William Optics Megrez 80 mm II ED Triplet


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William Optics Megrez 80 mm II ED Triplet
I've had the William Optics Megrez II 80mm ED Triplet for 3 months and tested the scope on bright stars, the Moon, Saturn, Jupiter and deep space objects. I am very satisfied with the performance.

I've had a chance to view through other refractors near this size over the past year; TV Pronto, Orion ED80, Tak Sky90, ST80's, Stellarview 102mm ED's, AP Starfire 130mm.

The first thing you notice when you pull a piece of William Optics gear out of the box is build quality, the two Williams scopes I've seen are the most rugged refractors, yet still only ~5lbs. The machining is excellent and the sliding dew shield works great, it stays in place once fully extended or retracted. The knobs and set screws all seem custom made, they are a little larger then most other scopes and I could change eyepieces with my thinner fall/sping gloves on. Compression rings are used throughout the system and L-bracket is attached so you can thro it one just about any tripod, though aming and shakes get bad over 100X. The focus knobs are also nice and big and I can easily focus with big heavy winter gloves on, a plus here in Canada.

The Megrez II ED has nice star tests and tight similar diffration rings inside and out of focus. The cell does not allow for collimation but the scope arrived with perfect alignment. I've used my 5-8mm Speers zoom and a 2X TV Barlow for 140X-224X. I've tried these high powers on the Moon and Saturn, in the maritime climate it's hard to say if it's the scope maxing out at ~170X or the seeing. But the views are nice and sharp at that power with only a hint of color, but this is an 8-9 element with a barlow in front so that's picky. I've since picked up an Orion Epic 3.7mm for 150X and that seemed to reduce the color below my detection level. I think the TV Nagler 3.5mm is really the high power ocular of choice for those with the extra money. I'll also comment that at this power my observing glasses introduce more secondary color then the scope + all these elements. On a clear night with a 3/4 Moon a friend who owns an Orion ed 80 set up 4 feet away. We swapped everything from eyepieces, barlows, diagonals and tested with everything from Ortho's, TV Plossls', Speers, and other widefields. We found that the Orion had more of a blue cast while the Williams seemed to have more of a yellow cast. This is not to say they have color, only in a few hours of side by side comparison you can see these differences. They are both great scopes but the collimation on the Orions' is known to vary and this one is slightly out. Although the Orion presents a great value to modern refractor seekers, when you take into account the difference in size and build quality the Williams wins out. The 80mm ED F7 arrived in a nice little backpack which fits nicely on the floor behind the passenger seat in my hatchback, while the Orion ED80 takes up the majority of the backseat and the case/ rings are an option.

On the deep sky M42 was an amazing wreath of detail, despite spending many long winter evenings on this object with my 8-inch dob and 80mm f5 rft neither view seemed to compare to the 60X view through the Megrez.

A note on customer support. I originally purchased a different scope from Williams but there was a problem. I spoke to the company head in California as well as William over e-mail and they worked hard to come up with a solution and to keep me informed. I give customer support 10/10, if I called and left a message on Friday afternoon my call was returned before close of business, if I e-mailed I'd hear back in 24hrs or less. They worked hard to keep my business.

This Willaim Optics scope does not have that mass produced feel. It is rugged, built to travel anywhere, you can literally put it on your back in it's backpack and take a bike ride to the park. The optics are great and there are many options from carry bags, finders, brackets and a built in L-bracket.

One minor complaint I have is that the scope requires a 2" (included) extender to reach focus. It must be put into the focuser before the diagonal, this just seems like one extra thing I have to insert into the scope before observing .

Well this was a longish review, but since many people use this site & fewer review then read I thought I would add this great little scope. In closing I'll say that if you are thinking of one of these "value" ED80's and that even if portability isn't a priority, add up the additional cost of tube rings case and other accessories and then compare against a quote from a Willaims dealer for these options as the price seems to work out very close.

