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Orion or Apertura 8" Dob

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#1 joec1991

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 03:04 PM

Hi! I have been researching what to get for my first scope. I have narrowed it down to a 8" Dob and I'm stuck between the Orion XT8 and the Apertura AD8. Is there a big difference between the 2 that a beginner like me would notice? Are there any advantages/disadvantages between them?

Thanks!

#2 GOLGO13

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 03:18 PM

If it were me I'd pick the AD8, though I have not directly compared the two in person.

Just seems to have better features overall. I'd like to see someone review the two of them side by side sometime though. You save a little money with the XT8...But I think you currently get more with the AD8. I rememeber when the XT8 was a little better of a deal. It used to come with an optical finderscope and two eyepieces.

Some here disagree, but I find the Apertura line to be the best deal in astronomy right now.

#3 Abhat

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 03:27 PM

Go with AD8 or Z8. You get lot more for the same or lower price. The quality of AD8/Z8 is pretty good and you get following extras compared to Orion's XT8.

1. Dual Speed Focuser
2. 9X50 RACI
3. Integrated Cooling Fan
4. One 2" Eye Piece
5. Altitude Tension Knob
6. Laser Collimator

If you were to buy these separately it will easily cost your around $200.

#4 Billytk

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 04:18 PM

The focuser and bearings on the AD8 are far superior. Also Apertura customer service is second to none. Between those two, I would go with the AD8 and not look back.

#5 lpn678

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 04:38 PM

I picked an AD8 based on everything Abhat lists. Particularly the better focuser, a fan, and broader range of mags with the 9mm and 30mm eyepieces (vs 12.5 and 25 from the orion).

I'm very happy with mine, though I can't personally compare it with the Orion. Everything I read about them said that there is no real difference optically.

#6 kfiscus

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 04:46 PM

Like the above posts, I recommend that you get the AD8 or Z8. I currently own an Orion XT10 and a Z12. I very much dislike the CorrecTension springs on the XT compared to the adjustable tension of the Zhumell.

If you buy new, Orion has very good customer service. If you buy used, you are on your own. Apertura is frequently cited as having awesome customer service.

#7 Wordslinger

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 06:59 PM

I've been thinking about getting the AD8 with setting circles. It's a way better deal than the XT8 in my opinion, although it is about ten pounds heavier. Unfortunately they are currently out of stock. I contacted Opticsmart and was told it could be a couple of months or longer. The Z8 is the other option, but you can't get the specialized packages offered by Opticsmart, and from what I've read, Heyneedle doesn't have the best customer service.

#8 Abhat

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 07:34 PM

I got my Dob from Hayneedle and was quite impressed with their service. I called them only once after I got the Dob and the guy on the phone was quite good. The only reason I purchased Z8 from them at that time was because Z8 was $40 cheaper than AD8 during that deal and Zhumell offers 2 year warranty and Apertura offers 1 year. I got my Dob $329 all included.

AD8 with tweakers package is also a nice option. Hayneedle does not offer that service.

#9 darren38

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 07:35 PM

ok, I am feel like someone should say something for Orion. Only because I have one ;) Keep in mind, I am relativley new to astronomy and especially Dobs, but I just got my Orion Dob, about a month ago. It's real easy to setup, and I think the views are amazing through it. It's well constructed. I am not sure about the other companies, but my dealings with Orion, have been nothing but the best! I have purchesed other products through them, and they were always quick to respond to my needs. :-)

#10 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 07:53 PM

ok, I am feel like someone should say something for Orion. Only because I have one ;) Keep in mind, I am relativley new to astronomy and especially Dobs, but I just got my Orion Dob, about a month ago. It's real easy to setup, and I think the views are amazing through it. It's well constructed. I am not sure about the other companies, but my dealings with Orion, have been nothing but the best! I have purchesed other products through them, and they were always quick to respond to my needs. :-)


Darren:

The Orion and the GSO (Zhumell/AstroTech/Apertura) Dobs are very much alike, the differences are small and it is the accessories that you get with the GSO Dobs that are the difference.

Jon

#11 Fimpster

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 08:01 PM

If you're not interested in the Intelliscope feature of Orion, then go with Apertura.

#12 gene 4181

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 08:41 PM

get the gso. you did, +1

#13 OrdinaryLight

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 08:55 PM

one has a collimation cap another a laser that might not be collimated itself, whatever. what's far more important is collimating these scopes.


This is a point worth considering. The Orion's included collimation cap will get you going right away but eventually you may want a more precise tool. On the other side while many have used the Apertura laser without issue, many have also mis-collimated their scopes with it.

I chose an Apertura Dob for the price and features knowing in advance that I would also be buying a separate cheshire / sight tube combination collimation tool and not using the included laser.

#14 GOLGO13

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 11:02 PM

Gene...I would really like to see a side by side comparison. Unfortunately I rarely get to star parties or even small gatherings nowadays. I certainly liked my 10i in comparison to the XT6 I had. I just liked the features more (compression instead of springs, knob for moving the scope...which is more useful than one may think and easy to add on, Eyepiece tray, optical finder scope). Not to mention I am a HUGE fan of push to.

But the XT6 was find as well. I did a few mods and they are easy to do.

While I would like to see the AP8 in person, on paper it looks better but that doesn't mean it would be at the eyepiece. Not just optics but stability. It's unfortunate that we don't have a side by side on this site. May have to google it a bit.

#15 darren38

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 04:05 AM

I just went and watched the video that the ad8 has on the website, and I have to say, it has some nice looking features. Also, I think the guy showing the dobs may have his jeans waaaaaaay to tight. It hurts to watch the video.
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#16 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 05:21 AM

i happen to like the orion better because of the mirror material and i like a single speed focuser, its buttery smooth



I have owned a few of the Orion Single Speed Crayfords as well as few of the GSO two speeds. I consider the Orion single speeds to be adequate whereas I find the two speed GSO focuser to be a very good focuser and an upgrade from the Orion single speed. My 16 inch F/4.42 started life with an Orion Crayford and I replaced it with a GSO two speed, it's plenty good, not quite as perfect as the Feathertouch on my 13.1 inch but plenty good. I also have a GSO focuser on my 10 inch F/5, for high magnifications, a two speed is a real advantage, not only can you dial in the magnification but because of the 10:1 gear reduction, a light touch that does not jiggle the scope is more easily achieved.

As far as the "low expansion borosilicate" glass used in the Orion: Thermal expansion is of interest to the person making the mirror but in this size, it's not of much interest to the observer.

Jon

#17 DavidOpticsmart

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:05 AM

Also, I think the guy showing the dobs may have his jeans waaaaaaay to tight. It hurts to watch the video.


Hey, what can I say, my wife liked 'em! :bigblush: Seriously though, there weren't actually that tight. Apparently the "pre-wrinkled" look is (was?) supposed to be stylish, and it makes them LOOK tighter than they really are. They were actually plenty roomy where it counts. :grin:
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#18 ManicSponge

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:32 AM

Also, I think the guy showing the dobs may have his jeans waaaaaaay to tight. It hurts to watch the video.


Hey, what can I say, my wife liked 'em! :bigblush: Seriously though, there weren't actually that tight. Apparently the "pre-wrinkled" look is (was?) supposed to be stylish, and it makes them LOOK tighter than they really are. They were actually plenty roomy where it counts. :grin:


There are so many jokes possible from this point, I just have to take a pass :)
I bought a Zhumell from Hayneedle, but if I had done another day's worth of research, I'd have gone with the Apertura 12", with the tweaker's package, and the setting circles.
It took me 3 tries to get a Z-12 from Hayneedle that wasn't bashed, crunched, or cracked in shipping. It gets really old, boxing/unboxing, and carting these things back and forth to the Fed-Ex center.
After making my own setting circles, that look nowhere near as nice as the units offered by Opticsmart, it's a no-brainer for me (In hindsight, unfortunately).
Just having the tube flocked is worth the price of the tweaker's package to me. I am not looking forward to climbing into my Z-12, like a balding middle age circus goon, about to be fired out of a cannon, to stick flocking material to it..
I am happy with the Z-12, but if I get another GSO dob, it will be from Opticsmart. Pants, or no pants.
Regards, Kyle

#19 GOLGO13

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 12:07 PM

:roflmao:

Also, I think the guy showing the dobs may have his jeans waaaaaaay to tight. It hurts to watch the video.


Hey, what can I say, my wife liked 'em! :bigblush: Seriously though, there weren't actually that tight. Apparently the "pre-wrinkled" look is (was?) supposed to be stylish, and it makes them LOOK tighter than they really are. They were actually plenty roomy where it counts. :grin:


:funny: :sumo: :dob:

#20 SteveG

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 12:33 PM

I've had both, and will recommend the Apertura over the XT.
The Zuhmell, Apertura and Astro-Tech dob's are all the same scope with different colors and labels.

Mine is the version sold by our sponsor, Astro-Tech (wait list):
https://www.astronom...scope_p18929...

The motions on these scopes are far superior over the Orion XT scopes. The balance system built in to the Alt bearings is also a plus. Optically, their probably the same.

#21 joec1991

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:25 PM

Wow! I wasn't expecting such a good response, thank you! I'm going to go with the AD8 with the tweaker package. Do you guys recommend any other accessories? A barlow perhaps?

#22 lpn678

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:42 PM

Here's a good recent thread on stuff newbies should have:

http://www.cloudynig...6466130/page...

Speaking for myself, the next thing I will purchase will be a barlow or a higher mag eyepiece (looking at the ES82 6.7mm!). I've already got a red flashlight ($4 walmart minilight with some of the wife's nail polish over the window), a star chart (printed this free one out http://www.deepskywa...-release1.html), and I've found that a metal folding chair works well enough for me at the moment. With Mars up right now, and Saturn just coming up by about 10pm right now I really want to be able to go above the 133x you get with the supplied 9mm EP.

If you have the budget, consider getting the built in setting circle with the scope. It will make finding things easier. Not having one really makes you learn the night sky and how to find stuff on your own though (with is one of the reasons I didn't get it!).

#23 Abhat

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 02:09 PM

I suggest get a Telrad or any Red Dot finder. That works very well with 9X50 RACI.

Another important must have is two Velcro straps with handles. You can buy those for $8 in Home Depot. That makes carrying the OTA very easy without fear of dropping it or banging it. I always carry my dob in 2 pieces. The base has a nice strong handle. I can't describe in enough number of words the how easy it is to carry the OTA with those straps with handles.

#24 Jerry-rigged

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 03:51 PM

Wow! I wasn't expecting such a good response, thank you! I'm going to go with the AD8 with the tweaker package. Do you guys recommend any other accessories? A barlow perhaps?


Congrats on the decision!

"Other stuff" you may want-
1- collimation tools, like a combo sight-tube/cheshire. Yes, the scope comes with a laser, but it is not always great quality. I have the one from AstroAgena, $29 AstroAgena Cheshire combo tool
2 - Telrad or other red dot finder. I love my Telrad.
3 - 12mm eyepiece, for 100x viewing. I guess this is site-dependent, but seems most nights, for me on the Texas coast, 100x is all I can do, even 120x seem like it is too much. The included 9mm will hit 133. Then maybe a 2x barlow.

5 - Books - I have "Nightwatch", really like it. Also, a Sky Atlas.

Last - Have fun!

#25 Billytk

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 04:10 PM

I just went and watched the video that the ad8 has on the website, and I have to say, it has some nice looking features. Also, I think the guy showing the dobs may have his jeans waaaaaaay to tight. It hurts to watch the video.


Oh, by the way, David with Opticsmart is a member of CN....






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