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Baader Morpheus 6.5mm vs Vixen SLV 6.0mm


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Following from the great input I got for max magnification vs exit pupil and recommended brands vs budget, I’ve come to the conclusion that I should purchase either the Baader Morpheus 6.5mm or the Vixen SLV 6.0mm. Being new to the hobby, not sure differences in quality, etc. The Baader piece is about £60 more expensive, but my instincts suggest the wider field of view makes that worth it. 

Future intention will be to get a x2 Barlow to partner with above on rare occasions/lunar viewing.

Any thoughts on Baader Morpheus 6.5mm vs Vixen SLV 6.0mm and a good x2 Barlow (Barlow budget £150 max)?

Thanks,

Neill 

 

 

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Can't comment on Morpheus vs Vixen SLV as I used neither of those.

I can however point you to two very good barlows in your price range, both well suited to your scope (8" F/6 dob, is it?)

First barlow would be Baader VIP barlow - it is x2 barlow (although you can vary magnification of any barlow by changing distance between barlow element and eyepiece - this does not apply to telecentric amplifiers like powermate).

Second barlow you should consider is APM coma corrected x2.7 barlow. This one gives a bit more power but is well suited to your scope - I have it and use it with mine 8" F/6 (skywatcher variety) to great satisfaction.

Mind you, APM x2.7 would give too much power with either of those two eyepieces. Mine current planetary / high power setup with 8" dob is: ES 82 degrees 11mm and APM x2.7 barlow. I did plan to add 8.8 and 6.7mm from same line, 8.8 to be used with barlow for max magnification, and 6.7mm to be used without barlow, but due to financial situation, these are on backlog until further notice (alongside some other astro goodies :D ).

I don't mind tighter eye relief of some eyepieces

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You might find this useful.
 

Bill aka William Paulini wrote the book Choosing and Using Astronomical Eyepieces.  The Morpheus range aren't featured in the books as it wasn't introduced until after the book was written.

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I would definitely go for the Morpheus, I purchased a Vixen SLV 4mm eyepiece, and although the build quality appeared good, I was disappointed by the narrow field of view.

I knew that the SLV eyepiece did not have a wide field of view, but found in practice that it was considerebly smaller than the stated 50 degrees, probably around only 45 degrees, and definitley less than that of a couple of Meade Series 4000 Plossls that I have.

John

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I've used a Vixen SLV and compared it with a 6mm Baader Genuine Ortho and other 6mm eyepieces when I did this review for the forum:

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/217971-vixen-slv-eyepiece-report-6mm-12mm-and-20mm/

I did not try a 5mm SLV but the 6mm definitely does have a 50 degree AFoV. It also proved to be an excellent performer, even  when compared with the more specialised planetary / high resolution eyepieces such as the Baader GO.

The Baader Morpheus do get good feedback but I've not used one, as yet. If you are looking for a wide field eyepiece then the Morpheus is your choice I would think.

 

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There has been quite a bit of confusion with AFoV of SLV line.

I've read that previous iterations (NLV and LV) had 45 degrees AFoV, while newest - SLV should have 50 degrees. 50 degs is also printed on eyepieces, but still some websites list them both ways :D

TS website lists them as 45 degrees in items list, and 50 degrees in item description page:

image.png.95f30522162d84fbcdf352a766ea0a36.png

image.png.26199a8fa8d1201e3f904df64eea610b.png

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I do not think that a 6mm eyepiece and a 2x barlow (so effective 3mm) will be much use in our skies. I also have an 8" dob and typically I would use a 5-7mm for planetary (but not so much this year with the low planets), perhaps pushing to a 4mm for Uranus/Neptune which are so small the extra magnification can be of use despite the degradation of the image.

Between the two eyepiece choices above I would choose a Baader Morpheus if you are monoviewing, but SLV pairs if you are binoviewing. I've discovered that you can't easily see to the edge of wide field eyepieces with both eyes at the same time and so you effectively lose that extra FoV that you are paying for. However, a binoviewer is unlikely to come to focus in your scope without using a barlow which will push you to longer focal length eyepieces.

With regards to a barlow I would recommend the Explore Scientific focal extender. I've got an older Meade-branded version and it just magnifies the image without getting in the way.

