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The Telescope Authority
Since 1947

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The Telescope Authority since 1947
The Telescope Authority since 1947

About us

The Telescope Authority since 1947

People come to OPT because we have the expertise and the drive to help you succeed in your Astronomy goals.

We carry all equipment from any brand you're looking for to understand and engage with the universe in a tangible way. We are and will continue to be the primary source of information and supplies in the industry.

Like many others, we come from humble beginnings all the way back in 1947. Once a sleepy camera shop in Oceanside, CA, we have since grown into the largest telescope retailer in the world.

Chances are if you're involved in astronomy, you're involved with us, and we're happy to work with you.

From professional institutions to amateurs just getting started, you'll be treated with the utmost respect and service you deserve. After all, each of us is part of the #OPTeam no matter where in the world we reside. We are the Telescope Authority and we want you to be, too.

Chronology of OPT

1947

Founded by WWII Flying Tiger Pilot Donald Penning as ‚"Oceanside Photographic Center." Mostly sold camera equipment to Camp Pendleton.

1977

Moved to a larger location to match the growing business needs.

1985

After first entering the telescope market a few years prior, the company experienced great success and officially changed its name to ‚ Oceanside Photo and Telescope.‚ OPT enters a new stage in life

1988

The telescope side of our company continued its rapid growth, prompting yet another move to a location on Mission Avenue in Oceanside. Here we could accommodate the tremendous increase in sales and inventory necessities.

1994

OPT website is created!

1999

Continued growth in the telescope and camera markets bring on the need for OPT's first full-fledged warehouse to manage its massive inventory. This same year the company website became officially recognized as an e-commerce website, undergoing a series of additions and improvements to better the customer experience!

2007

Moving again! We moved across the street from our old location to a building that could house all employees and inventory in one spot. This was a welcome and convenient change for everyone. The annual OPT-hosted Southern California Astronomy Expo (SCAE) continued with greater success for another ten years just outside the building. Community engagement with astronomy and industry leaders only got better with this new location.

2016

On September 1, after being employees for just shy of one year, Dustin and Ginny acquired OPT to become the new owners. Being avid astrophotographers themselves, they strive to push the hobby, the industry, and everyone involved to new heights. With their leadership, a revised and revitalized vision spread through the company. Dustin and Ginny actively engage with any and all that are interested in the universe, forever seeking to expand the OPTeam. Their goal and the goal of OPT is to make the cosmic wonders around us easily accessible to any and everyone who wants to experience it. The universe is home to us all, and we hope everyone feels at home with OPT, too.

2018

On September 1, we moved for the last time (for now) to our current location in Carlsbad, California, just a short drive South of our previous building. We may no longer be in Oceanside as our longstanding name states, but rest assured we're still OPT, and we're only getting better. This new building grants us four additional shipping bays, ensuring your delivery arrives as soon as possible. Our team continues to grow, enabling us to provide and even better customer experience than before. We can now, more than ever, give back to the community we owe our success to. And we are doing that in a big way.

2020

The COVID-19 pandemic changed everyone's lives around the world. While there have been many reasons to look down, OPT has continued to find ways to help the world be inspired to keep looking up! With the increasing demand for astronomy equipment and interest in the hobby, the OPT team has grown significantly! We now have employees working remotely nationwide in 10 states and growing! We look forward to continue being a resource for your ongoing success in this great hobby.

Will you join us?