Apertura AD8 Dobsonian Reflector

Manufacturer Product Number: AD8TDP

Availability: Out of stock


List Price: $699.99

Our Price: $699.99

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  • Finderscope - 8x50mm, Right Angle Correct Image (RACI)
  • 2 inch, dual-speed Micro 10:1 Crayford style focuser, with 1.25" adapter
  • Battery powered fan for rapid temperature acclimation of the primary mirror and tube assembly
  • Laser Collimater
  • Apertura Dobsonian Telescope Owner's Manual
  • Boxes for Optical Tube Assembly and Dobsonian Base
  • Contents of Optical Tube Assembly Box
  • Contents of Dobsonian Base Box
  • NEW Light Shield (included in OPTIONAL Tweaker's Dream Package)
  • OPTIONAL Preinstalled Setting Circle
  • Closeup of OPTIONAL Preinstalled Setting Circle with Red Dwarf LED light

Quick Overview

Apertura's AD8 Dobsonian Reflector gives you the big picture in an easy to handle package. Its 8" of aperture and lighter weight make it a great starting point for a beginner, and a highly transportable scope for the experienced astronomer.



Please read John Kramer's Professional Review of the Apertura AD12 Dobsonian Telescope and be sure to check out his VIDEO REVIEW on Youtube.


An Apertura Dobsonian Reflector Telescope is the very definition of "bang for the buck". For the base price you get a high quality telescope with lots of aperture, great features, and a nice complement of accessories (including a Laser Collimator!)  And for those who demand the very BEST in performance, convenience, and professional fit-and-finish, the Tweaker's Dream Package is included with every Apertura AD8, featuring a fully flocked Optical Tube for maximum contrast at the eyepiece, Collimation Screws and Collimation Washers, a Control Knob and an additional 5-hold Eyepiece Tray (see below for full description and photos). Serious astronomy enthusiasts often add these performance tweaks and extra features to their Dobsonian telescopes after purchase in order to make them perform better, move better, and look better. But now your Apertura scope comes with all the best known tweaks already professionally installed so that you can spend your time doing astronomy and learning about the sky, instead of spending hours on researching methods and materials, tracking down vendors, and getting frustrated with trial-and-error prototyping.


Features included in the base package:

Hand-adjustable knobs on primary mirror for easy, no-tools collimation

2 inch, dual-speed Micro 10:1 Crayford style focuser, with 1.25" adapter

Right Angle Correct Image (RACI) 8x50 finderscope

1.25" 9mm Plössl eyepiece (high-power) with 52 degree field of view

2" 30mm SuperView eyepiece (low-power) with 68 degree field of view

35mm Extension Tube (used to provide extra back-focus for eyepieces that need it)

1.25" Moon Filter

Laser Collimator (1 battery included)

Battery operated primary mirror cooling fan (8 AA batteries required - NOT INCLUDED)

Dobsonian base with roller bearings for azimuth and sealed ball bearings for altitude, resulting in super-smooth adjustment in all dimensions

4-slot eyepiece tray

Plastic molded snap-in dust cover

PLUS all Tweaker's Dream components described below



All Apertura Dobsonian Telescopes and the Tweaker's Dream Package components are covered by a 1 years warranty for materials and workmanship.




Tweaker’s DreamTM Package!


The Tweaker's DreamTM is a package of upgrades and enhancements that raises the PERFORMANCE of your Apertura™ Dobsonian Telescope while increasing the scope’s convenience and ease of use, adjustability and appearance.


Components Included:

 Flocking preinstalled to the Optical Tube Assembly

  Upgraded primary collimation springs - NEW!

•  Hand-adjustable secondary collimation knobs

•  Upgraded Washers for the secondary mirror

•  Soft-grip guide knob

•  Additional 5-hole accessory tray for base




Flocked interior – Flocking has been used by astronomers in the know for many years to squeeze every last ounce of performance from their scopes, by soaking up any stray light inside the optical tube that might otherwise spoil the view.  So we apply high quality flocking to the ENTIRE inside surface of the Optical Tube Assembly from end-to-end, in one solid piece, for an incredibly elegant finish that must be seen to be fully appreciated.


