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Leica APO-TELEVID 82 Spotting Telescopes

On 23 February 2009 we posted our first review of this new product being sold elsewhere and raved about. However, Company Seven has some concerns with the telescope and case as they were being made, so we have returned the stock after contacting Leica in Germany to discuss our constructive comments. Over the summer of 2009 Company Seven worked towards an agreement with Leica whereby we sell the telescope and case as they are made now, but with some special arrangement that allow our customers to have the issues remedied later at no cost, or exchange the instrument altogether. We have been accepting orders, but we would not make deliveries until we were satisfied. On 8 September 2009 Company Seven started making deliveries of the APO-TELEVID while explaining the accommodations plans for our customers. We do continue to display these in our showroom.

Leica APO-TELEVID 82 Angled telescope (121,037 bytes)

Above: Leica APO-TELEVID 82 angled telescope with VARIO 20 - 50x WW ASPH ocular in Ever Ready Case - a stunning performer!
Note dual speed focus control at top just ahead of eyepiece, and barrel rotation lock on mount ring (121,037 bytes).
Click on image to see enlarged view (247,752 bytes).

Amazing in Every Way

Leica 4-element lens (62,589 bytes) The Leica trademark has come to represent uncompromising excellence of materials, design and quality control. This is a product line made for those who see a spotting telescope or binocular as an investment to be paid back over decades of good service, for people whose lives or livelihood depend on seeing it first or better. In keeping with their canon Leica has developed the new state of the art field telescope for the 21st century - the APO-TELEVID 82 and its smaller cousin the APO-TELEVID 65. Announced by Leica Camera AG of Germany in August 2007 and finally coming available in limited quantities in February 2009, these instruments have been worth the wait. Our staff at Company Seven, who are used to working with the finest astronomical telescopes, are favorably impressed by our first arrivals. While advertised by many for months before they were made available, Company Seven did not publish any mention of this instrument until February 2009 when we had the opportunity to examine it firsthand, after all how can we continue to be expert with products that we have not used? We will continue to process these through our quality control process to assure our customer receives only the finest example of the worlds finest field telescope.

Right: The business end of the APO-TELEVID 82 - dramatic light throughput (62,589 bytes).
Click on image to see enlarged view (120,309 bytes).

Since 1994 with the introduction of the original TELEVID 77 and APO-TELEVID 77 Leica field telescopes have been among the best optically, most durable, shock resistant, and water proof field telescopes ever made. The latest generation replacing the TELEVID 77 is the Leica APO-TELEVID 82. The Leica APO-TELEVID 82 carries on the tradition and brings with it a noteworthy thirteen (13) percent increase in light transmitting power over its predecessor, with even better contrast and resolution. These larger aperture instruments perform better at dawn and dusk, under other adverse lighting condition, and they can better judge mirage and atmospheric conditions down range. And the new telescope weighs less and is even more compact too! Just about anything one could ask for is here.

The latest Leica Televid generation redefines this standard. Leica created this instrument after talking to experienced users, asking detailed questions about tried and tested construction techniques and completely new developments; these have led to this sophisticated and elegant line with 82 mm and 65 mm diameter objectives. Amazingly the 82 Angled is not only a superior optical system in sheer performance than its predecessor, but the APO-TELEVID 82 is also lighter in weight and compact! They are the most compact spotting scopes with the shortest close focus distance in their class. And of course the Leica APO-TELEVID 82 is supported by a selection of the best engineered accessories which include eyepieces, filters, and camera attachment devices.

Leica Fluoride lens performance (32,870 bytes)
Above: photograph at left taken with achromatic system and at right with apochromatic system.
Note the secondary false color fringing on the branch and around the bird and the subtly lowered contrast in the achromatic lens,
This chromatism is completely eliminated with the fluorocrown objective of the APO-TELEVID.

Simply Brilliant!

These top-of-the-range spotting scopes deliver professional levels of performance for all users. These are superbly well suited to hiking in any environment, for visual and SLR photographic or digiscoping uses in ornithology, for observing nature, long distance inspection and surveillance, and even for some applications in astronomy.

