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Equipment Discussions >> Eyepieces

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Sarkikos
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To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question
      #5790094 - 04/10/13 11:33 AM

One sticking point for me against buying the Leica ASPH Zoom is the adapter. I use a Baader Zoom now for much of my DSO observing and would like to do the same with a Leica ASPH. (I think I will keep to binoviewing for planets and the Moon.)

A decent Zoom is an excellent tool for varying magnification, perceived contrast and image scale for DSO, particularly galaxies. But I like having the flexibility of using my Baader Zoom in a Paracorr or in a 5-slot filter wheel. The Paracorr cleans up the coma and flattens the field. The filter wheel allows me to select different DSO filters on-the-fly. And having the capability of varying magnification, image scale, and both eyepiece contrast and filter contrast at will allows many different views of the same object while saving much valuable time at the dark site.

Now, when I use the Paracorr with my Baader Zoom, the Baader needs to be fitted with its 2" adapter ring so that it can be placed optimally in the Paracorr. But then, when I want to use the Baader in the filter wheel, I need to replace the 2" adapter ring with the 1.25" one.

The question is: If I buy the Leica ASPH Zoom, will I be able to use it optimally in both the Paracorr Type I and a filter wheel? The Zoom would need to be in a 1.25" format to fit in the filter wheel. But, AFAIK, the Leica Zoom has to be in 2" format to be set optimally in a Paracorr. Can I somehow set up the Leica Zoom to do both, and do them well? Will I need to have both the 1.25" and 2" special adapters for the Leica? Is it possible to switch the Leica Zoom between the two adapters? If so, how easy is it to make the switch?

For me, this is a crucial question and will determine whether or not I seriously consider buying a Leica ASPH Zoom. Otherwise, I'll continue to make do with a Baader Zoom and an array of XW's and other eyepieces.

Mike


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dyslexic nam
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5790246 - 04/10/13 12:42 PM

Not sure about the adapter question, but if it turns out that the adapter can't be switched easilly, then you could always transition to 2" filters and a 4-slot 2" filter wheel (Orion's 2" FW can easily be used for visual observing using an inexpensive T2-2" adapter). I know this would add some cost to the overall process, but since you are contemplating the the purchase of a premium $800 eyepiece, I suspect that economy isn't the main motivation (plus you could recoup a lot of the transition cost by selling off the 1.25" gear). Aside from the added cost, you would really only be giving up one slot in your filter wheel - and as an added bonus your DSO-loaded FW would be compatible with any dedicated 2" ep's you have.

The 2" FW could continue to be used with your 1.25" ep's either by using the standard 2"-to-1.25" ep adapter inserted into the 2" ep holder, or by threading on a dedicated 1.25" ep-holder directly into the threads on the body of the FW. This would allow for easy, and mechanically sound use of either 2" or 1.25" ep's (or binoviewer) with minimal fiddling.


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Sarkikos
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: dyslexic nam]
      #5790383 - 04/10/13 01:46 PM

Shaun,

I appreciate the thought, but that really is a hefty outlay of effort, expense and weight just to get one eyepiece to perform the way I want it to in my telescope.

I have a wide collection of 1.25" and 2" filters, so that is no problem. I already have two 1.25" filter wheels, one for deep sky, one for planet/lunar. But I would have to buy the 2" filter wheel.

I've avoided acquiring a 2" filter wheel since I always thought they did not make sense for Newts. 2" filters are made for 2" eyepieces, which are generally wide-field and low-power. In my Newts, I need to use a Barlow or OCA in order to come to focus with a filter wheel. That would increase the magnification, which really doesn't make sense when using wide-field low-power 2" eyepieces.

And the idea of inserting 1.25" eyepieces in a 2" filter wheel just seems to me to be a waste of money and an unnecessary increase in weight. I would still want to keep a 1.25" filter wheel combined with my binoviewer for planet / lunar. 2" filter wheel + binoviewer + eyepieces would be one hefty combination.

Yes, this would be a solution for the Leica, but the solution might be worse than the problem.