*NEW* Upgraded primary collimation springs – Your scope's performance depends on accurate collimation (alignment) of the primary mirror.  The primary collimation screws that adjust the mirror's alignment have compression springs that hold it in place, and as part of the Tweaker's Dream Package upgrade, we replace those stock springs with larger and stronger stainless steel springs that will help keep the mirror collimated more accurately and longer.






Hand-adjustable secondary collimation screw knobs – These adjustment screw knobs eliminate the need for a Phillip’s head screwdriver to collimate the secondary mirror (which means you don’t have to worry about dropping a screwdriver on your beautiful new primary mirror!).  These black, fully threaded screws replace the recessed factory screws and extend the grip-point with a 1/2 inch diameter head to allow you to quickly and easily adjust the secondary mirror during collimation.  The secondary mirror is suspended on thin metal spider-vanes which can flex under the pressure of a screwdriver, but with these thumbscrew knobs you can use a more precise, lighter touch during alignment, increasing the accuracy of the collimation.






Upgraded Washers for the secondary mirror – Most standard Dobsonian telescopes (including basic Apertura™ telescopes) come standard with a common metal fender washer between the secondary mirror holder and the collimating screws, and with time and use, it can become difficult to accurately adjust the secondary mirror.  But a couple of years ago, CloudyNights.com forum member Jason D. came up with an incredibly simple yet elegant solution.  He cut a washer out of a Milk Jug (yes, literally from a discarded plastic Milk Jug) and placed the plastic washer between the tips of the collimating screws and the metal fender washer.  That simple tweak made it much easier to rotate the secondary mirror, and made the collimation screws work more smoothly (and later it was decided that two “Milk Jug” washers was even better than one).  Well, we knew that we couldn’t honestly call our upgrade package the “Tweaker’s DreamTM” unless we included this nifty upgrade.  But not wanting to dig through the garbage and cut thousands of washers from old Milk Jugs, we put our thinking caps on.  Standard Milk Jugs are made of High Density Polyethylene (also known as HDPE) and we could easily have washers custom-manufactured from HDPE.  But while “Milk Jug” washers do the job quite well, our experience in manufacturing told us that there was actually an even BETTER choice – Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (also known as UHMW-PE).  UHMW-PE has higher physical strength and abrasion resistance than HDPE, meaning it will last longer.  And UHMW-PE has a significantly lower coefficient of friction than HDPE, meaning that it is slicker which helps the secondary mirror holder and collimating screws move against each other more easily.  So we took the “Milk Jug washer” idea and made it just a little bit better! Two UHMW washers are pre-installed with each Tweaker’s DreamTM Package.  Oh and by the way, our washers are black and don’t smell like sour milk.  :-)


Soft-grip guide knob – When you use a basic Dobsonian telescope, you generally move it around during viewing by simply pushing or pulling on the main tube.  It works fine, but many experienced astronomers add a nice little knob to their Optical tubes so that they have an easy, comfortable way to guide their telescope around the sky.  So we’ve included a very nice “Soft-Grip” handle that is pre-mounted in the perfect spot on your Apertura™ telescope.  And the rubberized handle is much more comfortable on those chilly nights when holding the metal telescope itself isn’t your first choice.




Extra 5-hole accessory tray for base – The four-hole accessory tray that comes standard with most Dobsonian telescopes is a nice feature for a beginning astronomer.  But the standard tray has only one 2” diameter hole and three 1.25” diameter holes, and most astronomers quickly find themselves running out of places to put their growing collection of eyepieces, adapters, collimators, etc.  The Tweaker’s DreamTM Package includes an additional accessory tray that has THREE 2” diameter holes plus two 1.25” holes.  So with the standard tray plus the extra tray included with the Tweaker’s DreamTM Package, you will have plenty of room to store your favorite eyepieces, a collimator, plus a handful of other accessories while observing.