An innovative configuration of a five-element system including and air-spaced fluorocrown objective lens group provides the maximum colour fidelity and richness of contrast possible with today's technology - and this is simply amazing! Colors of the spectrum have differing wavelengths and so in a normal optical glass prism the red and blue rays are bent at slightly different angles as they pass through, this dispersion results in color fringing and less sharpness. In normal to wide-angle lenses this is imperceptible or is corrected with other techniques, but telescopic lenses magnify the variation in focus between red and blue light rays and so this advanced glass technology had to evolve to solve this problem. And these lenses employ the multi-layer coating process to prevent light reflection off the surface of or between the lenses, this process and internal baffling virtually eliminates ghost images and flare, and it improves color rendition. All of this achieves a dramatic increase in image contrast and actual light throughput, with a corresponding reduction in flare that could otherwise be caused by internal reflections. Optically neutral front lens glass to protect the APO optic, and Leica AquaDuraTM and other high transmission coatings assure glare free views where the color fidelity is true and intense and black appears "blacker than black" from dawn to dusk or even in the glare of bright sunlight.

With its particularly short close focus distance of 3.9 meters (12.8 ft) and with some people attaining 3.5 meters, the LEICA APO-TELEVID 82 is the perfect tool for experiencing nature at very close range. And it's high-quality images can be captured with a digital or film camera using the optional Leica SLR Photographic Camera Adapter (PN 42306) or Digital Camera Adapter (PN 42305). The TELEVID models feature a unique dual speed geared transmission focuser, and this allows a quick coarse rapid and a precise fine focus control. The entire assembly is designed with ergonomics in mind so that all controls and functions are easy to operate, and do not intrude upon the observing experience.

Leica 4-element lens (62,589 bytes) The telescope body housing is constructed of a lightweight but rigid diecast magnesium housing. This is sealed and nitrogen purged to be fog and waterproof down to 5 meters (16.4 feet). The body is then clad in a durable black rubber cover to facilitate handling in the cold, to protect the finish from routine scrapes, and to eliminate the chances of startling game with metallic sounds. The front cell of the telescope incorporates an extendable lens shade or hood. This lens hood when extended protects the lens from dew, off-axis light, and mechanical damage or soiling by rainwater or fingerprints. Regardless of the hood Company Seven recommends you protect your investment by attaching a protective optical flat filter, this can be a visually transparent ultraviolet (UV) filter for example. We do offer a good selection of clear and polarizing filters by Leica and by the best third party filters, we offer versions from Germany for visual and for imaging applications on the APO-TELEVID 82 and APO-TELEVID 65.

Left: the new wedge shaped foot of the APO-TELEVID attached onto Manfrotto quick release Head saddle.

To make things easier for the user in the field and to carry even less weight the new wedge shaped foot of the telescope will mount directly onto many premium quick release tripod heads (by Bogen, Manfrotto, etc.) and without the use of the quick connect plate as shown in the image to the left. However, if you wish to protect the foot of your LEICA APO-TELEVID from marring, then you can still attach a Quick Release Plate onto the foot of the telescope and use it as we have shown in the image at the top of this page.

A Matter of Preference

Leica APO-TELEVID 82 Straight
Straight Body Telescope
click image to see enlarged view
Leica APO-TELEVID 82 Straight
Angled Body Telescope
click image to see enlarged view

The Leica APO-TELEVID 82 is available in the customer's choice of either straight or 45 degree angled body. Either APO-TELEVID body provides the exact same quality of view, and either can unlocked and then rotated 360 degrees around within the mounting collar. On the straight body this rotation facilitates orienting an attached camera composing as desired. The straight body is a good choice when operating around flat marshy areas devoid of trees or high ground. For some people it is a easier to sight the straight body telescope onto a distant target too. For quicker sighting when using the camera adapter, or for observing from a car window mount, then here too we suggest the straight through view body. Note the straight body will place the eyepiece and spotting telescope at the same height so a taller tripod or stand will be required compared to that needed for the angled body.

The angled body is in the experience of Company Seven then better choice for most users since this provides more comfortable eye position particularly when observing objects higher than the observer: animals high up in tree canopies or a mountain, celestial objects, etc. A noteworthy advantage of the angled body sine it too can rotate in the collar is that the eyepiece can be positioned up, down or to the side to allow people of differing heights to view. When target shooting the telescope barrel can be rotated so that the eyepiece can be seen from a prone position. For surveillance the observer can remain hidden around a corner or below a ridge while still able to look through the eyepiece. And the view is correct left to right and right side up regardless of the eyepiece position!