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16 minutes ago, Ricochet said:

I do not think that a 6mm eyepiece and a 2x barlow (so effective 3mm) will be much use in our skies....

 

I guess that depends on the scope that is being used and the target that is being observed. I seem to be using a 3mm eyepiece fairly regularly over the past few months. Thats with scopes with focal lengths of 665mm to 900mm.

If the scope has a focal length of 1000mm or more then I agree that the use is likely to be limited.

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5 hours ago, vlaiv said:

There has been quite a bit of confusion with AFoV of SLV line.

I've read that previous iterations (NLV and LV) had 45 degrees AFoV, while newest - SLV should have 50 degrees. 50 degs is also printed on eyepieces, but still some websites list them both ways :D

TS website lists them as 45 degrees in items list, and 50 degrees in item description page:

image.png.26199a8fa8d1201e3f904df64eea610b.png

It does state 50 deg APFOV on the side of my 4mm SLV, but it is definitely much less than this.

John

Edited by johnturley
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Thanks again to you all. Truly appreciated. Again I have had to reconsider based on the great advice including the Baader review (convinced that their wide view eyepieces are my way to go). So here is my thinking to set myself up initially with budget and future in mind:

  • I have a 25mm Orion Plossl eyepiece given to me
  • If I obtain a x2 Barlow, that gives me also a 12.5mm piece
  • Then, if I purchase the Baader Morpheus 9mm for use majority of time for smaller targets and
  • Use the x2 Barlow on occasions for lunar and say the outer planets, etc that gives me the 4.5mm option which is not pushing the magnification limit too the theoretical limits
  • Trying to spread the magnification possibilities and that gives mags of x96, x48, x133 and x266 (if I have that right)

Love to hear what you think of that plan and more than happy to reconsider as I want to get this right. Am I missing an option, should I consider x2.7 Barlow and different focal length for my highest magnification, etc?

Regards,

Neill

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That seems a sensible set-up. I personally prefer having multiple EPs over inserting and removing Barlows, but that is a more expensive option. A good Barlow is a sound investment, as I use mine for planetary, lunar and solar imaging, a lot, even if I have stopped using them visually.

I had a Baader Morpheus for a while (the 14mm) but replaced it by a Delos 14mm due to the field curvature I noted in both the C8 and the APM 80mm F/6. It only appears right at the edge of the FOV, so I wonder whether they should not have limited the FOV to 72 degrees. Others don't report field curvature, but maybe their eyes are quicker to accommodate to the slight shift in focus than mine are. In all other aspects the Morpheus held its own next to my Pentax XW and Televue Delos and Nagler EPs. The  SLVs I have are similar in quality, but indeed have a much narrower FOV. I use them in my solar and light-weight travel kit a lot, however. Their clarity rivals that of the Pentax XWs I have.

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I think that is a reasonable plan, but I would consider the 12.5mm instead (or as well!). Be warned that when you look through the Morpheus you are likely to immediately start looking for a replacement for your Plossl.

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That sounds a good plan although, depending on the scope, you do have quite a gap between 133x and 266x. I find powers such as 150x, 180x and 200x very useful on the planets, moon etc with my scopes which range between 70mm and 300mm in aperture. I realise that you can't do everything at once though so maybe thats something to consider for the future ?

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Sound advice here; my own (current) main set for the 200mm f/6 Newt is as follows:

  • 42mm, 65 deg AFOV, 28x (newly acquired, yet to be tested)
  • 22mm, 65 deg, 54x
  • 10mm, 70 deg, 120x
  • 7mm, 70 deg, 170x
  • 5mm, 70 deg, 240x
  • 3.5mm, 70 deg, 340x

Auxiliary items somehow occasionally tag along, as well:

  • 8mm-24mm Zoom (can't resist keeping this in the bag)
  • for splitting tight double stars: a 3mm-6mm Zoom or even - but this is going a bit nuts - a 2mm-4mm Zoom

Jupiter gets either the 7mm or the 5mm, depending on the conditions. I'm still pondering a dedicated 6mm (200x), but haven't truly missed it so far with this scope.

The Moon is the 5mm or the 3.5mm, the latter obviously for more detail and conditions have to be pretty horrible not to allow this.

The 10mm makes having a look at stuff worthwhile no matter what the conditions; sometimes you just need to accept them, take a step back and enjoy what you've got. ?