Technical Specifications and Dimensions


Primary Mirror Diameter:   


Primary Mirror Details:

 Thickness .98", Parabolic, 1/12 wave

Primary Mirror Coating:

 Aluminum and silicone dioxide (SiO2); reflectivity=93%

Secondary Mirror Details:

 Minor Axis 1.96", Major Axis 2.71", Thickness .37"

Secondary Mirror Coating:

 Aluminum and silicone dioxide (SiO2); reflectivity=93%

Optical Design:

 Newtonian Reflector

Mount Design:

 Dobsonian, clutch mounting with tension knobs

Focal Length:


Focal Ratio:



 2 inch, dual speed Micro 10:1 Crayford style

Eyepiece 1:

 2", Superview 30mm, 68 degree FOV, Eye-relief=22mm

Eyepiece 2:

 1.25", Super-Plossl 9mm, 52 degree FOV, Eye-relief=6mm


 Right-Angle, Correct-Image 8 x 50 viewer

Limiting Stellar Magnitude:


Optical Tube Length: 


Fully Assembled Height:


Optical Tube Assembly Weight:

 24.5 lbs

Base Height:


Base Diameter:


Base Weight:

 27.7 lbs

Fully Assembled Weight:

 52.2 lbs


 1 year for materials and workmanship


Download Owner's Manual











Customer Reviews

By far the best 8-inch dobsonian on the market today!

Review by Aaron | Posted on 5/25/15

I recently ordered the May Madness Tweaker's Dream package after several months of looking at almost every dobsonian on the market. If you're looking for the most bang-for-your-buck with the highest quality image you can get from a telescope, look no further! A friend of mine brought their different brand dobsonian over for a star gazing night, and the difference between quality and image was incredible! The Apertura won hands down! Apertura makes their telescopes to last, and this is reflected in the quality of their products! If you're looking into buying an 8-inch dobsonian, take my advice and go with this scope! You won't be sorry!

Also, I wanted to add that Opticsmart's customer service is top notch! I received my telescope in great condition only a few days after placing my order! Outstanding in all regards!
Very happy with purchase

Review by Michael | Posted on 5/25/15

Scope arrived two days after order. Everything was well packaged and nothing was missing. Following the manual, assembly was straightforward and there were no real head-scratching moments. One small consideration though, is that if you install the supplied bottom lens rack and put long lenses in it, you can't rotate the scope fully as the lenses knock up against the leveler legs.

I like the options included in this package. The eyepieces all seem high quality, the focuser works well, and the included RACI works well. Everying is sturdy and high quality - actually nicer than I expected.

There are a few small improvements that could be made in the "manual" - one that comes to mind is what to do with your OTA when it's not on the base. This is a common situation. IE, does it have to be laid down? Can it be safely stood up on end? etc. This is not a gripe, just a suggestion that there's always room for a little more insight in the manual. But having said that, I really appreciated the extra tips and the back for new astronomers.

I did add on a Telrad to the package and it made so much difference! I can't imagine succesfully using the scope without one. I honestly think this should be included as standard. I use the Telrad to easily get "very near" where I want to observe, then confirm/adjust using the RACI and then finally do any minor tweaking once I'm looking in the eyepiece.

Overall I'm very happy with every aspect of my purchase and the end product!

Excellent product

Review by Michael W | Posted on 4/1/15

I took this out for the first time about 3 weeks ago and I have been addicted ever since. The very first object I looked at was Jupiter since the Moon wasn't up(which turned out to be a good thing because the sky was much darker) I could clearly see the bands of Jupiter and its 4 moons. After a little bit of time I quickly got the hang of the setting circle and was able to find the Orion Nebula. Since then I have had 3 clear nights and have knocked off about 10 Messier objects and I have been having a blast doing so(while learning the sky).
The customer service at OpticsMart is amazing as well, David has been great.

Only tip I can give is read the manual the information is great and definitely helped this beginner astronomer :)

New AD8 Dobsonian

Review by JP | Posted on 12/17/14

I ordered this scope from opticsmart after waiting for several weeks to get one from another company "we wont mention any names" that had them on back order and kept pushing the ship date. I placed the order on Wednesday 12/10/14 it shipped that same day and I received it on Friday 12/12/14. Wow what a great company this arrived quickly and in good shape very well packed. I promptly proceeded to put it together and get it all setup. Now I just had to wait until the cloudy sky curse lifted. Finally Monday 12/15/14 I had clear weather so I got everything setup right before dusk and waited to begin my viewing for the first time. On my goodness I just spent like 5 hours just scanning the sky looking at things with the included 30mm 2" eyepiece. I look forward to getting to do much more star gazing with this in the very near future.
Perfect for a beginner

