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Another Leica zoom question...

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#1 BDS316

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 09:22 AM

Hi,

 

I was wondering if anyone replaced all or most of their eyepieces with the Leica premium 9-18mm zoom, a 2x Barlow of some kind, and a 2 inch widest field eyepiece like a 31mm Nagler.

 

How well does this work?  Thanks.



#2 doctordub

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 09:51 AM

Hi,

 

I was wondering if anyone replaced all or most of their eyepieces with the Leica premium 9-18mm zoom, a 2x Barlow of some kind, and a 2 inch widest field eyepiece like a 31mm Nagler.

 

How well does this work?  Thanks.

Only for travel. APM LOMO80, Nagler 31mm, Leica 8.9-17.8 with 1.8X Extender and Nagler Zoom.

CS

Jonathan

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#3 doctordub

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 09:53 AM

My minimal travel set. Masuyama 26mm, Leica 8.9-17.8 with 1.8X Extender and Nagler Zoom.

CS

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#4 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 12:46 PM

The Leica is my most used eyepiece, and my most frequent style of viewing is to pair it up with a low power, barlow, and often 1 mid-power.

 

That way, when the Leica is barlowed, I can swap to a mid-power without having to remove the barlow.

 

It's rare when I use this set that I feel like I am missing something. But this set is complementary with others for me. I also have a 100 degree set, XWs, and a range of random eyepieces. Apart from the 100 degree set, this is mostly just because I enjoy having different sets to use.

 

The Leica goes from about 60 to 80 degree of apparent field. At the lowest power, it gives a slightly smaller field than an 18.2mm delite, and at the highest power, it would be very close to a 9mm Nagler. So you may feel the low end is a bit more tight than you like. That really depends on the focal length of the scope and the resulting true field. The Leica feels like plenty in my refractors, but a bit tight when used with my 12.5" reflector, but that's usually fine by me.

 

In my 12.5", the Leica + 1.8 extender gives me 100x to 370x, and a ~30mm gives ~60x. That covers all magnifications I use in most nights, but sometimes I do want more power on doubles or planetary nebulae. It's rare that I feel I need more on planets.

 

The forthcoming APM super zoom will to 7.7 to 15.4 with a constant 75 degrees. That paired with a barlow and one or two other low powers would also represent a full spread for many applications.


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#5 doctordub

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 04:22 PM

The OP said replaced, I also use the Leica constantly at home. I use it with and without my glasses depending on whether I am alone or not. 

CS

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#6 Headshot

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 04:39 PM

My travel kit includes:

 

1 - Leica 8.9-17.8 ASPH Zoom eyepiece

1 - Leica 1.8X extender

1 - TeleVue 26mm Nagler eyepiece

1 - TeleVue 4mm Delite eyepiece with a 2" Baader Adapter

1 - Astro-Physics Maxbright 2" Diagnol

 

These items fit nicely in a Gander Mountain hinged pistol case. There is room left over for a flashlight, or a finder, or a small firearm if you are going to a very remote place.

 

For me, this is an ideal collection and I have never felt like I needed more out in the field. Had I not bought a bunch of other eyepieces first, I would have been happy with just this.

 

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#7 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 01:08 AM

Hi,

 

I was wondering if anyone replaced all or most of their eyepieces with the Leica premium 9-18mm zoom, a 2x Barlow of some kind, and a 2 inch widest field eyepiece like a 31mm Nagler.

 

How well does this work?  Thanks.

 

It can't totally replace the lowest power stuff. You'll want one or possibly two lower power eyepieces.

 

On the highs, definitely possible. That largely depends upon how much you like (or despise) barlows.

 

In the mid-ranges: yes definitely. I sold off four Delos as and Pentax XW in 2014. Haven't missed them a day since.



#8 Kunama

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 04:27 AM

I sold seven Delos eyepieces and replaced them with the Leica Asph Zoom and the Leica Extender 1.8x…..

The Leica combination cover 4.9mm to 17.8mm then I jump to the N22T4.

 

With my 18”F3.5 + SIPS I get 85x to 380x.  


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#9 shaesavage

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 09:42 AM

It did replace all of my eyepieces that were 18mm or less…until recently. The Leica is a wonderful eyepiece that I use a lot. The only issue I have with it is the weight when I am using small refractors. The Leica would cause balance issues. So I have put together a lightweight set of eyepieces as well as the Nikon 9-21 zoom. These come out when I am going with an ultra light setup. 


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#10 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 01:33 PM

I sold seven Delos eyepieces and replaced them with the Leica Asph Zoom and the Leica Extender 1.8x…..

The Leica combination cover 4.9mm to 17.8mm then I jump to the N22T4.

 

With my 18”F3.5 + SIPS I get 85x to 380x.  

Evidently you are happy with performance in such a fast scope. Any differences from the usual suspects--Delos etc?


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#11 BDS316

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 02:42 PM

I sold seven Delos eyepieces and replaced them with the Leica Asph Zoom and the Leica Extender 1.8x…..

The Leica combination cover 4.9mm to 17.8mm then I jump to the N22T4.

