Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Eyepieces

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | (show all)
RodgerHouTex
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/02/09

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5847561 - 05/08/13 11:11 AM

I've actually warmed to the Leica after using it some more. It's a great eyepiece for my SCTs because of their generally longer focal lengths as opposed to my refractors. In addition, it gives you the 60 deg. AFOV across the range which is nice. And you of course do not have to switch out any eyepieces.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Nyctophobia, Maryland, USA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5847585 - 05/08/13 11:33 AM

Rodger,

I've read that the AFOV for the Leica ASPH is about 80 degrees at the lowest focal length setting. What is your experience?

Mike


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5847593 - 05/08/13 11:37 AM

I'm not surprised that a zoom - even a German zoom lovingly meistercrafted by magical gnomes deep in the Black Forest - doesn't surpass a well-made Japanese fixed focal length eyepiece on-axis. That's an apples-oranges face-off. On the other hand, I'd be surprised if, at the resolution and seeing limits of your scope, you couldn't detect differences between BGOs and better made fixed focal length eyepieces. At least some of the time. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. The crimes of one ridonculously expensive eyepiece should not be laid at the feet of other ridonculously expensive eyepieces of different characteristics.

Regards,

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Nyctophobia, Maryland, USA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5847656 - 05/08/13 12:19 PM

Jim,

Quote:

I'm not surprised that a zoom - even a German zoom lovingly meistercrafted by magical gnomes deep in the Black Forest - doesn't surpass a well-made Japanese fixed focal length eyepiece on-axis.




This is why I've always thought that the most appropriate niche for a good zoom is deep sky, not planets! A zoom can dial in the optimum perceived contrast and image scale needed for each faint fuzzy.

True, for planets and lunar a zoom can dial in the optimum magnification for the seeing conditions at hand. But then you must contend with the fact that a great single focus eyepiece for planet/lunar will tend strongly to outperform a great zoom. And the observer must also deal with the fact that for deep sky conditions - when the eye has lost much of its visual acuity - the ability of an eyepiece to show finer details is not so important. When deeply dark-adapted the eye will probably not see those finer details any way!

As long as the zoom in question has good light transmission, its forte should really be deep sky objects, not planet/lunar.

That being said, I do have both Nag Zooms for grab-n-go viewing of the bright planets and the Moon.

Mike


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
andydj5xp
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 05/27/04

Loc: 52.269 N/10.571 E
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5847689 - 05/08/13 12:37 PM

Quote:


I'm not surprised that a zoom - even a German zoom lovingly meistercrafted by magical gnomes deep in the Black Forest - doesn't surpass a well-made Japanese fixed focal length eyepiece on-axis.




With all due respect: your statement would be more substantial if you'd report about your own findings.

I haven't compared the Leica with "well-made Japanese fixed focal length eyepieces on axis", but I've done so - also on axis of course - with well-made German eyepieces (the ZAOIIs), and I can tell you that the differences were minute if at all. And the differences were - depending on the target - either way.

Andreas


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dscarpa
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/15/08

Loc: San Diego Ca.
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5847752 - 05/08/13 01:16 PM

I'm leaning toward getting the Leica Asph Zoom with 1.25" adapter when my bank account recovers from my new newt expense. My SA and Hyperion 2 Zooms and 3 Meade UWAs are getting very little use and should bring in $600. I'd keep my LVW, 2 XWs and 2 Delos, ditto for the 3 T6s used for HA but could see the Leica replacing these as well. A used 16 ZOA 2 which would be mostly barlowed would cost almost as much. David

Edited by dscarpa (05/08/13 08:07 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Ain Soph Aur
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: dscarpa]
      #5847877 - 05/08/13 02:17 PM

I bought the Leica from APM with the 2" T2 adapter in order to better utilize a Baader VIP barlow. Earlier this month I ordered a 1.25" adapter and the price was 80 Euro (includes shipping and Paypal currency conversion fee). I just checked Paypal and this ended up being $107.63.

I special ordered this adapter without a safety undercut, so may be looking at another week or so before it ships.

Regarding the on-axis planetary performance of the Leica, I recently had a chance to compare my Brandon 8mm vs a borrowed BGO 9mm vs the Leica at 8.7mm on Saturn using my excellent 4" f/13 Carton. The Leica was clearly superior in all aspects. Nothing earth-shattering besides the much superior eye relief and wide field presentation, but nevertheless a clear notch above the Brandon and BGO to my eyes.

I am really looking forward to using the Leica with the 2.4" f/20 SPI.

Edited by Ain Soph Aur (05/08/13 02:41 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Nyctophobia, Maryland, USA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #5847947 - 05/08/13 02:55 PM

Brandon,

Quote:

I bought the Leica from APM with the 2" T2 adapter in order to better utilize a Baader VIP barlow. Earlier this month I ordered a 1.25" adapter and the price was 80 Euro (includes shipping and Paypal currency conversion fee). I just checked Paypal and this ended up being $107.63.




I'm looking forward to hearing how easy it is to switch from 1.25" to 2" adapter. I would need a 2" adapter for Paracorr, 1.25" adapter for filter wheel. I'm still not sure which adapters will work best. Sometimes I think I'm the only one who wants to use the Leica the way I want to!


Mike


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Nyctophobia, Maryland, USA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #5847985 - 05/08/13 03:09 PM

Brandon,

Quote:

Regarding the on-axis planetary performance of the Leica, I recently had a chance to compare my Brandon 8mm vs a borrowed BGO 9mm vs the Leica at 8.7mm on Saturn using my excellent 4" f/13 Carton. The Leica was clearly superior in all aspects. Nothing earth-shattering besides the much superior eye relief and wide field presentation, but nevertheless a clear notch above the Brandon and BGO to my eyes.




A wider field and longer eye relief are nice, but they are not top priority for me when viewing planet/lunar. Were the other differences that were not "earth-shattering" things such as perceived contrast and ease of discerning fine surface detail, characteristics important in planet/lunar observation?

Mike


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
johnnyha
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5848000 - 05/08/13 03:20 PM

Mike - when I barlow my Leica I am using it exactly as you could be using it, by screwing into my 2" Leica/APM T2 adapter what is essentially just a 1.25" T2 nosepiece. Being the Zess 2X Abbe barlow, the nosepiece happens to have lenses but it is just a T2 nosepiece. There would be no effective difference between this configuration of 2" Leica/APM T2 adapter w/ 1.25" T2 nosepiece, and a dedicated Leica/APM 1.25" adapter. The inner barrel of the Leica extends down almost to the bottom of the 2" adapter so there would be no loss of backfocus adding the 1.25" T2 nosepiece compared to the dedicated Leica/APM 1.25" adapter, which also has to extend downwards at 2" to allow for the inner barrel. And it only takes literally seconds to screw the 1.25" nosepiece in and out. I posted a photo earlier in the thread showing this setup.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dyslexic nam
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/28/08

Loc: PEI, Canada
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5848037 - 05/08/13 03:39 PM

(noting at the outset that I am not trying to offend...)

I find it odd that people can be convinced that the zoom is incapable of doing certain things (excellent planetary performance, outperforming top notch fixed focal length eps, etc.) when they have never looked through one. One of the most intriguing aspects of the ASPH is that many people have relayed the idea that they were initially skeptical of its ability, tried it, and have since come to realize that it is essentially unsurpassed when it comes to performance under a wide range of viewing contexts (DSO, planets, lunar, solar). Some people have gone so far as to liquidate the majority of their other ep's simply because their other glass seems to offer no performance advantage over the Leica. Granted, it is possible to handpick a review that indicates the Leica isn't as excellent as some reviewers have indicated, but the majority of reviews seem to indicate this is some sort of logic-defying ep that equals or surpasses the very best fixed focal length eps. I place a lot of weight behind the views of experienced observers who have sold off sets of Brandons or Ziess ep's after spending time with the Leica.

Again, not trying to be confrontational on this, but I tend to question the strong views of those who have not looked through the ep in question, when those views contradict the majority of opinions posted by people who have.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
etsleds
sage
*****

Reged: 11/14/09

Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: dyslexic nam]
      #5848112 - 05/08/13 04:16 PM

My experience is about a year of owning and comparing the Leica vs the other glass I mentioned.

For me, its ultimate planetary performance is surpassed by many, but the differences are not large and only apparent in excellent seeing. However, it represents quite a nice set of engineering compromises in performance and handling that for some (not me) would be the best viewing system.

It's a big investment and a personal judgement on the compromises, so not surprising (but unfortunate) that some folks are getting touchy about it.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
etsleds
sage
*****

Reged: 11/14/09

Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5848119 - 05/08/13 04:19 PM

Johnny, can you share a bit what your use of the Leica zoom is? In what scenarios - what scope & targets & conditions - do you find it a winner?

I personally don't find it too useful on my apos, but part of that may be that my usual setup is 5 eyepieces loaded into a Tak turret, so I get a "customized zoom" of premium simple glass. But if you're saying the Leica is the snizzle with Ginger in some cases, I'm definitely open ears.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
johnnyha
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: etsleds]
      #5848159 - 05/08/13 04:37 PM

I have gotten excellent resuts with the Leica viewing Planets on very good nights with my FS152 Andrew, and it is especially a BIG winner on the Moon. It's also excellent for viewing binaries, I have seen Sirius B from the City with the Leica ASPH and Ginger (the FS152). Others I hear wouldn't use anything else for solar viewing although I don't have a Herschel Wedge or Ha scope so I don't know about that. Most of my viewing is in the city but I see no reason the leica wouldn't do well on DSOs in a dark sky. It's also fantastic in a Paracorr with my 14.5" dob. It's a great eyepiece to guage seeing conditions with, and if it's an excellent night I might switch over to some nice orthos but as you say, there's not a big readily discernible difference most nights and so most nights I spend quite awhile with just the Leica ASPH.

I have become very enamored of binoviewing so the Leica ASPH in mono is the perfect complement for my viewing habits - I binoview with quality orthos and Brandons so those are always available for mono use, but for the most part I am perfectly happy with the Leica ASPH Zoom for mono. It makes for a nice small kit with the Zoom, a 31T5 Nagler, a Zeiss 2X Abbe barlow, and my binoviewers with ZAO-IIs, Brandons and various other pairs including Pan 24s and 13T6s. So OK, I still keep some widefields. I have my 13 Ethos too. But I love the advantages of the zoom with regards to guaging seeing conditions and dialing in magnification. A turret would be nice too - I just can't seem to get used to having all my eyepieces hanging out like that.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
etsleds
sage
*****

Reged: 11/14/09

Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5848260 - 05/08/13 05:25 PM Attachment (11 downloads)

Quote:

But I love the advantages of the zoom with regards to guaging seeing conditions and dialing in magnification. A turret would be nice too - I just can't seem to get used to having all my eyepieces hanging out like that.




Not all turrets are made the same...my 9-18mm Pentax/Takahashi is a little lighter and a little bigger than the Leica, and it was slightly cheaper when I put it together. It doesn't do 60-80 deg or long eye relief, but has overall better optical performance and rotating doesn't shift my Half Hitch as much as trying to zoom the Leica.

Sounds like our use with big mirror buckets is similar, but I'll give the Leica more of a chance with Mary Ann and Marilyn and not rush to replace it as soon as seeing settles down and report back in a few months.

Cheers, Andrew.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Ain Soph Aur
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5848442 - 05/08/13 06:43 PM

Quote:

A wider field and longer eye relief are nice, but they are not top priority for me when viewing planet/lunar. Were the other differences that were not "earth-shattering" things such as perceived contrast and ease of discerning fine surface detail, characteristics important in planet/lunar observation?




I was not able to detect any aspect that the Leica was not superior to the Brandon or BGO.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Nyctophobia, Maryland, USA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #5848651 - 05/08/13 08:32 PM

Quote:

The Leica was clearly superior in all aspects. Nothing earth-shattering besides the much superior eye relief and wide field presentation, but nevertheless a clear notch above the Brandon and BGO to my eyes.




So, the way I understand this, the Leica was superior to the Brandon and BGO in all aspects - but besides eye relief and width of field, none of those differences were earth-shattering.

I could say the same thing about my XW's. So why should I consider selling the XW's in order to fund a Leica ASPH? Well, I guess there is the zoom factor.


Mike


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
RodgerHouTex
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/02/09

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5848722 - 05/08/13 09:04 PM

Mike, I didn't check the FOV, I'm just quoting the advertising literature.

Jim, I was disappointed at first that it just matched my BGOs. My Brandon's have a little less scatter, but I really haven't compared the two.

In my world I think the strength of the zoom is that it is the equal of my best eyepieces yet allows me to zoom and maintains a 60 deg. FOV.

I would compare it to my Pentax XOs, but I don't have a 2 inch barlow to match the FLs. But then again I love my 6 mm Brandon, 5 and 2.5 mm XOs, and 5 and 6 mm BGOs for high power planetary work.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Ain Soph Aur
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5848816 - 05/08/13 09:39 PM

Although I have never had the opportunity to view through XAO's, I imagine that the difference between them and the BGO or Brandon tier of EP's isn't earth-shattering either....

I agree with many others that the Leica is in the top tier of eyepieces, and am very pleased I decided to buy one as I doubt I could have afforded many top tier single f/l eyepieces.

If I wasn't planning on eventually getting a binoviewer, I would seriously think about selling the 8,12,16mm Brandons. Well, I also like them in my vintage refractors and they are a treat with the Baader turret, so I won't be selling them. Otherwise, they will continue to mostly sit in my EP case as the Leica is so much better that I am not motivated to use them.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
johnnyha
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: Leica Asph Zoom No Better Than BGOs new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5848827 - 05/08/13 09:45 PM

Quote:

In my world I think the strength of the zoom is that it is the equal of my best eyepieces yet allows me to zoom and maintains a 60 deg. FOV.



Actually the ASPH zooms progressively from 60* at the low end to 80* at the high magnification end.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | (show all)


Extra information
17 registered and 26 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  ausastronomer, droid, cbwerner, kkokkolis 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 5702

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics