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What is the Thomas Back (TMB) connection with APM, LZOS & Astronomics?

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#26 CHASLX200

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 08:45 PM

Oh yes, it weighs a ton for a 4” scope.  I can easily put the AP Traveler on an IOptron Ieq30 pro and have a steady view. The TMB 100 rides on an AP Mach1 or a DM6.   I haven’t put the TMB on a scale, but with rings, accessories and all, I would estimate is weighs between 15 and 20 lbs. 

I think mine was 22 lbs and needed a much bigger mount than a normal 4".



#27 John Huntley

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:37 PM

On the night of Mars opposition I had my two best refractors out. The 130mm TMB/LZOS optical tube weighs 9.5kg including rings, diagonal etc:

 

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#28 Muffin Research

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 01:57 PM

An oldie indeed. No photo of the lens.

Ah In the description it says it's a new Lzos lens, so should be pristine, but shame as I posted it for original TMB content. 

I do love that version as well like the one Esso has.. love the looks and finish on that. but apparently it is very heavy as everyone is commenting. 

And my memory just triggers a thread on CN years ago about some snags with that type of focuser.. could have been only imaging related..


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#29 25585

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 07:07 PM

Another oldie, a TMB Optical scope.

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#30 Esso2112

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 09:03 AM

Ah In the description it says it's a new Lzos lens, so should be pristine, but shame as I posted it for original TMB content. 

I do love that version as well like the one Esso has.. love the looks and finish on that. but apparently it is very heavy as everyone is commenting. 

And my memory just triggers a thread on CN years ago about some snags with that type of focuser.. could have been only imaging related..

The issue with the original focuser related to the focuser rotation system. The set screws could gouge the groove during rotation.  A little forward pressure while rotating works.  



#31 Esso2112

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 09:07 AM

Some more original TMB eye candy.  A TMB 175. 
 

0A6D8F43-B161-4F28-B1B5-C4E12413C53D.jpeg

 

And a Sunspot taken with the 175 last summer. 
A547A634-C494-46A3-B5C8-1E38AFA2836B.jpeg


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#32 Muffin Research

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 09:28 AM

The issue with the original focuser related to the focuser rotation system. The set screws could gouge the groove during rotation.  A little forward pressure while rotating works.  

ah might have even been your thread? It's just whilst reading here an image popped up in my head from a thread I was just reading once in passing by, I could see a stock picture with several TMB scopes from the back with that type of focuser, and somebody commenting about the angle not being perfect to the tube and indeed just pushing it rings a bell as solution. 



#33 ltha

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 09:52 AM

Years ago I owned a TMB 175 F/8, #41. There is a review of the scope on CN by its original owner. It is one of the best scopes I have ever looked through, and I still regret selling it. 
 

https://www.cloudyni...c-refractor-r30

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Edited by ltha, 20 November 2020 - 10:17 AM.

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#34 Esso2112

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 10:20 AM

ah might have even been your thread? It's just whilst reading here an image popped up in my head from a thread I was just reading once in passing by, I could see a stock picture with several TMB scopes from the back with that type of focuser, and somebody commenting about the angle not being perfect to the tube and indeed just pushing it rings a bell as solution. 

I think I read the same thread. Somewhere I have an article about how to fix the issue, as well as adjusting the focuser.  



#35 stevenwav

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 12:56 PM

I've posted this before but here is Tom's personal 100 f/8 - this was the first, the OTA was a William Optics Fluorostar, fairly nice focuser but I upgraded to a moonlight, the lens was an LZOS and hand picked by Tom, number 067. I had a nice Zeiss 100/1000 APQ but sold that, kept this bad boy. 

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Edited by stevenwav, 20 November 2020 - 02:47 PM.

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#36 Paul G

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 01:11 PM

I've posted this before but here is Tom's personal 100 f/8 - this was the first, the OTA was a William Opitcs Fluorostar, fairly nice focuser but I upgraded to a moonlight, the lens was an LZOS and hand picked by Tom, number 067. I had a nice Zeiss 100/1000 APQ but sold that, kept this bad boy. 

You have some very nice stuff!


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#37 Paul G

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 01:16 PM

The issue with the original focuser related to the focuser rotation system. The set screws could gouge the groove during rotation.  A little forward pressure while rotating works.  

A real fix was designed for this. Someone had a step by step description with pics posted on the web but I can't find it now. The main issue he ran into in installing the fix was the original tube's design, removing the focuser required removing the lens cell and the long rods holding the baffles in place. IIRC that design was to allow air currents to flow along the inner wall of the ota tube around the outside of the baffles instead of inside the baffles, keeping it out of the way of the light cone.



#38 Paul G

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 01:19 PM

TMB was a talented if not frustrated optical designer.  He had the computer skills and quick mind to master optical design software and the patience to sit behind a keyboard and design optics.  He lacked the manufacturing capability and the needed relationships with the glass companies to bring those designs to fruition.  The partnership with APM (Markus Ludes) changed that.  It's too bad that Markus and Thomas could not work well together over the long term.  Self interest got the better of both of them in this business deal.    

Yeah, he and Markus had some ugly and inappropriate business arguments on the TMB user group where everyone could watch, like a train wreck.



