Great scope package
Review by Michael | Posted on 10/10/14
After weeks of reading reviews and studying specs on different types of scopes, I settled on a Dob, and looked for either an 8" or 10" model. The folks at OpticsMart have great products with great options if you want to add on. I chose the AD10 and couldn't be happier. I added all the options -- tweakers package, setting circle, and leveling feet. I also added a 2x Barlow and the telrad finder, and then threw in the observing chair. After waiting almost two weeks for the skies to clear, the first couple of nights were a little awkward for me as a newbie to the dob, but things started to fall into place quickly after that.
Here are some lessons learned from those first few nights with the scope.
I now keep the scope assembled in the garage and use a two-wheel dolly with some foam on the bottom, and a styrofoam half circle section from the original carton to strap the scope in and wheel it outside to one of the viewing spots. I started out making multiple trips back and forth, but the scope now rests comfortably, strapped to the dolly and ready for easy transport and setup.
The Halo / setting circle is wonderful, along with the altitude gauge. Read the instructions for set up, but it's easy to do. Once the scope is placed on the ground, with the setting circle zero degree mark pointing due west, align the scope to Polaris in the north sky, then tweak the movable magnetic pointer that hangs over the setting circle tomthe azimuth reading in a sky software program. I use SkySafari om an iPad and search for "Tonight's Best Viewing" which gives the azimuth and altitude for anything on that list. Once it's aligned to Polaris, you just push the scope around to the azimuth, then raise or lower while reading the altitude gauge, and most times the object is easy to locate, especially with the larger field of view in the 2" eyepiece that comes with the scope. By my third night, I was looking at Saturn, Mars, the Ring Nebula, and a few others by simply finding them in SkySafari and pushing or raising the scope to the proper coordinates. It's very easy, and lots of fun being able to see many objects so quickly.
About fell off my chair the first time I saw Saturn and the ring nebula. I'm now looking at some double stars and other galaxies and the are all just incredible.
I bought a 2" moon filter so I could use it with the 2" eyepiece. I usually wait until the end of the viewing to look at the moon because of its brightness, and how it messes with your night vision.
The scope seemed to be well collimated when it arrived, but I still check it and have learned how to do it pretty quickly. The secondary mirror is easy to fine tune with the included laser collimator, and then I use the 2x Barlow for the primary mirror adjustment. Do a search for something like "reverse Barlow laser collimation" to see how it's done. Very cool process. Just be careful when working with the laser (don't look directly at it, of course).
Observing chair is definitely worth having, to keep from squatting at odd angles to view the eyepiece. Very sturdy and easy to adjust for each new star or planet you want to see.
Love the scope! I'm near San Antonio so, the stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas! Glad I found this package from OpticsMart, and now that I've got it up and running, I will probably start saving for another 2" wide field eyepiece with a different magnification.
Wonderful first scope!!
Review by John C | Posted on 5/26/14
I just received my AD10 (and at 58 years young, my FIRST scope!). Virtually everything arrived in excellent condition (more in a moment). The OTA assembly was perfectly protected by the packaging. For my order I had elected the tweakers dream package, as well as a HALO for the AD10. My son and I set up the base, which following the great instruction booklet didn’t take more than 30 minutes I’d say. After that we set up the OTA. (That barrel is big!) After that I set up the 8x50 finder scope. Here is where I noticed that the eyepiece portion wouldn’t screw into the lens portion. It was too loose. The threads contacted, but were slightly too loose to actually screw in. I contemplated whether to hassle w/ shipping that back for a replacement, but as the finder scope itself was free of any real issues (no scratches, etc.) I decided a little bit of electrical tape would solve the issue. I held the eyepiece where I would want it and tightly wrapped the back assembly to the front half; doesn’t move a fraction and works like a champ. Next I set everything up and synced the finder scope to the main barrel using the very peak of a distant tree as my reference point. Bingo. Clouds last night so still no night viewing but here is where I am glad of getting the tweak pkg.; I have never collimated a mirror before…I’m a newbie at all this…so I again grabbed the instruction book, took it step by step and took out the nifty (and hefty) laser collimator that was supplied to see what adjustments I would need to make. It looked to be dead-on bull’s eye! That’s when it occurred to me that my AD10 had been custom & professionally tweaked by the great folks at Opticsmart, so they also obviously re-collimated the mirrors, which are still dead on. Thanks people at Opticsmart!! I took a while deciding which telescope to get, from whom, what size, etc., etc., Well I’m very glad I went with my AD10 from Opticsmart. 40 years ago my brother and I would look out at the stars and Jupiter on a summer, and fall night here in northern VT. w/ NO light pollution using my father’s old bino’s. It’s those memories that lead me to deciding to see what things would look like through my own scope. I’m again back in rural northern Vermont with VERY dark skies (on a clear & moonless night the Milky Way is clearly evident.) What those stars, and Jupiter (!) and SATURN (!!) will look like through my new AD10 I can only imagine!! Thank you all at Opticsmart for a great product, great service and wonderful value for the quality items received.
Great scope and great customer service.
Review by Ken | Posted on 4/3/14
I have had the AD10 for several months and without fail the weather has been less than ideal. During the bad weather I ordered and installed the upgraded primary collimation springs, the hand-adjustable secondary collimation screw knobs, and the soft-grip guide knob. The most useful of these upgrades (IMHO) are the secondary collimation screw knobs. The scope is well built and typical of Newtonian scopes, the contrast on the planets is not up to that of a refractor, however it is still quite good and views of DSO's are awesome. Overall I am pleased with the scope, the included eyepieces are not great, but I have paid good money for worse. I would highly recommend the AD10, it is well worth the money, and in fact is a bargain.
If you're planning on using a Telrad (highly recommended), you will also need to buy the 2 or 4inch extension base. Make note of the fact that the Telrad will NOT mount between the focuser and the finder scope without modification on the AD10. I have mounted mine on the other side of the finder scope and it works well for me.
There is an issue trying to collimate the scope using the included laser, this is however not limited to this scope or laser. The solution to this problem and to a well-collimated scope is to use a technique known as "Rear view barlowed laser collimation”. There are a number of websites that address this technique, it is easy to do and works very well. I purchased the Apertura 2 inch 2x ED Barlow lens with the scope and it was money well spent.
Excellent Product, Excellent Value, Excellent Customer Service
Review by Darren | Posted on 3/25/14
I purchased the AD10 plus the Tweakers Dream Package after extensive research over a six month period. I am positive I made the best choice for me and my family. I had never even looked through a telescope in my life before mine arrived, and I am 43 years old. I ordered mine on a Monday and it was at my door in Massachusetts on Thursday - no damage and packaged very well. There was a small snafu with the order and David Giles had the issue solved very quickly and courteously with no hassle. In fact David Giles is a cut above the rest in that he personally guided me through my pre-purchase questions regarding the AD8/10 and which one would be right for me. He clearly has a passion for helping amateur astronomers make the right choice for their individual needs and budget. My budget unexpectedly increased just before my purchase so I went for the AD10 but I know the AD8 would have also been a great choice also. The stand and scope was a piece of cake to put together, very nice fit and finish and very clear directions. I believe the Tweakers Dream package is more than worth what I paid and I am very pleased with each and every upgrade and find them ALL useful. The thumbscrews made collimating the secondary mirror extremely easy and it was my first time. I had a little difficulty collimating the primary mirror because of user error and David quickly and patiently guided me through it during a live chat session.
I have been lucky in that the clouds only stuck around for a few days and I had a chance to take out the scope last night for my first ever stargazing experience without just my eyes (which I am new at also). I should mention that I also purchased a Telrad finder and 4 inch riser base as well as a 2" Barlow lens. Wow!! Nailed Jupiter in practically a minute - not exaggerating. Could see cloud bands and the moons with the 30mm eyepiece. Using the Barlow made it even more impressive and made it easier to see the bands. However, nothing could have prepared my for the breathtaking sight that is the Orion Nebula. Absolutely stunning in just the 30mm eyepiece and I could resolve the Trapezium with ease. The Pleiades was also stunning in the 8 x 50 finder never mind the scope! The family was ooh-ing a ahh-ing the whole time. In fact Betelgeuse and Rigel were stunning too!! That's just the first night in my back yard which is directly across from a school with plenty of bright artificial light (pollution)!! Awesome scope, can't even imagine what it will be like with a short drive to a somewhat dark sight. I believe the scope is very portable, although maybe not as one unit, but as separate pieces the stand and OTA are pretty manageable. I can't believe how many stars are up there!!
So... to sum it all up, Opticsmart offers a fantastic scope with very useful upgrades at a great price. All this in conjunction with providing outstanding, personal, friendly customer service. Hats off to David Giles and Darald Daugherty for helping me out. This was a big purchase for me and my family and I couldn't be happier that I chose Opticsmart and the AD10.
Awesome telescope with great accessories
Review by Scott B | Posted on 2/25/14
I bought my AD10 almost two months ago. I couldn't be happier with my purchase from Opticsmart. I put a lot of research into my decision. I haven't owned a telescope since I was a kid and the Dobsonian type seemed like a great choice for an amateur like me. So far, so good. I chose the AD10 over other scope brands due to the assortment of accessories at a very great price. The base to my scope arrived a day early, which gave me the opportunity to assemble it beforehand. The base was easily assembled with the included instructions. Each piece fit together perfectly. The telescope itself arrived the next day, on schedule. The telescope came boxed with all of the included accessories. The telescope was already collimated, but I tweaked the adjustment just a bit using the included laser collimator. The little bit of assembly required on the OTA was a breeze and in no time I had it setup outside to align and focus the finderscope. Within ten minutes I was able to find the moon, during the day no less and get some pretty nice views. After darkness fell I quickly learned that the moon filter was going to come in handy, without it you will practically be blinded. Jupiter was next up, with the 30mm ep I was able to see Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto clearly surrounding it. I put the 9mm in and could clearly distinguish the bands on Jupiter. I moved over to M42 and was able to see the Trapezium easily. Several other targets since the first night have been spotted. Several star clusters, M31, etc. This telescope hasn't disappointed me yet. The only upgrades I wish I would've bought thus far would be the leveling feet. I may end up purchasing those in the future. The Buysafe program offered by Opticsmart.com is also a plus. If you're in the market for a 10" Dob, the AD10 is the scope for you!
Review by FenixRizn | Posted on 2/17/14
I received my AD10 two days ago and so far i am very pleased with the views. I ordered along with the Tweakers Dream Package which makes it even better and easier to use. Collimation was way off after receiving it via Fed-Ex. The laser collimator that came with the scope was also way out of alignment (beam doing quarter inch circles), therefore i had to collimate via home made collimation cap. The scope deems to be built like a tank, although mine has two minor dents on the body/a minor paint chip. I would assume this was done by Fed-Ex during shipping. The dents do not bother me enough to ship the scope back for another. Overall i am impressed with the scope, no so much with the laser collimator. I have yet to get out for serious viewing due to crazy weather here in the south, but Jupiter looks amazing!
Review by Dave | Posted on 7/9/13
We have enjoyed our tweaked-out AD10 very much.
We had a glitch with the delivery company but OpticsMart customer service was great
and straightened things out quickly and got it delivered to us in perfect shape.
Performance has been great. Easy to collimate and use. Has provided great views of Saturn and Jupiter. I believe I got a very good product at a great price! Thanks OpticsMart!
Nice for the Price
Review by Jerry | Posted on 3/13/13
I bought the AD-10 a couple of weeks ago. Been studying this situation for 5 years. Checking Astromart everyday, researching everything.
This telescope fit my wants and my budget.
I did not get the tweakers extra package but ordered the secondary thumscrews and then got Protostar Flockboard to do myself.
Trying to get the most I could afford and do what I could myself.
The scope arrived to Texas in 2 days. No damage. Everything fine. Even the laser collimator was well packaged and there were no issues with it being out of alignment as some others have said.
Everything went together well, took a few days for the collimation to settle in. Tweaks here and there.
