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Jiggy 67

Vixen NLV Eyepiece

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I have a 4mm Vixen NLV ep which I really like on planets. As a result of FLO’s discounts on Vixen I had a look around for some NLV’s but can’t find any anywhere. The closest appear to be the SLV which look exactly the same . Are these the same eyepiece but just rebadged with SLV rather than NLV??

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The SLV replaced the NLV range. The NLV's were Japanese made. Vixen shifted production to China for the SLV's. The SLV's are really excellent eyepieces as were the NLV's.

 

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All this Vixen kit on clearance, are they departing Astronomy? or Eyepiece production?
I for one hope they are not, Irathr like Vixen kit.

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First came the LVs, then the NLVs, then the SLVs.  The first two were made in Japan, and the last made in China.  The 7mm and 50mm focal lengths were dropped after the LVs and the 30mm redesigned and relabed as an NLVW.  The sub-9mm SLVs claim to be 50 degree AFOV while those focal lengths were 45 degrees in the LV and NLV lines.  The 8-24mm zoom remains unchanged as an LV.  It appears that the 40mm NLV lived a short life between the LV and SLV lines.  The original LVs had roll down rubber eye cups that revealed 100% of the possible eye relief.  The twist up-down  eye cups on the NLV and SLV lines always steal a few millimeters of eye relief away from eyeglass wearers.  By all accounts I've read, the SLVs seem to be as well made as the original Japanese NLVs.  I think the original LVs look totally posh compared to the later, plasticy NLVs and SLVs, though.

LVs:

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NLVs:

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SLVs:

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5 minutes ago, Alan White said:

All this Vixen kit on clearance, are they departing Astronomy? or Eyepiece production?
I for one hope they are not, Irathr like Vixen kit.

Well, I know the LVWs were definitely discontinued over 5 years ago.  I've also read that the SSWs are discontinued as well.  The same appears to be true for the SLVs.  Perhaps @FLO could chime in here with definitive knowledge on the subject.

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I have three SLVs (5, 9, and 15mm) for my travel gear, and they are excellent. They are very close to the performance of my Pentax XW EPs, in everything except field of view. They are comfortable, very sharp, and better than my previous LVs. I only had the 7 and 9 mm, and I found them to have a slight brown cast absent in the SLVs. Furthermore, the stiff rubber eyecups were a pain to roll back, especially in cold weather. I can wholeheartedly recommend the SLVs

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1 hour ago, Louis D said:

Perhaps @FLO could chime in here with definitive knowledge on the subject.

The Vixen LVW series (including the 42mm, one of my all-time favourite eyepieces!) are discontinued. The SSW and SLV series are not discontinued. They are ongoing. 

HTH, 

Steve 

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16 minutes ago, Alan White said:

All this Vixen kit on clearance, are they departing Astronomy? or Eyepiece production?
I for one hope they are not, Irathr like Vixen kit.

They are huge reductions, their must be a reason 

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7 minutes ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

I have three SLVs (5, 9, and 15mm) for my travel gear, and they are excellent. They are very close to the performance of my Pentax XW EPs, in everything except field of view. They are comfortable, very sharp, and better than my previous LVs. I only had the 7 and 9 mm, and I found them to have a slight brown cast absent in the SLVs. Furthermore, the stiff rubber eyecups were a pain to roll back, especially in cold weather. I can wholeheartedly recommend the SLVs

Are the SLVs as easy to use with eyeglasses as the LVs once you got those stiff rubber eyecups folded back?  I totally agree on the latter being a pain to use in the field, so I only bought the 9mm before moving on to the Pentax XLs.

I've not noticed a distinct coffee tone in my 9mm, but I wouldn't doubt it because just about all eyepieces made with Lanthanum glass, such as the Radians, exhibit this to some degree.

Last, does the 5mm SLV really have a 50 degree AFOV?  I've read conflicting reports on the sub-9mm SLVs actually having the same 45 degree field as their predecessors.  If it does have a 50 degree field and no coffee tone, I'll bet they were redesigned to avoid the use of Lanthanum glass for cost reasons and to open up the field 5 degrees.

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13 minutes ago, FLO said:

The Vixen LVW series (including the 42mm, one of me all-time favourite eyepieces!) are discontinued. The SSW and SLV series are not discontinued. They are ongoing. 

HTH, 

Steve 

Thanks.  Better tell Optics Planet they're misinformed on both counts. 😁

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The SLV's have a twist up / down eye cup section. In the hand they feel much better quality than the NLP or NLV.

I feel that they are optically a step up from the original LV range particularly in light transmission. The LV's were the breaking eyepiece back in the mid 1980's.

 

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39 minutes ago, Louis D said:

Thanks.  Better tell Optics Planet they're misinformed on both counts. 😁

We are a UK retailer so our information comes from Vixen-UK. I don't know where there's comes from. 

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20 minutes ago, Louis D said:

Are the SLVs as easy to use with eyeglasses as the LVs once you got those stiff rubber eyecups folded back?  I totally agree on the latter being a pain to use in the field, so I only bought the 9mm before moving on to the Pentax XLs.

I've not noticed a distinct coffee tone in my 9mm, but I wouldn't doubt it because just about all eyepieces made with Lanthanum glass, such as the Radians, exhibit this to some degree.

Last, does the 5mm SLV really have a 50 degree AFOV?  I've read conflicting reports on the sub-9mm SLVs actually having the same 45 degree field as their predecessors.  If it does have a 50 degree field and no coffee tone, I'll bet they were redesigned to avoid the use of Lanthanum glass for cost reasons and to open up the field 5 degrees.

