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9mm X-Cel LX vs. NLV


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Without ever having tried one I would expect the NLV to be the better - Vixen make some nice eyepieces, and if the specification is anything to go by they appear very good.

However 2 things are apparent - the FoV of the Vixen is narrower, so difficult to compare the edge performance when less edge on the Vixen, the other one for the used market is I cannot recall seeing one for sale, whereas the X-Cels come up more often. If no-one has a NLV to sell it will be a long wait.

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I do remember being quite impressed with a celestron x-cel that I tried out a while back, never had a Vixen in the scope though. I'm not too fussed about FoV, especially since it's main use will be planetary. 

Agreed, been scouring Astro Buy and Sell for quite some time now. Even the X-cel LX is proving hard to find.b

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The Vixen SLV is a really nice eyepiece - optically as good as a Baader Genuine Ortho but with much more eye relief and a large accommodating eye lens. I've no reason to think that the NLV would be any worse as they seem to be a very similar optical design so, in pure optical performance terms, it will outperform a Celestron X-Cell LX. Not that the Celestrons are bad eyepieces, they are just not quite in the Vixen SLV / NLV league.

In a dob though it's sometimes nice to have a larger field of view and maybe sacrifice a little performance to get it ?

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I have a few NLVs and they are keepers. I suspect other people who use them feel the same way and so second hand sales are rare.

People who use BST Explorers seem quite happy with them though I have never used one myself.

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  • 2 weeks later...

While my experience on the subject is extremely limited, I have the 9mm X-cel LX and absolutely love it! Can't beat the price on the X-cel line either. I plan on getting the 25mm as my daily/general use eyepiece.

BTW, I have a 6inch dobsonian 

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I used own a full set of X-Cel before the TeleVue bug set in. I thought they produced very good views indeed, but then I was using them in my old ED100. My issue was build quality, the continual re-sticking on of the rubber eyecups used to drive me crackers, they just had to go in the end

Edited by Caldwell14
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I have 3 Vixen NPL's and 1 Vixen NLV. I use all with my 8 inch scope. I love the NPL's and not as happy with my NLV. Never tried a X-Cel.

Vixen make great products and i love them for the most part. NPL's are about quarter the price of NLV's and in my mind are better.

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I think the FoV could come in use, I'm still not too good with manual tracking. What about the BST explorers? They seem to have decent FoV and on the whole reviews are fairly favourable.

If you speak with Sky's the limit, you can buy a couple of eyepieces,  try them, compare them, keep them. I did! . If you don't like them for whatever reason, you will get a full refund, but you pay postage to return them. I first chose the 8mm and 18mm. Seriously consider the 8mm, and either the 12mm or 18mm. If you like them, the rest will fall in place?. They handle well, feel very comfortable on my f/6 and have good eye relief.

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I have used and currently have an x-cel. lovely eyepiece.

What is your dob? If its a SW F6 dob then I doubt the difference would be so substantial in viewing terms but the fov will swing it.

difference on a 25mm ep is NLV 1,04 and x-cel 1.25 in an 8" F6 scope.

If it isnt then ignore my comments ref fov  :grin:

steve

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Thanks for all the advice guys.

Steve, I'm using an 8" F6 and objects seem to drift out of view fairly quick at higher powers. If nothing else the extra fov should mean less switching ep's to find the target again. 

NPL's are about quarter the price of NLV's and in my mind are better.

Interesting, I've seen a couple of NPL's floating around second hand for v. reasonable prices...might have tempted me to pick one up. How would you say they compare to the stock plossls provided with the scope?

I used own a full set of X-Cel before the TeleVue bug set in. 

I've been trying to talk myself into buying a TV plossl, just to have one in the case, is it worth considering a shorter fl one? 

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Also, I managed to find a 15mm BST secondhand. Should be arriving soon if it doesn't get sucked into the Royal Mail black hole. Hopefully it'll give me an idea of whether or not the 8mm is worth getting too

My most used BST is the 8mm.   The value and quality of these EP's is just amazing, and their quality  exceeds the price?   You often get what you pay for, and some folk  will  think that  cheapo lenses, new at £49 must mean less  or sometimes poor quality. Well  just try one first!   These EPs handle well, feel great,  have bright clear views with their large eye lenses,  they have good eye relief, twist-up cups ( Give these a real good grip on first rotation if new- the rubber cap will just rotate otherwise instead of rise? Its just the tightness set during manufacturing. Once operated they remain free ) and with 60° afov, what more do you need. You dont say what telescope your using, but f/5 and slower is good to go. I have the f/6  I'm also aware of the ED 3.2mm with no other Branding on the sleeve, possibly "Photon".