 

With my 18”F3.5 + SIPS I get 85x to 380x.  

That sounds like a cool setup especially since at f3.5 you probably don't need a ladder!  Pics?



#12 Kunama

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 03:05 PM

Like any other eyepiece used in an F3.5 reflector, the Leica only performs properly with a coma corrector installed.

With the excellent SIPS permanently installed and correctly set, my scope has an effective focal ratio of F4.1.

 

 My main use of the Leica is planets, smaller DSOs, Doubles and lunar details. For wider views and larger DSOs I have the Nagler 17 and 22.

 

As for sharpness and contrast, the Leica is akin to the Delos line with a slightly wider AFoV at one end and slightly narrower at the other end of its zoom range.


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#13 j.gardavsky

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 04:27 PM

In the product brochures,

they have been listed two versions of the Leica 25 - 50x WW ASPH. Zoom:

The older: #41 019, weight 390g

The newer: #41 021, weight 380g

 

Moreover, there are two manufacturing plants:

Leica Camera in Wetzlar, Germany

LEICA – Aparelhos Ópticos de Precisão, S.A., Portugal

 

The zooms have inscriptions:

MADE IN GERMANY, followed by the series number

MADE IN PORTUGAL, followed by the series number,

and the manufacturer's name LEICA CAMERA

 

Any difference between the older and newer version, or just older and newer item codes, is not known to me.

 

Best,

JG


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#14 Voyager 3

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 10:01 PM

Like any other eyepiece used in an F3.5 reflector, the Leica only performs properly with a coma corrector installed.

With the excellent SIPS permanently installed and correctly set, my scope has an effective focal ratio of F4.1.

 

 My main use of the Leica is planets, smaller DSOs, Doubles and lunar details. For wider views and larger DSOs I have the Nagler 17 and 22.

 

As for sharpness and contrast, the Leica is akin to the Delos line with a slightly wider AFoV at one end and slightly narrower at the other end of its zoom range.

I guess Scott must be asking about astrimagtism which may still be present in the Leica at F/4.1 . SIPS can't reduce astimagtism apart from the effect of 1.15× increase in focal ratio .

However Delos must be great to excellent even at F/3.5 .


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#15 StarAlert

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 03:06 PM

Has anyone tried the Leica ASPH zoom paired with the Nikon EiC1.6x extender? That would be about perfect for me in my f/8. 


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#16 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 03:19 PM

Yes, you need to use either the APM adapter with the dual 2"/1.25", or screw a 1.25" adapter into the starlight adapter.

 

Note that when I do the latter, the Nikon 1.6 comes out at 1.8x.


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#17 KJL

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 08:30 PM

Yes, absolutely.

For many years my main set was:

• 30/40 XW or 30mm Leitz 88°
• Leica ASPH + Baader/Zeiss ~2.37x Barlow

Depending on the scope I might have added my 2-4mm Nagler or 4x Seibert barlow.

In the end, I still hold a set of Delos and XW simply for their superior eye relief and — especially in the case of the Delos — subtly higher optical quality and especially transmission. They’re also more versatile for public use with a variety of eye relief needs, grabby hands, etc.

Recently I acquired the Zeiss 20-75x zoom and its tremendous 3.75x zoom coupled with a 2-3x barlow has largely supplanted all other EP combos for my usual tactical viewings on my dob, where the tighter eye relief is less demanding thanks to the largely horizontal viewing positions.

Edited by KJL, 19 November 2021 - 08:30 PM.


#18 GGK

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 09:58 PM

Hi,

 

I was wondering if anyone replaced all or most of their eyepieces with the Leica premium 9-18mm zoom, a 2x Barlow of some kind, and a 2 inch widest field eyepiece like a 31mm Nagler.

 

How well does this work?  Thanks.

Yes.  In my AT60ED travel kit, I replaced all eyepieces from 5 to 20mm with the Leica zoom (with and without the 1.8X Extender, so it covers from 17.8mm down to 5mm).

 

I now travel with these eyepieces:

- Leica Zoom with the Starlight 2 inch adapter

- Leica 1.8X Extender with the APM 1-1.4 adapter (the whole adapter slips into the 2 inch ClickLock eyepiece clamp so I can reach focus with focuser in-travel to spare)

- 4mm Delite with a lightweight 1-1/4 to 2 inch adapter

- 2 inch Baader mirror diagonal

- For wide field, I will take one or two of the following depending on packing weight and size limits: Pentax XW 40mm, 30mm UFF, 24mm UFF.

 

The 40mm XW gives the maximum 7.4 degrees TFoV with it's maximum 46.5mm field stop diameter.  It's for this reason that I use the Baader 2 inch diagonal with the 47.5mm clear aperture.  If I'm reducing weight and only taking a 30mm or 24mm eyepiece, I will usually change to a T2 diagonal with a 2 inch ClickLock eyepiece clamp.

 

If space and weight permit, I will also take a 3mm Delite just in case the skies will be steady enough to observe at 120X, which is close to the limit of the 360mm focal length refractor.

