Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

TMB Planetary and clones... info

  • Please log in to reply
35 replies to this topic

#1 Riccardo_italy

Riccardo_italy

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 864
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2014
  • Loc: Italy

Posted 02 May 2018 - 11:22 AM

I collected some pictures from the web. Hope I have understood correctly.

 

TMB - Original - Serie I

 

TMB_ORIGINALE_I_SERIE.png

 

TMB - Original - Serie II

 

TMB_ORIGINALE_II_SERIE.png

 

Chineese clone, with TMB logo

 

TMB_CLONE.png

Planetary HR are all clones, example:

https://www.teleskop...lti-coated.html

 

Performances: Good for TMB Original. Bad for clones.

 

Am I correct?


  • Jon Isaacs, dpastern and teashea like this

#2 Peter Besenbruch

Peter Besenbruch

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,528
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2014
  • Loc: Oahu

Posted 02 May 2018 - 02:28 PM

Planetary HR are all clones, example:

https://www.teleskop...lti-coated.html

 

Performances: Good for TMB Original. Bad for clones.

 

Am I correct?

No. I had a Planetary II that I replaced with a better performing (in some ways) clone. The weakness of the typical Barsta 58° clone lies in the reflectivity of the tube that separates the eyepiece elements from the Barlow elements. If you address that, the clone becomes a very good, comfortable eyepiece. Part of it lies in the simplicity of the design, basically a three element König with Barlow. That said, the longer focal lengths do not have the same reputation as the shorter ones. Based on other's comments, I have avoided the 15mm and the 25mm. I have the series from 9mm on down to 2.5mm. If you are willing to flock the tube, they represent one of the best eyepiece bargains out there.


  • RichA, buddy ny, Joe1950 and 6 others like this

#3 sg6

sg6

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,184
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Norfolk, UK.

Posted 02 May 2018 - 03:00 PM

Performances: Good for TMB Original. Bad for clones.

 

Am I correct?

Not quite that simple. To an extent you have suplied part of the answer: Why the Series 2 if the original Series 1 were good?

 

Should have taken a copy, if it were possible then, but there were about 7 improvemnets made to the Series 1's to produce the Series 2's. Nothing extreme but the lens edges were blackened, also an internal seperating ring was a nice shiny chrome plated item - that went for a better matt black item. Maybe better AR coatings, better rubber eyecups.

 

I wanted the originals Mk1's, many years ago. Only 1 place here sold them, before I could get hold of any they disappeared, sometime later (quite some time) the Mk 2's appeared. I never bothered.

 

As said there was a something that gave a "list" of the improvements performed, it may have been on the site of the retailer that sold them here to demonstrate the updates performed to the Mk2's over the Mk1's. But by then I think people had moved on. It seems rare in astronomy that poor initial offering is forgotten, even if the next is better.

 

Are they clones or are they agreed reproductions? Remember that the production was in always China.

I think you will find the "history" of the eyepieces somewhat foggy.

Have read more then once that the TS offering are pretty good items, and not "Bad". Question then is who makes those particular items.


  • RichA and teashea like this

#4 JakeJ

JakeJ

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,661
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2004

Posted 02 May 2018 - 06:03 PM

I have the 4mm BST and it performs well for planetary observation.


  • RichA, n2dpsky and teashea like this

#5 Jaimo!

Jaimo!

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 4,790
  • Joined: 11 Oct 2007
  • Loc: 3rd Stone from the Sun

Posted 02 May 2018 - 09:46 PM

Has anyone ever compared the clones to the original Series 1 or Series 2, head to head.  I have a hard time believing that all of these Chinese sourced eyepieces don't come out of the same factory, how different can they be?  And if the last one is actually a cloned counterfeit, why in the world would they go to all that trouble to counterfeit a $50 eyepiece?

 

Jaimo!


  • Paul G, Jon Isaacs, Lithic and 1 other like this

#6 Peter Besenbruch

Peter Besenbruch

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,528
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2014
  • Loc: Oahu

Posted 03 May 2018 - 05:11 PM

Has anyone ever compared the clones to the original Series 1 or Series 2, head to head.  I have a hard time believing that all of these Chinese sourced eyepieces don't come out of the same factory, how different can they be?  And if the last one is actually a cloned counterfeit, why in the world would they go to all that trouble to counterfeit a $50 eyepiece?

Just the Series II, 6mm with the BST 6mm, as mentioned above. I kept the BST version.


Edited by Peter Besenbruch, 03 May 2018 - 05:12 PM.

