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Leica Zoom Verses Baader' Zoom

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#1 De Lorme

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 09:01 PM

Was looking at the Lieca zoom on APM's site today and sure like the field of view it offered but sure didn't like the price.

Are the optices that much better than the Baader to justify the price?   

 

Thanks for giving me your experiences with these 2 zooms.

 

Clear Skies,  De Lorme



#2 Aleko

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 09:59 PM

Have both. I found the EOFB in the Leica eats up a lot of that extra field of view, so I don't use it for deep sky. I think a lot of folks like it barlowed for lunar/planetary, which I have not tried. I will say the Leica is one killer terrestrial eyepiece (for which it is designed).  I use it in a Traveler or TV-85, and the views of distant waterfowl are just phenomenal. 

 

The Baader is a nice eyepiece, but not quite up to the Leica. It's a great eyepiece for solar, and it's my first choice in my PST. 

 

Others here will follow with more praises for the Leica than I am willing to give. :-)



#3 Magnitude7

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 10:25 PM

Others here will follow with more praises for the Leica than I am willing to give. :-)

:)  I actually sold the Leica and kept the Baader after exhaustive testing.  I preferred the darker background sky in the Baader.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Leica vs Baader.JPG

Edited by Magnitude7, 10 December 2016 - 10:26 PM.

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#4 samuelpkco

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 11:24 PM

Agree on the dark background of the Baader, although I haven't tried the Leica.
My comparison comes from the Vixen zoom and other fixed eyepieces and I always appreciate the good macro contrast of the Baader zoom.
Micro contrast, however such as fine planetary details, I prefer fixed EPs. But not to say the Baader zoom doesn't do a good planetary job.

Clear skies
Samuel
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#5 De Lorme

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 11:56 PM

Well you all deserve some kind of reward for saving me so much money.  Thanks ever so much!

Right now I have the original Baader zoom{no markings}and I'm really pleased with it.  I can just fit the 

Pleides and the Double Cluster into the field of view with my ES 5" Apo.   Is the Pentex better than the Baader?

 

Clear Skies and Merry Christmas!

 

De Lorme



#6 nicknacknock

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 12:42 AM

De Lorme,

 

I haven't tried the Pentax zoom but I was considering it in the past. The feedback I got from asking around is that it is a great eyepiece for Ha observing and that's it. Too much colour fringing when used at night.


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#7 samuelpkco

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 01:04 AM

Well you all deserve some kind of reward for saving me so much money. Thanks ever so much!
Right now I have the original Baader zoom{no markings}and I'm really pleased with it. I can just fit the
Pleides and the Double Cluster into the field of view with my ES 5" Apo. Is the Pentex better than the Baader?

Clear Skies and Merry Christmas!

De Lorme

De Lorme, while I have no experience of the Pentax, I would share my experience with the Delos.

In an A/B comparison, the Delos is superior in terms of TFOV, overall contrast and on-axis planetary details.

But having said that, I m very happy with the Baader for what it is. In some sessions, I m using only the Baader zoom albeit I have a full set of Delos in my EP cases.

Put it this way, for general viewing where the detection threshold of some dim DSOs are not being tested, the Baader zoom has NEVER ruined any of my sessions. It is a practically superb piece of ocular to me as long as I m not consciously running a technical test against other high-end eyepieces.

Clear skies,
Samuel

Edited by samuelpkco, 11 December 2016 - 02:59 AM.


#8 george tatsis

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 03:09 AM

De Lorme,

 

I haven't tried the Pentax zoom but I was considering it in the past. The feedback I got from asking around is that it is a great eyepiece for Ha observing and that's it. Too much colour fringing when used at night.

+1

 

I used to have the Pentax and the chromatic aberration visible in lunar and planetary observing made me sell it to a friend of mine who keeps on using it for solar. I used it for solar as well with no issues whatsoever. Planetary is out of the question though.

 

George



#9 george tatsis

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 03:15 AM

 

Others here will follow with more praises for the Leica than I am willing to give. :-)

:)  I actually sold the Leica and kept the Baader after exhaustive testing.  I preferred the darker background sky in the Baader.

 

Trust me you're not the only one. There are at least 7 CNers who have done the same thing. I can see the darker background in

 

the Baader every time I compare it to my XWs. It's that good !