I'm eager to hear how others have enjoyed this scope :)

-Chris

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Ease of Use:9 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.222.215)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=415733


William Optics Megrez 80 mm II ED Triplet
This is an excellent telescope. I must admit, I was surprised by how little false color there really is. It is basically undetectable to me. I expected lessor performance out of an ED triplet. The star images snap into focus. Inside and outside of focus, the diffraction rings prove no abberations whatsoever. The optics compare very favorably to a TV 85. Mechanically, the scope is very solid. Cosmetically, its the nicest looking scope I've ever owned.
This is one purchase I dont regret. I am looking forward to taking some nice wide field astro-pictures with it as well as high resolution, hi magnification shots of eagles.

I am impressed. I hope your decision finds you as happy as I am.
Joe D

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.201.3)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=416677


William Optics Megrez 80 mm II ED Triplet
I'm giving this scope a solid "10". It is so well-made, and has such excellent optics. There is nothing close to this for even more money.

After buying this, I quickly sold my Televue Pronto!

I love the Megrez II!

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 7 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Nexstar8
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=420131


William Optics Megrez 80 mm II ED Triplet
First class construction. Beautiful to look at and a pleasure to use. Very portable (especially when you are tired after a long day’s work!).
Easy to use on a photo tripod, but for long sessions under the sky, and high magnifications, it performs better on a stable mount ( I use AstroView ).
Stars are razor sharp. No color on bright objects (just a very faint hint of color on 13-day moon-very hard to detect). Excellent focuser. With 360 degrees of freedom you wish all your scopes have this awesome convenience.
This little APO can take as much magnification as EP’s quality and seeing can give. [There were times when two barlows, an extender, a photo extender and a 7mm Nagler (about300x)were piercing deep into Heaven without image degradation, and my only limitation was the atmospheric impurities and the quality of accessories].
Very practical and top quality carrying back pack.
When not traveling, the Megrez sits on the equatorial mount. When I am on the go, it nests in the carrying bag next to a sturdy photo tripod and both are tucked in the corner of my small car ready for action with plenty of room for every one and every thing!
Customer service is as good as the scope itself: High rate, both State-side and in Taiwan.
[Few months after I bought it, I sold my big SCT for lack of use!
-The Megrez is still an 80mm scope, thus, it is no contest to big apertures but when life pressures prevail, there is no better astronomical companion than this little Taiwanese wonder]
I am very happy with it.
Highly recommended.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: ZHONGUO
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=435221


William Optics Megrez 80 mm II ED Triplet
The Megrez 80 II ED triplet APO
An affordable APO with many pleasant surprises
Fred Hissink a.hissinkdebruyn@chello.nl


Why does one want an apochromatic refractor? They are expensive and you’ll need at least 4 inches of aperture to capture some interesting objects, right? No, not right at all! I’m aware of the fact that the word ‘apochromatic’ has a magical sound to it and that’s no wonder: we’re all familiar with the colors around bright objects that conventional refractors provide. In the recent past, only expensive refractors with special low-dispersion glasses could eliminate these annoying side-effects of refraction. But, not anyone could afford such an instrument...

So, until recently, the magic around color-free optics couldn’t be touched by many... But, that’s history now, because William Optics has brought excellent, color-free optics down to earth for a very nice price; it’s an affordable telescope that deserves serious consideration when you are looking for a high quality apochromatic telescope. The Megrez ED triplet APO proves that it is possible to get the images you’ve dreamed of, without harming your piggy bank.

Beautiful appearance
William Optics has a history of very good optics and mechanics, so it’s really no surprise that the Megrez 80 II ED triplet APO represents the company’s trademark in a similar way. The OTA is built like a Mercedes; very decent materials, no plastic parts at all and the design is a very attractive one. With such a design you don’t have to be an experienced amateur to recognize the high quality. For instance, let’s take the focuser: it rotates, so the user can easily change the orientation of the eyepiece or camera. You don’t have to move your body in strange positions anymore, just loosen the knob on top of the focuser and put it in the right position...