  • n2dpsky and teashea like this

#7 vtornado

vtornado

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,103
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2016
  • Loc: 42N 88W

Posted 25 May 2018 - 03:02 PM

I have the Chinese models that say TMB,  fl's 8,7,6,5,4.

I have astromania versions  fl's 9,6

 

The Chinese TMB  7 is rattlely, but it works, ( I tried tightening things but it still rattles),

the 4mm is "soft", compared to a 2x barlowed 8mm plossl.

The astromania branded ones both work good and are solidly built.

 

I like these eyepieces.  Good eye relief, wider field than a plossl, they don't have black outs for me.
I just purchased and Olivion version of the 4mm from a member here, we will see if it cleans up the image over the TMB 4.

 

 

YMMV


  • teashea likes this

#8 starcam

starcam

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,156
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007
  • Loc: MD

Posted 25 May 2018 - 04:32 PM

Has anyone ever compared the clones to the original Series 1 or Series 2, head to head.  I have a hard time believing that all of these Chinese sourced eyepieces don't come out of the same factory, how different can they be?  And if the last one is actually a cloned counterfeit, why in the world would they go to all that trouble to counterfeit a $50 eyepiece?

 

Jaimo!

And nearly make a man go bankrupt after copying his design. The coatings of the clones could be crop some versions had a lot of scatter. Only way to truly know if it's real deal, if Burgess has his name on it or recieved from Burgess or Astonomics. The first TMB/Burgess 6mm had the shiney ring, but was later fixed and people recieved the part to fix it on their own.


  • dpastern and teashea like this

#9 penguinx64

penguinx64

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,928
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2013
  • Loc: Manama, Bahrain

Posted 25 May 2018 - 05:34 PM

Anybody try the 3.2mm BST?  I'm curious how it would work in f/4 and f/5 reflectors.


  • teashea likes this

#10 Adeus79

Adeus79

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2018

Posted 26 May 2018 - 10:51 PM

I have just posted here at CN recently regarding my experience with this TMB Planetary II (re-branded/clone/counterfeit or whatever it may seems)

maybe as being new to this hobby and lack of experience my bet on this EP is satisfactory I purchased the "4MM" roughly for just around $32 the legit TMB is in lower case "4mm" and was surprised that the authentic TMB was sold cost around $100! (one member here at CN commented it on my post)

but anyways my conclusive results on this EP is somehow in absolute satisfaction for me coz compared to my existing plossl EP which cost 3x of the price, I have viewed Jupiter and Saturn thru this EP with great result for the first time since I got hooked up on this hobby detailed views of these 2 planets is achieved but then again this results still differ to some more experienced level or some skeptics in terms of cheap EP. vs Branded that cost over a hundred$$ so for the price It's worth paying for this EP with good results your on a tight budget.grin.gif


Edited by Adeus79, 26 May 2018 - 10:53 PM.

  • Jaimo!, AndresEsteban and teashea like this

#11 Jaimo!

Jaimo!

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 4,790
  • Joined: 11 Oct 2007
  • Loc: 3rd Stone from the Sun

Posted 27 May 2018 - 12:23 AM

Me thinks there is a conspiracy theory clouding these eyepieces.


  • teashea likes this

#12 lylver

lylver

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 949
  • Joined: 15 Feb 2017
  • Loc: France

Posted 27 May 2018 - 02:25 AM

I had some of four manufacturers : 2 true v1, 2 true v2, 1 SkyW, 2 unbranded.

I could test them on top quality telescope (strehl over 0,97)

Except some bug from Burgess I did not encounter, v1 series is the best ... far ahead.

The 2.5mm v1 I soldwas a jewel. (what an error : never sell a top eyepiece)

 

I have some ideas about why the quality is not the same, but I did not verify them.

If someone has a V1 version and a unbranded version of the same Fl, you should weigh the glass on a precise scale.



#13 Peter Besenbruch

Peter Besenbruch

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,528
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2014
  • Loc: Oahu

Posted 28 May 2018 - 10:36 AM

Anybody try the 3.2mm BST?  I'm curious how it would work in f/4 and f/5 reflectors.

I have the 3.2mm that looks like the Skywatcher and the Olivon version. I have the BST labeled ones in other focal lengths. My 3.2 is a superb high power eyepiece, ideal for refractors at f7. How well it works at f4-5, I don't know. Given the relative strength of the built in Barlow, I suspect fairly well.



#14 n2dpsky

n2dpsky

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 353
  • Joined: 01 May 2012
  • Loc: Orange, CA

Posted 09 June 2018 - 01:44 AM

Well, I've been reading good things about the BST Starguider branded version and bought a 6mm from Agena to try out the line on my 10" f/4.7.  I'm pretty pleased for the price.  Eye relief is quite comfortable for a 6mm.  I was blessed tonight with excellent seeing and Jupiter was great.  The field is very flat and well corrected.  Contrast was also very good.  So far, it seems like a great little planetary eyepiece.