The view in the scope is quite good. I was able to get to 6mm (208X) with no degradation of the image. When I barlowed that (416X) it did lose clarity but was still viewable.Could have been the seeing.
I would think it can handle 250X probably quite well and maybe even 300X
The focuser is exceptional for this price range.Very smooth and no play. In fact, everything is very smooth and the tolerances are good all the way around.
Saw comet PanStarrs last night with the new moon sliver. (3/12/13) Beautiful. Jupiter was incredible at 6mm
Oh and my wife was skeptical about me getting this and now she says "That telescope is unbelievable!" :)
Buy it, you'll like it.
Great scope with the fast shipping and vey good support
Review by DAVID F | Posted on 12/8/12
My apertura AD10 came the next day very quick shipment .The scope was packed very nice
The scope was in perfect condition. The peoples at Opticsmart were very helpful and I
recommend it to anybody wanting a great scope fast shipment and very good customer support.
OMG! I am in love with my AD10!
Review by Eric | Posted on 11/28/12
First off I just wanted to give Opticsmart an A+++ for their customer service! I had numerous emails with David and he was extremely helpful and I totally had a top notch shopping experience with them. They did a fabulous job of packaging the scope for shipment and the scope arrived without any damage. I highly recommend Opticsmart and I will be buying from them again =)
When I opened the box all I could say was “wow, this baby is huge!” As I looked at the beautiful black paint and all the little goodies inside I got sooo excited to put it together. The instructions that come with the scope are very well done! The color images and easy to understand instructions made putting together the scope a breeze. I would say that I took me about 45 minutes and I was taking it very slow. When I assembled the base all of the holes lined up perfectly and the screws went in nice and flush. PS…If you have ever assembled an IKEA product you know that is not always the case with predrilled holes and stuff… Once the base was assembled it was time to get the scope put together. That took no time at all. As I picked up the scope for the first time i thought to myself “you had to get the 10 inch didn’t you. I felt like I was hugging a pillar at the white house or something. Just kidding it wasn’t that bad. When I set the ota on the base and stepped back my heart began to speed up… I was in love! The AD10 is a sexy piece of equipment and it was all I could do to take my eyes of it.... even now.... I was very happy I added the Tweekers dream package to my scope. The flocking is amazing and all the upgrades are very nice! I highly recommend getting the TDP! It’s really a no brainer in my opinion
Next I went to check the collimation and get a feel for the laser collimator. This was not fun because the laser was sooo out of whack that the beam couldn’t even pass thru the little hole. I could see a red light inside but nothing was coming out. I called opticsmart and they told me it might be out of collimation and to adjust the screws to get the laser working again. This was not fun! I had to sit at the computer for 2 hours to learn how to collimate a collimator. I had to run to the hardware store for some nails to build a simple v shaped cradle to get it done. After that another hour of trying to get this thing to adjust the beam on the wall so it wouldn’t make a circle. Well I did it…. Wait, no I didn’t! The laser lost the collimation after I moved it back into the house. Since then I have spent more time trying to get the laser to stay collimated than anything else. This thing is not what I hoped it was going to be and I don’t have any other tools to collimate with. I was able to get the laser to function for one good collimation before it went out of whack again so I think I am ok for right now. It seems from what I have read that this is not the case with all the included collimators. I think I just got a bad one. If I look on the bright side PS my cat really loves it!
It took the infamous cloud curse about 4 days until it broke. My first light was amazing! I only had clear skies for about an hour but I had never seen anything like it before. The moon looked like I was getting ready to land on it and the stars hidden in the darkness came to say hello as I scanned the sky. I found the Ring Nebula and it blew my socks off! The fluid like movement of the base was truly amazing and the 2 speed focuser was very very helpful. I pretended I didn’t have it and to see what that would be like and I now know that it is a must have add-on to any Dob. The 2 inch eyepiece was so enjoyable and made a 2 inch Barlow my next purchase…. (Besides a collimation tool I can trust.) The curse decided to come back and ended my first light just as I was getting warmed up. I have had a few more nights’ under the stars and they get better and better each time. I highly recommend adding a telrad finder also! The right angle finder is awesome... but having both finders is epic! I simply get in the general area with the telrad and switch to the right angle for fine tuning! It’s a Great setup! One thing i didn’t realize it that the telrad doesn’t fit between the RA finder and the eyepiece. I guess some people notch out the telad base with a dremmel to make it fit. I dint want to mess with that so i mounted it lower and it seems fine to me
I just wanted to let you know that I am very happy with my new AD10 and wanted to thank Opticsmart for making such a wonderful product at such an amazing price! I can’t wait to get this beautiful telescope out under the sky again a explore our beautiful dome of stars like never before
Buy this scope! You won’t regret it!
Very Good Optics, THE Best Value You Will Ever See-Can't Believe What You Get for the Money
Review by geno | Posted on 10/17/12
Well, let me start off by saying that I owned a 8" and a 12" version of this scope being sold by those "other guys" (you know who I'm talking about, they the same scopes and the same color but under a different name). The Apertura 10" has just a little more in terms of attention to detail that the "other" guys failed to address, such as including an extension tube to eliminate the back focus problem that is inherent on certain eyepieces. Also, it appears that Optics Mart goes the extra mile in packaging. I noticed that the interior components were more securely contained, and the exterior box arrived unharmed. I bought the "tweakers dream" package, and although I haven't had a chance to use it yet, I was very, very impressed with the workmanship. It feels nice to the touch, and really makes the interior of the scope look like a black hole. As far as a full-fledged review of the mechanical and optical quality of the scope, there are already several reviews out there so I won't reiterate them here. Just know that you will get a great portable scope for quick setup and takedown, and if you have a mid-size to large size truss dobsonian like I do, then you will be relieved that setup is a piece of cake. Sometimes a person just wants a little simplicity in their life, and the truss dobsonian that I have takes at least 15 to 20 minutes to setup, followed by a more lengthy takedown since it is dark and hard to see the various parts. So I'm leaving the truss dob for the dark sky site, and will be using the solid tube 10" for the backyard, friends houses, etc. It fits in the back seat of my Prius, and the base rides in the hatchback. Highly recommended!!!
Review by Mario Medina | Posted on 9/23/12
My apertura AD10 just arrived to Guatemala, Central America, funny the collimation was almost perfect after such a long travel, everything was in perfect condition, my 10 years old son assembled the mount under very little supervision, just using the manual,which is very clear, I checked the primary holders pressure and nothing was over tightened, I was able to pass a piece of paper between the mirror and the holder rubber, I decided to buy this telescope after reading hundreds of reviews and comments, and I can tell it is a great deal, I am extremely happy with this purchase, we already checked some stars, and they look amazingly clear, compared with my newtonian 114/500 that I was using for a couple of years before deciding to upgrade, I couldn't have done a better choice, compression rings, trunions, eyepieces, mirrors, crayford focuser, azimuth bearings, right angle scope, everything is just perfe.ct, thanks a lot Opticsmart!!, I am a very happy customer
Great value and great service
Review by Ashkid | Posted on 8/6/12
I almost hate to sound like a broken record, but like every other review here, I first have to commend Opticsmart on their service. I ordered my scope on a Wednesday morning and it was delivered to me in NM on Saturday morning. The included color instruction manual is extremely easy to follow and I had the scope assembled in 30 mins. Personally, I'm glad I didn't opt for the 12" as the 10" is plenty big enough. It's not too heavy to move around as the base and OTA separate easily for moving, it's just a little awkward, plus I'm paranoid about bumping into walls etc when carrying the ota! Collimation of the scope is very easy even without the tweakers dream package secondary adjustment knobs, however, the included laser collimater was not well aligned and I had to adjust it. In terms of viewing, the only thing I've been able to see so far is the moon and that was during the daytime! The clouds must have followed the fedex guy as he drove the scope to my house. I'm confident that true first light will yield excellent results and I couldn't be happier with my purchase. I've already ordered a Telrad from Opticsmart and will use them for all my future astronomy purchases.
DETAILED REVIEW ABOUT AD10 AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
Review by Rodney | Posted on 8/6/12
If you are an experienced astronomer or just a beginner this AD10 scope is great for you! It is easier to move around than any big scope. Don’t get me wrong IT IS BIG. But if you wanted to take it out to a darker viewing sight you would be able to take the OTA off of the base and fit them into almost any car.
First off, I just want to talk about their customer service. Rex helped me with my over the phone order any phone questions I had. DAVE IS AWESOME! He answered any and every one of my short or long emails I sent him with great detail in his answers (not just little one or two line responses you would get from somewhere else.) When my scope arrived the only TINY LITTLE thing wrong with it was one little bitty screw was a little stripped out. I just mentioned to Dave in a thank you email (not thinking to myself that the screw was a big deal) and this man sent me an almost 2 page email of detailed instructions on how to and the best way to replace it AND SENT ME ANOTHER SCREW that arrived in 2 days!!!!
These guys are great! They know exactly what they are talking about and are more than willing to help you with any question you can think of before, during, and after your purchase. I have e-mailed Dave almost 10 times now, after I received my scope, with random different questions about how to use things, the best way to use, and what products I should get to continue to upgrade my scope.
I purchased the Apertura AD10 with the Tweaker’s package (which by the way makes a huge difference comparing it next to my scope without these little extras). The “bob knobs” that they replace the stock collimation screws with made it SOOOO easy to collimate it. I had never done a collimation before and it only took me 5 or so minutes (plus I didn’t have to worry about dropping a screw driver down on my primary mirror because I didn’t require one.) The soft cushioned guiding knob (that they drill the hole for and install) in the front of the scope for you to guide the scope around is so much easier than trying to grab the whole OTA and guide it around. THE BEST THING ABOUT THE TWEAKER’S package though is the black flocking that they install inside the OTA to absorb more light. IT IS AMAZING AND DOES EXACTLY WHAT IT SAYS IT WILL DO. For those of you thinking you can put it in yourself later, I wouldn’t attempt it. The people at aperture do an excellent job of it. I did a lot of reading before buying this scope and realized that for all the things that come with the Tweaker’s package would cost you just about $100 to buy yourself. BUT THEN YOU HAVE TO INSTALL THEM!!! I have read online about many people trying to add their own flocking and failing horribly with bubbles left in the cloth, where they couldn’t get it perfect, and/or damaging their OTA… The extra $40 is worth it to have them install and put on all of these little extras.
I also purchased the 2xbarlow and Telerad finder scope and let me tell you these items have came in VERY handy. You get the object you are wanting to view in your telerad, then your finder scope, then it’s right in the center of your eyepiece. Without a telerad you have to just search the skies and try to line up your finder scope with your desired target.
Back to the scope itself, my first light (first night viewing with my new AD10) I located over 8 galaxies, Saturn with its rings and cloud bands, which have soooo much detail, and what appeared to be two of its moons. I also viewed mars and could even see the white polar cap on it! Since Jupiter and Venus do not rise here until about 3-4 in the morning I had to stay up to check them out but OHHH WAS IT EVER WORTH IT. I seen 6 of Jupiter’s moons and could see in clear detail the cloud bands that made up the huge gas planet. I also seen Venus which was SO bright considering it looks like it is in some type of eclipse at the moment. I saw many MANY star clusters too. They are so beautifully vivid with the provided 30mm eyepiece. With the 2x barlow and the 9mm eyepiece that comes with it Saturn and Jupiter (and all other planets) are breathtaking. This package also includes a moon filter. When I received my scope it was a full moon outside. THIS THING WORKS GREAT!!! It lets you see the moon with more detail than you could have every imagined. The fan that comes with the AD10 to keep the Primary mirror the same temp outside (so it doesn’t fog up) works great!!!!
I couldn’t be happier with this telescope. The price, the customer service, and all of the top quality accessories they have make it the best deal for this kind of telescope (or anything close to this kind bigger or smaller).
Thank you to everyone at Opticsmart for one great scope!
Clear skies to everyone!
