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my curiosity is bugging me!

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#1 donnie3

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:05 PM

what in heavens name is so special about a questar telescope. aperture is aperture and these scopes are so small, what can you see with them that makes them so expensive. donnie

#2 Eddgie

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:21 PM

The Questar is a botique telescope made in very limited numbers.

They are made to quite excellent quality standards.

They feature a special design where the secondary mirror surface is cut into the rear of the Meniscus so that it can have a special curve which reduces higher order spherical abberation, which is present to some degree in a reqular all spherical MCT. Of course you can do the same thing by producing a seperate secondary mirror on a stalk, but this lacks the sheer elegance of the Questar design.

The design incorporates a number of interesting features. For example there is a built in flip mirror that allows you go go from Telescope to finder mode. You can see the finder mounted under the tube. There is a lens set built into the primary mirror housing and when you flip the mirror out of the light path, this lens becomes the finder (by looking at the reflection in the diagonal mirror at the bottom of the scope).

Is it worth it? Yes. No. Maybe. Depends on the buyer.

Some people don't feel that a Rolex is worth it either, but a lot of people buy Rolex watches (entry level prestige watch these day by the way). Interestingly, I have had a Rolex for 40 years (they were simply the best watches made back then) and it is perhaps worth more today than I paid for it.. It has for all those decades been a superb mechanical watch.

I suspect it is the same with the Questar.

#3 rmollise

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:21 PM

What makes a Rolex so special when a Casio usually keeps better time?

Finely made and will last a lifetime. Some people just love pretty, elegant machined things. The Questar optics (made by J.R. Cumberland) are usually--though not always--above reproach.

#4 donnie3

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:03 PM

thanks for the answers, i guess the bottom line is " is it worth it, depends on the buyer" donnie

#5 Billydee

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:57 PM

Donnie,

It is 100% made in the "USA"! If you buy one that is at least 10 years old it retains its' value and you can always get back at least what it cost you! If you track the cost in dollars paid in the year you purchased it a Q3.5 gains in value! It is the best 'Grab and Go' scope ever made! The company that makes them is still in business after almost 60 years of production and still makes a profit! It is really cute!

Luck, Bill

#6 Mike E.

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:36 PM

thanks for the answers, i guess the bottom line is " is it worth it, depends on the buyer" donnie


The bottom line should be ...

To satisfy a curiosity see and use one, then come to your own conclusions. :ubetcha:

#7 Eric P

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:21 AM

Here is a short film on the subject

#8 Panotaker

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:17 AM

It's like owning a Harley. If we have to explain it to you, you wouldn't understand.

#9 yonkrz

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:44 AM

That was a good way to put it. :grin:

#10 Starhawk

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:55 AM

Objet d'art. Otherwise, there are lots of great scopes with less extreme f/#s able to do lots and lots. The Questars are beautiful, and have some great neato gadgety features. Ring up TEC and get a 110FL and blow a 3.5" maksutov's doors off for less money.

-Rich

#11 Mike E.

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:14 PM

I don't believe the Tec 110 comes with a mount of equal quality etc., so those costs need to be included to be fair.

#12 ColoHank

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:32 PM

It's like owning a Harley. If we have to explain it to you, you wouldn't understand.




Questars don't leak oil, they aren't noisy, they don't shake and rattle, and they idle without having to goose the throttle.

Thus, more like a Honda. ;)

#13 Mike E.

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:41 PM

It's like owning a Harley. If we have to explain it to you, you wouldn't understand.




Questars don't leak oil, they aren't noisy, they don't shake and rattle, and they idle without having to goose the throttle.

Thus, more like a Honda. ;)


I would say more like a Rolls Royce - Ghost Saloon.

#14 Norm Meyer

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:52 PM

If I could afford one I would buy one. They are a beauty,
both in design and workmanship. They must be doing something
right to have lasted this long. Where are the Quantums that
were some what of a copy and a little more aperature? Oh well
I'll just keep on dreaming about owning one someday.

My $0.02 worth
Norm

#15 Mike E.

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:38 PM

Put away the price of a pack of cigarettes a day, and you could fulfill the dream in a couple of years.

#16 GeneT

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:39 PM

Some people don't feel that a Rolex is worth it either, but a lot of people buy Rolex watches (entry level prestige watch these day by the way). Interestingly, I have had a Rolex for 40 years (they were simply the best watches made back then) and it is perhaps worth more today than I paid for it.. It has for all those decades been a superb mechanical watch.


My jeweler told me that Rolex is the largest selling watch in the world. I will spend top dollar on my telescopes, eyepieces and other accessories. I have found in life that rarely is the least expensive, or the most expensive, item, regardless of type, the best value for the money.

#17 Eddgie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:08 AM

My jeweler told me that Rolex is the largest selling watch in the world.


Rolex is the number one brand in dollar sales, but Citizen sells far more watches.

Rolex is also the number One "Luxury" brand but that is because as these things go, Rolex watchs are pretty cheap. You can spend far more for a Breitling or Patek Phileppe or any number of true high end luxury watchs.

Seiko, Swiss Army, Casio and many others each sell more watches a year than Rolex.

And this is a classic free enterprise model... Sell far fewer of something but at a high unit price (Questar) so that you make more profit per item (and possibly more profit all together), or mass market something and make less on each unit but make it up in volume.

Companies like Questar, Astro-Physics, and TEC produce small volumes, but this keeps the prices per unit high.

Of course demand is small as well, so the model balances out for them.

Roland Christen once told me personally that it would be impossible to increase production. Of course I have my doubts about that. I think it is more likley that he could not personally produce more scopes, but you can always produce more of something.

But what if he decided to change is production methods to make more scopes? Suddenly there would be a surpluss. Used scopes would start to become more common and prices would fall. Many people might be satisfied with a used scope.

From a financial perspective, the model he uses probably results in the minimum amount of hassle (running a bigger enterprise is very difficult) with a maximum amount of per-unit profit. In other words, I think he enjoys being personally involved in the making of his telescopes and to increase production, he might have to relinquish that involvement.

It is a good model for him, and I am sure that for Questar, the model works well too.

People have to realize that these days, there are a lot of people with $10,000 to spend on a watch or a telescope. If Ophra or some oil Sheik want a $7000 Questar or a $50,000 Patek Philippe watch, they simply make this desire known, and the next time they walk into the room, the object of that desire appears.

#18 Starhawk

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:09 AM

I think you may still be able to get brand new 50th anniversary Questars from 2000.

-Rich

#19 Eddgie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:10 AM

Ragarding my previous post, there is an old saying....

If you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it.

You can simply look at a Questar and easily see that it is not a mass produced consumer item.

#20 ColoHank

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:58 AM

Companies like Questar, Astro-Physics, and TEC produce small volumes, but this keeps the prices per unit high.

Of course demand is small as well, so the model balances out for them.

Roland Christen once told me personally that it would be impossible to increase production. Of course I have my doubts about that. I think it is more likley that he could not personally produce more scopes, but you can always produce more of something.

But what if he decided to change is production methods to make more scopes? Suddenly there would be a surpluss. Used scopes would start to become more common and prices would fall. Many people might be satisfied with a used scope.

From a financial perspective, the model he uses probably results in the minimum amount of hassle (running a bigger enterprise is very difficult) with a maximum amount of per-unit profit. In other words, I think he enjoys being personally involved in the making of his telescopes and to increase production, he might have to relinquish that involvement.

It is a good model for him, and I am sure that for Questar, the model works well too.



A good enough model for Questar that it's been in business making fine telescopes for almost sixty years. Unlike A-P and other high-end scope manufacturers, however, the majority of Questar's output is destined for military and industrial markets. Scopes for the backyard astronomer and birders are only a sidelight, and indeed, the company doesn't even advertise via popular astronomy media (I don't know about publications aimed at birders). I have no idea how many 3.5" and 7" scopes Questar produces each year, but it's no doubt far more than the few that find their way into amateur hands.

#21 Billydee

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:08 PM

Rich,

I agree with Mike E. The Q 3.5 is contained in a small case that is carry on airline size. This case contains: the scope, an equatorial mount, a finder scope with flip sun filter, two very high quality EPs, three tripod legs, a sun filter, a removable dew cap with star chart and moon chart printed on it, built in barlow, built in correct view prism, power cord, axial hole that allows camera attachment and still allows EP viewing with a touch of a built in lever and a screw on lens cap. Those are all standard equipment that would need to be added to your TEC to match oranges to oranges. With the simple addition of a PowerGuide hand control you are free of the power cord and have a smart quartz sidereal and lunar tracking mount (this system also fits in the case). This is an all-in-one system for one price.

Bill

#22 GeneT

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:10 PM

. . . .and, a Questar is truly a classic.

#23 Stephen S

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:02 AM

Here's why I (still) have a Questar...

My best scope optically speaking is a homemade 12.5" dob that I got in a trade. It's not pretty (affectionately dubbed "Scruffy"). My wife tolerates my hobby but does not share my passion. If I wanted to get rid of "Scruffy", she could not get the door opened fast enough to help me.

My Questar ("Pretty Boy") also came to me via a trade. It has a great balance of form and function. But, alas, I really had my heart set on a TV NP101. I didn't think I could justify getting an NP101 even at used prices without selling the Questar. So, I briefly put the Questar up for sale or trade. My wife (the same person that would gladly show "Scruffy" the door) encouraged me to keep the Questar, buy the NP101 and compare the two before deciding which of the two to keep.

So I got a used NP101 ("Goldilocks") and immediately feel in love with the scope. After much debate, I decided I would sell the Questar to cover the cost of the recently acquired NP101.

Imagine my surprise when my wife encouraged me to keep both! Note that she has not look THROUGH either scope. Her comment was that the Questar is such a good scope to look AT, a piece of art, that she would hate to see it go.

There are a number of scopes that trump the Questar from a pure function for the dollar perspective. You'd be very hard pressed to find a scope that outperforms the Questar from a form and function perspective.

Any scope that gets my wife excited about my hobby is a pure winner from my perspective. One of the many reason I am a fan of the Questar. :bow:

#24 Darren Drake

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:42 AM

Here is a thread I started that shows 2 sets of Q pics inside a Q cut in half. It was used in an add in the early '80's.

http://www.cloudynig...5549953/page...

#25 greedyshark

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:56 PM

It's like owning a Harley. If we have to explain it to you, you wouldn't understand.




Questars don't leak oil, they aren't noisy, they don't shake and rattle, and they idle without having to goose the throttle.

Thus, more like a Honda. ;)


I would say more like a Rolls Royce - Ghost Saloon.


...in Mystic Purple. :bow:

Charles






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