Speaking about the focuser: it’s a high quality Crayford with adjustable tension. Focusing this scope is so easy and the focuser moves like it has been oiled! There’s another part of this scope that moves, or should I say ‘slides?’ Like the focuser, the retractable dewshield is a mechanical piece of art. It’s easy to use and above all, very practical.

The optics
I purchased the Megrez on a friday, and on my way to the William Opticsdealer I was hoping and praying for a clear evening and night... Later that day the clouds slowly, but surely rolled away and a clear sky revealed itself. The Moon, two days after first quarter, stood low in the southern sky. I could hardly wait to get my first view and wondered if the Megrez 80 II ED triplet APO would surprise me…

And it did! Simply put, the Moon was just an awesome sight in the Megrez; a razor sharp image without the annoying colors! With a magnification of 17,5 (TV plossl 32mm) the edge of Luna´s disk was not blue, violet or yellow and the edge showed a sharp contrast with the black background. This was the view I wanted to see! A crystal clear, detailed and ´newtonian-like´image and no colors at all! Thank you! The Megrez also performed very well at higher magnifications. Again, there was not a trace of color visible and I got the happy feeling that I had bought myself a real Apo-performer!!! I looked into the eyepiece again and again, what a terrific addiction!

This little scope really has excellent optics! Although it´s not an instrument for use at high powers, the Megrez can and will deliver if you put it to the test! On a nice evening in august, with the Moon low in the sky, I observed the craters and seas with a magnification of 250… Of course the seeing was not too good, but what I saw made my heart jump! Details were easily visible and the views remained sharp at steady moments... The image at this magnification was quite impressive and only a slight hint of yellow could be seen on the Moon’s limb... But, since Luna was just 15 degrees above the horizon, some atmospheric refraction could be expected.

During the next opportunity in september, three days before full Moon and with better seeing, I got the strong impression that the Megrez could take more than 250 times... Higher magnifications are definitely possible, but normally the average seeing conditions will not tolerate the use of high powers.

Baffles
The bright Moon didn’t cause annoying reflections; these little ghosts, floating in the image at places were you don’t want them to be... You probably don’t want to see ghosts at all and that’s why the Megrez has seven baffles. I’ve placed a full Moon just outside the FOV and there was no glare or ghost visible. The images of the short-tubes I’ve used in the (recent) past always had ghosts, but this baffle system is a very sufficient one! It’s made out of a special flat black foam to catch all the uninvited photons.

Deepsky
The Megrez is a perfect scope for observing deepsky objects. Don’t think 80mm isn’t enough for serious views, because if you take your time (always take enough time when you’re observing) this scope will deliver another surprise; on a evening in august, after some heavy rainstorms, the sky had become very transparent. I took the Megrez out into my backyard for a deepsky tour. Finding objects with this instrument is very easy and you don´t need a finderscope; with a 32 mm eyepiece there´s a FOV of nearly 3 degrees, so in fact the scope itself acts as a superfinder! Imagine the view I had of the Double Cluster in Perseus… Stars were sharp across the whole FOV, even at the edge, and the cluster gave the impression of scattered diamonds on black velvet. Scanning the Milky Way with a magnification of 17,5 x was a true delight and I found many open clusters which I had never seen before


M31 in Andromeda was visible across the whole field of view and also the faint M33 in Triangulum was quite impressive under the dark sky. The Dumbell nebula in Vulpecula was just an awesome sight! With a Nagler 7 (80 x) this planetary was floating between the stars and it almost looked like a 3D image. I found the Sky Atlas 2000 to be a very useful companion. It’s fairly easy to make a star-hop with the aid of the charts and you don’t need a detailed sky map.

