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Questar Opinion

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#1 Copernicus1473

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:58 PM

Any comments on the vintage 1963 Questar Standard 3.5 Telescope posted on e-bay? I have never looked through one but I have been told the optics are superb.
 

#2 Ducky62

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:00 PM

No quarantee of working condition This is an auction therefore all sales are final.



I've never looked through one either but if I was going to ever buy a Questar I wouldn't choose a corroded, broken one that spent the last 30 years of its life in a "Florida attic". :foreheadslap:
 

#3 greedyshark

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:25 PM

Looks to be in rough condition. Additionally, it is not a standard...it is a quartz as indicated by the "QTZ" in the serial number. I own a '64 quartz...it is superb.

Charles
 

#4 terraclarke

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:25 PM

I've looked through my brother's Questar many times. I've looked through his Unitron 4 inch photo-equatorial twice. His Questar is his weapon of choice, many times over the 4 inch Uni, not because its better innately, however if you use this equation, you will find that given these terms, it is many times better:

Q = (O x I)/(W x S)
Where:
Q = overall quality of observing experience
O = optical quality
I = image appearance (brightness, contrast, and sharpness)
W = weight
S = Setup time

BTW, that's my equation, I invented it.

In other words, the Questar is an amazing piece of optical and mechanical engineering, its focal length is similar to a 4 inch Unitron, however it's aperture is a little less and it does have a central obstruction. It also fits in a case not much bigger than a shoe box, about like a microscope case, you can carry it in one hand, take it as an easy carry-on on an airplane, set it up on a good photo tripod, and be observing in less than five minutes, and seeing images that are not equal but are comparable to the contender in the afore mentioned comparison; however, in my eyes, and for reasons that are probably obvious to those who know me, the contender would still be my choice if I were spending that kind of money. (My brother bought the Questar for exactly the same amount of money he paid for the Unitron- exactly 2000 dollars.)

So would I rather have a 4 inch Unitron on an equatorial mount or a Questar? I'll take the Unitron hands down.
Would I rather get my lazy a@& up off the couch and out to observe if I have to go out and set up the Unitron photo-equatorial or the Questar? I'll choose the Questar over the Uni 19 nights out of 20. And that I would imagine is why my brother, who has over a dozen fine telescopes, hasn't taken anything out but the Questar in the past several years.

Finally, if you are going to get a Questar, get a good one and not one that looks like it was salvaged from a shipwreck.
 

#5 rmollise

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:58 PM

Any comments on the vintage 1963 Questar Standard 3.5 Telescope posted on e-bay? I have never looked through one but I have been told the optics are superb.


Condition aside, a Questar is a long focal length 3.5-inch telescope. It will present sharp views of the planets and Moon with detail similar to any other 90mm telescope. Deep sky objects? The brighter Messier will look good, though hardly detailed/resolved. If you just want to see a lot of stuff, a C5 will show much more. If you just want a Questar?...well, some people do... ;)
 

#6 terraclarke

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 07:23 PM

I've seen M42 through both a Questar and a C5. The Questar won hands down. It was a good C5 and an average view of M42. The Questar presented what I could only characterize as superb. The contrast, definition, resolution of the trapezium, was handsdown, head and shoulders above the C5 view. Sure, you might see a few more faint fuzzys with a somewhat a larger aperture but you won't be seeing them through a Questar. Of course you won't be spending as much money either.

Terra
 

#7 bremms

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 07:40 PM

Questar is probably the finest telescope made. Truly superb. VERY good optics, mechanical marvel and very compact. Listen to Terra on this one. Even Taks are a bit industrial by comparison.
You will NOT be disappointed by the Questar. They are great people there too. If you have a problem, they can actually fix the scope. Old school American company like Vernonscope and D&G.
C5's can be OK sometimes.... they do collect more light that's about it.
 

#8 actionhac

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 07:41 PM

I got to finally look at and through one that was for sale the other day.
I was excited to say the least. I was so excited I think the seller was worried I might drop it.
It was a "Field model" and had a sliding purple dew shield. The optical tube will slip right out of the dew shield so BE CAREFUL.
We met at a shopping mall. I brought my own tripod.
I think its a fine instrument. I like the built-in barlow you can flip in or out of the optical path. And the built-in diagonal with rotating rear cell.
This one was pyrex with broadband coatings. 24mm eyepiece.
I unscrewed the eyepiece and looked though the telescope and I noticed all was not well, some unsymetricalness to the optics. I thought it fine for day time terrestrial but was afraid it would not be fine for celestial so I did not buy the scope. The owner is a birder and had never used it for astronomy.
I also felt it was way to complex for me to go in and tinker with. I'm fine with my C90 but the Questar as beautifully made as it is has a lot going on inside that were for the factory only.

