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Tmb Planetary II clones

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#1 starcam

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:28 PM

In the classified section here, they are selling the set of TMB Planetaries. Including the 4.5 and 7.5 focal lengths from China.
So we know these are clones, but what about the legitimate focal lengths being sold? Years ago they were not bold enough to put TMB Planetary on the eyepieces, now they are. How do you tell the difference between the legitimite TMB Planrtaries and the clones?anymore?

Well they were there, think they were removed....darn quick too.

#2 frebie

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 04:16 PM

To get the legitimate Planetary II eyepieces authorized by the estate of the late Tom Back, buy from Astronomics, High Point, or dealers who have access to TMB products, like OPT, Anacortes, etc.

#3 starcam

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 04:25 PM

So to be safe we shouldn't buy used TMB Planetary II's. That stinks. :bawling:

I was looking for if their was a slight difference in like the color of coating or baffling. Some shortcut that may stand out to differentiate between the two.

#4 BillP

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:16 PM

If you look at the authorized versions being sold by Astronomics, the focal length lettering is in the middle of two bands of rubber diamond grips and "mm" is in lowercase, and the barrels are shiney balck and undercut. In the knock-offs I have seen the barrels are a satin black, have tapers, and the focal length is printed below the rubber grip panels and is in uppercase "MM".

For a short while Burgess sold the Type-IIs before the estate took control, those versions all bave "Burgess/TMB" on the label someplace and I would consider these authorized as well. I don't "believe" any of the knock-offs had Burgess on them anyplace.

#5 starcam

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:48 PM

Thanks for the info Bill.

#6 Ed D

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 08:27 PM

Interesting how I also saw that ad this morning and now... Must have been a magician trying to sell them - now you see them, now you don't. I thought some of those focal lengths were kind of funky for TMBs.

Ed D

#7 orlyandico

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 08:41 PM

Jeebus. That probably explains my dis-satisfaction with mine. Just checked and it's a clone! who'd have thought.. it has TMB Optical written on it.

#8 spaceoddity

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 01:22 AM

I have a clone made by teton and it's a very good eyepiece.

#9 cjc

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 03:15 AM

It looks like mine are clones and all the comments I have made on these eyepieces are void.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 4975389-TMB_II_Clone.jpg


#10 Scott in NC

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:51 PM

IIRC, there was a guy from China selling these on AM recently (can't find the ad anymore though, so it must have been deleted). One giveaway was that it included some focal lengths that aren't available in the legitimate TMB lineup.

#11 sixela

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 05:35 PM

I wouldn't call them "clones". Given they're using a trademark without a license from the trademark holder, they're counterfeit, pure and simple.

#12 spudrick

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 07:08 PM

Actually in the Vendor and Group Announcements from Barride-Optics, if you check their website they have the "TMB Planetary" listed and they look exactly the same as the photo from CJC above. :question:

#13 frebie

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 07:19 PM

Aside from ripping off Tom's family, the clone/counterfeits are damaging Tom's reputation. Unfortunately, there is nothing we or Tom's family can do about it. There is no such thing as exclusivity with a lot of smaller Far East manufacturers. Attached is an image of what the current real thing looks like.

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  • 4976614-tmbpF9.jpg


#14 EdZ

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 07:36 PM

Actually in the Vendor and Group Announcements from Barride-Optics, if you check their website they have the "TMB Planetary" listed and they look exactly the same as the photo from CJC above. :question:


then it would be my personal opinion that the Barride-Optics post should be remoived from the Vendor announcements forum. I'll notify the Vendor announcements moderator.

edz

#15 sixela

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 08:14 PM

Aside from ripping off Tom's family, the clone/counterfeits are damaging Tom's reputation. Unfortunately, there is nothing we or Tom's family can do about it.


You can't forbid people from actually selling "clones" without TMB branding (at least unless you have iron-cast contracts with the manufacturers and a lot of clout and knowledge of the arcane Chinese legal system), but I doubt the TMB estate is not in a position to defend its trademark.

Whether the benefits outweigh the costs is, of course, another matter, though it should be possible to enlist help from counterfeit fighters (at least here in Europe, there are large fines on counterfeit material brought through customs and customs can seize it and does seize it).

And US law ensures that it should certainly be possible to prevent US distributors from selling these counterfeit eyepieces within the US if they violate a registered trademark (that is a circle R above the TMB mark on the real eyepieces, right?).

If I were selling these and I got a cease and desist letter from the TMB estate, I'd have a hard think about continuing to sell them...even though it obviously won't help for shady ebay sellers from overseas (but it is actually also possible to raise objections to ebay).



#16 Jim Rosenstock

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 09:34 PM

I wouldn't call them "clones". Given they're using a trademark without a license from the trademark holder, they're counterfeit, pure and simple.


My thoughts exactly.

How I would define terms:

"Clones": Made by the same manufacturer, optically and physically identical, but labeled differently. Clones are often perfectly legitimate, e.g. the Circle-T volcano top orthos, that could carry University. Edmund, or any number of other labels. Order enough, and you can get your name on them...

IIRC, there were some actual TMB clones, i.e. they did not label them as TMB, but in this case their legitimacy is still questioned, because the manufacturer continued to use TMB's proprietary design without permission. So, not a "counterfeit", but an illegitmate clone nonetheless.

