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TMB Super Monos Coming Back

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#1 GeneT

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 06:47 PM

TMB Super Monos are coming back.
http://www.astromart...d=794001#photos

#2 johnnyha

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:18 PM

... for a dear price! :shocked:

I wonder why in the world these should cost twice what Brandons cost? :question:

#3 GeneT

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:25 PM

... for a dear price! :shocked:

I wonder why in the world these should cost twice what Brandons cost? :question:


Good question. I would be interested in some other's opinions on this question.

Does the quality of the TMB Super Monos put them in the very top tier? Are they the best in producing planetary detail and throughput on dim DSO's?

#4 Sean Cunneen

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:02 PM

That price is more a reflection of a weak dollar in the world market. If you followed Markus's thread a year ago in the vendor's forum, he went into great detail the process he has to go through to have a run of these made. At that time the price was more in the neighborhood of $450 and he dropped the project because the manufacturer was balking at the complexity and small runs. I wouldn't fall into the trap of comparing price to performance, that is the price for an extremely low volume custom eyepiece and the price is no relation to performance much in the way that a $10,000 motorcycle can outperform a million dollar race car.

#5 Sean Cunneen

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:02 PM

Post deleted by Sean Cunneen

#6 Schaden

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:36 PM

That price is more a reflection of a weak dollar in the world market. If you followed Markus's thread a year ago in the vendor's forum, he went into great detail the process he has to go through to have a run of these made. At that time the price was more in the neighborhood of $450 and he dropped the project because the manufacturer was balking at the complexity and small runs.


I don't think it's the weak dollar. If they estimated $450 last year, going by when the dollar was at its best against the euro 1.2=1, and compared to the current rate 1.3=1, they should cost about $490 instead of $450. Rather I think ithey underestimated costs due to as you said low production, lack of economy of scale etc.

These TMB super monos do have a great reputation. I have read they are close to the ZAO ep. Although at $568, they are about as expensive as the Zeiss were when they were available new. Is the new production of super monos made in Germany ? They are too rich for my blood but it would be nice to own just one for those exceptional nights which aren't that uncommon in the Sonoran Desert. I can dream. :D

edit: well I just looked at the ad again and it says 395 euro export price. That's about what it should be if they quoted $450 last year, accounting for exchange rate fluctuations. I guess $568 includes shipping and paypal fees.

#7 Schaden

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:54 PM

Good question. I would be interested in some other's opinions on this question.

Does the quality of the TMB Super Monos put them in the very top tier? Are they the best in producing planetary detail and throughput on dim DSO's?


No personal experience but I have read their planetary performance is close to Zeiss, which I believe are considered the best planetary ep in existance. But I did read one comparison where the reviewer preferred the look of a TV plossel to a TMB super mono.

I assume these are pretty far past the point of dimishing returns. I wouldn't doubt they're better than a TV or Brandon at capturing every last bit of detail, but you have to pay a lot to get that last iota of performance. I would love to try one and see the difference myself. So are these TMBs a proprietary design of Thomas Back ? Or a superb execution of an Abby Ortho, or whatever ?

#8 MikeRatcliff

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 09:58 PM

I just splurged on a 10mm TMB supermono (14" f/4.5 dob,Mark Harry mirror) and noticed on Saturn a great deal of color contrast improvement on the TMB versus an 11mm TV plossl. The best way I could quickly describe it, as a non-expert in planetary, is looking at a rock in a stream and suddenly the water is crystal clear. Very good color contrast. Bright image. The details in Cassini's division and banding on the planet itself seemed close between the two eyepieces. Anyway, I'm going to be on the market for more of these.

Probably on the used market. Oh wait, never mind they are terrible. You wouldn't want them. ;)

#9 Schaden

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:12 PM

Well that is both good news and depressing to hear firsthand there is such a noticeable difference in color contrast, since they cost 4x a TV plossl and are out of reach at the moment, with a limited availability. But maybe I can get a used one someday. :bawling:

;)

#10 Jaimo!

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:17 PM

No personal experience but I have read their planetary performance is close to Zeiss, which I believe are considered the best planetary ep in existance.



At $565, it puts it in the same financial ballpark as the Zeiss Abbes. This may also raise the prices of the older used Monocentrics... :confused:

Traditionally, TMB Monos have sold used about half the cost of a ZAOII.

Jaimo!

#11 HfxObserver

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:24 PM

What Mike notes is the same as I, essentially, some of these simple designs seem to make make the seeing better. Taking a notable wide field eyepiece then swapping in a similarly priced Orth/mono type design seems to "un-muddy" the water.

The comparisons were using a 4.x mm Wide Field vs. a 3.x mm mono type design in an 80inch f6.2 and a 125mm f6 refractor.

