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Vixen SLV 4mm


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Over the last three years I've tried an Ascension 4mm plossl, TMB 4mm planetary and an OVL Nirvana ES 4mm. None of those provided a a view I thought was acceptable and also increased my floaters.

Most of this year, for 140x +++ magnifications I've been using a GSO 2.5x ED barlow combined with 6/7/8/9mm eyepieces. However I know my current 102mm ED refractor is capable of better than the views observed so I splashed out on a Vixen SLV 4mm from FLO. Realising the fov is only 45°, my reasoning being a smaller field of view and decent glass, any abberations should be tightly controlled and at higher powers I don't find a wider fov necessary. I'm 'zooming in' afterall.

The SLV proved its worth last night on Jupiter and Saturn. At 178x Jupiter revealed finer details to banding not seen before, albeit I noticed some blue chromatic abberation however it was not intrusive. Saturn was a revelation. I've not managed a really sharp observation of Saturn at 150x +++ before, but this eyepiece and dinky 102mm scope managed it. The Cassini division I've previously observed, but I was very surprised to see the cloud banding on the planet for the first time!

Despite not wearing my glasses while observing I still twist up the eyecup. I found the eye relief very comfortable, floaters were there but minimal and the eyepiece didn't mist.

The view was very tight to near the edge. I did notice some brightening around the outer diameter but I was looking for it! Again, not instrusive.

Overall I'm extremely happy I splashed out a bit more than usual.

 

Edited by ScouseSpaceCadet
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Nice report. I use the 10mm SLV and its my best planetary eyepiece (and by some margin). Also been through a bunch of eyepieces (Pentax XF, TMB Planetary, Meade 5000 UWA 8.8, Orion Edge On) and some were okay, better than others but just like yourself i felt the C6 and ED100 were capable of nicer views. So replaced the Skywatcher Dielectric diagonal with a Baader T2 prism and bought the SLV 10mm (really wanted a TV Radian). What a difference. Tried the Meade 5000 8.8mm with the Baader prism and it was better than before but for fine detail on Jupiter the Meade just cannot compete with the Vixen. Surprised just how much of difference there was. I did see some blue fringing too on one night but not there the next. Put it down to the low altitude of Jupiter and poor atmosphere.

I need to buy a second now as i'm having to barlow the 10mm to get the desired power in the ED100. So really need the 5mm.

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I think all the Vixens with "LV" in the name are fine eyepieces.

One of my favourite eyepieces ever was the superb LVW 22mm which I bitterly regret selling. As I now like binoviewing on planets and lunar, I'd love a pair of LVW22's, but they are like hen's teeth these days.

I have a mini set of 5mm, 10mm and 20mm LV's and they are all excellent. I've just bought an LV zoom 8-28mm (also sold badged Tele Vue back in the day),which gets good reviews..it would be tempting to look for another zoom for my binoviewers at some point. All the Vixen eyepieces barlow well and have very generous eye relief. In the LV range they did offer a 2.5mm version and they do come up from time to time on the used market.

You mentioned floaters in your post? I do get floaters myself at higher powers, and I have found that binoviewers really do reduce the visibility of these wretched artifacts - quite noticeably, and two eyed viewing seems so comfortable once everything is properly set up.

Dav

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6 minutes ago, F15Rules said:

I think all the Vixens with "LV" in the name are fine eyepieces.

One of my favourite eyepieces ever was the superb LVW 22mm which I bitterly regret selling. As I now like binoviewing on planets and lunar, I'd love a pair of LVW22's, but they are like hen's teeth these days.

I have a mini set of 5mm, 10mm and 20mm LV's and they are all excellent. I've just bought an LV zoom 8-28mm (also sold badged Tele Vue back in the day),which gets good reviews..it would be tempting to look for another zoom for my binoviewers at some point. All the Vixen eyepieces barlow well and have very generous eye relief. In the LV range they did offer a 2.5mm version and they do come up from time to time on the used market.

You mentioned floaters in your post? I do get floaters myself at higher powers, and I have found that binoviewers really do reduce the visibility of these wretched artifacts - quite noticeably, and two eyed viewing seems so comfortable once everything is properly set up.

Dav

Thanks for the replies... Alan a couple of websites inc. FLO state the 2.5 to 6mm LVs are 45°... whether that is correct I dunno.

Thanks guys who recommended the 2.5s, however I think that would be too much mag for a 102mm f7?

Dave, I have owned a 30mm NLVW that I liked a lot and got used cheap.  I didn't really know what I had at the time. Probably should have kept it (or sold it for more ££! 🙄), although I've steered away from 2" eps.

I may replace my SW 6mm planetary in the future so an LV will be on the list. Also the 10mm is a contender as a luxury item. I have good 9mm and 12mm eyepieces so there's no rush. Thanks for the recommendation.

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With my previous 250mm Newt (about 8-9 years ago) I had a 4mm NLV (same optics). The views I had of Mars were the best ever. Same on the moon. Lovely crisp views.

Is still have the 12, 10 and 9mm. I also had a 10mm Radian. I compared the 10mm Radian to the 10mm NLV and sold the Radian - enough said :wink2:

The 4mm is definitely 45°.

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Yes, all the LV, NLV, and SLV eyepieces below 9mm were and still are 45°.

The original LV line also had 7mm and 18mm 1.25" versions that were dropped.  The 30mm LV 2" was dropped in favor of the 30mm NLVW.  The 50mm LV 2" was dropped without a replacement.  The 40mm 1.25" carried on into the NLV line but was dropped with the SLV line.  The 8-24mm zoom was also dropped with the NLV line.

The 9mm LV was my first eyepiece.  It is still quite good, right up there with the Pentax XL/XW and Delos lines, just narrower (48° measured via both projection and photography).  I just don't get on with its stiff, roll down eye cup.  However, it does allow for a full 18mm of measured, usable eye relief that the NLV and SLV eye cups do not.  Today, though, I tend to prefer the 9mm Morpheus at this focal due to its much wider field (78°/79° measured via projection/photography), slightly longer usable eye relief (20mm), and just as sharp images for most of my viewing.  I'll have to have a shootout between the 9mm Morpheus and LV someday just to confirm.

However, all that being said, I find I see more detail on the planets and the moon using binoviewers with adapted microscope eyepieces than monoviewing with any eyepiece.  It reduces the appearance of floaters and keeps my eyes from being overwhelmed by the brightness differential between my two eyes in monovision at the opposition of Mars, Jupiter, and Luna.  Brightness is not such a big deal on Saturn, Neptune, or Uranus because they are considerably dimmer.

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On 08/09/2021 at 17:40, ScouseSpaceCadet said:

Thanks for the replies... Alan a couple of websites inc. FLO state the 2.5 to 6mm LVs are 45°... whether that is correct I dunno.

 

Actually, a couple of months back I asked FLO to update the specs to 45 degrees (for the shorter SLVs only) to match the stated figures on Vixen's own website.

Very happy with my 6mm SLV. I would guesstimate the AFOV of the 6mm to be 45 degrees, definitely less than 50.

Edited by Ags
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When I was trying out the Vixen SLV's for the forum (I tried the 20mm, 12mm and 6mm) I really liked them.

The 6mm in particular was a very good high power eyepiece. I compared it to the Baader Genuine Ortho of that focal length a number of times on Saturn and Jupiter and could see no performance difference between the two. The SLV was a more comfortable eyepiece to use though with it's long eye relief and large eye lens.

post-118-0-74226700-1401567950_thumb.jpg

Edited by John
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