"Knock-off" or "copy" or "reproduction": The same design, copied or reverse-engineered (as best they can) by a different manufacturer, but not falsely labeled. These may or may not be legitimate, often dependng on where you draw the line, ethically...

"Counterfeits" are dishonestly labeled copies. They could be produced by the same manufacturer and actually be optically identical, or they could be "as best as they can" copies made by another manufacturer. Regarless of the faithfulness of the copy job, the dishonest labeling makes them all counterfeits.

Hey, anybody wanna buy a set of Zeiss Abbe-III orthos? I can sell you a full set for only $250....cheaper if you buy five or more! :tonofbricks:

Cheers,

Jim

#17 ngc2289

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:33 AM

I ordered a 3.2mm, and a 7.5mm TMB's. It turned out I was buying counterfeits. I got in contact with the dealer and demanded that he cancel my order for the 7.5mm. Already having received the 3.2mm I asked, and received permission to return the eyepiece. When I asked the dealer why he was selling clones he told me that he had bought the eyepieces in good faith. Also the dealer said that no where in the ad did he mention TMB. But imbedded in the ad was a picture of a eyepiece with "TMB OPTICAL" on its side. The design on the side of the eyepiece is the same one on the 6mm shown several posts previous to mine. But at least I got my money back minus $10 for return shipping. :flame: :flame: :noway: :noway: :noway: :noway: :noway: :flame: :flame:

#18 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 02:55 AM

How to these eyepieces fit into the picture?

TMB Planetary

For comparison purposes, here's the original Burgess Optical/TMB Planetary line.

http://www.burgessop.../Planetary.html

Dave Mitsky

#19 Mike Hosea

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 03:21 AM

How to these eyepieces fit into the picture?

TMB Planetary


Insofar as Fred said "To get the legitimate Planetary II eyepieces authorized by the estate of the late Tom Back, buy from Astronomics, High Point, or dealers who have access to TMB products, like OPT, Anacortes, etc.", (emphasis mine), I guess they're legit. Probably just an outdated picture.

#20 iceblaze

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 03:42 AM

How to these eyepieces fit into the picture?

TMB Planetary

Dave Mitsky


Gah! I know I have the 5mm or 6mm of these eyepieces in my stocking this year and they were purchased from High Point... I hope they aren't counterfeits :(

-James

#21 cjc

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 05:47 AM

I wouldn't call them "clones". Given they're using a trademark without a license from the trademark holder, they're counterfeit, pure and simple.


Yes I agree - they are fakes and as such there can be no confidence about their quality. Nobody would expect a fake Rolex to be of similar quality to the genuine article and the same is true here. I feel particularly annoyed because I have four of them, which I bought in good faith.

It would be good, if as a community, we could expose fakes.

#22 Paul G

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 06:14 AM

Aside from ripping off Tom's family, the clone/counterfeits are damaging Tom's reputation. Unfortunately, there is nothing we or Tom's family can do about it. There is no such thing as exclusivity with a lot of smaller Far East manufacturers. Attached is an image of what the current real thing looks like.


The only issue is the use of the TMB logo, correct?

I recall the mess when several vendors started selling the 30 mm wide field. Vendors were complaining about each other stealing the design, but it turned out the manufacturer in China had told each one they would be the only ones with the eyepiece. The vendors had been played by the manufacturer, but each vendor's eyepiece had a different logo.

#23 sixela

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 07:07 AM

IIRC, there were some actual TMB clones, i.e. they did not label them as TMB, but in this case their legitimacy is still questioned, because the manufacturer continued to use TMB's proprietary design without permission. So, not a "counterfeit", but an illegitmate clone nonetheless.

Given that you don't know the terms of the contracts between Burgess/TMB and their two successive manufacturers, that might actually be a libellous statement. I'd be careful about uttering that in any way that can be construed as a statement of fact rather than an opinion.

#24 sixela

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 07:16 AM

Probably just an outdated picture.

They used to be labelled like that, IIRC. the labelling changed when the 2.5mm was dropped from the 'official' line (Robtics has 2.5mm with this labelling, 4mm with this labelling, and 4-9mm ones with the new labelling).

IIRC, the counterfeiters have not yet had the gall of ever printing TMB with a circle "R" on their eyepieces, probably because it makes plausible deniability of trademark infringement even more difficult ;).

#25 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 01:41 PM

I recall the mess when several vendors started selling the 30 mm wide field. Vendors were complaining about each other stealing the design, but it turned out the manufacturer in China had told each one they would be the only ones with the eyepiece. The vendors had been played by the manufacturer, but each vendor's eyepiece had a different logo.



Actually there is a story behind that 30mm 80 degree Widescan Clone and I think there is good reason to believe that Markus initiated the effort.

As I remember it, Markus began a thread on S.A.A. asking if anyone had a 30mm Widescan II that he could borrow as he had arranged for a factory to clone it if he could find an example to copy. Eventually someone loaned him one and he sent off to be copied.

All was going well and the first of Markus's 30mm 80 degree BW-Optik's had been sold but then Markus reported that the factory had decided to sell the eyepiece to other vendors and sometime after that, it began showing up under different names.

I don't think Markus faked anything on S.A.A., copying the 30mm Widescan II was his idea and he made it happen. It just didn't quite happen the way he wanted it to.

Jon


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