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TMB Planetary II

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#1 gregory93

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 03:12 PM

I see Astronomics got them at 40$,but i would like to hear some opinions on the 6mm and 7mm.How do they perform in f/5.9?
I am not interested in using them for planets.Mostly DSOs.

Clear skies.

#2 rgm40

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 07:45 PM

Can't help with the 5.9 f/ratio, but at f/7.55 the 6mm works very well for me. Using the 6mm, I did a pretty good head to head test (only one night however)with an ES 82 6.7mm on Orion, Jupiter, and several OCs. The end result for me was that I could not tell any appreciable difference between the two other than the extra FOV in the ES. The results could be different in the f/5.9 as you know, so don't take my experience at the gospel. Hopefully some more folks will be able to help give you some guidance here. Best of luck to you.

#3 Jarrod

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 09:47 PM

I've used the 9, 6, and 5mm TMB PIIs on an 8" f/5.9 dob. Mostly for planets. They are good for the price, but the 8.8, 6.7, and 4.7mm ES82s show more detail. I've not used the TMBs to look at DSOs, but if it clears up this weekend I'll do that and report back.

#4 brokenwave

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 10:14 PM

I have the 7mm and on a 5.6 Achro it is decent, better on my 8"SCT

#5 planet earth

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 06:36 AM

They will perform well at f6, I like them even at f5.
Sam

#6 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 11:32 AM

Save your pennies for something better, unless you like mushy views.

#7 howard929

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 11:51 AM

A lot of this depends on a few things with the telescope of use being a large one. With an undriven telescope like the Z8 that I own, even though I can find what I want to see with a Plossl, I'd rather not for the most part use anything but wide field EP's. Obviously it's a personal choice to spend $60 more where it counts rather then $40 so YMMV.

#8 vct123

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 05:08 PM

I compared a New TMB planetary II 5mm last night to a Meade 4.7 4000 ultra-wide. The scope was an ES 127ed refractor and the target was Saturn. About equal in detail, contrast, and sharpness, and because of the better eye relief of the TMB, the difference in FOV was minimal to me.

#9 bogg

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 05:11 PM

I have all of the TMB planetary II line and have had the chance to compare some of them to the Radian line. I was using a Skywatcher 100 ed for the comparison. Personally I noticed very little differance between them. The Radian's I would say were slightly better, but you would have to compare them by side to notice. When you take in consideration the price differance it was for me, hard to justify getting the Radians. I have used them In my TV Genesis F5. And noticed slightly greenish tinge around bright objects that is not there when using a Nagler.

#10 Astrodj

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 11:31 PM

Hi Gregory,

I only have one, the 7mm. I purchased mine from Astronomics also. It's a good eyepiece for the money IMO. I notice some ghosting/reflections on Jupiter, not enough to really bother me but noticeable. It is not as sharp on axis as an ortho or plossl so don't expect it to be. The eye relief makes it very comfortable to use. In my f/4.7 dob sharpness is good almost edge to edge. I also used it on several globs and planetary nebulae and was happy with it considering the price. Contrast and resolution are decent.

There are other eyepieces for similar cost other folks like better which you might also consider. AstroTech Paradigm's, and Sterling Plossls are liked more than TMB's by many here. If your budget allows a little more expense, it is hard to beat the ES82's in the "bang for the buck" category. :grin:

#11 Jarrod

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:19 AM

Last night I had a DSO observing session with the 9mm TMB Planetary II, the 8.8mm ES82, and the 8mm Baader Hyperion. Conditions were very good, with excellent transparency and average seeing. I viewed several galaxies, nebulae and globulars.

In short, the TMB held its own. I did prefer the Hyperion and the ES82 for viewing galaxies and nebulae - I felt they had more contrast and/or were perhaps brighter. But the TMB was just as sharp in the center of the field as the ES82. I actually thought the TMB was perhaps the best of the three for viewing globulars - M3 looked fantastic, with many faint, sharp stars popping out near and in front of the core. Near the edge of the field, the TMB loses some sharpness, but not as much as the Hyperion, which has a bit of field curvature.

Overall, I preferred the ES82 for sharp-to-the-edge performance and excellent contrast. But it doesn't have the the eye relief of the TMB and costs over twice as much. The Hyperion has plenty of ER and contrast similar to the ES82, but I could not get it to sharp focus all the way across its 68º AFoV. The TMB has a narrow (58º?) AFoV compared to the others, but performed fine at half to a third of the price of the others. I'd say it's an excellent value. I was especially impressed at the 9mm on-axis sharpness which makes it a great choice for globular clusters as far as DSOs go. Galaxies and nebulae didn't "pop" quite as much as they did in the ES82 or the Hyperion, but something has to give - it's a $40 EP.

I don't have but a few months of observing experience, so YMMV on these observations. But based on the planetary performance, where I greatly prefer the ES82s, I was expecting the TMB to be less pleasing than it actually was on DSOs.

#12 planet earth

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:13 AM

So, no mushy views.
Just as I suspected. :smirk:
Sam

#13 Jarrod

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:25 AM

So, no mushy views.
Just as I suspected. :smirk:
Sam


No, but I can appreciate why that comment was made. Planetary views are noticeably more detailed through the ES82, even for a novice like me. I'd originally thought this was an issue with sharpness, but after seeing how sharply the TMB resolves stars, I'm now inclined to believe it's due to the relative contrast of the two EPs.

But the ES82 is 2.5x the cost, so it really should outperform the TMB. Otherwise there'd be no reason for anybody to own anything but the TMBs :grin:

#14 planet earth

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:28 AM

I own 5 of them.
The only time I got mushy views was when my wife got mascara on the eye lens. :)
Sam

#15 Jarrod

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:44 AM

I don't blame you for owning 5 of them. If I hadn't gotten hooked on wide-field views, I'd be happy to use my TMBs more, and would not have duplicated those focal lengths with ES82s. In the grand scheme, all these differences are relatively subtle things - to me, anyway. These are all good-quality eyepieces, not pack-ins that come with department score scopes!