 

Gary


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#19 RAKing

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Posted 20 November 2021 - 08:32 AM

My Leica zoom replaced a set of ZAO-II and a handful of CZJ orthos.  Compared to the orthos, the Leica has gobs of eye relief and is more comfortable to use.  I am now using my zoom with the 1.8x Extender and it's the eyepiece I use to split tight doubles.  

 

Ron


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#20 j.gardavsky

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Posted 20 November 2021 - 09:51 AM

Has anyone tried the Leica ASPH zoom paired with the Nikon EiC1.6x extender? That would be about perfect for me in my f/8. 

I have this combi,

but because of other observing projects, not sufficiently tested as yet.

 

Best,

JG



#21 gnowellsct

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Posted 21 November 2021 - 11:38 PM

Hi,

 

I was wondering if anyone replaced all or most of their eyepieces with the Leica premium 9-18mm zoom, a 2x Barlow of some kind, and a 2 inch widest field eyepiece like a 31mm Nagler.

 

How well does this work?  Thanks.

I have tested out exactly this, as a potential "travel kit" for my Stowaway or CFF 92mm.

 

2x Power Mate

4x Power Mate

XW 40mm

Leica zoom

 

I agree with someone here on CN who said you really should consider it a 9 to 17 mm zoom as the last mm isn't very useful.  

 

Anyhow with the 4x Power Mate you get 2.25 to 4.25 mm equivalent.  That works very well.  

With the 2x Power Mate you get 20x (from the XW40) and 8.5 to 4.5mm.  

 

So you've got everything from 2.25 to 17mm covered basically.  

 

So on the whole, it would work well, and the two refractors in question both are heavy duty enough to accommodate these combinations.

 

I already owned the two power mates because they are part of my daystar solar h-alpha rig.  One or the other is "required."  

 

It's a little bit awkward compared to using regular eyepieces.  But it definitely gives high quality views.  Of course after I got all this set up and in order COVID hit so I haven't really had a chance to travel.  When I travel locally in a car I take my two dozen or so regular eyepieces so I don't use the Leica a lot.  One of these days I'll take it all to Colorado or Australia or somewhere interesting.

 

Greg N



#22 gnowellsct

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Posted 21 November 2021 - 11:51 PM

Interesting to see so many people here fond of the Leica.  I encountered it at NEAF and though I was not planning on buying one I thought about it for 30 minutes and then went and did the buy.  (The demo leica was in a TEC 140 over at the discmount stand) .  ( I'm surprised because often in the zoom discussions it gets trashed.)

 

I wish we had a Leica brand of astro eyepieces.

 

The Leica zoom will not make me ditch my Pentanji.  But I have no plans to get rid of it.  I would use it with power mates for tiny exit pupils while traveling, and I very occasionally use it for midrange magnifications on SCT and apo.   I *do* feel a little cramped at the lower magnifications.  

 

It's really interesting that so many people have converged on the same solution:  Wide field ocular in 30 to 40 range, Leica, and then a power mate (or two) for short fls.

 

Greg N  


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#23 j.gardavsky

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Posted 22 November 2021 - 04:59 AM

Interesting to see so many people here fond of the Leica.  I encountered it at NEAF and though I was not planning on buying one I thought about it for 30 minutes and then went and did the buy.  (The demo leica was in a TEC 140 over at the discmount stand) .  ( I'm surprised because often in the zoom discussions it gets trashed.)

 

I wish we had a Leica brand of astro eyepieces.

 

The Leica zoom will not make me ditch my Pentanji.  But I have no plans to get rid of it.  I would use it with power mates for tiny exit pupils while traveling, and I very occasionally use it for midrange magnifications on SCT and apo.   I *do* feel a little cramped at the lower magnifications.  

 

It's really interesting that so many people have converged on the same solution:  Wide field ocular in 30 to 40 range, Leica, and then a power mate (or two) for short fls.

 

Greg N  

Some of my observing sessions I can run just with the Leica eyepieces and with a Barlow,

 

Leica Zoom.jpg

 

Leica HC L.jpg

 

Best,

JG


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#24 gnowellsct

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Posted 22 November 2021 - 09:02 AM

What? No link? Are the Leica eyepieces still for sale?

#25 RAKing

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Posted 22 November 2021 - 09:25 AM

Interesting to see so many people here fond of the Leica.  I encountered it at NEAF and though I was not planning on buying one I thought about it for 30 minutes and then went and did the buy.  (The demo leica was in a TEC 140 over at the discmount stand) .  ( I'm surprised because often in the zoom discussions it gets trashed.)

 

Most of the "trashing" I have heard over the years is regarding the cost.  Maybe some people in astronomy aren't as familiar with the Leica brand as those of us in photography or medicine.  I spent many years in photojournalism and Leica was one of the top brands in still photography.  Many (Most?) of us switched to Canon in the digital age, but I have a few Nikons from my 35mm film days and still fondly remember my old Leica M4.  They were expensive back then and they are expensive now.  smile.gif  

 

Leica suffers from a little EOFB in a telescope, but the field of view and the optical quality are better than the Baader astronomical zoom, IMHO.

 

Cheers,

 

Ron


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