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Burgess / TMB Planetary Eyepieces - Any good ?


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I'm looking for a nice 9mm eyepiece to fill a gap in my "fleet". The 9mm Burgess / TMB Planetary (the longest focal length in this range) looks attractive and is priced reasonably. It would be for use in my 102mm F6.5 ED refractor and the 10 inch F4.7 dob that I'm picking up tomorrow.

Does anybody have experience of these EP's or the 9mm specifically ?.

Thanks,

John

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John, I've got the 5mm and it's great. What I can't work out is that it's advertised as a 'planetary' eyepiece but it's got a fairly wide 60 degree FOV so it's good for a lot more than just planets IMO . The guy I bought mine from reckoned it was as good as a TV Radian, not that I've viewed through a Radian but I can say mine's not going anywhere :lol:. Recommended.

Tony..

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Yes the 9mm was the one i had although it supposed to be the weakest in the range. But i think this was aimed at early production models that suffered with glare when a bright object was placed just outside the FOV. It turned out to be a simple fix.

From what I remember the design brief was to create a high quality planetary eyepiece that worked well in fast scopes and provided a wide FOV that allowed an object to drift through without any refocusing. In other words it was aimed squarly at big, fast dob users who could enjoy the planets without the need to touch the telescope too much.

I used the 9mm in a number of scopes and it was faultless in all, regardless of f ratio.

I've already spoken to Steve about getting another, although the one i really want, the 6mm, is not available due to a wrangle between Burgess/TMB and the supplier.

There are alternatives but all are more pricey:

William Optics SPL

Pentax XF

TV Radian

Russ

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Yes the 9mm was the one i had although it supposed to be the weakest in the range. But i think this was aimed at early production models that suffered with glare when a bright object was placed just outside the FOV. It turned out to be a simple fix.

I think I read about this issue when this range was introduced - can I assume that this is all sorted now about would not be an issue with a new one ?.

John

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There are alternatives but all are more pricey:

William Optics SPL

Pentax XF

TV Radian

Russ

The Williams Optics SPL range retail at £69.00 each or set of three for £199.00 locally. I don't have the 6mm or the 3mm but I find the 12.5mm gives excellent views when used on either short or long focus scopes.

CW

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  • 2 years later...

i have the 8 (close enough?) it's my most used e/p in my 10" dob. I also have a clone of the 5 but in temr sof nudge nudge nudge the 5 is a bit too demanding....

for some reason, both of them "rattle" - it doesn't seem to affect the view but it's a bit disconcerting...

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Thanks for the additional feedback folks - my original query was in 2007 so, as you can see from my equipment list, things have moved on a bit !.

I've heard about the "rattle" as well kniclander - it seems to be a "feature" of many TMB / Burgess Planetaries & their clones but they still put up very nice views.

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If 8mm is close enough, I would consider the Radian (which I have, easily the best planetary EP I have used). Fits better next to your Nagler and Ethos EPs. SOLID build, tack sharp edge to edge, great eye relief. Like the click-stop system (some hate it I know).

Have heard nothing but good of the TMB Planetary EPs (after the initial glare issues) though. Have a TMB Paragon (other side of the focal-length spectrum) and love that as well.

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The rattle is very easily solved by a tightening of the rings that hold the lenses in place.

I got a 7mm recently for a good price, and either the seller moved it on because of the rattle or shipping loosened stuff in it and it did rattle significantly.

I unscrewed the Smyth lens and tightened the ring with the two holes in it, that stopped that rattling, and I removed the rubber eyecup and tightened up the rings that held the main eyepiece lenses in place as well.

Since then my 7mm TMB is silent. Performs very well too.

I've recently upgraded my EP collection due to the cheap prices for the meade series 5000 SWA and UWA in the US, getting 16mm, 24mm and 34mm SWA eyepieces and an 8.8mm UWA as well. The TMB has better eyerelief than the UWA, and has a differently shaped field with a different distortion correction in place. For planet viewing I tend to use the TMB. If I could get a 4mm TMB cheaply I would, jsut to complete the range that I would use with my scopes.

If you get the TMB you shouldn't regret it. It's a good eyepiece and it's great at that price anyway.

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I've just today received a Burgess Planetary II 6mm, which seems a good buy for just under 50 squids ... they seem to be on 'clearance' ... planning to give it a try this evening on Saturn, Mars and Luna :D

No rattles evident, seems good build quality and has a nice big hole to look into :D

cheers

Dave.

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I've heard about the "rattle" as well kniclander - it seems to be a "feature" of many TMB / Burgess Planetaries.

Famed American telescope mirror-maker Mr. R.F. Royce, claims that overly-tight assembling of eyepieces can pinch the optics, and that eyepieces should rattle a bit.

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I've had both the 9mm and 6mm, lovely eyepiece that's hard to beat at double the money.

I actually preferred mine to my radians!!

Those two and my 19mm panoptic where always out of the eyepiece case.

The early issues where with a spacer that hadn't had its edge blackened, this caused all sorts of glare problems.

The early fix was to take it apart and use a marker on it, but it was rectified by the second production run.

Well worth the money, new or second hand.

Ps I only got rid of mine when I gave up visual astronomy.

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overly-tight assembling of eyepieces can pinch the optics, and that eyepieces should rattle a bit.

Yes, but pinching is much less of an issue with eyepieces than it is with objectives.

I would say that the retaining rings should be tight enough that there is no rattle when the eyepiece is shaken gently, but no tighter than that.

BTW I strongly prefer the Baader Genuine Ortho for planetary work, the TV Radian (at more than twice the price) is reccomended if you insist on a wider field or really need the eye relief ... very good but lacking the "edge" that only a well designed simple eyepiece can have.

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I strongly prefer the Baader Genuine Ortho for planetary work, the TV Radian (at more than twice the price) is reccomended if you insist on a wider field or really need the eye relief.

Brian - What (for you) gives the Baader Genuine Ortho the edge over its cheaper cousin, the Circle-T Volcano Top?

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What (for you) gives the Baader Genuine Ortho the edge over its cheaper cousin, the Circle-T Volcano Top?

Better coatings giving less scattered light therefore more contrast. The difference is not huge but is is noticeable.

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