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WO FLT 132 Review

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#1 cavefrog

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 11:24 PM

Has anyone seen a review on this scope? I tried google, but got nada. How about opinions of the scope? anybody got one?
Is this thing rare or ???

Theo

#2 RTLR 12

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 03:29 AM

I just purchased the newest version of the William Optics FLT132 APO triplet. This is the latest updated version of the FLT132 with a new lens cell design and an upgraded 3.5”, 360º rotating, rack and pinion focuser. I really like the looks and feel of this scope. The tube is powder coated with a white textured finish and it is accented with gold anodized trim. The OTA is 7” in diameter at the retractable dew shield and 30” long overall with the dew shield retracted and 34” overall with the shield extended. It comes with CNC machined black anodized tube rings. Because of the updated lens cell and focuser, this version does not come with a case. A case is available from WO at $500, but I purchased a custom case from Case Club for just over $300.

This is a 132mm (925mm) f7 air spaced triplet using FPL53 glass. The lens cell is a TMB design. When fully dressed with dovetail, diagonal, and RDF finder, the scope weighs 26#. I have mounted it on both my CGEM and CG-5 mounts. Although the fact that the CGEM handles the weight a bit better than the CG-5, the scope is very comfortable on the smaller mount. I see no difference in the performance of either mount with the FLT 132 on board. I actually prefer it mounted on the CG-5 just because of the portability issue. I can pick up and walk away with scope and mount easily, but not so when mounted on the CGEM.

The first night under the stars I set up my Celestron C8 SCT mounted on a CG-5 beside the FLT132 for comparison. I took less than 30 minutes for the refractor to cool down. The seeing conditions were good, but not the best and looking to some DSO targets and the just over ¾ Moon I was impressed with the views. Nice dark background and a fairly flat view. When the SCT cooled down the views of the refractor rivaled the SCT. Of course the SCT gathers more light and was better on the DSOs, it was beat on clarity when looking at the Moon. I took a break from viewing and got up in the morning to check out Jupiter with the 2 scopes and I’d have to call it a draw. Big and bright in both scopes, but I could push the mag in the refractor and better the views of the SCT.

The new focuser is a pleasure to use and at zenith with my heavy Ethos EPs was easily adjusted to handle the load. I think it will perform well with some of the larger cameras too. I focuser rotates like butter when needed and the 2 speed is smooth and without glitches. The focuser is also fitted with a camera centering ring that also fully rotates. There are some other small details here and there, like the thermometer in the L/H focuser knob and the protective cover for the knobs on the 2 speed side.

I’m pleased with this scope so far and I have received better than first class service from Manish at Agena Astro and William Yang himself. The scope is finished very well and is mechanically top notch. I think I’ll hang on to this one for a while.

Stan

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#3 timmbottoni

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 09:54 AM

Beautiful scope and setup! I love the WO GTF102 I have now but I'm seriously considering an FLT132 for the extra size. It sounds like it could be enough aperture to retire the old C8 SCT I have.

Thanks for the quick write up!

Timm

#4 BWAZ

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 11:55 AM

I just purchased the newest version of the William Optics FLT132 APO triplet. This is the latest updated version of the FLT132 with a new lens cell design and an upgraded 3.5”, 360º rotating, rack and pinion focuser. I really like the looks and feel of this scope. The tube is powder coated with a white textured finish and it is accented with gold anodized trim. The OTA is 7” in diameter at the retractable dew shield and 30” long overall with the dew shield retracted and 34” overall with the shield extended. It comes with CNC machined black anodized tube rings. Because of the updated lens cell and focuser, this version does not come with a case. A case is available from WO at $500, but I purchased a custom case from Case Club for just over $300.

This is a 132mm (925mm) f7 air spaced triplet using FPL53 glass. The lens cell is a TMB design. When fully dressed with dovetail, diagonal, and RDF finder, the scope weighs 26#. I have mounted it on both my CGEM and CG-5 mounts. Although the fact that the CGEM handles the weight a bit better than the CG-5, the scope is very comfortable on the smaller mount. I see no difference in the performance of either mount with the FLT 132 on board. I actually prefer it mounted on the CG-5 just because of the portability issue. I can pick up and walk away with scope and mount easily, but not so when mounted on the CGEM.

The first night under the stars I set up my Celestron C8 SCT mounted on a CG-5 beside the FLT132 for comparison. I took less than 30 minutes for the refractor to cool down. The seeing conditions were good, but not the best and looking to some DSO targets and the just over ¾ Moon I was impressed with the views. Nice dark background and a fairly flat view. When the SCT cooled down the views of the refractor rivaled the SCT. Of course the SCT gathers more light and was better on the DSOs, it was beat on clarity when looking at the Moon. I took a break from viewing and got up in the morning to check out Jupiter with the 2 scopes and I’d have to call it a draw. Big and bright in both scopes, but I could push the mag in the refractor and better the views of the SCT.