Robert
 

#9 bremms

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 07:55 PM

Problem for me is, a good one is 2.5k+ That's SERIOUS telescope time for me. I like vintage C5's too. but they are $3-600 depending on condition.
$2000 buys a Zambuto 12.5.. Just sayin'
Cumberland Optical in MD makes Questar optics.
For $1000 they sell a 6" Mak optics set. Roll your own 6" Q
That is on my long term list. They will up spec the optics or a little extra. OOHH I'm gettiing excited
 

#10 GeneT

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:49 PM

They are a classic telescope. My first view, of the moon, was through one.
 

#11 starman876

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:51 PM

Like Terra stated. It is that scope you can pick up im one hand and use. You can use anywhere and have superb optics that are hard to match by any scope out there pound for pound. If I had my choice between a Questar and a high end 4" refractor I would take the refractor. Lucky I have both and as usual aperture does win as long as the optics are superb. There are only a couple of 90mm refactors I would choose over the questar and they are all triplets and cost close to $2000 or more and you still need to byuy the mount and tripod to use it. Unless you have looked throuhg one for extended periods and have made serious observations with the comparison scope I would suggest you do not make any comments :4
 

#12 Paul Hyndman

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:31 PM

Fine craftsmanship and quite collectible to be sure but, personal legends aside, optical magic always bows to the laws of physics.

Paul
 

#13 starman876

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:50 PM

Fine craftsmanship and quite collectible to be sure but, personal legends aside, optical magic always bows to the laws of physics.

Paul


That they do so well. Well, any scope with superb optics I have found break the 50X per inch rule. I think that rule was made for run of the mill optics.
 

#14 Ducky62

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:51 PM

The Questar at auction the OP is referring to

I wouldn't touch it with a 10' pole.
It is in bad cosmetic shape.
The seller "doesn't know anything about telescopes" and is offering it "as is, all sales final" and specifically saying it is not guaranteed to work.
The seller describes it as having been stored in a "Florida attic" for 30+ years, corroding the metal and destroying the case.

This may be fine for someone who is salvaging parts or really likes to gamble. I wouldn't hit the buy it now on this one at the current bid

I've seen nice looking Questars offered on Astromart for under $2k and ones sell on Ebay for around that much.
The former are well described by knowlegeable sellers and many of the latter are well-photographed, described AND in some cases returnable.

JMHO
 

#15 actionhac

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:02 PM

Here is the one I looked at. And it is still active. About 2hrs north of Seattle and me.
I'm no expert but it may need to go back to the factory for collimation. It spent its life in the field bird watching and may have been knocked around although it is very sharp terrestrially. The sun has faded the black anodizing but the really neat purple is OK.
I had it in my hands!
http://skagit.craigs...3553144382.html

Robert
 

#16 Scott in NC

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:12 PM

If I ever decided that I wanted a Questar, it would be because I wanted a fine, collectable, vintage scope, not a "beater". Now I'm not opposed to buying a scope with a few wear marks here and there as long as the optics are pristine, esp. if I got a really great deal on the scope. But IMHO, the current bid price of $610 is too much for a scope that's obviously been abused, and for which the seller won't offer any guarantee that it actually works. Too bad the scope couldn't be examined in person, though. I'd love to hear that some CN member was able to examine the scope, determined it to be optically perfect, and picked up an optical gem of a scope for under $700! :grin:
 

#17 Datapanic

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:44 PM

No Questar thread is complete without the Apo Refractor vs Questar Telescope Video!

"My telescope is more expensive than your telescope can ever hope to be"

"My telescope is a Questar. The primary is made from a zero expansion substrate that can only be exported from the Oort Cloud"
 

#18 bremms

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:56 AM

That one is very funny. Been floating around on some of the other forums here .. Yes, I go to other forums.
 