Review by Caleb | Posted on 4/2/14

After a month of online researching and reading countless reviews I decided
to go with the AD8. It was definitely the right choice!! I have always been interested
in the universe around me but I didn't think you could get these breath-taking views
with a telescope at this price! I ordered the base package due to my tight budget and
I am not disappointed...I LOVE IT! This is my first scope and I was a bit worried about the size but the AD8 is quite easy to put together and move around. The quality of this beast is AMAZING!!
If you are looking for a first scope go with the AD8. You will not regret it. Accessories included are awesome but I would recommend the 2x Barlow I will be ordering one very soon!!
The Best!

Review by Alberto | Posted on 3/18/14

After several months since I purchased this telescope, I have compared it side by side with
a 4" APO refractor, a C6 SCT, and a TV Ranger. The views in these smaller scopes are no
match for the AD8. It is like watching a regular movie and then watching it in blueray. This
was my experience with the views of Saturn, it looks 3D, very sharp.
If you want a complete package buy the tweaker's dream package and the Halo setting
circles, it is worth it. Definitely the best bang for the buck.

Viewed the supernova SN2014J in M82!

Review by Peter | Posted on 2/2/14

What a view! This is the first "review" of my 8" Apertura Dob. I've had a few observing sessions with this scope and have been favorably impressed. BUT, the other night I viewed this latest Type Ia supernova and the view was spectacular! Clean image of M82 (and M81) thru my 9mm 100-degree Agena EP. Even resolved a 13.4 magnitude star, in close proximity to M82. All of this with city lights all around. Amazing scope.
Love this telescope!

Review by WhaleyRN | Posted on 4/11/13

I have owned my AD8 for over a year now and have been meaning to write this review for some time. Simply stated, I love this telescope. It arrived in perfect condition with easy to follow instructions. Collimation took a small bit of practice (and patience) but I've only had to do it once. Over the past year I have schlepped this scope back and forth in the trunk of my car a couple hundred times as well as subjecting it to temperatures ranging from 50-85F and it has remained perfectly aligned. The Dobsonian mount rolls smooth as butter and the views are amazing. I live in a large community by the ocean so water vapor and light pollution are a big problem, however, I have had no trouble identifying 105 of 107 Messier objects with ease. I bought a separate OIII filter which fits nicely on the 30mm eyepiece and have started working on planetary nebula. As far as the planets go, you can see the bands on Jupiter and 4 moons (though it is a little bright without a planetary filter), the Cassini division on Saturn's rings, moons, and some albedo features on Mars (again a planetary filter would be helpful). If I had one wish for this telescope it would be a better fitting lens cap for the main tube because it falls off whenever the temperature gets too cold, that said, I have spent many, many happy hours at this telescope and feel it was money well spent.
Very well made scope, great value.

Review by Bob Smith | Posted on 2/16/13

To say that I'm impressed with my new AD8 is an understatement. The scope is very well made and the quality is even more than I expected, with the best accessory package that you will find with similar scopes. I should also mention the ease of assembly. I don't think it took more than a half hour to put the scope together from start to finish. I purchased my scope online on Wednesday morning and it was here in central NY. early Friday afternoon, WOW! I've been a faithful Orion customer for years, but decided to try Opticsmart due to the much better value of their Dobsonian packages and from what I've seen so far, I'll be buying from Opticsmart from now on. Thank You.
Wow! Incredible views!

Review by Larry Edens | Posted on 12/4/12

Let me start out by saying that this is my first scope. I was a little intimidated about the collimation business before I bought the scope because of what I had read online. I have been saving up for this scope for about nine months, and researching the whole time. When I knew I was getting close to affording one, my research had led me to Opticsmart because of their legendary customer service. I also liked the package they put together with the scope. A very good deal, in my opinion, especially for one getting started in this hobby. The only decision left for me was to get the AD8 or wait and spring for the AD10. I decided not to wait and bought the AD8, and I'm glad I did.