 

I did notice a little quirk when I held it up to my eye against a moderate light source.   I see s faint little ring of color on the very edge of the field stop.  It's almost as if one of the element edges isn't blackened because the color seems to be projected onto the inside of the barrel.  It's faint and may not be an issue but I need to try it on the Moon so see if it bothers me, but for planetary work, it's really not an issue and so far, it's a keeper.   At $55, it's hard to be too critical.   

 

I still recall paying something like $80 for a Meade Series 3000 Plossl 25 years ago, so compared to that, this an unbelievable deal.   After a little more testing, I think I'll pick up the 4mm and 5mm to complete the planetary set.  I think the exit pupil on the shorter ones is a little narrow for me.  


Edited by n2dpsky, 09 June 2018 - 02:57 AM.

  • teashea likes this

#15 dpastern

dpastern

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,787
  • Joined: 01 Jan 2009
  • Loc: Brisbane, Australia

Posted 09 June 2018 - 11:07 AM

I have a series II TMB 6mm and it's stunning as far as I'm concerned.  Best eyepiece I have used so far (I have a few stored away that I haven't had a chance to use yet and compare, so it could change).  


  • JIMZ7, n2dpsky and teashea like this

#16 Peter Besenbruch

Peter Besenbruch

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,528
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2014
  • Loc: Oahu

Posted 09 June 2018 - 06:44 PM

I'm the guy who says they are a very good eyepiece, provided you flock the shiny tube at focal lengths of 6mm and shorter. You will know you will need to, or not, when you look at the moon.


  • buddy ny, lylver, nicoledoula and 1 other like this

#17 epee

epee

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,682
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Suh-van-nuh, Jaw-juh

Posted 10 June 2018 - 07:15 AM

They do seem to be an exceptional value. It’s a shame the manufacturers don’t run a course thread up the barrel during manufacture. I can understand how anodizing the barrel one tone outside and a different tone inside would drive the price up by a considerable percentage.
  • Peter Besenbruch and teashea like this

#18 starmason

starmason

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 217
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Winchester, Va

Posted 13 March 2021 - 10:25 AM

Not quite that simple. To an extent you have suplied part of the answer: Why the Series 2 if the original Series 1 were good?

 

Should have taken a copy, if it were possible then, but there were about 7 improvemnets made to the Series 1's to produce the Series 2's. Nothing extreme but the lens edges were blackened, also an internal seperating ring was a nice shiny chrome plated item - that went for a better matt black item. Maybe better AR coatings, better rubber eyecups.

 

I wanted the originals Mk1's, many years ago. Only 1 place here sold them, before I could get hold of any they disappeared, sometime later (quite some time) the Mk 2's appeared. I never bothered.

 

As said there was a something that gave a "list" of the improvements performed, it may have been on the site of the retailer that sold them here to demonstrate the updates performed to the Mk2's over the Mk1's. But by then I think people had moved on. It seems rare in astronomy that poor initial offering is forgotten, even if the next is better.

 

Are they clones or are they agreed reproductions? Remember that the production was in always China.

I think you will find the "history" of the eyepieces somewhat foggy.

Have read more then once that the TS offering are pretty good items, and not "Bad". Question then is who makes those particular items.

Bill Burgess sent the Mark 1 owners an upgrade kit which included flat black anodized rings which cut down on any reflections inside.  I replaced, as directed, and all of my Mk 1's performed better.  The Mk2 had blackened lower barlow section.  No big deal to me as the original shiny metal section was fine just like all of my TeleVue's do with their shiny bottom sections.


  • teashea likes this

#19 Paul G

Paul G

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9,460
  • Joined: 08 May 2003
  • Loc: Freedonia

Posted 13 March 2021 - 12:38 PM

Didn't Tom Back complain that the initial run of the 6mm wasn't actually his design, that the manufacturer had for some unknown reason used a different design and that's why it didn't perform up to par?


  • teashea likes this

#20 Magnetic Field

Magnetic Field

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,224
  • Joined: 28 Aug 2017
  • Loc: UK

Posted 13 March 2021 - 12:53 PM

Didn't Tom Back complain that the initial run of the 6mm wasn't actually his design, that the manufacturer had for some unknown reason used a different design and that's why it didn't perform up to par?

At least the 5mm TMB Sky-Watcher clone worst eyepiece ever.

