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Thread: Does anyone recognise the make of this TMB lookalike?

  1. #1
    Shorty Barlow's Avatar
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    Default Does anyone recognise the make of this TMB lookalike?



    I’ve just acquired this 4.5mm ‘TMB Planetary II’ eyepiece, it’s supposed to be a ‘Lacerta’ but it’s pot luck what this particular retailer sends when you order these. I recently ordered a 4mm Lacerta from the same retailer and ended up with a 4mm TS Optics Planetary HR.

    SW 4.5 (4).jpg

    I’m guessing Barsta (BST), but it may not be. It cost about the same as the Barsta made Sky-Watcher UWA’s that are often sold as Olivon.

    SW 4.5 (2).jpg

    It has a flared drawtube, which was a bit of a disappointment for me as it limits what I can put it into. It seems fairly decent in a brief daylight test and no different to the Sky-Watcher UWA’s as far as I can tell.

    SW 4.5 (3).jpg

    The build quality is decent although I don’t think it is quite up to the BST/TS Optics Planetary series standard. Although the TSO’s are usually twice the price. The style of box packaging and the 'Plossl' claim is reminiscent of the similar Sky-Watcher/Barsta eyepieces.

    SW 4.5 (1).jpg
    TS Optics: 150mm, f/6 Newtonian (GSO SVD series). Altair: Starwave 102ED-R. Sky-Watcher: SkyMax 102mm, SkyMax 127mm, Evostar 72ED DS Pro, Evostar 80ED DS Pro, ST80 (TS Focuser), ST102 (TS Focuser), EQ5 Deluxe, AZ5 Deluxe. Vixen: Porta II, SXG Hal-130. Orion: 90mm StarMax , ST80 (TS Focuser). Celestron: NexStar Evolution 9.25". William Optics: E-BINO-P Binoviewer. A shed load of eyepieces including: Antares, Astro Hutech, Baader, Bresser, BST, Bushnell, Celestron, Explore Scientific, GSO, Kokusai, Meade, Orion, Sky-Watcher, Solomark, SvBony, TeleVue, Vixen & one or two I'm not sure of.

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    Default Re: Does anyone recognise the make of this TMB lookalike?

    My understanding is that the Barsta version has a twist-up eye cap. I don't have any of these so I can't state that with certainty. That is only what I've read. There seems to be two sources for these out of China (could be more for all I know). At least they seemed to have removed the "TMB" logo from these clones. There was a lot of contention when some were being released as "TMB" Planetary II without the authorization of Thomas Back's familiy/estate.

    I have seen various comments about these, which seem to vary from pretty good to not so good. Based on that, quality control doesn't seem especially tight. Haven't heard of the label Lacerta, but I know the manufacturers will put whatever name you want on them if you order enough pieces. I have seen some say that for them the TS Optics labeled ones seemed better. Again, only what I've read. Hope it works out well for you.
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    Default Re: Does anyone recognise the make of this TMB lookalike?

    Quote Originally Posted by KT4HX View Post
    My understanding is that the Barsta version has a twist-up eye cap. I don't have any of these so I can't state that with certainty. That is only what I've read. There seems to be two sources for these out of China (could be more for all I know). At least they seemed to have removed the "TMB" logo from these clones. There was a lot of contention when some were being released as "TMB" Planetary II without the authorization of Thomas Back's familiy/estate.

    I have seen various comments about these, which seem to vary from pretty good to not so good. Based on that, quality control doesn't seem especially tight. Haven't heard of the label Lacerta, but I know the manufacturers will put whatever name you want on them if you order enough pieces. I have seen some say that for them the TS Optics labeled ones seemed better. Again, only what I've read. Hope it works out well for you.
    Thanks, it seemed pretty good when I tried it on the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn last night and I honestly couldn't see any difference between a 4mm TSO Planetary. I think it's better flocked and edge blacked than the Sky-Watcher/Olivon UWA type (also Barsta). The eye guard does indeed twist up just like the TS Optics versions. Which I'm pretty sure actually are made by Barsta (BST). I'm still not too keen on the tapered undercut though on this 4.5mm, as it precludes its use in anything with a compression ring. After a bit more googling I'm fairly convinced it is made by Barsta. Agena Astro have identical eyepieces, similar in price when the currency is translated, and they're marketed as BST.
    KT4HX likes this.
    TS Optics: 150mm, f/6 Newtonian (GSO SVD series). Altair: Starwave 102ED-R. Sky-Watcher: SkyMax 102mm, SkyMax 127mm, Evostar 72ED DS Pro, Evostar 80ED DS Pro, ST80 (TS Focuser), ST102 (TS Focuser), EQ5 Deluxe, AZ5 Deluxe. Vixen: Porta II, SXG Hal-130. Orion: 90mm StarMax , ST80 (TS Focuser). Celestron: NexStar Evolution 9.25". William Optics: E-BINO-P Binoviewer. A shed load of eyepieces including: Antares, Astro Hutech, Baader, Bresser, BST, Bushnell, Celestron, Explore Scientific, GSO, Kokusai, Meade, Orion, Sky-Watcher, Solomark, SvBony, TeleVue, Vixen & one or two I'm not sure of.

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    Default Re: Does anyone recognise the make of this TMB lookalike?