#19 rmollise

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:01 AM

Unless you have looked throuhg one for extended periods and have made serious observations with the comparison scope I would suggest you do not make any comments :4


I have, and I stand by my comments, and will make more. It's a good 3.5-inch telescope, but not the best, and hardly perfect. Mechanically, it's usually outstanding, but not always. More than one Questar I've used exhibits a surprising amount of backlash in its slow motions. The undertube integrated finder is cool but not very practical. And it dews up in a real quick hurry. Historically the telescopes' J.R. Cumberland optics are usually top notch, but, again, not always. A Questar 3.5 is for someone who wants one, just like a Rolex is a watch for someon who wants one. There are watches that cost less, keep time as good as or better than the Rolex, and are more practical and full-featured. Same goes for the Questar. If you want one because you love the Questars, get one. If you want a very functional grab and go, there are better choices. :shakecane:

Hell, if you just like the 90mm MCT paradigm, and don't have to have the build quality, a dadgum ETX 90 will present images virtualy indistinguishable from the Questar. Heck so will a 200 buck C90. :lol:
 

#20 rmollise

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:12 AM

I've seen M42 through both a Questar and a C5. The Questar won hands down. It was a good C5 and an average view of M42. The Questar presented what I could only characterize as superb. The contrast, definition, resolution of the trapezium, was handsdown, head and shoulders above the C5 view. Sure, you might see a few more faint fuzzys with a somewhat a larger aperture but you won't be seeing them through a Questar. Of course you won't be spending as much money either.

Terra


Well, more than a little; try about twice as much light. Many more DSOs are visible in the C5 and brighter ones are considerably more detailed. That doesn't mean the Q3.5 is a bad telescope, it's just a small, long focal length, expensive telescope. :lol:
 

#21 albert1

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:13 AM

Pretty good stuff - not what I was expecting :lol:. Thanks for posting that Dan.
 

#22 starman876

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:27 AM

Interesting posts. Bottom line, it is a wonderful instrument that most of you would love to have and it is made in the good old USA. What more can I say :usa: :usa: :usa:
 

#23 terraclarke

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:38 AM

You know, there are those who are happy with double quarter pounders with cheese as well, I for on am not. I'll take 4 ounces of lightly seared Ahi tuna served on a bed of spinach leaves every time.

Furthermore, every time I hear someone compare a Meade ETX 90 to a Questar, I cringe. Again, if plastic parts, mass production, and a cheap facsimile look is to your liking, then that's fine for you. When the Meade ETX 90 came out is was nothing more than a Questar knock-off. Things haven't changed there either. If that is to your taste, or to your budget then fine. I for one, do not own a Questar, nor would I. I would rather spend that money on a fine refractor, preferably a long focal length classic one, made in Germany or Japan, or America prior to 1970. That is my taste and my preference.

Moreover, I hear a lot of quoting about the "laws of physics" without a lot to back it up. Again, this makes me cringe. Perhaps some who love to use this long overused and worn out cliche' do understand the laws of physics or at least some of them, many others who love to parrot this do not. The laws of physics with regard to aperture only apply if (1) you are on the moon, i.e., you are not looking through an atmosphere, and (2), everything else, and I do mean, everything else both optically and mechanically are equal. Seeing always trumps aperture. So does figure. We could also talk about statics and dynamics. I could go on and on here; I choose not to, because hopefully you get the point.

Finally, some of us thankfully, still appreciate truly fine hand craftsmanship, and artisanship. For me, the use of something that is truly fine adds to the pleasure of my experience. Taste and aesthetics count for me. We live in a culture of bigger is better, throw it away if you don't like it, change the channel, gimme now, I don't want to wait. That is a shame. Big gulps, big macs, and super-size me has done nothing for our culture in my opinion. These attitudes filter over into almost every aspect of our popular culture. And no, I don't have a Rolex but I do love my Victorinox Swiss watch. If I couldn't afford it, I would take a Timex with hands over a plastic digital watch with numbers, again I cringe at the thought. But that is in answer to your analogy.

So to me, statements like an "ETX90 is just as good as a Quester" or a "C5 is better than a Questar" are unfounded poppycock, where as, "I can afford an ETX90 or a C5, I could never justify spending that kind of money on a Questar" make sense.

A buffoonish fellow in our club told me at the last meeting "I was throwing money away to spend it on Unitron's and a Zeiss when I get a 16 inch dob like his," I just threw up my hands and walked away. He was dumbfounded. Not however, as dumbfounded as I was.

Points made.
 

#24 starman876

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:42 AM

Terra
Well, that depends on who made the mirror in that 16" dob :lol: :lol
 

#25 terraclarke

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:47 AM

I will never, ever in this lifetime or the next own a dobsonion telescope of any size, shape, color, or make. For those who do and will, fine for them. Not for me. I would also rather tour the country in a little sportscar rather than a big winnebago. Even if the big winnebago does have a bathroom, and even if I could afford the gas. :tonofbricks:

Terra
 






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