#39 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 02:07 PM

My TMB 130SS, Serial #12.

 

Made in Japan lenses (Canon Optron usually mentioned as the source). Not the pedigree of LZOS, but no slouch either.

 

Most of these had FeatherTouch focusers, one of the earlier owners of this one had the A-P focuser installed with FeatherTouch reduction.

 

I acquired this as a tide-me-over until my Agema SD 150 arrives. It will be a hard scope to let go of.

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Edited by Jeff Morgan, 20 November 2020 - 02:11 PM.

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#40 SkyRanger

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 02:14 PM

Jeff, fortunately there are highly qualified adoptees waiting in line!

 

GG



#41 YAOG

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 02:15 PM

I was under the impression that the TMB SS lenses were made in the ROC by the same people who made Astronomics telescope optics. These are not bad lenses and IMO usually pretty good but not usually MIJ class optics unless you get really lucky. I've seen many really good Chinese (ROC) made lenses and a few exceptionally good Chinese (ROC) made lenses. 

 

I know the original TMB Optics lenses were LZOS OK4 ED and are marked as such. Then the non-Russian lenses came and AFAIK there may have been some initially figured in Japan but production was in the ROC (Taiwan) from lenses starting with the first blue labeled "TMB Optical" lenses and continued through the Original "TMB Signature Series" labeled telescope were Chinese made. AFAIK there is no Canon Optron in operation in ROC only Canon who is making lenses there for Canon EF lenses. 

 

Don't sell your TMB130 before you get a good look through the Agema 150, you may be surprised.   


Edited by YAOG, 20 November 2020 - 02:49 PM.


#42 25585

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 03:45 PM

My TMB 130SS, Serial #12.

 

Made in Japan lenses (Canon Optron usually mentioned as the source). Not the pedigree of LZOS, but no slouch either.

 

Most of these had FeatherTouch focusers, one of the earlier owners of this one had the A-P focuser installed with FeatherTouch reduction.

 

I acquired this as a tide-me-over until my Agema SD 150 arrives. It will be a hard scope to let go of.

Same lenses as a Vixen 130SS, also made by Canon?



#43 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 06:33 PM

I was under the impression that the TMB SS lenses were made in the ROC by the same people who made Astronomics telescope optics. These are not bad lenses and IMO usually pretty good but not usually MIJ class optics unless you get really lucky. I've seen many really good Chinese (ROC) made lenses and a few exceptionally good Chinese (ROC) made lenses. 

 

I know the original TMB Optics lenses were LZOS OK4 ED and are marked as such. Then the non-Russian lenses came and AFAIK there may have been some initially figured in Japan but production was in the ROC (Taiwan) from lenses starting with the first blue labeled "TMB Optical" lenses and continued through the Original "TMB Signature Series" labeled telescope were Chinese made. AFAIK there is no Canon Optron in operation in ROC only Canon who is making lenses there for Canon EF lenses. 

 

Don't sell your TMB130 before you get a good look through the Agema 150, you may be surprised.   

 

It was never officially revealed who made these lenses:

 

https://www.cloudyni...tory/?p=1025809

 

Unfortunately, Thomas passed away very shortly after the Signature Series was introduced. I am not aware that he disclosed more on the TMB group or CN.

 

We can all speculate of course. But the only authoritative source left to go on would be the comments of the remaining partner in the venture, Michael Bieler of Astronomics:

 

https://www.cloudyni...price/?p=916557

 

https://www.cloudyni...list/?p=1002257

 

https://www.cloudyni...list/?p=1002416

 

https://www.cloudyni...cope/?p=1014180

 

The last post is in response to a post relating Williams Optics (ROC) to the SS lenses. His response would tend to eliminate that possibility.

 

In any event, it was pretty clear from the acrimony that Thomas needed to change his sourcing. And I doubt he would have compromised one iota on quality.


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#44 alnitak22

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 06:52 PM

Yeah, he and Markus had some ugly and inappropriate business arguments on the TMB user group where everyone could watch, like a train wreck.

Yes, it was terrible and a little embarrassing. He also had a short lived partnership with Vic Maris. Though he was not the only one.


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#45 Paul G

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 07:03 PM

Yes, it was terrible and a little embarrassing. He also had a short lived partnership with Vic Maris. Though he was not the only one.

Then he went to low priced eyepieces with Burgess. 


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#46 Howard Gao

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 07:04 PM

We have 3 of these in China. Are they designed by TMB? Do all these scopes at different aperture share the same design?

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#47 alnitak22

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 07:31 PM

Then he went to low priced eyepieces with Burgess. 

Right. Embarrassing.



#48 YAOG

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 08:54 PM

We have 3 of these in China. Are they designed by TMB? Do all these scopes at different aperture share the same design

Yes, that looks like one of the few TMB 12" LZOS lenses. What is the f/ratio? Must be tremendous to observe with. 



#49 Howard Gao

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 03:59 AM

It’s 304/3600. Due to the aperture and air space there is thermal issue in most locations.
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#50 CHASLX200

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 08:45 AM

It’s 304/3600. Due to the aperture and air space there is thermal issue in most locations.

Bet ya it would do better where i live in FL right on the gulf.  Would be insane at 1000x on the planets in my seeing.




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