    I think these are some of the early TMB's:

    original tmb.jpg

    The 'Lacerta' supposedly look like this:

    Lacerta.jpg

    And the Barsta variant from their site. These are identical to the Sky-Watcher/Olivon UWA's:

    barsta sw olivon.jpg

    This looks like mine:

    agena 45.jpg
    TS Optics: 150mm, f/6 Newtonian (GSO SVD series). Altair: Starwave 102ED-R. Sky-Watcher: SkyMax 102mm, SkyMax 127mm, Evostar 72ED DS Pro, Evostar 80ED DS Pro, ST80 (TS Focuser), ST102 (TS Focuser), EQ5 Deluxe, AZ5 Deluxe. Vixen: Porta II, SXG Hal-130. Orion: 90mm StarMax , ST80 (TS Focuser). Celestron: NexStar Evolution 9.25". William Optics: E-BINO-P Binoviewer. A shed load of eyepieces including: Antares, Astro Hutech, Baader, Bresser, BST, Bushnell, Celestron, Explore Scientific, GSO, Kokusai, Meade, Orion, Sky-Watcher, Solomark, SvBony, TeleVue, Vixen & one or two I'm not sure of.

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    Default Re: Does anyone recognise the make of this TMB lookalike?

    I have a couple different eyepieces with the tapered barrels and you can use them with a compression ring as long as you are careful you do not over tighten it. Snug works fine and will not bend the compression ring.
    dagadget and Shorty Barlow like this.
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
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    Default Re: Does anyone recognise the make of this TMB lookalike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabby76 View Post
    I have a couple different eyepieces with the tapered barrels and you can use them with a compression ring as long as you are careful you do not over tighten it. Snug works fine and will not bend the compression ring.
    OK thanks Gabby.

    Baader Focusing Eyepiece.jpg

    It would be nice if I could use it with this.
    TS Optics: 150mm, f/6 Newtonian (GSO SVD series). Altair: Starwave 102ED-R. Sky-Watcher: SkyMax 102mm, SkyMax 127mm, Evostar 72ED DS Pro, Evostar 80ED DS Pro, ST80 (TS Focuser), ST102 (TS Focuser), EQ5 Deluxe, AZ5 Deluxe. Vixen: Porta II, SXG Hal-130. Orion: 90mm StarMax , ST80 (TS Focuser). Celestron: NexStar Evolution 9.25". William Optics: E-BINO-P Binoviewer. A shed load of eyepieces including: Antares, Astro Hutech, Baader, Bresser, BST, Bushnell, Celestron, Explore Scientific, GSO, Kokusai, Meade, Orion, Sky-Watcher, Solomark, SvBony, TeleVue, Vixen & one or two I'm not sure of.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Does anyone recognise the make of this TMB lookalike?

    I have not used one of those so cannot say if it will work well or not.
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
    Mounts: Celestron SLT w/ pier mod & EQ-3 tripod, Celestron hypertuned CG-5 w/ tracking motor & Argo Navis, Manfrotto 028B w/ Stellarvue M2C, Manfrotto 055PRO w/ 128RC, TAL-1 HD EQ, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 SXG & half pier
    Diagonals: 2" Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2" Zeiss/ Baader prism, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (Photo Version), 2"
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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the
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    Ya gotta keep this Apo/
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    thing in some balance of perspective. Apos are awesome, but long focus Achros aren't that far behind them - Siriusandthepup (CN)

    Refractors kick arse precisely because they don't hide behind excuses. That is, they have no obstructions to hide behind. - Jon Isaacs (CN)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Does anyone recognise the make of this TMB lookalike?

    I tried it with a 3.2mm BST StarGuider and the 4.5mm TMB lookalike. Both have tapered drawtubes.

    BST 3.2.jpg

    Both focused with the Baader helical focuser, short focal lengths will usually, although after about 9mm it is a bit hit and miss. I didn't over tighten any of the three set screws and it held the eyepieces well. Although it was in a Newtonian on an EQ mount with the eyepieces not hanging below the horizontal. The Baader helical compression ring seems fine and I should imagine the set screws would have to be very tight for a long time to do any lasting damage even if they could.

    So I got a sharp and finely focused 200x on Jupiter with my new 4.5mm TMB lookalike and a nice 281x on the Moon with the StarGuider. I'm a pretty happy bunny now lol.
    Gabby76 likes this.
    TS Optics: 150mm, f/6 Newtonian (GSO SVD series). Altair: Starwave 102ED-R. Sky-Watcher: SkyMax 102mm, SkyMax 127mm, Evostar 72ED DS Pro, Evostar 80ED DS Pro, ST80 (TS Focuser), ST102 (TS Focuser), EQ5 Deluxe, AZ5 Deluxe. Vixen: Porta II, SXG Hal-130. Orion: 90mm StarMax , ST80 (TS Focuser). Celestron: NexStar Evolution 9.25". William Optics: E-BINO-P Binoviewer. A shed load of eyepieces including: Antares, Astro Hutech, Baader, Bresser, BST, Bushnell, Celestron, Explore Scientific, GSO, Kokusai, Meade, Orion, Sky-Watcher, Solomark, SvBony, TeleVue, Vixen & one or two I'm not sure of.

 

 

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