But it's a good thing to brainstorm and think through all these different possibilities. Thanks.


Mike


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Starman81
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5790448 - 04/10/13 02:20 PM

But WHAT an eyepiece! (or so they say). Unless you are a TRUE minimalist like some CN'ers that have the Leica Zoom, you will end keeping the Zoom because it's that dang good and still keep most of your EPs. You have to have a certain constitution, a certain makeup to go 'minimalist'. Way too hard to do for most, especially after years of eyepiece hooliganism. No offense, Mike, but I don't think you could do it. Most could not, IMHO. I considered the one that recently hit AM, but imagine how much you would worry about that one eyepiece--which in my case is worth more than any of my scopes (pretty much, Nexstar 8SE replacement cost would be about equal).

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Sarkikos
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Starman81]
      #5790482 - 04/10/13 02:39 PM

Well, I wouldn't necessarily have to go minimalist. I'd just need to sell enough eyepieces to cover the cost of the Leica. I'm already planning for that scenario.

I have certain swathes of eyepieces that I would not sell - at least not for the Leica. For instance, the Brandons, the Nag Zooms (maybe?), and the 100 degrees would stay.

Most likely the XW's, LVW 8 and Radians would be up for sale, as they are in the range dominated by the Leica, with/without a Barlow. And I feel they are the type of fixed focus eyepiece that I own which are most comparable to the Leica, in terms of AFOV and best use.

It would seem obvious that I would sell the Baader Zoom to help cover the cost of the Leica, but I'm not sure. The Leica is a mighty expensive eyepiece to take out for a quick grab-n-go here in the 'hood. The Baader is not so much of a monetary risk.

Also, the Baader Zoom can be easily switched back and forth between 1.25" and 2" mode. So whatever adapter I choose for the Leica, I could keep the Baader mostly in the other format. Maybe retain the Baader when I want to use a Zoom in my DSO filter wheel, and use the Leica in the Paracorr? I'm not sure. Not really an ideal solution.

Mike


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johnnyha
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5791298 - 04/10/13 09:02 PM

FWIW, the Leica in 2" mode Paracorrs nicely in my f4.65 with a sharp flat field to the edge. That's another thing about this magical eyepiece, a sharp flat 80* field? I mean c'mon!

Hey and with the new 30* TMB Supermonos going for $568 is it really that outta line?

PS sorry for the multiple posts I am on an airplane.

Edited by johnnyha (04/10/13 09:12 PM)


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nevy
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5791618 - 04/11/13 12:09 AM

To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question,
The answer to that question is to Leica;-)


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StevenYood
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: nevy]
      #5791769 - 04/11/13 04:28 AM

My solution to this dilemma was to buy the Leica. Recommendations by Bob S and Andreas seemed too compelling to ignore. I have never looked back. The Leica is so good that I quickly liquidated my Clave collection and my aging Naglers and have no regrets.

My solution to the filter issue was to get an Astrocrumb filter slide which I have come to dearly love.

As for the Paracorr ... I rarely use it with the Leica and have not missed it with my f4.3 18 inch Starmaster. The difference between the Leica alone and the Leica plus Paracorr was marginal, and I felt that the Paracorr introduced a hint of the Televue warmth to the color balance.

Happy deciding, Steve


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nevy
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: StevenYood]
      #5791844 - 04/11/13 07:23 AM

If I was to get one ( I probly will ) I would keep it simple and not worry about this adaptor or that adaptor , I would get it in 2" format and either use as is or parracor it ( filters can be used either way , or if I wanted an 18mm to 4.5 mm ish zoom I would use it in a tv 2x powermate ( filters can still be used ) I don't use filters that often and when I do it only takes 20 second to screw them on.

Edited by nevy (04/11/13 07:24 AM)


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Sarkikos
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5791878 - 04/11/13 08:08 AM

Johnny,

Quote:

FWIW, the Leica in 2" mode Paracorrs nicely in my f4.65 with a sharp flat field to the edge. That's another thing about this magical eyepiece, a sharp flat 80* field? I mean c'mon!