 

George


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#10 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 04:05 AM

I only tried the baader zoom once, when a friend got one for his birthday. At the time, it had more in-focus than my Portaball could take. But comparing in my friends 8" Dob (maybe 5 minutes worth of comparisons), I found that there really wasn't much in it. The greater field of view of the Leica was quite apparent, but the view of the Baader was no less sharp at a cursory glance, and the much greater range of focal length was appreciated.

 

But in critical testing I'd expect the Leica to edge away slightly. Certainly enough that it will at the very least rival other top class fixed focal lengths for sharpness. 

 

After comparing the Leica to the 14 Delos, 14 Morpheus, 14XW, and 14 ES/100, my conclusion is that the Leica is very slightly sharper than them all. 

 

I have sold the 14 Delos and 14 ES, and recently acquired a 17/14 Nikon HW. I have not had the chance for a direct comparison, but my guess is that the Nikon will win. It's tremendously good.



#11 YKSE

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 05:29 AM

I've hade both zooms for about two years now, here's my limited test findings:

1. Baader had click stops, which made it easy for using in binoviewer; Leica has the just right smooth zoom action, a feel of quality.

2. Straylight control: i.e. when a bright star or Moon is outside FOV, any light come into the FOV. Baader is obvious worse, a defocused Vega or Capella is flooding the FOV when it's clearly outside FOV, while Leica is just excellent, not a slightest hint where the star is when it's just outside FOV.

3. Sharpness: Leica is both sharper than Baader, I observe only on-axis with my tracking mount, off-axis is only for finding/framing.

 

As to darker background, I see it might be interpretated differently, so I borrow Bill's terminology here to divide it in two parts:

http://www.cloudynig...omparison-r2651

4.1 scatter control: i.e background around a bright object (Jupiter, Sirius, etc), Leica is better with darker background, the scatter level is about as my 18 BCO and 10 BCO; Baader is more in level as MV20 and MV24, i.e. noticeable more scatter.

4.2 faint star field: Leica is brighter. My interpretation is slightly higher transmission, because I don't see how an eyepiece can chose tranmitting more star light than background glows, these are all continous light spectrums.

 

5. in 2" mode, they're practically parfocal.

6. I don't see EOFB in any of them, 

7. They both vignette in low mag end, Leica more severe than Baader.

 

I use Baader in PST (since Leica doesn't come to focus) and for alignment (the less good straylight control is an advantage when a bright star is outside FOV), and Leica for mostly all other Cyclops observations when the focal length si suitable, planetary to faint galaxies, about 150 of my new galaxies down to mag 14 were observed with Leica in C8.

 

To me, both are excellent for their prices, worth every penny of it.


Edited by YKSE, 11 December 2016 - 06:29 AM.

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#12 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 07:58 AM

I've hade both zooms for about two years now, here's my limited test findings:

1. Baader had click stops, which made it easy for using in binoviewer; Leica has the just right smooth zoom action, a feel of quality.

2. Straylight control: i.e. when a bright star or Moon is outside FOV, any light come into the FOV. Baader is obvious worse, a defocused Vega or Capella is flooding the FOV when it's clearly outside FOV, while Leica is just excellent, not a slightest hint where the star is when it's just outside FOV.

3. Sharpness: Leica is both sharper than Baader, I observe only on-axis with my tracking mount, off-axis is only for finding/framing.

 

As to darker background, I see it might be interpretated differently, so I borrow Bill's terminology here to divide it in two parts:

http://www.cloudynig...omparison-r2651

4.1 scatter control: i.e background around a bright object (Jupiter, Sirius, etc), Leica is better with darker background, the scatter level is about as my 18 BCO and 10 BCO; Baader is more in level as MV20 and MV24, i.e. noticeable more scatter.

4.2 faint star field: Leica is brighter. My interpretation is slightly higher transmission, because I don't see how an eyepiece can chose tranmitting more star light than background glows, these are all continous light spectrums.

 

5. in 2" mode, they're practically parfocal.

6. I don't see EOFB in any of them, 

7. They both vignette in low mag end, Leica more severe than Baader.

 

I use Baader in PST (since Leica doesn't come to focus) and for alignment (the less good straylight control is an advantage when a bright star is outside FOV), and Leica for mostly all other Cyclops observations when the focal length si suitable, planetary to faint galaxies, about 150 of my new galaxies down to mag 14 were observed with Leica in C8.

 

To me, both are excellent for their prices, worth every penny of it.

 

This would match my findings almost exactly. I was pretty skeptical of the wide-field zoom concept, so over a three month period ran the Leica up against Delos and a Pentax XW every clear night. Targets were primarily deep sky, with some Jupiter. I also did some daylight testing to try to gauge relative AMD and RD.

 

In the end the differences were so slight that keeping a fixed-length eyepieces below 22mm made no sense at all. A quality zoom, it saves you time and money, making the old ways look like Dinosaur Observing.

 

The only real weakness I found with the Leica was the fuzzy field stop at the lowest power setting, as noted above. In practice, I never really spend much time working at that magnification. I'm swapping from (usually) a 22 Panoptic and almost immediately turning up the power. So, I can live with it.

 

I also noted none of the EOFB that is sometimes reported. Quite honestly, if I had I probably would not have kept the eyepiece. Early reviews did not note it either.

 

One other practical consideration - due to the bayonet mount, an adapter is required. This has the effect of "lifting" the focal plane of the eyepiece, so more in-focus is required. This may affect you if your scope is travel-limited. A friend of mine bought the Leica only to find he could not reach focus in a Ceravolo HD145 or his PortaBall. I can't recall the exact measurement I took with the 2" Starlight adapter, it was something like 1/8" more than a 31 Nagler.

 

There are extensive posts on this eyepiece you can data mine, starting here:

 

http://www.cloudynig...eica-asph-zoom/

http://www.cloudynig...tary-test-r2717


Edited by Jeff Morgan, 11 December 2016 - 07:59 AM.

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#13 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 02:51 PM

It seems CN has not migrated all of the old links, so it this one was hard to find. One of the initial reviews:

 

http://www.cloudynig...-178-89mm-r2317



#14 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 02:54 PM

Oh, one other weakness in the design: the eyecup. The adjustment mechanism is not very robust, several users have broken them. (Learning of this early, I treat mine gently and have never had a problem.)

 

Apparently Leica provides free replacements. And, there was an old thread that contained a DIY fix.

 

It's not a deal-breaker but still a peeve for me since the eyecup design is not befitting such an expensive eyepiece.


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#15 YKSE

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 04:12 PM

Oh, one other weakness in the design: the eyecup. The adjustment mechanism is not very robust, several users have broken them. (Learning of this early, I treat mine gently and have never had a problem.)

 

Apparently Leica provides free replacements. And, there was an old thread that contained a DIY fix.

 

Oh yes, some users had that issue. I wear glasses, have never adjust in upwards, so it's fine with mine.

There did developed dirt inside the lens once, after mail contact with Leica, I sent the eyepiece to Leica in Germany for cleanning, and I asked if they could send me  an eye cup together with the cleaned eyepiece, just in case I broke mine. Guess what, I got the replacement eye cup in seperate package earlier than the zoom. All the postage were paid by Leica as the zoom has 5-year warranty. :waytogo:



#16 andydj5xp

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 04:26 PM

It seems CN has not migrated all of the old links, so it this one was hard to find. One of the initial reviews:

 

http://www.cloudynig...-178-89mm-r2317

Another link - given also in my signature - seems to be appropriate to complete the picture: a report about the 2.5 year's comparison between the Leica ASPH zoom and the ZAOIIs. The result was the sale of the ZAOIIs and the keeping of the Leica.

 

And after another more than five years I've no reason to looking back. My decision from spring 2011 turned out to be the right one  :) .

 

Andreas


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#17 junomike

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 06:04 PM

Another option might be to look for a used Leica 7.3mm - 22mm Zoom.  Less FOV but apparently slightly better contrast (from a few people i knew who owned both).

 

Mike



#18 Magnitude7

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 06:25 PM

Another option might be to look for a used Leica 7.3mm - 22mm Zoom.  Less FOV but apparently slightly better contrast (from a few people i knew who owned both).

 

Mike

To me eyes, the older Leica easily had the worst contrast of the three.

Looking at Jupiter's GRS, to me it was most easily seen in the Baader, then the Leica ASPH, and then the older Leica.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 3 Zooms.JPG

Edited by Magnitude7, 11 December 2016 - 06:36 PM.