The new focuser is a pleasure to use and at zenith with my heavy Ethos EPs was easily adjusted to handle the load. I think it will perform well with some of the larger cameras too. I focuser rotates like butter when needed and the 2 speed is smooth and without glitches. The focuser is also fitted with a camera centering ring that also fully rotates. There are some other small details here and there, like the thermometer in the L/H focuser knob and the protective cover for the knobs on the 2 speed side.

I’m pleased with this scope so far and I have received better than first class service from Manish at Agena Astro and William Yang himself. The scope is finished very well and is mechanically top notch. I think I’ll hang on to this one for a while.

Stan


I'm just curious of what's new about the lens cell.

#5 RTLR 12

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 12:32 PM

William Yang told me that the old cells are aluminum and the new ones are steel.

#6 BWAZ

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 12:37 PM

That's good to hear since the new steel one is supposed to perform better in cold weather, now you make me think a bit more about the WO FLT132.

#7 PeterR280

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 12:46 PM

I was always impressed with the fit and finish on WO products.

#8 Emanuel

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 03:45 PM

Hey Theo, how's going? The FLT is a real beauty, i fitted mine with a feathertouch focuser! Unfortunally i had to sell it, for the sake of my backs, my setup was to heavy to carry around, togethet with the Cgem mount and all the rest.
Anyway, here's a excelent review on this scope from Marc :

http://www.marcthesc.../flt132rev.html

#9 cavefrog

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 11:19 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone. It sounds like a great scope. I have been thinking of getting at least one good sized (5" or better) APO to add to the collection, and having it maybe take the place of others with lesser abilities.
but I do not have a very good working knowledge of slightly upper end optics. I do know of WO equipment, owning a little of it, and I do know their fit and finish leaves little to be desired.
Emanuel, thanks for your review. It sounded like you were pleased with your scope, but at the price of 4 grand I think you had every right in the world to be nit-picky. With the things you found bothersome I do not think I would have accepted it. For the price I do not think ANY problems should be found. but I do understand not wanting to wait any more.
The fact is, I was contemplating what seemed like a good deal in the classifieds now. but it appears I waited too long. It is in the process of being paid for. :>(
Not to worry, I had pre-post buyers regret already.

Thanks everyone,

Theo

#10 timmbottoni

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 09:55 AM

William Yang told me that the old cells are aluminum and the new ones are steel.


Yes, William Yang informed me of the same thing, and that this improvement in moving from aluminum to steel in the lens cell will prevent pinching of the optics that has occured in cold weather.

The other big change is in the new R&P focuser, with the option to pay an upgrade price for a FT if desired. The new case looks to be quite robust as well, and the WO optics as well as fit and finish are of course very high quality.

Timm

#11 PeterR280

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 10:05 AM

I have the Zenith Star 71 ED with the new R&P focuser. It is very smooth. The whole scope feels very solid. William does build a solid scope albeit they have good heft as well. They are not light telescopes.

#12 Jason1970

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Posted 12 November 2016 - 08:05 AM

Hi,

Im
Having this same issue on my FLT132. Its around zero celcuis these days at night and im getting a "spike" in all my stars, regardless of exposure time, guided or not.

Im wondering whats the fix for this? Has anyone had the same issue? My scope is around 7years old

Thank you



#13 SteveG

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Posted 12 November 2016 - 04:24 PM

I do know of WO equipment, owning a little of it, and I do know their fit and finish leaves little to be desired.

Theo

Could you elaborate on this a little? Perhaps in the very early years?

 

I've had 3 WO scopes. The fit & finish on all 3 was fantastic. I would compare it to the likes of TV and AP.


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#14 Max Power

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Posted 12 November 2016 - 09:12 PM

Had my W.O. 5", whats 5mm, 6 months now and it's a keeper.
Get fpl-53 triple glass and you will never regret it.

#15 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 12 November 2016 - 11:12 PM

 

I do know of WO equipment, owning a little of it, and I do know their fit and finish leaves little to be desired.

Theo

Could you elaborate on this a little? Perhaps in the very early years?

To leave little to be desired means there is little wrong with the scope. Theo likes the fit and finish.



#16 Max Power

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Posted 12 November 2016 - 11:52 PM

Also have a 105mm, got it in 2009, wore the 2-speed knob out, called Mr. William in California, he said send him the focuser. He could not adjust it to work, so replaced the 2-speed box for only $60+shipping. What a deal, scope down only 1-week. Also fpl-53 triple glass. Once you get one you will never let go.

#17 Jason1970

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 04:51 AM

Hi

 

well it has always been good, i upgraded mine with the feathertouch 3.5", never had any issues till now. 

After reading in forums im assuming the cold tempertures are causing this spike on every star,  roughly in the 12 oclock position.

 

this happens regardless of exposure time.

 

im waiting a reply from William Optics so lets see ......

 

i do habe a dew heater on it, all well balanced, guiding is also good and so is the polar.

 

its now installed on a remote telescope site and its a bit dissapointing that the scope is letting me down. 

Its only a tiny spike on all stars but they shouldnt be there.

 

hoping i can solve this issue 

 

Ja




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