheme presented by one of the club members of the Colorado astronomical society and it arrived a few days ago. Last night with an almost full moon and Saturn close by was the perfect time to test out the apodizing mask. I did at least x6 A/B comparisons of the planet with and without the apodizing mask in place. 5/6 times, the image of the planet was sharper with the prismatic/psychedelic apodizing mask in place. I used my Leica ASPH zoom to get just the right amount of magnification to get the sharpest images when doing the comparisons for the slightly varying seeing conditions. The results were very pleasing and I can't wait to try it out on double stars. Suiter and others discuss the benefits of apodization. It appears to need at least 10" of aperture or greater to accomodate the reduction of light to the primary. Great fun and Saturn was showing very sharp ring detail but more interesting planet atmospheric detail/color than I am accustomed to seeing. Bob




Congratulations on discovering the contrast enhancing effects of the apodizing mask! Your mask looks similar to mine but larger, of course. I've gotten my very best views of bright planets when an apodizing mask has been on the 10" f/4.8 Dob. Now combine the apodizing mask with a binoviewer, Baader Moon & Sky Glow filter and close collimation via autocollimator, and you're talking very fine surface features. That's what it's all about for planet observing, isn't it?

Some call the apodizing mask a seeing filter, but it is actually a contrast filter. That is exactly what it's doing, enhancing the contrast by refining the diffraction pattern. No one should confuse the apodizing mask with an aperture mask. That would be like comparing apples and ... lemons.


Mike


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chrisg
sage
*****

Reged: 02/15/09

Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5824104 - 04/26/13 10:57 AM

Re: 2" Barlows availability.
Bought a 2" 2.4x Vernonscope at NEAF. Liz Mansfield confirmed that they have them available for ship. The AP Barcon barlow, just came out with a new model, and the older version I've seen around here in the classifieds.
Also Siebert and TV Powermates.


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RodgerHouTex
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 06/02/09

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: chrisg]
      #5825299 - 04/26/13 08:52 PM

That is some great news on the AP and Brandon barlows. Does anyone have experience with either?

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johnnyha
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Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5825625 - 04/27/13 02:29 AM

The Leica ASPH also works well with the 2" Antares 1.7X barlow, so it is not a requirement to spend lots of money on a barlow for the zoom.

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Smithfr2000
member


Reged: 09/12/09

Loc: Nantes - France
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5825660 - 04/27/13 03:37 AM

My Barlow VIP from baader cost me 185 € for 1.5X, 2X and 2.5X power with the Leica. Not that much.

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