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Make mine Leica

Started by DrThud, 09/25/2002 04:44PM
Posted 09/25/2002 04:44PM Opening Post
Last December, I happened across a current-vintage Leica head & incline prism assembly from a DM series microscope. Since then, I've removed the head from the prism assembly and integrated a 1.25-inch barrel and 1.25-inch eyepiece collars (all of which came from two Celestron prism diagonals). Eventually, I'll refine the base of the Leica and incorporate a short-as-possible bayonet or "dovetail" ring interface. The goal is a modular viewer fed by interchangeable 1.25-inch and 2-inch barrels and a dedicated (no eyepiece collar) 1.25-inch mirror diagonal. For now, the integrated Celeston hardware is fine.

The Leica's dichroic beamsplitter and elliptical Pyrex mirrors yield outstanding image fidelity. Since my primary reasons for "going bino" are related to Luna- and planet-viewing benefits (floaters "reduction" and binocular comfort/ease), I don't mind the head's 22mm aperture.

The Leica sees use in both my MK67 and the Pentax 75, with the 2.5X Powermate serving as intermediary.

My next step is to add a couple more eyepiece pairs. For now, I have a pair of 9mm Meade Series II orthoscopics and a pair of cheap-o ~25mm binocular eyepieces. The cheap-os are uncoated Kellners, I think. In fact, one or more of their elements might actually be plastic (polycarbonate). While they're obviously little more than low-mag (and low-grade) substitutes (while I ponder my 22-25mm options), the Leica's fidelity is so good that the cheap-os actually do a fine job (aside from their prominent ghosts). The Powermate surely helps, too, as does the inherent fidelity of the scopes feeding them.

As I continue to both refine *and use* the viewer, I'll try and make it a point to come back here and share my experiences. And I'll try not to bore everyone. :-)

Best wishes and cheers.
-Dan