The scope came in two boxes, all very well packaged. The only thing broken in the box was one of the styrofoam fillers. Even the collimation was very close. I ordered my AD8 on Friday morning with the Tweaker's Dream package so they collimated the scope before shipping. They shipped it using FedEx Home Delivery service, which is normally closed on Sunday and Monday, but because of the holidays coming up, they delivered it on Monday. Wow! Ordered the scope Friday morning, David put the package together for me and got it shipped by 4:00 that day! That's quick. I have Monday and Tuesday off, so I woke up to an early Christmas present on my front porch.

I was so excited, I skipped breakfast and started putting the scope together. I've never been accused of doing anything fast, and I still got this scope together, collimated (slight adjustment to the secondary mirror), and spotting scope aligned in less than an hour. Keep in mind that I have had NO expereince doing this. The instructions in the manual were very clear. Now I just needed to wait for the sun to go down.

I was outside with my scope, ready to go at 6:00 pm waiting for the first star to show up. I don't have a clear view of the horizon in any direction. Too many trees and houses. But by the time Jupiter had risen above the trees, I had found several stars and had even found the Andromeda Galaxy. That one was tough. I could find it with my binoculars, but was having some difficulty pointing the scope in the right place. But I finally found it. I don't have a barlow yet, so Andromeda was just a little bit bigger dust bunny in the night sky. Then it happened. Jupiter finally got above the trees. I pointed my finders scope to the gas giant and looked in the 30mm 2" EP and saw a beautiful planet with slight orange stripes and the four largest moons spread majestically across the view. Wow!!! Now I had seen Io, Ganameade, Callisto and Europa through my binoculars, but they didn't look as beautiful as this! I was amazed that I could make out the signature stripes of the planet. As the night went on, Orion rose and I saw the Orion nebulea. I tried to see the double star Rigel, but I suppose I need more magnification. I just saw one point of light. I'll have to get that Barlow Lens soon. But first, I'll need an observation chair. This night of observing was a little hard on my back and legs. I put the scope up on a table and raised it a couple of feet and that helped, but that wasn't enough to make it comfortable.

I continued gazing at anything and everything I could find. I have to deal with a lot of light pollution, so there is a lot I can't see. But I did see the moon. The moon filter is awesome. It seemed to clarify more detail than I had ever seen before. What a wonderful first light experience. Then, just after midnight, the curse hit. Clouds rolled in. So I brought the scope back in the house.

This scope was so easy to move from one point to another, and it would stay put when I got there. I carefully balanced the scope with minimal friction dialed into the clutch. That extra time paid off. Though I may have had some difficulty finding some things, I think that was more due to light pollution and less to the with the scope. The 8x50 finders scope that came with this scope stayed right on all night. Even after I had removed it to find Andromeda, then put it back on the mount. It was still lined up.

I am very pleased with my purchase. I am very pleased with my scope. The AD10 would have been a little much for me to handle. This AD8 is a perfect size to take out the the back yard or the the next star party. Perhaps, one day I will want more aperture. For now, this is a good fit. If you've ever thought about getting a scope, this is the one to get. Stars are more beautiful through the eyepiece of a high contrast telescope!

Thank you to David Giles and the whole team at Opticsmart for their stellar customer service.

Clear Skies!
Great scope, even better service!

Review by Bill D. | Posted on 8/23/12

Just received my AD8 yesterday (2 days after shipping!) and let me say I couldn't be happier. The scope came shipped in pristine condition, the documentation for setup and collimation was easy to understand and made getting everything up and running a breeze...and wow, getting it out to a dark sky site the views through the 9mm and 30mm supplied EP's was breathtaking. Planets were sharp and bright, the supplied moon filter made moon viewing crisp and incredibly detailed, and the 8" lightbucket made viewing of M31, M35, and M57 mindblowing.

Not to mention that Opticsmart has hands down some of the BEST customer service I've ever dealt with. Live chat was great and when I sent an e-mail in regards as to an estimate of when the scope would be shipped (so I could plan my first light trip with work) I had a reply within the hour. Overall an amazing experience, from ordering to setup to viewing I have nothing bad to say at all.
With great frustration comes an infinitely greater payoff.

Review by Jon | Posted on 6/16/12

My initial reaction was, "holy crap this thing is a monster, what have I gotten myself into?" And after hours of building, aligning and focusing, setting up, seeing blurry star-like specks, taking it back upstairs, getting annoyed at everything and everyone, realigning and focusing, figuring out how to the mirrors to give them sharp focus, carrying down and setting up.... then....