I'm also conducting a long-term shoot-out between two contenders at 12mm / 12.5mm (100x -ish), but I find I don't really use that magnification all that often with this scope - this may be a personal thing.

Good luck with your quest, and enjoy!

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I never looked through a Morpheus, but I had the Vixen SLVs 5mm and 9mm. The SLVs are lovely eyepieces in my opinion and optically on par with the TeleVue Delos, apart from the colour tone which was slightly (but noticeable) more neutral in the SLVs - something that I prefer. 

My SLVs were combined with the Baader VIP 2x using my TeleVue-60. The combo works well. Very well actually. I found that the VIP improved the already good views delivered by the SLVs to almost the top end eyepieces I own. 

Barlow or not-barlow.... Well, in my opinion, adding a (good) barlow can be a great way to save money, but swapping it all the time can be annoying. It can be valuable when you have, let's say, two medium power eyepieces which are barlowed to get two high power eyepieces. In this case, the barlow stays in the focuser (e.g. on a F6 telescope: 12mm, 8mm   ===2x==>>> 6mm, 4mm). This option technically works fine, until the person catches the "what-if" bug and decides to add a 5mm and maybe a 7mm too, hoping to observe more than what the already owned eyepieces provide. At that point, the barlow becomes a frustrating tool, and is often replaced with other eyepieces. 

Said this, barlows can offer a great tool when combined with a zoom, instead of a single focal length eyepiece. Not many members use this combo, but those who do seem very happy. My Baader VIP 2x is almost exclusively used with a zoom eyepiece. 

If you are interested in this direction and want something of good quality but on the budget side, you could read this thread by Mod John. 

 

 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, iPeace said:

I'm also conducting a long-term shoot-out between two contenders at 12mm / 12.5mm (100x -ish), but I find I don't really use that magnification all that often with this scope - this may be a personal thing.

They are probably a bit close to the 10mm. When I had Starguiders the 12mm was my most important eyepiece but with XWs that little bit of extra quality means for star clusters you can take the hit on exit pupil and use a 10mm instead. For extended objects a 14mm gives the magic exit pupil I think and can be used with a UHC or CLS. 

For the benefit of the OP my monoviewing set is 28 - 14 - 10 and then a 2x focal extender gives 7 - 5. If I was planning on a Morpheus set then I would be looking at everything except the 14mm. 

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I have the 9mm Morpheus.  It isn't quite sharp to the edge like my 10mm Delos, but it is very close.  There's just a tiny bit of astigmatism and chromatic aberration at the edge with no discernable field curvature.  Given the wider AFOV, it's a reasonable trade-off.  The Morpheus is basically as sharp on axis as my vintage 9mm LV and newer 9mm HD-60.  All are great on-axis.  It comes down to budget and desired AFOV.

Be aware that you'll have a long optical stack in the focuser with a 9mm Morpheus in a 2x barlow.  Make sure your focuser is free of flexure.

The 14mm Morpheus has much more astigmatism, chromatism, and field curvature in the last 5+ degrees near each edge than the 9mm Morpheus.  For half the price of the Delos (when the Morpheus was on sale here), it's also a reasonable trade-off to get a slightly wider field with excellent eye relief.  I've got the 12mm ES-92 as well which has a wider TFOV than either the 14mm Morpheus or Delos with excellent correction to the edge, so I think I'm good without the 14mm Delos for now.

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Excellent feedback which has further educated me. Many thanks to all.

Looks like I will keep but disregard the 25mm Plossl and plan ground up with a framework of focal lengths/magnifcations from LUM 30 to HUM 300, utilising the x2 Barlow where it makes sense. I'll max out at 4.5mm Baader Morpheus by utilising the x@ Barlow (eyepiece holder is solid so should  be okay with stacking. Taken on board the UK weather/extinction and with water, likely amount of good seeing which has tempered my propose HUM and hopefully collimation will not be massively difficult at the high end. Collimation is something I will come back to the group on as I THINK I have it dead near spot on, but was it perfect as possible of course. I have yet to star test but wonder if that is worth the effort with only the 25mm Plossl currently (?). 

Any thoughts on maximum dark pupil  dilation? See recommendations to have your eyes checked by doctor to determine. Is this really necessary? Or is there a better way to figure exit pupil without visit to the GP?

