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Thread: Using Leica M7 with a Newtonian

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    Default Using Leica M7 with a Newtonian



    I want to use my Leica M7 to photograph objects through my Newtonian telescope. Anyone had any success doing this and what kind of equipment would I need, adapters and such?

    Thanks.

    ACM

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    Default Re: Using Leica M7 with a Newtonian

    Let us know what exact model Newtonian you have. Seems at this stage in the hobby most everything you come across in the world of DSLR Astrophotography is pretty much geared towards Canon and Nikon with Sony running third. Personally I'd go with one of them instead. I don't see any Leica T-ring adapters on most websites. Someone that owns one will chime in I'm sure.
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    Default Re: Using Leica M7 with a Newtonian

    Given some of the Unique Features of the Leica M7, you'll have a few rather "Interesting" challenges...

    Focusing through the RangeFinder may present Challenges - especially if the M7 doesn't have a LiveView Feature. These days most DSLR Users can take advantage of USB-Tethered PC Apps which can display that LiveView directly on the Laptop Screen.
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    Default Re: Using Leica M7 with a Newtonian

    Connecting the camera to the scope is the easy part. You will need a T-ring for the Leica mount, and a zero-profile T-adapter for the scope.

    Focusing will be the hard part. Focusing a DSLR on a Newt is problematic because of the deep body of the camera. The M7 is not a DSLR - it has a shorter body - so it might be possible to focus it on a 'normal' (non-astrograph) Newt. In theory. In practice, as Siegell says above, it will not be possible to tell if it is focused or not. The M7 is a film camera, so there is no live view and no LCD screen. And the rangefinder will not be able to see through the scope, so you can't even get it approximately focused.

    Almost no one uses film cameras for AP these days. The results with digital imaging are so superior to film that it is only those who like the challenge of preserving and using antique technology who use it.

    You would be better off getting a DSLR, even if you had to use a barlow to get it in focus.

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    Default Re: Using Leica M7 with a Newtonian

    Hello everyone, thank you for all your valuable information, below are my thoughts on the problem.

    I am well aware of the focusing problem on the Leica M7. As all of you are aware Rangefinder cameras like the Leica M7 are not DSLR cameras. in DSLR camera you focus thru the viewfinder then thru the lens. This is ideal for Astrophotography all you need would be an adapter I think it's a "T". Take the lens off the DSLR and attach the DSLR to the "T" adapter on the telescope.
    The Leica M7 focuses rather differently than the DSLR. It focuses using the viewfinder + the range finder + the Leica Lens to obtain crystal clear focus. Obviously it cannot be used to obtain focus on a telescope.

    I believe there is a way use the Leica M7 attached to my 130mm Newtonian Scope to photograph objects. I am not sure how many of you folks know about Leica Cameras. Leica cameras have a lot of options in their catalogs one of these is a part call a Visoflex II. The Visoflex II part attaches to the camera where the lens would attach to. You can use the Visoflex II as a DSLR. In other words there is on the Visoflex a viewfinder that can be focused!!
    It can then be focused thru the lens if I can find the correct "T" adapter for it. I need help finding that "T" Adapter either for the Leica Camera or for the Leica Visoflex II adapter. So please dig through anything you can think of that might have the adapter. I will continue my research.

    Thank you.

    ACM
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    Default Re: Using Leica M7 with a Newtonian

    Hello ACM,

    I don't have the Leica M, but the Leica R7/R8 system, so I can't help much.
    The best way would be to look at the Leica Forum Leica Forum if you can find some help.
    Best,

    JG
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    Default Re: Using Leica M7 with a Newtonian

    The Visoflex apparently converts the rangefinder camera into an SLR. An interesting concept, but it could be problematic for AP. You would have to research the product, but I cannot see how the total flange-to-film distance can be less than the standard 55mm of a T-mount on a DSLR. It is likely to be more. Which means that you will have trouble reaching the focal point.

    Also, focusing on stars through an SLR viewfinder doesn't work too well. A star is too small to be imaged properly on the ground glass screen of the viewfinder. And there is no magnification to view a Bahtinov mask diffraction pattern.

    So, once again you would have a camera that probably can't focus, and which, even if it could, will be difficult to focus.
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    Default Re: Using Leica M7 with a Newtonian

    Thanks KeithBC,

    I agree with everything you are saying. But here is where it gets interesting. I own a Leica M7, I own a Visoflex II adapter for the Leica and I also own a Nikon FM SLR camera. I could use the Nikon FM camera with a Nikon T adapter and it would probably work. However I like solving problems so I would like to make the Leica M7 work if I can find the T adapter for it. I think I know where I can find one. So when and if I get it to work, I will let you know.

    Thanks
    ACM

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    Default Re: Using Leica M7 with a Newtonian

    It's been awhile since I posted. I have an update if anyone is interest. I found 1.25" T-Mount adapter to connect my M7 + Visoflex III unit to a scope. I found it in the UK not to expensive and is well made. It is coming soon. So I will try to focus using the telescope focuser while looking thru the Visoflex viewfinder. If I am able to focus I will capture a number of exposures at different shutter speeds. I will check the negatives for sharpness if they are worth looking further into I will transfer them to digital files so I can edit in my imaging software. If I am successful I will post the images for critique. Oh also I have new scope now a Celestron CPC EdgeHD 1100.

    Thanks

    ACM
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    Default Re: Using Leica M7 with a Newtonian

    Quote Originally Posted by acmineiro View Post
    It's been awhile since I posted. I have an update if anyone is interest. I found 1.25" T-Mount adapter to connect my M7 + Visoflex III unit to a scope. I found it in the UK not to expensive and is well made. It is coming soon. So I will try to focus using the telescope focuser while looking thru the Visoflex viewfinder. If I am able to focus I will capture a number of exposures at different shutter speeds. I will check the negatives for sharpness if they are worth looking further into I will transfer them to digital files so I can edit in my imaging software. If I am successful I will post the images for critique. Oh also I have new scope now a Celestron CPC EdgeHD 1100.

    Thanks

    ACM
    ACM,

    Great news! Will be looking forward to hearing how your experience goes with the new setup.

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