Apertura AD10 Dobsonian is a great scope
Review by Jason | Posted on 7/17/12
This was my first telescope purchase. I spent several months researching the plethora of choices out there.I read all sorts of info on the web. I went to a few star parties and looked thru many different types and sizes of scopes. I joined a local astronomy club and spoke to several of the more experienced members and got their opinions on a good choice for a first scope. I settled on a 10" dobsonian. The dobsonian option gives you the most scope for the money. Next I had to choose which brand to purchase. It came down to the Apertura, the Zhumell and the Orion. I eliminated the Orion because both the Apertura and the Zhumell offer better accessories in their base packages which are basically the same. The upgrades of each brand are very different but both are excellent packages. I decided on the base package Apertura AD10 because it was in stock and could ship immediately and shipping was free. My scope arrived a few days later and was in great condition when it got here. It took me about an hour to unpack everything and assemble the scope. The included manual has clear, illustrated assembly instructions. Also has good instructions on collimation and alignment of the finderscope.
First light was a couple nights later in my backyard. I live in town with some light pollution. After a few clumsy attempts to find Saturn I was rewarded with a crisp, clear view of the ringed planet thru the 30mm eyepiece. I popped in the 9mm eyepiece and refocused. Saturn was right on the edge of the FOV so I recentered the finder so that Saturn was centered in the FOV. THe image was great. Clear definition between the rings and the planet and a few moons visible also. Next I went to M13 in Hercules. The 9mm eyepiece resolved the globular cluster in to thousands of pinpoints of light. Went on to Alberio in Cygnus next and both the 30mm and 9mm eyepiced resolved the double star. Next target was the star Vega in Lyra. It was a beautiful diamond. My final target was M57 the Ring nebula in Lyra. It was a small fuzzy in the 30mm but was clearly defined in the 9mm.
Woke up at 5am the next morning to view Jupiter and Venus. Venus was clear and in crescent phase. Jupiter was awesome! No Great Red Spot but clearly visible banding and 4 moons visible too.
First dark sky opportuninty was this past Saturday out at a local astronomy club members home who lives about 20 miles outside of town. There were several large dobs there....an 18", a 16" and a 12". My AD10 held it own against the big boys. Once again viewed Saturn. Several kids in attendance loved that. M13 was another favorite. Went on to some of the DSO around Scorpius and Sagittarius in the south. Viewed M7 the Ptolemy Cluster. The open cluster was great in the 30mm EP. Next to the Lagoon nebula M8. Very bright and clear. M20 Triflid nebula was also cool. M17 Omega( or Swan) nebula was very bright and clear. The Eagle nebula M16 was faint but clear also. Went on to M51 the Whirlpool galaxy near the Big Dipper. Could see spiral arms. Also viewed M31 Andromeda galaxy which was very nice with a dense bright core. Also viewed M57 again as well as the Dumbbell nebula M27.
I am very happy with my AD10 and Opticsmart. The AD10 is without a doubt a great value for the money and performs great. Several of the more experienced amateur astronomers in my astronomy club were very impressed with it. I will soon be purchasing a telrad finder and a barlow lens and I am going to build myself a Denver observer's chair.
Great value, great scope and great customer service
Review by Stryder | Posted on 7/6/12
So I've been wanting to get a scope for a long time. I've read reviews and looked at catalogs and finally decided to pull the trigger. After reading in the forums about Opticsmart and the Apertura, I decided to check them out as well.
I can't speak more highly about the customer service I've gotten. I bugged these guys quite a bit with presale questions. They were always more than happy to answer every silly question I had. This combined with the awesome package (even the basic one) -- it was a no brainer. My scope was going to be the AD10.
Well it came quickly and in two giant boxes! Everything was packed perfectly and it came with a really nice full color manual that got me up and going really quickly.
Collimation was a snap and the fan really helped get all the optics cooled down and ready to go.
After getting the spotting scope aligned I looked for my first object, Saturn. I've seen Saturn tons of times in all sorts of scopes and it never gets old. But I have to say, seeing it with MY OWN scope was even better. It was super crisp, you could see Titan and a few other moons -- then I switched eyepiecs and got the 9mm -- it was even better!
I'm so glad I got this scope...I would not hesitate to buy anything from Opticsmart the service is outstanding. The scope is awesome too! Buy one, your wife will only be mad for a few minutes. :D
Awesome scope, amazing deal
Review by InnerDogWag | Posted on 7/4/12
This is my very first telescope, after months of reading forums about telescopes my price point kept moving up. The 10" dobs seem to fit both the the light capturing ability and portability. So next was to look for price and features of the different company's. Opticsmart had both, the add on package was intriguing, looking at adding those components myself the price would be pretty close. So I decided to have that done by the professionals at Opticsmart. "Talking" to REX online, he let me know that I could have the scope in two days with the package installed, I ordered a few days later online. Rex called me in a few minutes after I ordered to let me know that they had a price reduced scope would I be interested in one. It surprised me that there was no up sale on this and that they called me to let me know about a such a heavy discounted item. I had the scope in my hands four days later, and the clouds followed. The AD10 was simple to put together, all the parts fit perfect, and the directions were outstanding. I was missing the finder scope but a call to Rex and I had it at my door the next day. Awesome customer service. For the month that I've had it, I've not had very good day of "seeing" Saturn is very easy to find, with many of it's moons showing up. It looks like a little silver sticker. I finally saw the moon a few days ago pretty cool. It took me nearly two weeks of looking but I also found M57 the ring nebula, I kept passing it because I thought it was a water spot on my eye piece. So far I'm very happy with my purchase, and I would definitely recommend Opticsmart for your scope and accessories.
Review by Crystal | Posted on 6/18/12
First off let me say that a product has to be backed up with excellent customer service.
This one was without any hesitation. The staff is wonderfully helpful.
Now, to the scope itself. There was a one day turn around time basically for the shipping. I ordered it late on Thursday, and received it on Saturday morning. Fed-ex did a great job with the shipping. There was no damage to the packages what so ever. There were as pristine as if you bought them from the store in person and carried them home yourself.
Setting up the scope was very fast and simple. The part that took the longest was taking everything out of the packaging. The scope it's self appears to be made of high quality material and with the tweaker's package even more so. The finder scope that comes with the telescope is awesome as well. Very sturdily built and very easy to adjust to line up with the telescope. Due to the laser collimator that is included in the purchase of the scope's basic package, collimating was very simple to do. Now, I would like to add just one more perk to buying the tweaker's package. When you do, the velvet that is added to the tube requires the scope to be taken apart. Because of that, I was told by one of their customer service reps, they have it professionally collimated after it is all put back together. How great is that? Now, I will say due to being jostled around in shipping it needed to be collimated again. But it was a very simple task to complete, especially with the thumb screws included as part of the tweaker's package.
Now, let's move on to the important part. How's the view? Excellent! The eyepieces are very good for the price. I love the 30mm wide angle. You can see forever with that thing! The clarity of the images are very sharp and crisp.
My only complaints are that the bearing system in the bottom of the mount loosens up the bolt that holds it all together, the more you turn the scope. This causes you not to be able effectively "lock" onto what you are viewing. A slight bump and you can be starting all over again finding what you are viewing. But as long as you remember to tighten it regularly, there isn't much issue.
My other complaint which isn't really a complaint, is when are you guys going to have a line of GOTO
All in all I am absolutely in love with this scope. The price is beyond phenomenal for the quality and amount you purchase. The optics in my opinion are as good as other top brands of telescopes. Customer service is bar none. You will not be sorry for this purchase
Review by Deborah | Posted on 6/7/12
Excellent customer service and speedy shipping. The telescope is wonderful and offered stunning views of planets, binary stars, and Messier objects. Highly recommend as a first telescope as it is large enough to provide beautiful views while being small enough to transport to dark sky sites. All accessories worked great and collimation was a breeze.
Don't hesitate, buy one!
Review by Suhndog | Posted on 5/7/12
I love space. I purchased my Apertura 10"DOB from Opticsmart, and for me, it has re-excited my love for Astronomy all over again! It is a well constructed, quality observing instrument. Period. Not only is it modestly priced, you'll get top-rate performance and professional service from both the scope, and the staff at Opticsmart! Rex and Dave are both avid and knowledgeable, and will assist you before, during and after your purchase. Regarding the fit-and-finish of my DOB, I was delighted with the construction, firstly...the base of the scope contains a large, round bearing-ring. This adds to the already silky-smooth performance. This scope just exudes quality! - from the focuser to the included primary mirror fan, not to mention the excellent optics - the heart of any telescope. I am so thrilled with the complete package: great service, product and shipping. Go ahead and compare if you must, but I am confident you will choose an Apertura scope! ....and, by the way, do yourself a favor with the money you'll save by buying this scope, and purchase the Tweaker's Dream Package! You'll then further earn all the bragging rights of ownership in knowing you've purchased the best DOB around!
Really Really Great Telescope Package!
Review by Steve VO | Posted on 4/21/12
In my opinion, the 10" scope is the optimal size for a beginner. It isn't too big physically, but
it has enough light capturing ability to keep the beginners impressed with what they will be
able to see. I own a bigger 16" truss telescope, but I wanted a smaller scope which I could
take on camping trips and other outings when the van was packed with other stuff. This 10"
is perfect! This package includes a laser collimator (a must have item) which I'm pretty sure
the Zhumell version of this scope does not come with. I like the 90 degree RACI finder scope,
and the included eyepieces are really good quality. The best thing though is the 2-speed focuser
which the big 'O' brand doesn't have, and even minus the find focuser, the Apertura focuser is
better. Also, my mirror star tested as a very excellent mirror! I added a Rigel finder (I prefer
these over Telrad), and I'm in business. I might also mention that the good folks at Argo-Navis
will modify one of your trunnions so that digital setting circles (for Altitude) can be installed. They
will also supply you with DSC's that work with Skycommander (5000 steps) or the 10000 step ones
that work with their Argo-Navis computer. Doing this will enable you to have a way better 'push
to' scope than an Intellicope model from competitors. I'm totally happy with my purchase and give
it 5 stars all around!
Review by Tony | Posted on 4/5/12
After a long time agonizing over which telescope to buy, I was pointed towards the AD10 as an option. Compared to other dobsonian's it had a great price, with more included accessories. I ended up going with this as my first "real" telescope, and couldn't be happier!
Assembly was a breeze, the manual was very clear, and everything fit together without any issues.
I was a little unclear on the use of the 35mm expansion tube (turns out it's an optional piece needed for some eyepieces, I don't need it with the 30mm 2" that came with the scope), but other than that everything was clear and made sense.
Getting the telescope collimated was easy, as was lining up the finder scope (and telrad I got with it).
It's amazing what this telescope reveals in the night sky, even in a light polluted area - Thus far I've observed:
The moon in amazing detail
Jupiter (in enough detail to see the cloud belts, and 4 moons)
M42 (The orion nebula)
The telescope itself is bulky to move, but manageable.
Like I said - I couldn't be happier!
Well thought out quality scope
Review by Al Taylor | Posted on 4/4/12
I had been looking around at some scopes hoping to get a 10" but finding the prices w/accessories I was wanting was starting to look pretty expensive. I was then starting to price out some 8" to lower the costs. But I ran into the Apertura AD10 with many features already included I was going to have to pay extra for with other scopes. And even with the Tweaker's package added on it was coming out about the same price as the basic versions of some of the other ones.. So hey... I ordered one. My communications with Rex at Opticsmart have been great
The fit and finish is outstanding and the well thought out designs like the bearings both on the sides and the base are buttery smooth! I have to tilt it and spin it around every time I come into the room. (It's in the living room for now) It looks great!
I had to wait a few days for the dreaded new telescope/cloudy sky curse to pass but finally with with perhaps less than ideal conditions I saw a super bright and clear view of the heavens with the large (to me) 10" mirror including Mars, Jupiter and four of it's moon, Venus, a nebula (Orion?), star cluster, a big bright double star, and will catch Saturn and some more next time.
I'm just really pleased with my new scope.
Amazing Telescope, Amazing Deal
Review by Scott | Posted on 3/27/12
I am not very good at writing reviews but had to stop by to say how much I love my new AD10! I finally had a chance to get it outside after several nights of rain and I have to say I am very impressed. The free shipping only took two days and everything arrived in perfect shape, just a little normal wear and tear on the boxes but everything inside in excellent condition. Everything including the accessories look and feel very high quality to me. Assembly was very easy thanks to the excellent instructions, I believe I found one tiny mistake in the manual(2012 edition). Page 5 step one says to attach the handle to the base front with two long Allen screws but the only screws I found to fit that part were the 2 medium silver Allen screws. Hopefully I did that right but it all came together in the end with no missing or extra parts. Collimation did not take me long to get the hang of. It was not very far off when it arrived, I actually made it worse when I started messing with it but quickly got everything back on track. The included laser collimator works great. I recommend using the collimation instructions in the owners manual and not the folded instructions that came in the bag with the collimator. Or check out some of the YouTube videos if you are new at it like I am.
The finderscope is great quality and very easy to align and focus, again thanks to the detailed manual. The two eyepieces feel heavy duty and the views through them look amazing to me. I have never used a telescope before now so do not know what to compare the eyepieces to but I am very happy with them. The moon looks amazing through both the 30 mm and 9mm. I also in the past couple nights checked out Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus, several of my favorite stars and the Orion Nebula. Also by accident found a couple cool looking fuzzy patches in the sky but no idea what they are.
If you are thinking about purchasing one of the AD telescopes from Opticsmart I highly recommend it! I looked at similar scopes from other sellers, one 50 dollars more and one close to 150 dollars more without all the cool extras that come with the AD10. I literally discovered the AD10 through a forum the day I was planning to order a telescope from a different place and I could not be happier. The only upgrade I am planning are the thumbscrews for the secondary mirror, I can see now where they are worth it and will make adjusting the mirror easier. And of course looking forward to buying lots of accessories in the months to come!
I could not have chosen a better scope.
Review by Steven | Posted on 3/20/12
I have spent months researching scopes and their manufacturers. I don't spend money w/o knowing what I'm getting. Since this is my first scope I wanted to be careful. I live close to Opticsmart so I went and picked up my new AD10 w/ the Tweakers Dream Package. After getting home it took about 30 minuets to put together and collimation was a snap. To say that this thing is BIG is an understatement. It is not however more than 1 person can handle. The optics are wonderful. That big mirror setting at the bottom of that BIG bucket is beautiful. I couldn't find a scratch or dent any where on the tube or the base(believe me they would have heard about it).
The guys at Opticsmart were very professional and a joy to work with over the phone. It was even nicer to meet them in person. They fielded several phone calls and online chats while I was “researching” my purchase. They always had a smile in their voice and a quick accurate answer. They really know their stuff and are there if you need them.
First Light 3/19/2012 (after Jupiter was down in the trees) was impressive. The great nebula in Orion was there with some color. The night was long however living almost in light polluted downtown Montgomery, Al. and not far from a major highway. I moved the scope 3 time looking for just the right place for it. At almost midnight Saturn was high enough in the sky to finally turn the scope that way. I woke up everyone in the house to see it! It was breath taking to say the least! With the 9mm eyepiece and the Barlow that I picked up(don't get ANY scope w/o a Barlow) I could see between the rings and the planet and I could make out the cassini division with ease. I can't wait for the sun to set tonight!
I wonder how long it would take the city to replace ALL the street lights in my neighborhood? ;) I never thought I would wish for a good old fashion black out!
All in all I don't feel that I could have spent my money more wisely. I would highly recommend this scope for a beginner since that is what I am. I am very pleased and excited at the prospect of exploring the coming seasons sky’s.
Quality DOB Low Price
Review by Troy Greenwald | Posted on 3/5/12
This is my first REAL telescope. Yes, I had a Jason 80mm refractor when I was kid but that was sooo long ago and not really a serious scope. The AD10 Dobsonian telescope arrived very well packaged and undamaged with all accessories purchased included in the box. It took perhaps 40 min to assemble and was rather easy if you have built any kind of DIY furniture previously. The telescope arrived out of collimation as was expected. The provided laser collimater made it fairly easy to collimate the scope. I would recommened getting the optional thumbscrews as it make secondary adjustment alot easier. First light with the scope I saw the moon, Jupiter with his 4 moons and M42 all very easily and in very good detail with the included eyepieces. Star testing revealed good collimation and optics without any serious flaws. The one call I made to customer service was a pleasant experience with the representative patiently explaining how to install the optional plastic washers and thumbscrews. I would recommend the Apertura AD10 without reservation!
Apertura ... remember the name!
Review by Jamie | Posted on 2/15/12
I had reviewed and researched for literally three weeks on the different Dobs available. I did side-by-side comparisons of the major brands measuring accessories, quality, service, shipping and overall price. The Apertura scope came out on top on all my comparisons, every single one.Ten inches of aperture, roller-bearing mount, cooling fan, 8x50 RACI finder, Laser collimator, back-focus adapter and two eyepieces added to the fact that it ships free and extremely fast! I have shown others my AD10 and they can't believe it when I tell them the price. I am proud to own an Apertura and will encourage others to look closely at what Opticsmart offers with these scopes before making a decision on another brand. Thank you to Rex and David for treating me with such courtesy and professionalism in my purchase of this scope.
Review by Cindy G. | Posted on 2/13/12
I ordered this scope with the Tweeker's Dream Package and a Telrad. I couldn't be happier. Better views than my ETX at around the third of the price. Everything was packed very well. I'm a novice in this hobby, and the instructions were excellent for setup. It was slightly off collimation, and the included laser collimator made it easy to get it back on track. With the Telrad added, it makes star hunting a breeze. Just a warning: This scope is huge! But, as a woman over 50, I can still move it around when needed.
Thank you Opticsmart! This is truly the best "bang for the buck" scope.
