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Owl TMB Planetary Eyepieces

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#1 garyp1936

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:45 AM

Does anyone have any of the Owl "high resolution planetary" eyepieces which, in the web photo, are labeled "TMB optical"??? In particular, the 3.2mm. Does anyone recommend it (or any of the rest) for use in a 10" f4.7 reflector? Thanks

#2 csrlice12

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 10:18 AM

It's just a cloned TMB, same eyepiece. Works pretty good, but a 3.2mm will see little use except on perfect seeing nights. You'll probably only use it once or twice a year. But, at the cost, it is probably a good, affordable eyepiece that, on those good nights, will give you good on-axis performance. For the cost, not a bad idea.

#3 rathbaster

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 11:30 AM

but a 3.2mm will see little use except on perfect seeing nights


It all depends on your scope.
A 3.2mm eyepiece gives you 150x in a short, 80mm F/6 refractor. Even on poor seeing nights the Moon can take that kind of magnification.

#4 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 11:36 AM

I realize that I am probably in the minority, but I have never been impressed with the TMB Planetary eyepieces, especially on planets.

IMO, you would be better served to forgo the TMB clones and spend an extra $14 on Astro-Tech Paradigm Dual EDs from Astronomics. The shortest focal length that they have is 5mm, but how often do you need anything shorter? If you need higher power, use a decent quality barlow.

#5 Sarkikos

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 11:42 AM

Doug,

I realize that I am probably in the minority, but I have never been impressed with the TMB Planetary eyepieces, especially on planets.

IMO, you would be better served to forgo the TMB clones and spend an extra $14 on Astro-Tech Paradigm Dual EDs from Astronomics. The shortest focal length that they have is 5mm, but how often do you need anything shorter? If you need higher power, use a decent quality barlow.


We may be in the minority, but IMO we are a well-informed, experienced minority with discriminating eyes. I had a number of the TMB Planetaries from the different generations. I was unimpressed, to put it mildly. I eventually sold them all.

Yes, the Paradigms are much better eyepieces. I have binoviewer pairs of the 8 and 12mm.

Mike

#6 cjc

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 12:08 PM

These are not manufactured to the same standard as the Astronomics version. If you are interested, I have written a review here: Four 4mm Planetary Eyepieces

#7 Sarkikos

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:37 PM

Exactly which eyepieces are you talking about when you say "these"? Sorry, but I dislike ambiguous referents. Also, the link in your post is broken.

Mike

#8 jrbarnett

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:50 PM

"These are not manufactured to the same standard as the Astronomics version."

Says who? Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, probably rolls of the same exact Chinese assembly line as the other ducks. :grin:

- Jim

#9 GOLGO13

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 02:37 PM

I realize that I am probably in the minority, but I have never been impressed with the TMB Planetary eyepieces, especially on planets.

IMO, you would be better served to forgo the TMB clones and spend an extra $14 on Astro-Tech Paradigm Dual EDs from Astronomics. The shortest focal length that they have is 5mm, but how often do you need anything shorter? If you need higher power, use a decent quality barlow.


I agree to an extent. I found they gave somewhat sharp images on planets (maybe not supersharp), but I got a lot of internal reflection or ghosting issues. Something to do with the design of them and not sure if they ever fixed those. Still, they were better eyepieces than some of the cheaper plossls I have used. I sold all of mine also.

Have not tried the paradigms but have heard good things about them.

#10 planet earth

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 03:20 PM

"These are not manufactured to the same standard as the Astronomics version."

Says who? Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, probably rolls of the same exact Chinese assembly line as the other ducks. :grin:

- Jim

I looked at the Owl site and noticed they were 5 element not 6.
Maybe a typo?
Sam
(Quack :lol:)

#11 cjc

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 03:25 PM

Apologies. Corrected link

#12 walter david

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 06:42 PM

What great review. Thanks.

I know this is an aged post but:

I'm in search for a new planetary for my Stellarvue 70 ED I'll be flying with to AZ this October. I have a TMB 6 mm I bought from Astronomics a year ago and was disappointed to see there are no more to select from there except for the one I have. I have really enjoyed this eyepiece.

Now looking at the Stellarvue 4.9mm. I really think that the 2.9 or 3mm will be of little use with my small f6 420 scope.

#13 Lamb0

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 07:22 PM

IMHO, Your smaller 70mm f/6 ED is better able to utilize focal lengths in the 2.5mm to 3.5mm range (168x to 120x) as the primary limitation "seeing" more adversely affects larger scopes. YMWV

#14 walter david

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 08:02 PM

I thought 140 times mag for a 70 mm scope is pushing it. That you would need perfect conditions to see a clear image. So I figured I'd get an eyepiece that would give me less magnification; more useful on most nights.

I understand though that the larger the scope, the more it is subject to the atmospheric disturbances. So I guess I am asking, which is the more relevant factor; Not pushing a small scope to it's limits in resolution or having a smaller scope to better deal with atmospheric disturbances?

I want to spend money on an eyepiece that will be used and useful most of the time. Considering I have a 32 mm for wide field and 6 mm for 70X moderate magnification, I really am torn between the doubling of the 6mm or going just above that mag in a 4.9mm.

#15 Lamb0

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 10:33 PM

I thought 140 times mag for a 70 mm scope is pushing it. That you would need perfect conditions to see a clear image.