I have detected 8 Branded variants of these eyepieces,  and their all built to the same specifications. Clones  maybe, Televue their not. Is your car a clone? what platform does it share?

Enjoy testing your 15mm when it arrives.

Edited by Charic
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Interesting, I've seen a couple of NPL's floating around second hand for v. reasonable prices...might have tempted me to pick one up. How would you say they compare to the stock plossls provided with the scope?

They are excellent budget priced ep's by reports i read however i have no personal experience. Certainly would be superior to the stock ep's

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BST arrived a couple of days back and while the weather hasn't impressed, the eyepiece most definitely has! A wonderful ep, the twist up eyecup works well making eye placement a breeze and extended viewing a pleasure. Decided to give it a quick test against the 20mm stock plossl on the ring nebula, the difference is stark. Stock ep only gives the impression of the nebula being there but the BST easily shows oval shape. Contrast is a good step up too. 

Very pleased with the purchase (especially at £35 delivered  :shocked: ), will be keeping an eye out for other focal lengths. Looking clear tonight, looking forward to seeing how the ep barlows on doubles etc. 

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Another convert to BSTs. 

Most definitely, keeping an eye out for an 8mm. Had a great time on doubles yesterday, colouring was much more obvious and the contrast helped a great deal on tighter pairs. Double double was (almost resolved), obvious snowmen shape, but not quite all the way.

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Most definitely, keeping an eye out for an 8mm. Had a great time on doubles yesterday, colouring was much more obvious and the contrast helped a great deal on tighter pairs. Double double was (almost resolved), obvious snowmen shape, but not quite all the way.

I resolved the double double at the weekend using A TMB 7.5 mm in my ED70! You had to look carefully but there was definite space between each star. Also resolved using a 9mm BGO. Well impressed with both EPs. Tried to buy the 12.5 mm BGO on ABS yesterday - I was the 5th viewer and I  was 3rd in line for it!

Sorry for going off topic :kiss:

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............the 8mm BST is a joy to use.  I got my 25mm BST second hand, all the rest were new.  There is also the ' PHOTON ED' 3.2mm  eyepiece in similar style and build, to the BST,  but I think that might just be too much for my Skyliner. The 5mm BST pushes the limit already.  I have also  just secured a nice 6mm EP,  not a Starguider BST!   I had the 6mm TMB PII, but hopefully this one will be better?

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Tried going out again yesterday to resolve the Double Double (snowmen didn't quite do it for me). Skies seemed promising so I set up the scope outside and left it to cool...45 minutes later, nothing but clouds soon gathering into a fully fledged thunderstorm. Is there a forum for ranting about weather on SGL? It'd certainly help my frustration levels. 

I think 5mm is as far as conditions here will allow, hoping for an 8mm next, maybe a 12mm to follow. 

Roy, I love the sound of the BGO's. Would be a dream for doubles and planets (lunar too), but even a BST seems abit dear to a student like me, so probably too pricey. Also, is the object drifting out of the FOV an issue (assuming you're not using tracking)?

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The weather certainly could be more cooperative! At least its getting dark earlier now so more opportunity mid week for observing. S/H BGOs can be had for as little as £45, but for some reason the 12.5mm goes for more. I tried to get one from ABS the other day - I was the 5th viewer and it had already gone for £65! The field of view isn't so important to me. I do have tracking on my mount ,but I don't always use it. Even with a Barlow, a 9mm BGO gives me x93 mag,  which I don't find too much of a chore to follow objects manually. What scope are you using?

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Mhmm. I have seen a couple of shorter fl BGOs for around that, but they tend to give too much mag. for the conditions here. I'm using an F5.9 8" dob at the mo, so anything shorter than 5mm and seeing tends to kick in. Highly doubt I'd have many chances to barlow the 9mm and the FOV would be v tight if I did. 

Still, after hearing all the praise they are v. tempting (bar the gripes about eye relief etc.). I could use them with my 70mm refractor (after I find a decent mount for it), which would solve object drift and give more reasonable mag. too.

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