 

I just hated it in my Vixen VMC 110L. Even at f11 the field edge sharpness was crap and if you looked the wrong way you always saw large patches of 'disco blue' false colour bleeding from nowhere  into the outer field edge.

 

And it suffices to say: it was a total disaster in my Borg D=101mm, ED f6.4. Absolutely useless. Just the worst experience anyone can ever have. My Tele Vue Zoom 3-6mm works really well on the Borg (admittedly it has a smaller field of view though).

 

I then sold it on. The buyer didn't believe me and I said to him that  crap design is not gonna work in your f/7 ED refractor. He didn't believe me and learned it the hard way. He then later wrote me an email, after testing the 5mm TMB Sky-Watcher clone, and apologised for not believing me.

 

It is beyond me how those TMB eyepieces ever received glaring reviews.

 

I cannot imagine the genuine TMBs would be so much different.


Edited by Magnetic Field, 13 March 2021 - 12:55 PM.

  • teashea likes this

#21 hoof

hoof

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,998
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2005
  • Loc: Monroe, WA

Posted 13 March 2021 - 01:32 PM

I still own my 4,5,6,7,9 TMB planetary (series 1) eyepieces, bought original from Burgess. Comfortable to look through, sharp, handle an F/6 light cone well, no lateral color, really nice. That said, their light control is an issue (though better with the replacement retaining ring they sent me).

Recently I tried a trick that I used on my Lunt 4.7/3.5 110’s, adding a baffle just past the field lens. Like the Lunts, this killed the sweeping glare issue they had. Unlike the Lunts, there is residual glow around point sources. Will try the flocking idea next.

They reside in my case next to TMB SMCs and Vixen HR’s. A nice alternative when I want eye relief on the moon :)
  • buddy ny likes this

#22 jarnold

jarnold

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 20
  • Joined: 21 Jun 2007
  • Loc: Gulf Coast Asylum

Posted 13 March 2021 - 01:45 PM

Hey Guys:

 

I have a complete set of Planetary II clones from 9mm to 2.5mm.  However, the 25mm, 15mm, 7.5mm and 4.5mm were not part of the original Planetary II set designed by Thomas.   At some point post Burgess Optical, Thomas revised his design by adding a 6th lens element.  The original design, including Chinese clones, had five lens elements and are know as TMB Planetary eyepieces.  Thomas' revised design, both original and Chinese clone, are known as Planetary II eyepieces.  The Barska eyepieces are five element Planetary design.  Most clones sold on ebay are six element Planetary IIs, however some are marketed as Planetary IIs, yet have only five lens elements. 

 

Personally, I avoided the 25mm, 15mm, 7.5mm and 4.5mm because they are not Thomas' original design.

 

Now, as far as the quality of the Planetary II eyepieces, I find that they are good performers, not great and not bad.  I would say middle-of-the-road in terms of build quality and performance in a f/7 middle-of-the-road refractory.  Are they worth $35 to $45?  Absolutely!  I believe that the Planetary IIs would make an excellent set for someone starting out in planetary viewing.  I also use them for double star and cluster viewing.  

 

The one thing that disturbs me about these eyepieces is that Thomas' name and reputation are being used, apparently without the permission from his estate.  Am I a hypocrite for buying the Planetary II eyepieces?  Probably.

 

Clean and steady skies.



#23 lylver

lylver

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 949
  • Joined: 15 Feb 2017
  • Loc: France

Posted 13 March 2021 - 06:31 PM

Didn't Tom Back complain that the initial run of the 6mm wasn't actually his design, that the manufacturer had for some unknown reason used a different design and that's why it didn't perform up to par?

Oh yes he did !

Many errors and susbstitutions bother him a lot. The six lens design was the worse.

Attached File  Burgesstmb.pdf   367.85KB   81 downloads

* Original link retrieved *

BO_TMB Planetary Series comparison test.html


Edited by lylver, 14 March 2021 - 09:57 AM.

  • Paul G and teashea like this

#24 teashea

teashea

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,743
  • Joined: 20 Dec 2020
  • Loc: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Posted 13 March 2021 - 08:15 PM

I purchased a set of TMB Planetary II eyepieces last week.  The build quality seems very good.  I have not had a chance to test them optically.  I will take a photo and post it.  



#25 CeleNoptic

CeleNoptic

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,735
  • Joined: 20 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Mid-Atlantic, Bortle 7

Posted 14 March 2021 - 03:02 AM

Most clones sold on ebay are six element Planetary IIs

 

Do you know it for a fact? 

 

From what I've seen so far there is no support for 6-element version, everybody who disassemble them or judge by reflections from lenses find just 5 elements. shrug.gif  


  • BFaucett likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics