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Leica eyepieces and fast scopes.

Started by Paultricounty, 04/02/2004 05:59PM
Posted 04/02/2004 05:59PM Opening Post
Has anybody compared any of the Leica wide angle or Zoom eyepieces against the TV Panoptics or Meade SWA’s. I am speaking of the eyepieces that Leica sells for there spotting scopes. The additional 1.25” adapter is needed.

I have heard a few people say that these are excellent eyepieces and are second to none. That surprises me that not more of us are using them if that is true. I have never heard anything about how they would perform in fast scopes and how they compare with other high quality wide-angle eyepieces. They have 65 degree FOV and very comfortable eye relief. These may make excellent bino oculars. Any and all thoughts appreciated.


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Posted 04/02/2004 08:49PM #1
I had one a while back and wonder in retrospect why I ever let it go. Even though I don't wear glasses, it had great eye relief. The FOV increases as you zoom in and gave very spacious views at a higher mags. On my TMB 100 F8 I found it very sharp to the edge however, I can't say how it will be in a fast scope.

The downside is that it sits very close in on the foucus plane and may not come to focus in some scopes. The zoom mechanism on mine was a bit too stiff`and needed work. The cost for two Leica zoom eps is really getting expensive. There may also be a problem as there are no clickstops to set the a balanced magnification in each EP. Finally, the limitation of the IP distance may impact the use of them as bino EPs for some people.

This is not to say that this EP for single eye use is the contrary I found it quite impressive for a zoom. For further analysis, go to the reviews on Cloudy Nights. I based my purchase on those reviews.

Good Luck, Owen
Posted 04/03/2004 01:35AM #2
I owned the 14mm (B32xWW). Really nice eyepiece.
Two bugs though -- it needed alot of in-travel on the
focusser (already mentioned). Also, the focal
plane was slightly curved. In scopes with a
similarly curved focal plane this was great --
used in my ETX-90 the stars showed perfect Airy disks
from center to edge -- fantastic performace!
Would probably be similarly good in other smallish
Mak-Cass scopes. But in scopes with relatively
flat focal planes (like 8" F/7 Newt, AP Traveler)
I found this to be an annoying feature. You could
get perfect images at the center, and near-perfect
images at the edge, but not at the same time -- you
had to refocus the scope to get the edge sharp, and
then the center was blurry. Ultimately that is why
I sold it; I didn't use the ETX enough to justify
such a specialized eyepiece. Nonetheless, it is
very well made, high quality; great coatings and
contrast, and nice eyerelief. My guess is that it
is optimized for the Leica spotting scopes, and hence
the curved focal plane. Highly recommended for
certain scopes like Mak-Cass. For other scopes it
is very good, but not outstanding. TV Panoptics will
probably be better in Newts.
Posted 04/03/2004 05:32AM #3
I used a 14mm and 22mm Leica with the 2" adapter on both a Starmaster 10" EL and a Borg 125ED. Excellent EPs, especially the 14mm. The 14mm has really been my favorite EP for many nights of viewing. It is one of the most comfortable EPs I've ever used, excellent contrast and clarity on axis and the color of the stars just seemed purer/whiter than many other widefield EPs I've used. They are, however, soft at the edges and more so in a fast scope. The SM 10" was f/6 and I noticed some seagulls at the edges (maybe outer 10%). I never had the chance to try in something like a f/4.7 but would expect it to be more noticeable.
Unfortunately, I recently changed to a binoscope where the Leicas seemed a tad on the big side (they are heavy and a bit on the wide side for binoviewing) so I ended up selling them. I would think that in a slower scope, the 14mm would be hard to beat. I'll second Owen's comment in that I sometimes wonder if I should have sold the 14mm.