The magnification allowed by "seeing" is irrespective of the size of the scope; though larger scopes have more difficulty with thermal issues. A small scope (70mm ~2.75") is far less likely to be limited by "seeing" than my 8" scope. I'm disappointed if ~120x-150x isn't available, 200x is fairly common... >300x OTOH :4

:thinking: Have you considered a 2x Barlow? The 2X Barlow for 1.25" eyepieces by Explore Scientific appears to be a high quality choice worthy of an ED. :question:

#16 walter david

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 05:07 AM

Thanks! I not only considered this very Barlow but called Astronomics and he said; while barlows are good and "work", they add glass in the path and therefore darken the image slightly.

The Barlow idea, (and I do like the one you suggested) does give me in effect 13x, 26x, 70x and 140.

So I am torn on getting the barlow vs getting either a 3mm or Stellarvue sells the 4.9mm giving me 85X. :question:

I will be in AZ with hopefully good skies but once back here in light polluted PA, I will want to have good use of whatever I drop my money on.

#17 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 05:38 AM

Thanks! I not only considered this very Barlow but called Astronomics and he said; while barlows are good and "work", they add glass in the path and therefore darken the image slightly.

The Barlow idea, (and I do like the one you suggested) does give me in effect 13x, 26x, 70x and 140.

So I am torn on getting the barlow vs getting either a 3mm or Stellarvue sells the 4.9mm giving me 85X. :question:

I will be in AZ with hopefully good skies but once back here in light polluted PA, I will want to have good use of whatever I drop my money on.


My thinking, my experience:

It is very unlikely that you could ever see the loss of light due to transmission losses. There is no doubt that a 2x Barlow dims the image, it's the result of increasing the magnification, the same thing happens with an eyepiece that doubles the magnification, the light is spread out over 4x the area, the image is 1/4 as bright.

The magnification of a Barlow is only approximate, it depends on the separation between the Barlow and the focal plane. For a 2 element lens, 96% transmission is a reasonably number, the image would be same brightness as an increase of 2% in the magnification.. 10% is the generally accepted limit of visible loss.

As far as the quality of the TMB eyepieces.. I also claim to have discriminating eyes, there are many who do, it's something that happens after many long nights viewing the night sky. I have a set of TMB Planetary eyepieces, I have a set of TeleVue Nagler eyepieces, both sets get frequent use.

The TMB Planetary eyepieces are not T-6 Naglers but they are good, solid eyepieces, they have a reasonable amount of eye relief, they are reasonably sharp off-axis even in a faster scope and will show just about everything the telescope brings to the focal plane. And they are under $50.

Jon

#18 walter david

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 07:18 AM

Well it's good to know you like the TMB planetary eyepieces. I do not have a lot of time behind the lens like you so I did my research on other people's experience on line before I bought the TMB from Astronomics last year. I have to say I really like it! But they seem to be no more.

So my choices will be limited to the Astro tech planetary 3mm or the Explore Scientific barlow or Stellavue's 4.9 mm planetary.

I may just get the Stellavue and combine shipping since I will be upgrading my sight to their aluminum non magnifying red dot sight.

I decided on the Stellarvue 70 Ed (no longer made) a few years back as a small grab and go set up that would also be easy to take on an airliner so this is my chance to take it to darker skies! I've been slowly upgrading things like mounts, diagonal, eyepieces and tripod over the years. I have many hobbies that take my time and $ so all my upgrades take time! But after four years I feel I have the set up I intended from the start. :jump:

#19 hottr6

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 07:33 AM

I still have my "twin grip" TMB PIIs from Astronomics, and enjoy them regularly. I did a shootout (in a fast Newt and slow achro) between my TMBs and some Radians that I had and I could not justify the extra expense of the Radians. The Radians would appeal to the "fussiest" of observers, but for those of us in the trenches who work to survive, the TMBs are excellent eyepieces.

Bottom line: I sold the Radians.

#20 walter david

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 07:44 AM

I REALLY wish I could buy a TMB from Astronomics but the only one they have is the one I got!

#21 Starman1

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 05:52 PM

To the "similar" eyepieces already listed, add the Olivon HD 58 degrees, and the Barsta 58 degrees. It looks like this design is becoming more widely distributed.

#22 cjc

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 03:32 AM

Indeed this series of eyepieces is sold under a number of names with (in the UK) Sky-Watcher now marketing some Planetary models. However it is perhaps worth restating that the eypieces from different suppliers, although largely to the same optical design, are not functionally identical. In particular some models lack the baffling thread on the barlow assembly or the internal barrel or the threading may be bright and so ineffective. There are two different optical designs for the 9mm. I also have examples where the lens coating is not consistent across eyepieces in the same range. They are largely being built to a price rather than an optical standard, I think

The model which had fewest issues was from Astronomics, but this range is no longer available, I understand.

#23 E_Look

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:54 PM

I wonder if the authorized TMB Planetary series will be available again!

#24 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 02:47 AM

Buy something better. They are only good for door stops. :lol:

#25 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 04:09 AM

Buy something better. They are only good for door stops. :lol:


The other night I was out with my new to me, 13.1 inch F/5.5 Starsplitter enjoying the night sky. I was using my TMB Planetary's, they did a good job, nice amount of eye relief.. quite nice images of Saturn, some nice splits... some nice views of globulars and open clusters.

Jon






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