Yes, very true. But I really would like to be able to alternate between having the Leica in the Paracorr and using it in the 1.25" filter wheel.

It's a shame if I can't do both without having to load up 2" filters in a 2" wheel. That is one heavy cantilever. I'm mostly a Dob-user. We tend to not like a big long train of heavy gizmos hanging off the focuser. At least I don't.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: StevenYood]
      #5791891 - 04/11/13 08:21 AM

Steve,

Quote:

My solution to the filter issue was to get an Astrocrumb filter slide which I have come to dearly love.




I've thought about filter slides, but I like filter wheels much better for several reasons. It is very dewy here in Maryland, and especially so at my dark site. The filters in that slide would dew over big time real quick. I don't think a dew strip would be good enough for several pieces of naked glass facing the cold sky.

Also, the filters in a slide are exposed to possible scratches and scuffs. That's not going to happen with a filter wheel.

Again, since I would have to use a 2" special adapter for the Lecia so it would be optimized for a Paracorr, AFAIK I'd have to use a 2" filter slide. That would add much more weight and increase even more the first two problems.

Quote:

As for the Paracorr ... I rarely use it with the Leica and have not missed it with my f4.3 18 inch Starmaster. The difference between the Leica alone and the Leica plus Paracorr was marginal, and I felt that the Paracorr introduced a hint of the Televue warmth to the color balance.




I've read reports that the Paracorr does clean up edge problems seen through the Leica and flattens the field. It also increases the magnification a little. I want all those factors in play. In fact, I'd rather just put the Leica in my Paracorr than deal with a Barlow, especially the high-end expensive Barlows that many observers buy for use with their Leica.

I hadn't thought about the warm tone that a TV Paracorr might add to the view. But I'd be using the Leica w/Paracorr mostly for deep sky, so personally I don't see that as a big problem. And for planet viewing, the warm tone often helps.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: nevy]
      #5791898 - 04/11/13 08:29 AM

Quote:

If I was to get one ( I probly will ) I would keep it simple and not worry about this adaptor or that adaptor , I would get it in 2" format and either use as is or parracor it ( filters can be used either way , or if I wanted an 18mm to 4.5 mm ish zoom I would use it in a tv 2x powermate ( filters can still be used ) I don't use filters that often and when I do it only takes 20 second to screw them on.




I don't want to give up the ability to switch quickly among different DSO filters when observing an object. It is really something special when viewing bright nebulae. I know other observers at my dark site think so, too. Many times they'll come over to look at M42 or another BN and take several minutes switching among the filters.

The filter wheel is also great for planetaries. I keep one slot open so I can flip between no filter and an OIII or UHC. This is the best way to make those smaller planetaries blink for you. I don't like holding a filter between my eye and the eyepiece. That never worked for me.

So if I can't alternate between a filter wheel and Paracorr when using the Leica Zoom, this really is a deal breaker for me. I can do both those things easily with my humble Baader Zoom. Of course, it doesn't have 80 degree AFOV at 8mm and the optics aren't top tier, though IME still very good. But the Baader serves me well both at dark site and at home, and is apparently more adaptable than the Leica.

Mike


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andydj5xp
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: nevy]
      #5791903 - 04/11/13 08:31 AM

Quote:

To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question,
The answer to that question is to Leica;-)




When in summer 2007 the first preliminary information appeared of a new Leica zoom with much larger AFOV as the 22-7.3mm I instantly knew: this would be the way to go. Having used the 22-7.3mm already since 2002 and having experienced the top performance together with ease of use only a zoom can deliver I was eagerly awaiting the eventual start of the production. One and a half years later (!) this happened and I was one of the - or may be even: THE - first user of the ASPH zoom for astronomy.

The rest of the story is known from many contributions on this forum.

Bottom line: I've back then taken the plunge in a jiffy and really never looked back. The Leica ASPH zoom was even able to successfully defend its exclusive position against the ZAOIIs.

@Sarkikos: And how about you, Mike?

Andreas


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Sarkikos
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: andydj5xp]
      #5791910 - 04/11/13 08:40 AM

I don't succumb easily to peer pressure.

I would probably not be using the Leica very often for planet/lunar, as I save my serious planet/lunar viewing for the binoviewer - with the exception of my monoviewed XO's - and I see no possiblity of my acquiring a pair of Leica ASPH Zooms. So comparisons of the Leica to ZAO-IIs are instructive but not a clincher for me.

I'd be using the Leica mostly for deep sky, the niche that my Baader Zoom holds now. And for deep sky, I really want to be able to switch between a filter wheel and a Paracorr. IME, those are probably the best tools for viewing DSO at a dark site, besides a Zoom, of course.

Mike


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t.r.
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5791928 - 04/11/13 08:49 AM

Quote:

Bottom line: I've back then taken the plunge in a jiffy and really never looked back. The Leica ASPH zoom was even able to successfully defend its exclusive position against the ZAOIIs.





Just remember...others HAVE found that the best of the best less-element eyepieces can surpass the Leica in absolute detail rendered. No disrespect, but not everyone agrees that this zoom can surpass the best (ZAO's) in the right seeing conditions. And for the record, I too am a supporter of this zoom!


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Sarkikos
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: t.r.]
      #5791938 - 04/11/13 08:57 AM

Observers have found that the ZAO-II's outperform the Leica ASPH? I have the XO's, which some reports say are at the level of the ZAO-II's. I wonder if anyone has compared the XO's with the Leica.

On the other hand, I don't see me binoviewing pairs of ZAO-II's, XO's or Leica ASPH's, so the point is somewhat moot, at least for planet/lunar for me.


Mike


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andydj5xp
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: t.r.]
      #5791962 - 04/11/13 09:11 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Bottom line: I've back then taken the plunge in a jiffy and really never looked back. The Leica ASPH zoom was even able to successfully defend its exclusive position against the ZAOIIs.




Just remember...others HAVE found that the best of the best less-element eyepieces can surpass the Leica in absolute detail rendered. No disrespect, but not everyone agrees that this zoom can surpass the best (ZAO's) in the right seeing conditions. And for the record, I too am a supporter of this zoom!




You are right. For this very reason I've deliberately used the word "defend against" and NOT "surpass" or "best" the ZAOIIs.

For me the unsurpassed combination of optical quality and viewing comfort makes the Leica ASPH my eyepiece of choice. The absolute pinnacle of optical excellence may indeed be the ZAOII.

Andreas


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t.r.
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: andydj5xp]
      #5791966 - 04/11/13 09:14 AM

BillP's thorough review of the ASPH against ZAO's, XO's and Brandons...

http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=2795

And for me, the "jury is still out" on whether the older Leica 7-22 can best my Brandons on planetary...more experimenting to follow this summer. Of course, this may be an apples to oranges comparison, as the new APSH is reportedly better than the older.


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Sarkikos
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: t.r.]
      #5792015 - 04/11/13 09:50 AM

So, does anyone know if the Leica ASPH Zoom can be used alternately in 2" and 1.25" format, and how easily this can be done? Basically, I would need to switch between the two adapters that APM provides. As I said, if I can't do this - or something similar which allows me to use a Paracorr or 1.25" filter wheel alternatively - I doubt very much if I'm getting a Leica ASPH Zoom.

I feel that strongly about it. No talk about how good the Leica is will change my mind, if it's not good enough to do what I want it to do.

Mike


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RodgerHouTex
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5792158 - 04/11/13 11:32 AM

I too am seriously considering buying the Leica and would like to know if you get the Leica with the 1 1/4 inch adapter does it vignette? Most of my hardware is geared towards 1 1/4 inch. Plus when I use a 2 inch diagonal with my EON 120 the Zeiss Diascope eyepiece I have (which is another spotting scope eyepiece with an adapter) won't come to focus. Not enough "in" travel.

Edited by RodgerHouTex (04/11/13 11:33 AM)


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Sarkikos
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5792184 - 04/11/13 11:44 AM

IMO, the adapters are definitely the bottlenecks for the Leica ASPH Zoom - figuratively and perhaps literally, too.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5792201 - 04/11/13 11:56 AM

I think I've read every thread on CN about the Leica ASPH several times each. What turns me off more than anything when considering the Leica, is the interminable discussions about adapters, extensions, rings, etc. that are apparently necessary to get the things to work optimally in various telescopes. At $800 - or is it $950 now? - I'd hope that the Leica would work well enough right out of the box. I guess not ... at least not for what I want to do with it.

Mike


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dyslexic nam
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5792221 - 04/11/13 12:05 PM

This may be suggesting the obvious, but have you emailed Markus to inquire about the ease of switching adapters? I would think he could clarify pretty quickly.

I am curious about this too since it would also allow those who may want/have the zoom for use in a spotting scope to 'double-dip' and use it for astronomy.


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RodgerHouTex
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5792228 - 04/11/13 12:08 PM

One other thing I was wondering about is there is a discussion in the Vendors section about the adapters damaging the zoom mechanism because of the set screws being tightened too much. For my Zeiss made adapter for the Ziess Diascope eyepiece I have, the eyepiece has a bayonet adapter that you just twist to lock the eyepiece in the adapter. Is that how the Leica adapter works or is the eyepiece only held in by a set screw or screws?

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Sarkikos
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: dyslexic nam]
      #5792246 - 04/11/13 12:17 PM

Quote:

This may be suggesting the obvious, but have you emailed Markus to inquire about the ease of switching adapters? I would think he could clarify pretty quickly.

I am curious about this too since it would also allow those who may want/have the zoom for use in a spotting scope to 'double-dip' and use it for astronomy.




No, I haven't yet. Of course I'd thought of that. But first I'd rather see what ideas and experience is out there from observers who have used the Leica's in different scopes and hopefully worked out these problems. The manufacturers and vendors don't always know what can be done or not done with their products.

Apparently some things are better done with a Leica with a 2" adapter, other things with a 1.25" adapter. I am really surprised that this hasn't come up as a big sticking-point for the Leica's. It would be nice to have a choice that doesn't commit oneself to either one path or another, but instead allow both.

Mike


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Tamiji Homma
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5792297 - 04/11/13 12:44 PM

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



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


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:


Size comparison in 1.25" mode:


Tammy


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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5792308 - 04/11/13 12:49 PM

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.


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Tamiji Homma
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #5792327 - 04/11/13 01:00 PM

Quote:

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:



Tammy

Edited by Tamiji Homma (04/11/13 01:02 PM)


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Sarkikos
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5792413 - 04/11/13 01:45 PM

Tammy,

Thanks much for this info!

Quote:

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.

Quote:

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




Quote:

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.

Quote:

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. It would basically be a simple matter of attaching/removing the #T2-14 nosepiece. What do you think?


Mike


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5792528 - 04/11/13 02:36 PM

Quote:

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


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5792555 - 04/11/13 02:50 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.

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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5792561 - 04/11/13 02:55 PM

Tammy,

Quote:

Quote:

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


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5793741 - 04/12/13 02:35 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.

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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5793769 - 04/12/13 03:20 AM

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

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.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/4235705/page...

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

Edited by Smithfr2000 (04/12/13 03:21 AM)


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Smithfr2000]
      #5793920 - 04/12/13 08:01 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.

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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5793969 - 04/12/13 08:45 AM

Johnny,

Quote:

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.




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


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Smithfr2000]
      #5793986 - 04/12/13 09:08 AM

Quote:

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




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.

Quote:

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.

Quote:

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.

Quote:

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


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5794008 - 04/12/13 09:22 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.

Edited by Smithfr2000 (04/12/13 09:25 AM)


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5794009 - 04/12/13 09:23 AM

Rodger,

Quote:

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... 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


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Smithfr2000]
      #5794015 - 04/12/13 09:28 AM

Quote:

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


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5794055 - 04/12/13 09:56 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.


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5794086 - 04/12/13 10:12 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.


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5794098 - 04/12/13 10:20 AM

Quote:

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.


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #5794100 - 04/12/13 10:20 AM

Quote:

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.

Quote:

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


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5794106 - 04/12/13 10:23 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 ?

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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5794228 - 04/12/13 11:33 AM

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

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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Daud]
      #5794230 - 04/12/13 11:34 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.

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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5794261 - 04/12/13 11:45 AM

Quote:

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,


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Daud]
      #5794273 - 04/12/13 11:49 AM

Quote:

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


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5794369 - 04/12/13 12:44 PM

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.

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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #5794389 - 04/12/13 12:56 PM

I think Starlight Instruments' adapter has

1. Bayonet adapter, no tool necessary to swap. it was important for me since I was planning to buy a Leica spotting scope.
2. M48 and M42 threaded bottom, which is similar to Astro Physics AP16T adapter.

If APM offers M48/M42 double threaded adapter, I don't see much advantage over Starlight Instruments' one for astronomical use in functionality.

Tammy


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5794528 - 04/12/13 01:55 PM

Mark,

Quote:

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




Yes, 6.7-25.1mm is a nice focal-length range, even better than the Baader Zoom and others that are 8-24mm. Unfortunately, the AFOV range is only 68-46 degrees. But still that is about the same as the Baader Zoom AFOV range, at 72-42 degrees. I wonder how much better the image is than the Baader's?

Mike


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5794637 - 04/12/13 02:27 PM

Please try one and let me know, Mike.

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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5794687 - 04/12/13 02:57 PM

I was looking forward to your report!


Mike


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5794833 - 04/12/13 04:18 PM

Quote:

To Leica or Not to Leica




Since there are a choice of adapter options, I believe the answer to this question is to Leica, you lika' it! I

I've been looking at Sol all day and comparing the Leica to my other eyepieces, and sure still lika' my Leica. Actually I love it. Best money spent since I got back in the hobby a few years ago. Not to mention my wallet is much happier now that I am not lusting for Zao's and other top tier mid to short f/l eyepieces...

Maybe if I ever get a chance to look through some Zao I will change my mind... Or not.


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #5795029 - 04/12/13 05:39 PM

Ain,

wouldn't the factory made 1.25" end solve partially (?) the in-travel requirements?


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Daud]
      #5795089 - 04/12/13 05:50 PM Attachment (14 downloads)

Mike - Another solution is to simply barlow the Leica, it does not need a Paracorr in a fast scope when barlowed - edges are clean. You can screw a Baader barlow element or equivalent (GSO makes one) on the bottom of the 1.25" adapter and get around 1.5X which is really not that much more than the 1.15X of the Paracorr. I actually find this a more usable range, around 6mm-12mm. Or put it in a 1.7X or 2X barlow the conventional way. Or do what I do and screw a 1.25" 2X Zeiss Abbe barlow nosepiece or equivalent (Antares makes similar barlows with T-threads I believe) onto the T-thread of the 2" adapter, this gives almost exactly 2X or 4.5-9mm

EDIT: OR now that I think about it, the 1.25" nosepiece is very simple to take on and off the 2" adapter. Why not just get the 2" T-thread adapter and then get a cheap T-thread 1.25" nosepiece from Agena? As long as in-focus is not an issue, problem solved. When you wanna use the Paracorr just unscrew the nosepiece and use it in 2" mode.

Edited by johnnyha (04/12/13 06:11 PM)


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Daud]
      #5795133 - 04/12/13 06:01 PM

Quote:

wouldn't the factory made 1.25" end solve partially (?) the in-travel requirements?




The 1.25" adapter requires more in-focus because the field lens barrel protrudes out the bottom of the eyepiece, so the 1.25" adapter is basically the same as the 2" adapter with a 1.25" nosepiece added similar to the above photo (although may be just a tiny bit shorter). The 2" adapter is wide enough and just long enough to cover the field lens barrel so you gain about 1" infocus over the 1.25" adapter.


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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5795247 - 04/12/13 07:18 PM

Does the Leica perform well in a 2" televue powermate?

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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: nevy]
      #5795309 - 04/12/13 08:06 PM

I could perhaps answer this, except the Powermate was sold to help fund the Leica. Other than the extreme length of the combo, I cannot imagine any performance issues.

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nevy
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #5795316 - 04/12/13 08:12 PM

Thank you , that's what I wanted to hear

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demetry
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #5797998 - 04/14/13 09:31 AM

My ASPH Leica is one of the finest eyepieces I have ever owned. I've been using it with my 16" F/4.5 dob recently. I am an exclusive starhopper and I don't have tracking. The low power helps me find the object easily, and the higher powers let me frame according to size of the object and seeing.

But I must say this about my comparative observations to my Ethos 13mm and 10mm. These 2 are also of the finest eyepieces I have ever bought. To me the Ethoses show me brighter images of dimmer objects. I guess that would be called better through put? I saw this last night looking at M94, 4618, and 4625 in CVen and M13 in Her. I thought I resolved more stars in the core here. I've also noticed brighter images in other dim nebulas in UMaj.

Has anyone else noticed this? Could be my 62 year old eyes playing tricks, but I don't think so.

So... I like-a my Leica, but I love-a my Ethoses, too!

Demetry


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Full Sun
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: demetry]
      #5799044 - 04/14/13 06:26 PM

Quote:

My ASPH Leica is one of the finest eyepieces I have ever owned. I've been using it with my 16" F/4.5 dob recently. I am an exclusive starhopper and I don't have tracking. The low power helps me find the object easily, and the higher powers let me frame according to size of the object

But I must say this about my comparative observations to my Ethos 13mm and 10mm. These 2 are also of the finest eyepieces I have ever bought. To me the Ethoses show me brighter images of dimmer objects. I guess that would be called better through put? I saw this last night looking at M94, 4618, and 4625 in CVen and M13 in Her. I thought I resolved more stars in the core here. I've also noticed brighter images in other dim nebulas in UMaj.

Has anyone else noticed this? Could be my 62 year old eyes playing tricks, but I don't think so.

So... I like-a my Leica, but I love-a my Ethoses, too!

Demetry




- - -

Demetry
I have also compared these eyepieces on Deep Sky.
I completely concur with your observations.
Jerry

Edited by Full Sun (04/14/13 06:27 PM)


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demetry
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Full Sun]
      #5799421 - 04/14/13 08:57 PM

Jerry,
Thanks for the reply. I'm glad to know my eyes are still working. Must be the number of elements in the ASPH. I'm sure it would have the best coatings.
DP


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Kent10
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: demetry]
      #5799563 - 04/14/13 10:21 PM

Thomas measured the transmission of the Leica at 94.4%. Pretty high for such a lens.

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5502437/page...

So I wonder what it is about the Ethos that allows you to see deeper.


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demetry
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: Kent10]
      #5799635 - 04/14/13 11:14 PM

I think we need more observers' reports.

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nevy
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Re: To Leica or Not to Leica: That is the Question new [Re: demetry]
      #5799963 - 04/15/13 07:29 AM

Quote:

My ASPH Leica is one of the finest eyepieces I have ever owned. I've been using it with my 16" F/4.5 dob recently. I am an exclusive starhopper and I don't have tracking. The low power helps me find the object easily, and the higher powers let me frame according to size of the object and seeing.

But I must say this about my comparative observations to my Ethos 13mm and 10mm. These 2 are also of the finest eyepieces I have ever bought. To me the Ethoses show me brighter images of dimmer objects. I guess that would be called better through put? I saw this last night looking at M94, 4618, and 4625 in CVen and M13 in Her. I thought I resolved more stars in the core here. I've also noticed brighter images in other dim nebulas in UMaj.

Has anyone else noticed this? Could be my 62 year old eyes playing tricks, but I don't think so.

So... I like-a my Leica, but I love-a my Ethoses, too!

Demetry




That don't surprise me, the ethoses are the dogs bollox , the best eyepieces I have looked through , I was was so impressed I bought most of them , although I haven't looked through a Leica yet.


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