More stars than I have ever seen in my life. Literally thousands of them with star clusters and constellations and double star systems all in a sparkly bag of diamonds that was shot out of my Star Cannon. Freaking amazing views of the sky tonight! And that was just in about a half hour of observing...

All that hassle was totally worth all the effort to learn how to set up and use my first telescope. What I saw is flooring me and I stopped looking a while ago. This telescope is outstanding and I am glad I got an 8 inch instead of a 10 because this thing is just the right size without getting out of hand. I would recommend this to anyone just starting out, you will not be disappointed remotely. The Universe is a beautiful place and this scope will open the door for you!
Awesome Deal & Great Customer Service

Review by misty&shawn | Posted on 5/30/12

I purchased the Apertura AD8 Telescope May 10,2012, after spending a month reading reviews on astronomyforum.net.It arrived in Oklahoma in (2) days.It came well packaged & the only problem was the nylon thumbscrew in finder scope was broken.I called Rex & explained to him the problem he was very courteous & shipped me the new nylon thumb screw right away.We have used the telescope a handful of times.So far we our pleased with our purchased from opticsmart.I have seen saturn as well as venus,mars & the moon.The smoothness of the dob is excellent.Putting it together with the manual was nice.The laser collimator was easy to use with the barlow method.(That's the way i used it with great results)

Us being a complete newbie i would recommend this scope, the quality & views i have seen so far.We (the wife & i ) have enjoyed showing family & friends the awesome views from our scope.The thing about having & great telescope is the great A***** Customer Service that comes with it.If you have any questions with anything they sell feel free to give them a call and Clear Skies! Thanks to all the staff at OpticsMart.com

Misty & Shawn
Awesome Scope, Awesome Value!

Review by Steve | Posted on 3/3/12

I just received my AD8 yesterday (only took 5 business days to get here)! The boxes were in perfect shape. Both of them were taken into the garage and I started putting it together. Everything was packed perfectly, and the instructions were very clear. When things started taking shape, I realized a couple of things. 1st, the AD8 (compared to my 4" reflector and 90mm Mak) looked like a real telescope! 2nd, its a little hefty. Not too big a problem around the house, but I'll have to make some adjustments to take it in the motorhome so neither one gets damaged. So, even with high winds at the house, I couldn't stand it and took it outside for a quick peek. Once I lined up the finder, I quickly looked at the moon (amazing), the Orion Nebula (also amazing, and I could even see it in the finder), and finally Jupiter (not so amazing). Unfortunately, I could really see the effects of the high wind with Jupiter and the poor seeing. The other problem I had was with the Crayford focuser. There is no physical problem with it, just me not being used to it and fat fingering it. That's ok, I still need to collimate and will play more with the focuser.
Overall I couldn't be more pleased with my purchase and Opticsmart!! Thanks for a great scope!!

Review by ronnie | Posted on 3/2/12

I received this telescope last week after months of research. I didnt see anything on this telescope until about a week before i ordered it and seen it had more accessories than other 8 inch scopes in this price range. It came in great shape, had it set up in no time thanks to the easy instructions. The sky was perfect that night, the moon looked incredible like you were fixing to land on it, jupiter was amazing i could easily see the bands, orion nebula wow i could go on and on and on well you get it. Good quality great looks i would highly recommend this scope as a first or second scope. Thanks alot Rex keep up the good job your doing, ronnie
Outstanding Telescope and Awesome Customer Service !!!