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#19 sixela

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 06:51 PM

FWIW, I see some EOFB in an unbarlowed Leica zoom but it's gone when I barlow it (with a Baader VIP, AP BarAdv or Zeiss). It disappears even with barlow factors as small as 1.35x.

Doesn't seem rtelated with the scope f/ratio, since it's there in a C11 (if unbarlowed).

But apart from that, there's nothing comparable about it and a Baader Zoom: the Leica is a superior eyepiece. The barlowed Leica is better than a barlowed Ethos or Delos, the Baader zoom clearly isn't. Few remarks:

-the f/5.1 f/ratio of my scope isn't that friendly to the Baader zoom nor the Leica, but the Leica suffers a lot more at the edge than the Hyperion zoom. That's one reason I barlow it.
-the Leica didn't perform very well for some time, when the internal lenses got dirty. Leica cleaned them (at no charge), and it's gone back to its former performance.

If you have a Leica and it is outperformed by a Baader zoom, I'd really inspect it with a bright light shining into the eyepiece at an angle.

Edited by sixela, 11 December 2016 - 06:56 PM.

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#20 Smithfr2000

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 03:13 AM

What barlow do you use to get 1.35X ?

Any way to get even less than 1.35X ? I wish i could reach 1.25X with mine.



#21 sixela

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 04:43 AM

To get 1.35x I needed to put a VIP barlow _inside_ the short adapter from APM.

Right now I'm using a BarAdv -- with the BarAdv screwed more or less directly onto the short adapter from APM you can get factors down to 1.4x without having to recess it into the adapter, since it's got a fairly long focal length. Much more handy if you want to replace it (I can screw off that barlow and screw on another barlow based on the Baader/Zeiss).

You can't go a lot lower than that: the field lens protrudes quite a bit in the Leica and the focal plane is inside the eyepiece, so there's a minimal physical length between the barlow's principal plane and the eyepiece focal plane (the BarAdv has a longer focal length, but the barlow's principal plane is also slightly more recessed in it; when you screw it on without _any_ M48 rings since the barlow protrudes from it's M48 threads it will actually stop with the barlow's concave lens in contact with the Leica. That gives you slightly less than 1.4x, but there's a danger of scratching the barlow, so I prefer to play safe...)

Edited by sixela, 12 December 2016 - 05:22 AM.

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#22 Sarkikos

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 06:55 AM

Here is my standard defense of decent quality zoom eyepieces in general and the Baader Zoom in particular:

 

Having the ability to vary the exit pupil and image scale through the entire range of focal lengths can help when viewing objects.  A zoom is not only useful for dialing in the optimum magnification for the current seeing when observing planets.  It can also be handy when trying to ferret out dim galaxies and nebulae, or to see structure in them.

 

The ability to zoom has allowed me to spot faint objects where it would have been difficult or impossible with single focal length eyepieces.  When trying to detect faint DSO with a zoom, it's not ideal to go immediately to one focal length setting.  IME, it's best to vary the setting until the object pops into view. 

 

Sometimes visibility is dependent on a relatively narrow range of exit pupils. Perceived contrast is very much dependent on the exit pupil, which is determined by the focal length of the eyepiece and the f/number of the scope.   So what better way to vary the perceived contrast than to vary the focal length of the eyepiece?  And the very best and quickest way to do that is with a good zoom eyepiece.  Switching among a set of fixed focal length eyepieces just doesn't cut it.

 

Also, the action of zooming itself can make a dim object pop into view.  I think this is similar to the old trick of jiggling the telescope tube in order to see faint fuzzies.

 

IMO & IME, decent zooms are greatly underutilized tools for deep sky.

The light transmission in the Baader Zoom is not the highest, but it is more than adequate for the vast majority of dim galaxies and nebulae visible in my 10" Dob. In practice, the Baader Zoom's ability to dial in the optimum image scale, exit pupil and perceived contrast has helped me bag many of the dimmer galaxies in the H400, Herschel II and Herschel 3 lists, as well as many other galaxies and nebulae not in those lists.

 

So far I've seen nearly 1000 galaxies, most seen first in the Baader Zoom.  All told, I've bagged over 1600 deep sky objects.  The majority of them seen first light by me through my Baader Zoom.  