Eyepieces and Digiscoping

The APO-TELEVID 82 is provided with the new variable wideangle eyepiece 25 - 50 x WW ASPH. as standard equipment (discussed below) although a selection of other optional eyepieces are available too. The APO-TELEVID 82 and APO-TELEVID 65 will NOT accept the eyepieces of the previous TELEVID series, nor are the current eyepieces recommended for use with the older TELEVID 77 telescopes.

APO-TELEVID Digiscopy (142,533 bytes) APO-TELEVID Phonescopy (144,315 bytes)

Above: Ultratelephoto Digiscoping and Phonescoping with the optional Digital Adapter 3 on the TELEVID telescope (ea. about 143 kbytes).
Click on images to see enlarged view (each about 425 kbytes).

The Digital Adapter makes it easy to take the memories home! This accessory will support most compact cameras, even phone cameras, precisely centered over the eyepiece of the Leica TELEVID or compatible third party eyepieces. The Digital Adapter 2 will work with most eyepieces on the previous TELEVID 77 and TELEVID 62 series: the 20x, 32x and most older 20 - 60 x Zoom. The Digital Adapter 3 will fit those of the TELEVID 82 except the 40x eyepieces or the 20 - 60x Zoom PN 41012.

" - with this fantastic optical clarity and ease of use it is as though the telescope gets out of the way"

The VARIO 25 - 50 x WW ASPH. - Versatility of a Zoom + Performance of a Fixed Lens

For the first time, a unique new variable wide-angle eyepiece is complimenting the Leica eyepiece range and its performance data speaks for itself. Incorporating precisely crafted aspherical lenses, the Leica VARIO 20 - 50x WW ASPH provides a wide subjective angular field of view of more than 60 degrees across the entire zoom range from 25x up to 50x. This new variable wide-angle eyepiece is supplied with all APO models and is also available individually as an accessory. For those who "digiscope" (Afocal imaging with a camera shooting through the eyepiece) this eyepiece offer superb clarity and no vignetting! Consequently, Leica APO-TELEVID system enables viewing experiences which are unique on this scale; high performance that is truly unprecedented.

The newly developed interchangeable eyepiece bayonet mount system has an integrated automatic eyepiece lock mechanism that fixes the eyepiece securely to the telescope and yet allows the user to change them quickly. Thanks to the entirely new construction of the APO-TELEVID optical system the eyepiece's focal length span of from 17.6 mm to 8.8 mm is now also independent of the APO-TELEVID 65 or APO-TELEVID 82 scope being used, and is retained when the eyepieces are changed.

The eyepiece has newly designed rubberized control dials that move smoothly. As a result, the eyepiece is particularly good to get hold of and also easy to handle even when wearing gloves. The eyepiece is waterproofed down to 3 meters (9.8 feet). The comfortable rotating rubber-padded eyecup which significantly increases comfort when viewing, even when wearing sunglass or prescription spectacles.

Leica AquaDuraTM ensures greater visibility in wind and rain

Leica AquaDura (32,870 bytes) It is a cold morning and the lens fogs up - that is not much fun. Fingerprints, dust and rain are also annoying when viewing. The innovative Leica AquaDuraTM coating considerably reduces these disturbing factors. Imitating nature as with the lotus plant, this new water and dirt-resistant protective layer on the outer glass surfaces ensures that dirt and moisture are barely able to take hold on the specially adapted surface structure of the optic. This is the same coating applied by Leica for their latest binoculars.

Right: Microscopic image of water droplet demonstrating the operating principle of AquaDura (32,870 bytes).
Click on image to see enlarged view (47,295 bytes).

Leica AquaDura on binocular (32,870 bytes) On the previous generations of anti-reflection coating the water tended to bead on the optical surface, this is particularly distracting on the eyepiece lenses being closer to focus. But with Leica AquaDuraTM the water droplets do not adhere, and the surface is also resistant to the formation of fog that would otherwise reduce contrast if not completely obscure the object of the observation.

Left: Leica AquaDura applied on the right objective lens of a Leica binocular. Compare this with previous generation high transmission coatings applied on the left objective (82,183 bytes).
Click on image to see enlarged view (142,864 bytes).

reduced cleaning efforts required leaves you more time for viewing!