Finally, today, if I was to go for some second-hand eyepieces/filters, any recommendations on reliable sources?

Regards,

Neill 

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I wouldn't worry about getting your dilation measured. If you happen to have an appointment with an optician then it won't hurt to get it checked but it is not necessary and may not be applicable anyway. From my  urban-suburban location the local light pollution means a 5mm exit pupil as as large as I would want to go. An 82° eyepiece at ~30mm will pretty much max out the FoV available from a 2" eyepiece so you may not feel the need to go longer anyway.

With regards to second hand sales if you're looking for a dealer then I've used ENS before with no issues and Rother Valley Optics have recently started selling second hand kit. If you're looking to buy from private sellers then in my experience the classifieds on this forum are the best place to buy as the adverts tend to have the most honest descriptions about the condition of an item. You can also use ABS or if you know what you're looking at ebay can sometimes throw up a bargain (but avoid any ad suggesting you email for a buy it now price).

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Been away thinking about what I need based on all advice to date. I think this a good balance and it graphs near straight-line which gives me the thought that I would have a good range of focal lengths (utilising a good quality x2Barlow as well). I attach PDF version if easier to read. I will likely go for the Baader Morpheus range where I can (so may be 9.5mm as opposed to 9mm for example) with generous TFOV.

Would love your thoughts on this before I begin to undertake purchasing. 

Do I really need this many steps given the limitations of UK skies?

What

Mag

How

Lunar/Far Planets

267

9mm x2B

HUM (Planets)

200

12mm x2B

Intermediate Mag 1

133

9mm

Intermediate Mag 2

100

12mm

Intermediate Mag 3

86

28mm x2B

Intermediate Mag 4

63

38mm x2B

Intermediate Mag 5

43

28mm

LUM (DSOs)

32

38mm

Notes: UK based, 1200mm 8" (f5.9) Dobsonian; Class 5 Bortle 

Proposed Eyepiece Array.pdfProposed Eyepiece Array.pdfProposed Eyepiece Array.pdf

 

 

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Looking at that you've got a simulated 14mm by barlowing a 28mm and a 12mm. You won't need both. In addition, barlowing the 28 and 38mm eyepieces will need a 2" barlow. 2" eyepieces and barlows are heavy and expensive objects. You might find that actually you are better off buying a 1.25" barlow and another 1.25" eyepiece to split your 12 and 28mm eyepieces if you find you need it. 

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17 hours ago, Ricochet said:

Looking at that you've got a simulated 14mm by barlowing a 28mm and a 12mm. You won't need both. In addition, barlowing the 28 and 38mm eyepieces will need a 2" barlow. 2" eyepieces and barlows are heavy and expensive objects. You might find that actually you are better off buying a 1.25" barlow and another 1.25" eyepiece to split your 12 and 28mm eyepieces if you find you need it. 

Ricochet: thanks for taking the time to look at my proposed set-up. Truly appreciate it. I understand what you are saying about the simulated 14mm and the 12mm. I did think of this, but was focusing on an even spread of magnification. So you are in essence saying remove the 28mm piece and re evaluating that, it makes sense as still a pretty even spread of magnification. 

What has thrown me is what you say about barlowing the 38mm piece will require 2" barlow. Presumably, that is because that specific focal length does not come in 1.25" did size? I can't find a 1.25" eyepiece focal length chart, but by looking at a number of brands it would appear that physics is dictating 2" pieces at this long focal length. I only selected 38mm as it gives me the theoretical lowest useful magnification which I believed best for DSOs. Should I reduced my focal length for my lowest magnification piece? Say the 1.25" Baader 35mm Eudiascopic ED Eyepiece?

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Having had a quick look at your magnfications, I'd say that you need something between 133x and 200x and, ideally, something between 200x and 267x. Sorry if that messes things up but those are magnification zones that I have found very useful over the years with scopes similar to yours.

Also, barlowing long focal length eyepieces is not ideal because the barlow lens pushes out the already longish eye relief so you can end up having to "hover) your eye over the top of the eyepiece which is a bit uncomfortable in terms of holding the correct eye position and lets light into the top of the eyepiece which causes reflections and reduces contrast.

Below 133x I think your gaps work well.

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