 

There are better eyepieces for planet/lunar than the Baader Zoom.  For my best views of planets and the Moon, I switch in an XO.

 

And there are better eyepieces for showing large objects and star fields.  In those cases, I put in the 31 T5.

On the other hand, XO's and the Terminagler do not zoom.  The Baader does!

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 12 December 2016 - 07:26 AM.

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#23 Sarkikos

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 07:16 AM

Comparing the Leica Zoom and the Baader Zoom ...

 

AFOV:  

 

Baader has 72 degrees to 42 degrees.  Leica has 81 to 59 degrees.

 

Focal Length Range:  

 

Baader has 8 to 24mm.  Leica has 9 to 18mm.

 

EOFB:

 

To my eyes at my dark sites, the Leica Zoom does show EOFB, obviously so, on most nights.  The Baader Zoom shows some EOFB, hardly noticeable.

 

Seems like the EOFB in the Leica is most obvious when the sky has poor transparency.  If the sky has high transparency, the EOFB is difficult to notice, or cannot be seen at all.  I observe in Maryland, which tends to be humid.  Usually I experience dewing - often extreme dewing - at my observing sites.  

Maybe one reason why some observers claim they have never seen EOFB in their Leica's is because they view from sites that are usually dry and have transparent skies?

 

Parfocality:

 

My eyes have lost most of their ability to accommodate for focus.  So if a zoom eyepiece is not parfocal across its range, I will most likely notice it.  The Leica Zoom is very nearly parfocal.  The Baader Zoom needs more of a tweak at the far ends of its range.  For both zooms, it helps to focus at the shortest focal length setting first before observing with the eyepiece.

 

Sharpness at center:

 

The Leica is sharper than the Baader Zoom.  I only notice this when observing planet/lunar, and only when using larger aperture.  For instance, when viewing the Moon through my C6, the image looked substantially the same through the Baader and the Leica.  Sometimes I had to lift up my eye and look at the eyepiece to tell which one was in the telescope.

 

However, IME my XO's are sharper than the Leica.

 

Scatter control at center:

 

The Leica has better scatter control than the Baader Zoom.  The scatter field immediately around a bright planet will be somewhat larger for the Baader.  But the XO's have obviously better scatter control than the Leica Zoom.

 

Outer field correction:  

 

Baader is better than Leica.  Both eyepieces are improved by a Paracorr or Barlow.

 

Tone:  

 

Baader is neutral.  Leica is slightly warm.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 12 December 2016 - 07:39 AM.

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#24 Smithfr2000

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 07:55 AM

To get 1.35x I needed to put a VIP barlow _inside_ the short adapter from APM.

Right now I'm using a BarAdv -- with the BarAdv screwed more or less directly onto the short adapter from APM you can get factors down to 1.4x without having to recess it into the adapter, since it's got a fairly long focal length. Much more handy if you want to replace it (I can screw off that barlow and screw on another barlow based on the Baader/Zeiss).

You can't go a lot lower than that: the field lens protrudes quite a bit in the Leica and the focal plane is inside the eyepiece, so there's a minimal physical length between the barlow's principal plane and the eyepiece focal plane (the BarAdv has a longer focal length, but the barlow's principal plane is also slightly more recessed in it; when you screw it on without _any_ M48 rings since the barlow protrudes from it's M48 threads it will actually stop with the barlow's concave lens in contact with the Leica. That gives you slightly less than 1.4x, but there's a danger of scratching the barlow, so I prefer to play safe...)

Thanks a lot. I have the VIP and the APM adapter, i thought i reach 1.5X with it.



#25 sixela

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 08:03 AM

APM has two adapters, a short one and a long one. Obviously you'll need the short one to get small barlow factors. And getting substantially less requires you to recess the barlow element _into_ the adapter.

This picture shows the VIP when it was recessed in the earlier longer APM adapter (can't remember, but I think this was 1,6x). If you do this in the newer adapter, then you can get the VIP element almost touching with the Leica field lens.

I don't do that, though, since I like clean edges (the Leica likes a fairly slow f/ratio for the system in front of it) and I have no use for the zoom in focal lengths larger than 13mm.

4768636-DSC_0946b.JPG

Edited by sixela, 12 December 2016 - 08:11 AM.



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