Also, I failed to mention that the TMBs have the best eye cups. They fold up/down, and also twist up/down. Very flexible.

#16 rgm40

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 08:38 PM

I had a chance, finally, to get the scope out last night and give the TMB 6mm another go. Unlike the first time I tried it out, seeing was pretty good here last night. Probably 7/10. So, I did a Saturn shootout with just about my entire lineup of planetary EPs, including the Pentax XL 14 and 10.5, Televue Plossl smoothies 21, and 17, U.O. VT 12.5, 9, and 7, and the ES82 6.7. In the end, I achieved superb views with all of them, BUT, the TMB 6mm disappointed. For some reason I noticed more internal reflections than first time out, and more noticeable light scatter. And, for some reason, It seemed as though I was having to constantly refocus throughout the FOV. I did not view anything but Saturn, so I did not do a comparison with anything else like before. It should be noted that I used a 2x TV Barlow with all FLs above 9mm. I was really pleased with the performance of the scope last night. 365x and Saturn was still sharp. Noticed a falloff of sharpness with the U.O. 9mm/TV Barlow at 426x, but this is to be expected, as the limits of the telescope and seeing conditions were approached. Still, not bad even at 426. The more I use the Pentax and TV smoothies on planets the more I like them. The 12.5 U.O. and Barlow was outstanding too. No clear winner of the bunch AFAIAC. But, unfortunately, the TMB was the clear loser. I'm not giving up on the TMB PIIs just yet. They may be useful on other objects, as many eyepieces excel in some areas where others may not. But, I am not sold yet on the "Planetary" label.

#17 SpaceRooster

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 09:59 PM

I am curious, why are you considering a TMB P-II for use with DSOs? The main draws of this EP are its price and eye comfort. It doesn't really have any redeeming factors that would make it a satisfactory DSO EP, especially at focal lengths of just 6-7mm. At that magnification in most scopes, you will be cutting out a huge portion of most of the bigger, brighter fuzzies while throwing most of the light you could be bringing in out the window. Planetary EPs operate under the assumption that the objective is going to be mighty bright, and mighty bright DSOs ain't. Not knocking you, just curious as to what made you ask. After all, it does say "Planetary" right on the can... ;)

In any case, I own the 7mm and use it as my primary planetary piece. I will second the reported relative fuzziness and reflections stated above, but I really do love this EP for its comfort. I usually either have this one in when I don't want to fool with my other planetary setup (11mm TV Plossl barlowed out 2x), or when I have non-astronomer types taking a gander through my scope. The eye relief is fantastic for all types of eyes, from kids to older folks with glasses. Those types of folks aren't going to notice the small increase in fuzziness compared to something like a Pentax, and they are going to appreciate the "throw it in and look" factor of this eyepiece since they don't have to wait around while you muck around with barlows and refocusing.

All that said, I would save my cash and look elsewhere for a DSO EP. The TMB P-II just wasn't designed for that type of viewing. If you are looking for a great DSO EP with decent comfort that wont break the bank, I hear the RKE 28mm's are great, and have a neat floating effect to boot (although I have never looked through one, going to snatch one up myself here once I get a bit of cash :) ).

#18 rgm40

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:31 PM

I am only saying that I am not sold yet that it is a good planetary eyepiece--for me. Also, I am saying that it may have a place in my eyepiece case if I find that it works well on other objects, for instance, globular clusters. I do like the comfort level of the EP as well. I have just not used it enough. Regards.

#19 SpaceRooster

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:33 PM

Sorry about that. I replied to the wrong person. That post was directed at the OP.

#20 rgm40

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:35 PM

Think nothing of it. I do it all the time :foreheadslap:

#21 Starhuckster

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:17 PM

I just came in from looking at Saturn through my 80mm f6 and the eyepiece that did the trick tonight was the TMB 4mm. I'm a big ES82 fan, but tonight it was my TMB almost exclusively. I don't think you can go wrong having a couple of these in your kit.

#22 gregory93

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:29 AM

Thank you all for your replies!

Well, the week ago i spent all the time observing the galaxies in Virgo.Although i am using most of the time using my 12T4-sometimes i use my hyp zoom at 8mm-i found out that i could use a little more magn (12T4 delivers x100).I could easily go at 8-9mm (and i would prefer that).That's why i am asking for your reports.I just need a little more magn when i observe,mostly,galaxies.The hyp zoom at 8mm does not give me any satisfactory views...

#23 caheaton

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 10:46 AM

I wouldn't call the views mushy, but I used to own a couple focal lengths (4 and 3.2), but sold them after doing a careful comparison one night on Jupiter. I found that a barlowed 8mm TV plossl showed more banding on Jupiter's polar regions. (The plossl was used in both a 2x and 2.5x barlow, which gave it the same fl as the TMB's). After that night I sold my TMB's. The TMB's were more comfortable with their greater fov and eye relief, but I'm willing to sacrifice those for the greater level of detail I saw.
The scope I was using for this comparison was the 120mm F/8.

#24 hottr6

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:14 PM

That is interesting. After a night of comparing TMBs with Radians, I could not justify the expense of the Radians and sold them. I still have the TMBs, though now I prefer to use BGOs.

Do TMBs have quality control issues?

#25 FoxTrot

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:35 PM

Gregory93, I tried the TMB II 9mm in my TV NP127 which is f/5.2. There was very significant field curvature so it was no good in my scope. Keep in mind though, the TV scopes are very demanding on eyepiece design and quality, and I only have my own eyes to go by... Cheers, Fox






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