Nebula filters
There’s a common belief that nebula filters are not useful on small telecopes... Well, sometimes you must ignore common thoughts and try the opposite. Although I agree that a larger scope will increase the number of objects, 80mm of aperture also works fine on many objects. I´ve used an OIII filter on a number of deepsky objects and even a H-Beta, but the latter only works on a few nebulae. Some examples:
the Veil nebula in Cygnus is a real gem, especially with low power and the OIII. With a magnification of 17,5 I could see the east and western part of the Veil in the same field of view. Pickerings`Wedge, a triangular-shaped nebulosity in the centre, was also visible.

The North America-nebula is another fine target for the Megrez, together with the Pelican-nebula, both situated in Cygnus. NGC 6888, the Crescent nebula, was a real challenge and it took a lot of effort to spot this one. Nothing was seen without the OIII, but besides the need of a nebula filter, averted vision was also necessary.

Blinking planetaries is also fun; objects like NGC 6826 (Cygnus) NGC 7626 (Andromeda) and NGC 6543 (Draco) are perfect examples. But, there are more small planetaries suitable for this technique.

Although the applicability is limited for small scopes, there are some nice targets for a H-Beta filter. NGC 1499, the California nebula in Perseus was visible with direct vision and I saw some light and dark areas. Its definitely an object for low powers, because it nearly vanished at higher magnifications. Another nice surprise was the visibility of the nebulosity around Gamma Cygni. With a low magnification I could see several patches, one on the west side, which was visible with direct vision, but the others needed averted vision to recognize. So, nebula filters also work very well on small telescopes, but you’ll never know if you don’t try…

Grab and go
The usable power of the Megrez ED triplet apo lies in the low to medium range, although the outstanding optics will give you very good images at high magnifications. If you want to enhance the high degree of portability, you can put the Megrez on a camera tripod. Don’t use a light tripod, because the OTA has a weight of 2.5 lbs.(2.5 kg) and if you add the weight of the diagonal and the extender tube, you’ll need a sufficient support. By the way, the extender is necessary to achieve proper focus and is included. William Optics has used the same tube for the Megrez SD and the Megrez ED triplet apo, but the latter has a longer focal length. I prefer a camera tripod over a regular mount, but this kind of support works best with low and medium magnifications. I recommend a tripod with a ‘fluid head’, so the movements in azimuth and altitude will be very smooth ones. If you want to use high magnifications, it’s better to use a mount with slow-motion controls.


Back to basics
The Megrez ED triplet APO brings even an experienced observer back to the basics, because this little big one has some very nice advantages over a bigger telescope. There’s a thin layer of dust on my 10” newtonian since I bought this little white scope and frankly I don’t care; you’re probably familiar with the old saying ‘the telescope you use the most is the best one’, and I couldn’t agree more!





So, should you buy an apochromatic refractor? Well, as I mentioned in the beginning, the Megrez ED triplet APO deserves serious consideration when you’re looking for a high quality APO. Besides the outstanding optics you´ll get superb mechanics, all put together in a nice and handy backpack. But, there’s another reason why this telescope should be taken into account: it is made by a reliable company that prefers direct communication with the customers; e-mails with suggestions or questions are welcome and the William Optics Yahoo group is a perfect example of an interactive and innovative way to keep in touch with the end-users. So, purchasing the Megrez means that you’re also buying a decent back-up.

I’m now enjoying all the benefits of a small and portable refractor. I’ve seen so many short-tubes in the past 28 years, but this one is an absolute winner!

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Ease of Use:10 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.199.113)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=470840


William Optics Megrez 80 mm II ED Triplet
Really well made scope. Unfortunately, it shows alot of false color. Look closely at the photos taken with it on the WO website - it looks like they were shot with an achromat with tons of purple halo.

I unfortunately bought this thinking it was a true apo capable of astrophotography - it isn't. My Orion ED80 far surpasses it in color correction. I am sure this vote will make some people mad, but honestly - look at the photos on the web taken with the ED80 and the WO Triplet. The ED80 walks all over the WO.