Ever Ready Case

Rear View of Leica APO-TELEVID 82 telescope in Ever Ready Case (144,527 bytes)

There is an optional Ever Ready Case - an attractive and protective field option for your TELEVID telescope making it easier to carry the telescope while providing peace of mind. The case is precisely fitted, padded, and available in your choice for either the Straight Through View, or Angled (shown above) TELEVID 77 telescopes. This case includes a padded carrying strap to facilitate carrying the telescope in the field. With the telescope in this case and the covers in place one can throw the TELEVID into the trunk of a car, hike around rocky ledges, or store it in a backpack with the comfort of mind that the exterior finish is protected from scrapes. Our case also offers protection of the TELEVID from an environment where dirt or dust may contaminate the telescope or work into the eyepiece or focus mechanics.

Right: the working end of the Leica APO-TELEVID 82 angled telescope in Ever Ready Case (144,527 bytes).
Note the eyepiece lock release button on the rear of the APO-TELEVID 82 body, just below the 25 - 50 x WW ASPH. eyepiece.
Click on image to see enlarged view (287,838 bytes).

Features include:

  • Durable scrape and mildew resistant design and materials.

  • Facilitates ready use of telescope without the telescope snap-on plastic objective cover since the case incorporates quick on or off cover for the telescope objective. A magnetic fastener helps to keep the cover in place or remove it silently - no Velcro or button fastener!

  • Leave the eyepiece cover at home too since the case also incorporates quick on or off cover for the eyepiece.

  • The quick on or off eyepiece cover also protects the focus control knobs.

  • The case design makes it impossible for the spotting scope to work loose and fall out.

  • The cover is open at the base to provide access to the tripod socket for quick release hardware, or mounting onto a tripod head.

  • The included padded carrying strap attaches to four "D" rings on the case. The carrying strap also accomodates one or more spare Leica TELEVID eyepiece and pouch.

  • The eyepiece and objective covers are held captive to the bag by an attachment strap, but these covers can be unfastened and removed if desired.

  • Tasteful Leica logo on each sid of case adds just that touch of class!
Leica APO-TELEVID 82 telescope in closed Ever Ready Case (88,768 bytes)
Above: Leica APO-TELEVID 82 angled telescope in closed Ever Ready Case, Lens Shield retracted (88,768 bytes).
Click on image to see enlarged view (177,343 bytes).

APO-TELEVID 82 Specifications

    Note: with each APO-TELEVID sold by Company Seven we provide a detailed report characterizing it's photo-visual potential (possible magnifications, fields of view, etc.)

Aperture 81 mm (3.19 in.) 81 mm (3.19 in.)
Lens Arrangment Five Elements, Four Groups Five Elements, Four Groups
Focal Length 440 mm 440 mm
Housing Diecast Magnesium, Nitrogen filled Diecast Magnesium, Nitrogen filled
Prism Type Schmidt-Pechan Schmidt
Closest Focus Distance Appx. 3.9 meters (12.8 ft) Appx. 3.9 meters (12.9 ft)
Body Waterproof Depth 5 m (17 ft) 5 m (17 ft)
Operating Temperature Range -25° C (-13° F) to +55° C (131° F) -25° C (-13° F) to +55° C (131° F)
Stored Temperature Range -40° C (-40° F) to +85° C (185° F) 40° C (-40° F) to +85° C (185° F)
Weight Est. 1,350 g. (2.97 lb.)* 1,480 g. (3.62 lb.)
Body weight w/25-50x ASPH, Case TBD * 2,226 g. (4.91 lb.)
Length 304 mm (11.97 inches) 295 mm (11.61 inches)
Height 93 mm (3.66 inches) 100 mm (3.94 inches)
Width 87 mm (3.4 inches) 87 mm (3.4 inches)
Attachment Foot/Base Threaded ¼"-20 tpi
(Manfrotto fit base)
Threaded ¼"-20 tpi
(Manfrotto fit base)

* Specifications from Leica for straight model are not yet verified by Company Seven.

Actual Field of View at 25x 2.3°
40 meters @ 1 km
40 meters @ 1 km
Actual Field of View at 50x 1.5°
26 meters @ 1 km
26 meters @ 1 km
Exit Pupil Diameter 3.24 mm at 25x 1.62 mm at 50x
Eye Relief 20 mm at 25x 16 mm at 50x

VARIO 25-50x WW ASPH. Weight 434 gr. (15.3 ounces)

    Specifications are subject to change without notice.

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