It offers an amazing 100-degree view of space that will make you feel like you have left the earth. It stands out even among the many quality telescope eyepieces on the market today. This eyepiece will make even the most seasoned observer feel like a new astronomer again, completely in awe of the Universe.
Did you think we were talking about the Tele Vue Ethos? We were not. The advent of Ethos really shook up the eyepieces world with its amazingly large apparent field of view. Before the Ethos most everyone was thrilled with an 82-degree field of view. In a 2007 review Sky & Telescope magazine gave the Ethos five stars and called it “sensibly perfect” and wrote that “no meaningful improvements” would be possible.
Other manufacturers have been forming their response to the Ethos and we think amateur astronomers will be impressed.
The TMB 100 16 essentially does everything the Ethos does with one major difference. It costs about half as much.
Any astronomer will tell you that looking through a good telescope at objects so beautiful and so far away they boggle the mind can be fulfilling and worth a great deal of effort. This hobby is both art and science, helping further our understanding and our appreciation of the beauty of celestial objects.
A great eyepiece like the TMB 100 16 can multiply that experience and renew your love of the hobby. This eyepiece brings a walk-in-space feeling by offering an ultra-wide field of view. It is so wide that no viewer would be able to see the full 100 degrees in the field of view without moving their head from side to side.
TMB’s website calls it the “picture window on space.” If you stand a few feet back from an ordinary window you get a view that is cut off on either side by a window frame, just like the field stop acts like a window frame for your telescope view. If you stand a few feet back from a picture window and look at the same view the frame is outside your eye’s view and all you see is the vista outside your window. The TMB 100 is designed to provide you with a picture window-like view of space.
The TMB 100 16 has features that control astigmatism, field curvature, geometric distortion and lateral color, and which provide high contrast, comfortable eye relief, and full field sharpness. There are eight optical elements configured to correct and perfect the image by the time it reaches your eye. Any air-to-glass surfaces are multi-coated to encourage light transmission and contrast.
Features that are built to improve your overall experience include a threaded interior so you can experiment with different filters. Open up a whole new world with light pollution and color filters.
The torpedo shape and extra-wide gripping ring help you to get a secure hold and maintain control over the TMB 100 16.
The eye cup is designed to improve contrast by blocking light and forcing the correct positioning of the eye. It can be rolled down to accommodate different needs.
With its wide field of view the TMB 100 16 is made to be particularly good at working with Dobsonians to offer exquisite lunar, small nebulae and globular clusters views.
One thing that really should add to the ease of use of the TMB 100 16 is the fact that you can use it so often. Telescope eyepieces usually come sized for 1.25 or 2-inch focusers but the TMB 100 16 comes ready for both 1.25 and 2-inch focusers and star diagonals. It will be compatible with virtually all telescopes.
The 2-inch adapter is threaded so it can go right over the top of the 1.25-inch barrel to adapt to a 2-inch focuser.
Use it with the telescopes you own now and use it with the telescopes you plan to buy and use it with telescopes at your friendly neighborhood star party. All will likely benefit from the TMB 100’s company.
TMB also thought of barrel security. Nothing would be more heartbreaking than watching your new and favorite eyepiece plummet to the ground if the thumbscrew comes loose during an observing session. Each TMB 100 9 has a safety groove machined into it so it can hang on regardless of what happens.
The weight of this eyepiece is comparable to others in our lineup. It is not a featherweight at 14.04 ounces, but it still weighs in at under a pound and is more compact and lightweight than the Ethos. It weighs less than half as much as the 14mm 100-degree N2 from Explore Scientific. You are not likely to have to rebalance your telescope when you insert the TMB 100 16.
It is also on the shorter side when compared with the other big names in telescope eyepieces. It is only 4.5 inches long. That’s not bad for a piece of equipment that will offer a 100-degree field of view.
The TMB 100 16 comes with a storage case and dust caps. These features are great for protecting your investment.
The help and support you will receive with your TMB 100 16 is very limited. There is no large-scale customer service of any kind really. E-mailed requests are answered in days, not hours, and there is no telephone support.
TMB does offer a Yahoo forum for users and a testimonials page. Neither was especially useful but the forum is at least somewhat informative.
Since you cannot actually buy from TMB directly anyway all of this is less important. They sell their products through astronomics.com, which does offer pretty good support with live chat, phone contact and other customer comforts.
It is also less important because eyepieces are fairly easy to use. Technical questions will not likely be urgent during an observing session. If you are determined to improve your view and would like assistance you will be able to find it between the distributor and TMB, in time.
We found little evidence of a warranty for this eyepiece. Astronomics lists a 1-year warranty but TMB customer service is so poor we were not able to confirm. A stronger warranty would be nice as a show of confidence in the product. Anytime you go for a product based even partially on lower price it is nice to have strong customer backup.
There has been a minor amount of static online about some fuzziness toward the outer edges of the TMB 100 16’s field of view. Don’t expect the view to be quite as perfect as Tele Vue’s Ethos. Expect it to be really great, though. At less than half the cost it will be an investment that you will not regret.
The Ethos is glorious but it costs around $600. You will get a lot of wow factor for much less with TMB 100 16.
The TMB 100 16 will provide amazing walk-in-space views with a 100-degree field of view and low price.
TMB customer service and support options are relatively limited.
This is a great piece of equipment that will add tremendously to your telescope’s abilities.