Now don't get me wrong, the WO is a nice scope with first class mechanics - but it is misleading to call it an APO. If you are planning to do astrophotography, this is not the scope for you.

Overall Rating: 5
Optics:2 Ease of Use:10 Value:3
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.251.148)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=472789


William Optics Megrez 80 mm II ED Triplet
Nice looking scope, but mine was riddled with optical problems. Scope arrived with pinched optics and out of collimation. I had to send it back. After a long wait, I finally got it back. Star test showed pinched optics fixed, and better (but not perfect) collimation.

Mine showed a faint purple halo around brighter stars, moon, and planets - not bad if this was an achromat, but definitely poor for a supposed "apo" with a triplet objective.

Cooldown time with the triplet lens is LONG - about an hour or so to reach thermal equilibrium.

Overall, I was dissapointed with this scope, and sold it on Astromart.

Overall Rating: 3
Optics:1 Ease of Use:7 Value:2
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.251.148)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=473259


William Optics Megrez 80 mm II ED Triplet
I am actually voting for the 80/480 tiplet fluorite model as there was no mention of it in the listing of scopes.

The lens is not collimatable and I found I was getting some coma. I corrected this by inserting a small shim into the gap between the rotating focuser and the body. I should not have had to do that on an expensive small scope and would never have experienced this with Tak gear.

Focuser is good, not great. The compression ring needs 3 screws not the one hand screw plus a countersunk slot head screw adjuster. It has too much slop so the camera/lens can be skewed slightly and that countersunk screw needs to be adjusted with a screwdriver and never just right.The focuser lock down screw is inadequate and does not work well. Also the focuser can slip while turning the focuser knob under load.

Apart from that the scope looks beautiful and once collimated gives lovely colourfree views with a wide field of view and very fast F ratio. Fast scopes are more sensitive to collimation errors.

With the Televue .8X reducer/flattener it becomes a very good widefield imaging machine.

A little heavy for a small scope but can still be piggybacked.

Other fit and finish is very high quality just needs more attention to the details like a collimatable lense cell, 3 hand screws in the compression ring, fix up the inadequate focuser lock down screw and tighten the tolerance on the compression ring so it does have so much slop and it would be more worthy of the price tag.

Greg.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Ease of Use:8 Value:8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.10.183)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=473455


William Optics Megrez 80 mm II ED Triplet
I once said that if WO offered an apo version of their fine Megrez 80 scopes I would upgrade, and I have. Briefly, this is an exceptional value for a small apochromatic refractor. It is solid and well made and it possesses an outstanding rotating focuser. Additionally, Megrez II ED Triplet is an attractive scope with a flawless paint job and cleanly machined and adonized metal parts. It also sports a retractible dew shield and consequently the OTA closes up into a remarkably small package which makes it a very portable scope for travel or for quick setup and break down. Optically, the images are sharp and clear of CA until the mags exceed 150-170x and star tests on my unit are nearly identical on each side of focus, although I understand there is some variation of quality among these scopes. The tube is well baffled and views are quite contrasty. The Megrez 80 ED Triplet requires an extention tube (supplied) to reach focus with a diagonal but the extender is usually not necessary when using a binoviewer. I have noticed no vignetting while using the tube. The scope comes with a padded backpack carrying case that has several cutouts for eyepieces and accessories...very nice!

Overall this a fine little grab and go scope and it is an exceptional value. I recommend it!

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 40 (Reputable Vote)
Date:
By: Sailcat
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=535328


William Optics Megrez 80 mm II ED Triplet
I recently picked up this mint used example. This scope is very close, if not equal, to a Tak fc76 I once owned. I keep examples of identical test shots from every scope that I have ever owned and this triplet actually shows all the others up. I see no color on the moon, planets, stars, or terrrestrial targets. Very sharp to the edge and mechanically excellent. Just a whole lotta scope for the money.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.210.51)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=589151

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