Review by Mark S | Posted on 2/8/12
I purchased the AD10, Telrad finder, and a Barlow lens, along with the Tweakers Dream Package. Service was great. Products arrived on time and undamaged. This is my first scope so I wasn't sure what to expect. I was impressed with the images I saw, especially living in a light polluted city. Now I'm hooked. Thanks to all at Opticsmart for setting me up right. I would highly recommend your products !!!!
Great Telescope for beginner
Review by Noah | Posted on 1/11/12
I'm a beginner and this is my first scope. I also have the tweakers dream package. Compared to the other packages I was considering this was by far the the best deal. It's competitors where the Zhumell 10 inch and Orion 8xt Limited. I couldn't be happier. Everything about this scope is professional. The directions for assembly and set-up are simply the best I have ever seen for any product, telescope or otherwise, they make everything a breeze. Customer service was top notch. I posted a review of assembly on the Astronomy forums, all positive, but noteing that I was missing screws for the added eyepiece tray included with the tweakers package. No calls, no emails, nothing, a representative from Opticsmart read my review and I had the screws in a couple of days without even asking for them! Simply Awesome! Pertaining to the tweakers package. I would recommend purchase. I can't speak for the velvet lining except to say it's cool because I have never used a scope without it, the rest of the package is so central to every day use that I can't imagine not having it anymore. As for viewing, I have nothing to compare it too, but I am extremely happy. The weather is cold and it has been cloudy most of the time in my location. However, I've viewed: Venus and can make out the phases. Jupiter and easily see the equatorial bands, great red spot, and 4 moons. Andromeda Galaxy with a nice view of the core. Orion nebula with easily viewable dust lanes. Several open clusters and double stars. And finally the moon.
The bottom line is that I can't imagine anyone not being happy with this scope.
You can't miss.
Review by danny59 | Posted on 12/30/11
I'm so happy I found Opticsmart. When I first started my hobby in 2007, I settled for a 6" Dob, which seemed quite big at the time. After about a month, my dreams started heading towards a 10", but they were way out of my price range at that time. Now at the end of 2011, I purchase this Great 10" scope, with the upgrade package for a total of $629.00, including a Telrad, and shipping which was FREE.
I would recommend this scope and Opticsmart to anyone and every one who is looking for a great scope at a great price. Assembly was a breeze. I look forward to every time the sky is clear
Review by berchan | Posted on 12/25/11
Lo mejor el precio y la calidad del producto.. no me quejo realmente es un excelente telescopio.. lo recomiendo 100%
Awesome Telescope and Great company to deal with !
Review by Skydiver76 | Posted on 12/16/11
Chose OpticsMart.Com after looking both locally and online for a 10 inch dobsonian, and not only did they have the best deal, but the best package as well ! The scope shipped next day after payment via FedEx and arrived very well packaged in 2 boxes - the optical tube (OTA) and the base. Took me ~ 45 min to assemble everyting and another 10 or 15 to collimate - it was not hard at all ! Tried it on the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn in the first 2 nights, and was seriously impressed by what i could see from light polluted backyard. I have ordered a 2x Barlow lens and that gives me a choice of ~ 41x, 82x 139x and 278x magnifications with the supplied 30mm and 9mm eyepieces. The quality of everything is excellent, perhaps because its made in Taiwan - not mainland China - i do not know. The "Tweaker's Dream package" feels like a very good value - the inside of the tube looks and feels fantastic.
Overall i'm very happy with the scope and highly recommend it and OpticsMart.Com to anyone looking for a telescope ! The people actually do know their products well and will advice you on choices and astronomy/ observation tips in general.
Review by Mark J. | Posted on 11/10/11
Ive been in the astronomy hobby for many years and shopped around quite a bit when looking for a good value on a 10" dobsonian scope. This new Apertura exceeded all of my expectations for the price. Communications from opticsmart were excellent, and the scope arrived very quickly. The included accesories were very nice and the laser collimator is clearly a step above what other scopes provide( if they provide one at all).
Assembly took about 1/2 hour and the laser collimator made aligning the optics a snap.
Now the important part... the mirror in this scope was really a suprise, excellent star test with nice clean concentric circles either side of focus on a bright star. Under a nearly full moon we were able to see clear details in the cloud bands of Jupiter with the 9mm EP. With the moon filter the moon was spectacular!!! Popped in the 30mm wide angle and swung the scope over to the Andromeda galaxy and there it was!! even with the full moon! gotta love a 10" scope!!! Both Eye pieces preformed admirably. If you are not already addicted to star gazing, this scope will get you there!!
I have no ties to opticsmart or Apertura, just a consumer, but I was truly impressed with this package and wanted to take a few mins to share my enthusiasm!
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
Excellent Light Bucket
Review by coopman | Posted on 10/15/11
I am very pleased with this scope, especially for the modest price. Opticsmart's service was fantastic and, since I am fairly close in south Louisiana, it was delivered to me the next day! I've had three observing sessions with it so far and its performance is very impressive. Cruising the Milky Way with a 22 Nagler or a 17 Hyperion is an awesome experience. I wish that I had gotten a 10" Dob years ago instead of going thru several scopes of 6" or less aperture. I would recommend this scope to anyone.
Review by Kyluckyman | Posted on 9/13/11
This is our first REAL telescope. The first ever was a little Celestron 50 mm refractor and that just wet our thirst for more power.
The AD10 Dobsonian telescope arrived very well packaged and undamaged. It took about two hours to assemble and another 30 minutes or so to collimate.
We have been able to use this instrument twice in light polluted Western KY during a full Moon. The moon images we saw in the 30 mm viewfinder were quite nice and after popping the 10 mm lens on it was if we were flying over the moon.
BTW, collimation was pretty easy and I am happy to report the laser was aligned and did not need any adjustment out of the box.
There is a Star Party scheduled a little later in the month and we are excited about the prospect of giving this baby a good workout that night!
I was very pleased with the service we received from initial contact onward. If you are looking for a big Dobsonian, you can be assured that a OpticsMart telescope will meet or exceed your highest expectations.