I have just held the SLV 5 and 15 mm EPs up to my eyes and the 5 definitely has a slightly smaller AFOV. They are very comfortable to use with glasses, I find. The coffee tone wasn't obvious in my LV 9, but it was in the LV 7mm

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1 hour ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

I have just held the SLV 5 and 15 mm EPs up to my eyes and the 5 definitely has a slightly smaller AFOV. They are very comfortable to use with glasses, I find. The coffee tone wasn't obvious in my LV 9, but it was in the LV 7mm

Thanks!  That lends credence to the school of thought that the sub-9mm SLVs are the same in AFOV as their LV and NLV counterparts.

Perhaps the sub-9mm LVs used more Lanthanum elements than the rest?  Perhaps some other rare earth glass causes the cofffee tone that only the sub-9mm versions used?

I hope you didn't sell that 7mm LV.  They're hard to find nowadays.  It's worth holding onto just for collectability sake.

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2 hours ago, Jiggy 67 said:

They are huge reductions, their must be a reason 

They're $169+tax in the US, and many retailers still show limited stock of them.  By comparison, they're only $80 to $90 shipped from FLO to the US, less if more than one is bought at a time.  Since I'd have to buy over $800 of them to get hit with the 8% tariff, that leaves only 8.25% sales tax for me to remit.  Something is going on, but what?

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2 hours ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

I have just held the SLV 5 and 15 mm EPs up to my eyes and the 5 definitely has a slightly smaller AFOV. They are very comfortable to use with glasses, I find. The coffee tone wasn't obvious in my LV 9, but it was in the LV 7mm

I have the 4mm SLV and I would say that the apparent FOV is around 45 degrees

John 

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3 hours ago, FLO said:

We are a UK retailer so our information comes from Vixen-UK

I understand that Opticron (Vixen's UK distributor for some years) are losing the franchise in the UK to Bresser GMBH. If correct, that sounds to me like a retrograde step, unless they plan to do some serious marketing in the UK for once.

I am a big fan of Vixen products, but they don't appear to do half the advertising that OVL/Skywatcher do?

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3 hours ago, Louis D said:

Thanks!  That lends credence to the school of thought that the sub-9mm SLVs are the same in AFOV as their LV and NLV counterparts.

Perhaps the sub-9mm LVs used more Lanthanum elements than the rest?  Perhaps some other rare earth glass causes the cofffee tone that only the sub-9mm versions used?

I hope you didn't sell that 7mm LV.  They're hard to find nowadays.  It's worth holding onto just for collectability sake.

I sold the LVs when I switched first to Radians, and then to XW and Delos EPs. A retired colleague of mine bought them to replace his 10 mm Plössl, and is still very happy with them. It is better that they get used than sit in a box. 

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I just checked the prices on FLO. They went down across the range. So if you want them now is the time. As far as being discontinued. We now have information from multiple sources that SLVs are being discontinued.

@FLO any chance of asking Vixen UK about the replacement, if any?

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I just realized I paid $90+tax for my 9mm LV back in 1997.  It's remarkable that they're back down to that price range 23 years later, at least in the UK minus VAT.

Americans are always saying "+tax" because sales tax is added on at the end of the sale.  It's not included in the advertised price like VAT.  Gasoline/diesel (petrol?) is advertised at the pump with all excise taxes included, so that is the same as the EU.

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When I look at the prices of astro gear back then in old catalogues I'm reminded how good the prices of astro equipment are these days, and what a huge range of options are available now.

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, John said:

When I look at the prices of astro gear back then in old catalogues I'm reminded how good the prices of astro equipment are these days, and what a huge range of options are available now.

Absolutely.  I remember paying $240 each for my Pentax XLs back in 1998.  The XWs are barely more expensive than that today.

On the other hand, custom made, American Dobs have scaled with inflation, and then some.

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11 hours ago, heliumstar said:

I just checked the prices on FLO. They went down across the range. So if you want them now is the time. As far as being discontinued. We now have information from multiple sources that SLVs are being discontinued.

@FLO any chance of asking Vixen UK about the replacement, if any?

Optics Planet's website is not a particularly reliable source of information about whether something is discontinued - they "discontinued" nearly all Opticron models by accident at one point last year!

We have had no notification that the SLV or SSW eyepieces will be discontinued. There is usually a "last chance" offer made by Vixen Japan when they discontinue a range of eyepieces.

The offers that FLO have are for the last of our stock which we wanted to clear in the most efficient manner.

HTH

Cheers, Pete

Sales and Marketing Manager - Opticron

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10 hours ago, pete_gamby said:

Optics Planet's website is not a particularly reliable source of information about whether something is discontinued - they "discontinued" nearly all Opticron models by accident at one point last year!

We have had no notification that the SLV or SSW eyepieces will be discontinued. There is usually a "last chance" offer made by Vixen Japan when they discontinue a range of eyepieces.

The offers that FLO have are for the last of our stock which we wanted to clear in the most efficient manner.

HTH

Cheers, Pete

Sales and Marketing Manager - Opticron

Ok. So this leaves me with one source that says SLVs are being discontinued. Might just be a little miscommunication between importers and retailers? I have first hand info from a retailer that asked about SLVs and it was confirmed (by importer) that they are being discontinued but like I said might be miscommunication and it's just that importer will not have them anymore. If they go and there is no replacement it'll be bad. There is no comparable 50 deg premium eyepiece that is comfortable (eye relief) and has wide range of fl. At least I don't know of any.

Edited by heliumstar
fix

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1 hour ago, heliumstar said:

Ok. So this leaves me with one source that says SLVs are being discontinued. Might just be a little miscommunication between importers and retailers? 

I don't know. You will need to discuss that with your source.

Whether SLV eyepiece are, or are not, destined to be discontinued let us focus on the positive - they are currently available at discounted prices 🙂 

Steve 

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