-Chris

#12 MikeRatcliff

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 12:27 AM

...
So are these TMBs a proprietary design of Thomas Back ? Or a superb execution of an Abby Ortho, or whatever ?


Hi, the TMB Supermono is a 3 element with the elements cemented together so that there are only 2 air/glass surfaces, the first surface and the last surface. Thomas Back refined the design using exotic glasses and coatings.

The Abbe Ortho is a four element design. Zeiss with the Zeiss Abbe Ortho (ZAO) and the ZAO-II have also optimized with premium everything, glasses, coatings, polishing. I have not used a ZAO. There are other Abbe orthos: the best selling University orthos that also go by other brand names; the more recent Baader Genuine orthos and University Ortho-HD's (these went out of production but may come back), and a brand new Baader Classic ortho. The non-Zeiss are much more affordable and of course use less expensive glass.

The plossl is also a four element design but different arrangement. The TV plossl is patented and optimized to improve astigmatism away from the center of the view. I think there is an opening for TV to upgrade the plossls for, say, $200-$300.

And yes the new APM price of over $500 is chilling. Plus the 14mm and 16mm are more like $600-$700 used. I would have to sell something first.

I do remember going to RTMC about 10 years ago and the TMB SM's were being offered new for $200-ish. At the time I was on a much stricter budget and could not swing that. Oh if I had only known.

There are several eyepiece shootouts by BillP, Daniel Mounsey and jrbarnett ("the most interesting astronomer in the universe") that are great reading. Daniel Mounsey actually likes the TV plossl the best, especially on Jupiter. But has high praise for others including the TMB. Be sure to read his 2006(?) update to the 2004 first review.

Mike

#13 t.r.

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 06:59 AM

In Daniel's update he also gives very high marks to the Brandons. ;) I've thought about buying one or two of these TMB's but WOW, what a price.

#14 hfjacinto

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:31 AM

I once borrowed a set from a fellow observer and they did provide very good on axis views better than anything else I used.

What I didn't like was the poor eye relief on the higher magnification ones and the narrow field of view.

As an example I looked at the cats eye and the sun with them and more details were clearly visible. The cats eye had extended nebulosity and more details, the granulation on the sun was better.

Looking at larger targets such as open clusters it was hard to frame objects so in cases I had to go lower in power. Larger clusters and large extended objects looked better in wide fields.

My recommendation was that if you were a planetary nebula and small galaxy observer the TMB were perfect, but if eye relief and wide fields were what you wanted then don't bother.

I will look for my post.

#15 turtle86

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:58 AM

Tom Trusock posted an excellent report on the Supermonos a while back:

http://www.cloudynig...uments/tmb2.pdf


The one I briefly owned was indeed contrasty and had excellent color rendition, as Tom says. But I found the tiny 30 FOV painful. Definitely a highly specialized eyepiece. I'm a bit surprised at the pricing since they used to go for around $200 or so. That's some serious coin for such tiny glass. :)

#16 ManuelJ

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 10:21 AM

I bought mine for 120 Euros.

470 Euros?. Come on!!!.

#17 Sgt

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 10:34 AM

That was posted September 2012.

I thought the project had been dropped for lack of sufficient orders? May be I'm wrong?

#18 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 10:41 AM

This is recent shorter focal length TMB SM production run announcement in Vendor and Group Announcement Forum.

Supermonocentric 7,8,9,10 mm going in production

Tammy

#19 ThomasM

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:38 AM

This is recent shorter focal length TMB SM production run announcement in Vendor and Group Announcement Forum.

Supermonocentric 7,8,9,10 mm going in production

Tammy


Actually, I was told that they are already sold out again.

Thomas

#20 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:47 AM

Wow. That was fast.

I am glad that I got in :)

Tammy

#21 saemark30

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 12:57 PM

Amazing. TMB couldn't sell them when they were $159 perhaps due to a mediocre review in a big astronomy mag.

#22 Daud

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 04:41 PM

Amazing. TMB couldn't sell them when they were $159 perhaps due to a mediocre review in a big astronomy mag.


Therefore I got them at $139 from HandsonOptics on clearance :roflmao:

#23 Starman1

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 04:49 PM

Harry Siebert Monocentrics, $149:
http://www.siebertoptics.com/Mono.html
Use with his Flattener/Amplifier $149 for short focal length, corrected, views, especially at short f/ratios.

#24 ThomasM

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 05:17 PM

Harry Siebert Monocentrics, $149:
http://www.siebertoptics.com/Mono.html
Use with his Flattener/Amplifier $149 for short focal length, corrected, views, especially at short f/ratios.


As far as I know the lenses are standard Edmund triplet lenses, only MgF2 coated

#25 GeneT

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 10:44 PM

I ordered a 7 TMB Super Mono. I am adding some small glass eyepieces to fill in some niche viewing situations.






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