Review by Julie Tracey | Posted on 2/21/12

well just to update my previous review, we finally got to use our new scope and must say that it is a most Impressive and SOLID piece of equipment!!! This is the first Telescope that we had ever purchased and we are so pleased with the service we got and even more with the product we received. We are both new to astronomy and researched everything out their about buying a scope and You guys at Opticsmart are First Class!!! We bought this as a Valentines gift to each other and you now have us as Lifetime Customers. So anyhow on to the scope. The most concern we had about getting a reflector scope was the collimation,we didnt exactly know anything about this but wow is it Simple with the included Laser Collimator. very easy to do. the thumbscrews at the front are very nice and really adds that customized feel to it. looking at the stars and planets its just amazing what you can see through this scope.the eyepieces are really easy to change out and everything fits like it should. it was very easy to adjust the finder scope and it only takes a minute to get it right. The views of Jupiter have really been a WOW experiance to be able to see the red bands around it right from my backyard. Incredible. Moving the scope around on its mount is Buttery Smooth in every direction. This is a Quality Product that i would recommend to anyone that is getting started in this hobby and getting it through Opticsmart makes it even better.. They only thing i have to complain about is that the Dobsonian base is to damn big to fit in the trunk of a Chevy Cavalier. So we made it work by setting the base in the back seat and sliding one end of the optic tube into the base and the other end resting on pillows.. Takes up the whole backseat but WOW does it look cool!!! Being noobs like we are we had a bit of apprehension about spending $450 bucks on a scope but i am sure glad we took the leap.. I can honestly say that we will be pleased for years to come with this scope and cant wait to get a barlow lens and some more eyepieces. Thank you Very Much Opticsmart....
Very nice telescope

Review by Dan | Posted on 2/19/12

My 5 yr old son received a cheap 60mm refractor for Christmas and he seemed to show an interest in looking up at the night skies. I knew that the cheap one he received for Christmas just wouldn't do, so I started looking for a replacement. I did quite a bit of reading and settled on the idea of a dobsonian in the 8" range. I found multiple vendors and brands before eventually deciding on Opticsmart's Apertura AD8.

I ordered the telescope and two days later it arrived at my door... very impressive considering the price for shipping (free). I opened it and assembled it as per the instructions. Simple to follow and it took about 40 minutes from unboxing to complete assembly. Once assembled I realized this was going to make for a much better viewing experience as compared to the cheap scope my son received for Christmas.

As I read over and over, when you get a new telescope mother nature will be sure to provide bad weather; no exception here. I have had it out 3 times now and love the scope. Couldn't figure out the two screws for the focuser, but a quick call to Opticsmart had that worked out. Operator error on my part. So far we have looked a Jupiter and all its moons, Orion's Nebula, Pleaides, and Venus. All looked great and I was very impressed with the stability of the scope. Finder scope works very well once aligned properly, and maintains alignment very well. I plan to modify a garden cart to help facilitate moves from the garage to the front of the house. Not too heavy, but awkward to move.

Overall I would give this scope 5 out of 5 stars and the service at Optics Mart is top notch!!! I know where I am going to buy when it is time for my new stuff!!!
Very Impressed

Review by Julie Tracey | Posted on 2/8/12

I ordered my scope on the 5th and I just finished assembling it at 615pm on the 8th!!! Outstanding Job opticsmart!! Everything is just as it looks on your website and I couldnt be more satisfied. You guys are Awesome! After comparing other Dobsonians from Orion and Zhumell and others with my Fiance for the last several months we finally chose Opticsmart. It was very easy to assemble and now if the SKIES werent so cloudy I would be out using it. We decided to get the Tweakers Dream Package and the Velvet Lining is Very Impressive indeed and the Guide Knob is very cool too. Cant wait to test it out and I will Update my Review when we do...Thanks again and Job Well Done!!!
Great Telescope for a Beginner or Experienced Astronomer!

Review by Geoff | Posted on 12/20/11

I purchased the Apertura AD8 Telescope a few weeks ago after spending several weeks looking at similar 'scopes, and I'm glad I bought this one! The telescope is very solidly constructed, especially the aluminum mounts which secure it to the base. Being a Mechanical Engineer myself, I opened up one of the aluminum altitude (up/down) mounts and found that they had quality ball bearings inside; the altitude motion is very smooth on bearings rather than on other scopes where there is friction with the base. The azimuth (turning) motion is also _very_ smooth as it also incorporates roller bearings, which make it easy to move to the position you need and helps greatly when tracking objects. The included finderscope is great, it is really nice to have a right angle finder which makes viewing a pleasure, and it seems to be of very good optical quality too.

The focuser has several adjustments, one for altering the friction when changing focus and another for locking the focus down when you've adjusted it for an object. It has brass compression rings which are good for keeping your eyepieces in place, and allows you to extend them out of the tube a bit if necessary. As I purchased the Tweaker's Dream Package, my optical tube came "flocked" with black velvet (this is put on by Opticsmart), it was very professionally done and extended all the way to the bottom of the tube. This allows greater resolution by damping out light rays that are not running directly to the primary mirror. The Tweaker's Dream Package also included thumb adjustment screws for collimating the secondary mirror, which are very handy since then you don't have to worry about dropping a screwdriver down the tube onto your mirror! Also added were plastic inserts under the adjustment screws, which serve as a kind of bearing to make it easier to slide the secondary mirror around when collimating. Finally the package gives you a handle to move the telescope around to objects (so you don't have to touch the optical tube on a cold night), and finally a second eyepiece storage tray which attaches to the base (allows you to store an extra three 2" and extra two 1.25" eyepieces).

The quality of the primary mirror seems very good, and it came with a white circle sticker pre-stuck at it's center, which made collimating easy. The included laser collimator is quite good, although it is a lot more accurate when you use it with a Barlow lens to collimate the primary (google "barlowed laser collimation"). You MUST collimate (align) any Newtonian telescope such as this properly to get the optimum performance out of it! This is a skill which takes a little time to learn, but there are clear instructions in the included manual.

Overall, this is a great telescope, and unlike many similar ones, comes with an optional extras package (the Tweaker's Dream) which I highly recommend, as well as a clearly printed color manual! I am a very frugal person and I have found this telescope to be of great value. I have so far been able to see M31 (the Andromeda Galaxy) in detail, the Great Nebula in Orion, a transit (shadow) of one of Jupiter's moon's on the planet, the cloud bands and Great Red Spot on Jupiter (with the 9mm and a 2x barlow), the list goes on.

My experience with Rex has been top notch, he is a great guy who stands up for his customers and communicates every step of the way. I had a minor issue with a pair of Celestron binoculars I purchased along with the scope (Celestron's fault Not Opticsmart's), and he was helpful with exchanging them every step of the way and made the process very smooth. He is a business owner who is willing to go the extra mile for his customers!

I can recommend the Apertura 2X Barlow lens as a great first accessory for this telescope, it will give you effectively another 2 eyepieces because it doubles the magnification of the two that are included.

My experience level is I have spent about a year looking at the night sky through binoculars, and this is my first telescope purchase.

Happy Observing!
Enjoying our first telescope

Review by Joe | Posted on 12/17/11

I ordered the AD8 for our family to enjoy. We are doing exactly that. Our order included a 2x Barlow, a Telrad, and the "tweekers" package. All pieces arrived on time and in good packing condition. I was able to follow the included instructions and had the dob assembled in just over an hour. As a complete newbie, I was glad to see this was not difficult at all. I used the laser collimator to align the mirrors. This was fairly straight forward since the secondary mirror arrived in correct alignment. We have used the scope a couple of times and are thoroughly enjoying gazing at stars from our back yard. Thank you, David Giles, for your quick response to emails and helpful approach to our transaction.

Review by John Kramer | Posted on 10/20/11

DISCLAIMER: OpticsMart announced themselves as a new astronomical telescope and accessory vendor through contacting me via email, as they heard of my radio show on BlogTalkRadio. I offered them the opportunity to give them an unbiased review of their Apertura AD12, which they graciously accepted. This scope is a loaner from OpticsMart for the specific purpose of this review, and I by no means have any professional association with OpticsMart.

They say good things come in small packages, but for the Apertura AD12, small doesn't apply. You just gotta love large dobsonian telescopes; no other scope permits you the simplicity, affordability and light gathering capability as a dob. It's all about what's at the eyepiece with these scopes, and that's exactly where they deliver; a fantastic visual observing experience for those of us that long for those faint fuzzies. Thus, when the opportunity presented itself evaluate a new line of scopes exclusively offered by OpticsMart, I jumped, and jumped into the deep end so to speak, asking for and receiving no other then their top-of-the line, large dobsonian, the Apertura AD12 with the "Tweaker's Dream Package".

Please find the rest of this review at http://www.attheeyepiece.com/2011/10/apertura-ad12-review-great-things-come.html
Or click the link in the Description:Details box under the Owner's Manual link

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