This short focal length 6mm TMB Planetary II eyepiece is from TMB Optical, the company founded by noted apochromatic refractor designer Thomas M. Back to produce state-of-the-art premium optics.
The 6mm TMB Planetary II has been optimized to show maximum contrast, detail, and definition when viewing bright objects such as the Moon and planets, both on and off axis. It has very high light transmission and contrast, plus minimal lateral color and light scatter. These combine to provide exceptional high power observing with long focal length refractors, reflectors, and catadioptric scopes under average or better seeing conditions. That you can get its truly premium performance at such a reasonable price is little short of amazing.
This TMB Planetary II eyepiece provides the 1mm exit pupil recommended for observing the maximum detail with short focal length f/6 refractors and reflectors. It will also work with f/10 catadioptric scopes, as its 6mm focal length provides 333x (about 42x per inch of aperture) with an 8” SCT, about the practical maximum magnification possible under good to very good seeing conditions.
Eye relief, at 12mm, is very good for an eyepiece with such a short focal length. Vignetting will only be moderate for those who must wear eyeglasses while observing. This usually won’t be a problem when using the TMB Planetary II eyepiece on the kinds of objects for which it was optimized – planets, binary stars, etc. – as these small objects are generally kept in the center of the eyepiece field, where your eyesight is sharpest.
For Dobsonian users and others without tracking drives, the very low lateral color and other aberrations allow a planet to drift across the entire 58° field while still being sharp and having high contrast, thereby maximizing observing time. While the eyepiece is optimized for observing subtle lunar and planetary detail, the eyepiece’s observing virtues work equally well for splitting binary stars, resolving compact globular clusters, etc.
A light coating of lubricant has been applied to the threads of the twist-up eyecup. If any lubricant is visible on the inner eyepiece body when the eyecup is in the extended position, remove the excess lubricant with a clean wipe, such as a tissue. Operate the twist-up eyecup several times, cleaning the body as necessary until no more lubricant is visible on the eyepiece body when the twist-up eyecup is fully extended.