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What was your previous scope before Questar?

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#1 M44

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 06:02 PM


Great Questar forum here! I enjoyed reading the threads in the last few weeks.

I am wondering what was your previous scope before getting the Questar 3.5(if it replaced your last scope)? Did you come close to Questar experience? If so, what was that set up?

My most used scopes are small refractors and I never thought of acquiring Questar until now. It's just a thought, most probably I will look for a used Questar in one or two years time. I am still not convinced Questar is the right scope for me as I like to observe the sky with low power and wide FOV.

In my experience, anything above 3" refractor (with tripod/mount) is not a lighter setup due to demanding (at least in my case)Tripod/Mount requirements.

I could not replicate the complete Questar system with a small refractor. There are no mounts with huge(comfortable) Setting Circles. No small mounts with setting circles as the accuracy will be poor with small diameter mounts unlike Questar fork mount.

Curious to know your thoughts and experiences!

#2 JMKarian

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:52 PM

A classic orange Celestron 8 . . . Lots of great imaging memories . . . Will never forget the first time M57 was observed in all it's splendor. But the time had come for a smaller, portable scope that I can use for both terrestrial nature photography, and general astronomy in my travels

#3 JimK

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:43 PM

And welcome to Cloudy Nights!

#4 M44

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:51 PM

Good point on Terrestrial usage without any additional accessories.

Welcome to Cloudynights!

#5 planetmalc

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:37 AM

Home-built 6" F4 Newtonian RFT, so the Questar came as a bit of a culture shock!

#6 seeindoubles

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 01:33 AM

Immediately prior to purchasing a nice used Questar Standard with Broadband coatings I was using a C11 for photography and visual use. It is hard to compare between the two. One sits in my observatory and used when I get good dark skies at the site in Central Oregon. Images are excellent if it has time to cool down and still air. The other goes with me to work, on trips and for quick looks at the sky on weeknights and weekends when I am not in Central Oregon. The optics of the Questar are excellent, though obviously not as bright as it's 11 inch cousin. But the ease of travel and setup is very important.

I have also used my old Meade ETX90 Astro to photograph the transit of Venus last May. Compared optically, the images in the Meade are right there with the Questar. Of course the ratchet-like motions of the clock drive in the ETX are nothing compared to the smoothness of the Questar. I sometimes take the ETX out of its mount and install it on a short Vixen dovetail and use it on my Skywatcher (Synta) EQ5G mount. That is a near perfect combination and I have made a lot of great observations with that little OTA on that mount. Some good photos too!

It just goes to show, no one scope will do it all. However, the Questar is a very nice, instantly available package that I can set up anywhere at a moments notice. That portability is very important, especially when you live in Oregon where it is cloudy more than clear. An accessible, portable unit like the Questar will get you quick access to the sky and yield some nice views on nights where a larger OTA would have problems dealing with the atmospheric turbulence.

My absolute favorite? It would have to be a big refracter given the place to keep it set up for use or the time for setup and transport. The images in even a big achromat are simply awesome and if you are fortunate enough to own an APO then the views are near perfect in color, contrast and brightness.

#7 Michael Lomb

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 02:24 AM

I had a 6 inch f/8 Newtonian reflector on a homebuilt equatorial mount made from marine plywood. It was overbuilt, stable but very heavy. Even the fibre glass telescope tube (I did not make that), was difficult to store and move around. Physics dictates that it provide better views than the Questar, but not as practical to use. Interestingly enough the sharpest views through the Newtonian was not through the Meade Plossl eye pieces, but a Kellner. I used this scope to observe the changes in Jupiter bands when comet Shoemaker Levy 9 hit the planet.

I gave the Newtonian away to someone else (who is not using it much). The Questar gets used (ready again tonight), and only a fraction of the size and weight. I have a ten inch mirror in the attic, and was planning on building another scope. Since I got the Questar, a larger scope no longer appeals to me. We recently had a 90% total eclipse of the sun in Northern New Zealand, and saw this though a Baader filter in the Questar in sharp detail.

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#8 R Botero

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 10:20 AM

Michael

Did you make that mount?!!! :scared: :photo:

#9 moynihan

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 11:39 AM

Michael, that newt is beautiful :bow:

#10 Michael Lomb

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 05:57 PM

Yes I built the telescope from a sheet of 18 mm marine plywood using the plans from the book "Build your own telescope," by Richard Berry. The book can still be purchased here  https://www.willbell.com/tm/tm2.htm

I had to learn some router skills. I modified the design a bit, and used better materials than was suggested in the book. If I were to do this again I would save  weight by using 12 mm plywood, make my own telescope tube, make the latitude adjustment less complex, modify the counter weight. The design could accommodate a larger mirror. 

I rather like building things as a hobby. This telescope was more of a construction project for me, and I lost interest in it when I completed it. I may still use the 10 inch mirror in the attic. The reason I got the Questar is that I had something that I would actually use. Even after building the larger telescope I never acquired observing skills. I have seen more through the Questar simply because I have used it more. It is an observing tool rather than a building project.  Storage is a non issue with the Questar despite me using a surveyors tripod that weighs 6.5 kg (same as the tristand but more solid and practical).  

#11 seeindoubles

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 02:09 AM

Beautiful Newtonian! It doesn't even look like the mount is mde of wood, more like cast Aluminum. Just goes to show what a pair of skilled hands and some dedication can accomplish. :bow:

#12 starboy1954

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 08:00 PM

C8. Blown away by my first view of M13 through it! Saw Jupiter's red spot (not red anymore) for the first time with it. Saw Uranus and Neptune for the first time with the C8. I was amazed that Neptune was resolved into a distinct blue-grey disc, only the size of a period at the end of a sentence, but a distinct disc in any case.

But ultimately the views were just a bit too mushy for me. I like that longer focal length sharpness. Field of view sacrificed but the view is crisper.

The Q gives crisper views.

#13 mvw

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 12:30 PM

Wish I could say Questar 3.5 since I'm in the market for a Questar 7.

#14 Mike E.

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 02:26 PM

Over the previous thirty some years, I've only had two scopes, A 4 1/2" Pencrest (J.C. Penny) Reflector, and a 3" Model 6339-A (Sears) Refractor.
When I retired and got back into observing, I bought an Intes-Micro 5" Mak. It was my first "New" scope, and the one which filled the gap in the two year wait while our Questar was being built. Here's a photo of it.

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#15 mvw

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 08:31 PM

Very nice :bow:

#16 munirocks

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 06:12 PM

B&L Criterion 4000. It's a 30-year old 4" Schmidt-Cassegrain that's essentially the poor man's Questar, with about the same size, form factor, and operation. The small finder is at a difficult angle, so I tried using the large setting circles instead, and they turned out to be brilliant. I wanted to replace it with a similar scope but with satellite quality with optics that could pick the lava tubes off a moon at 240,000 miles. I'll keep the old scope for public viewings where the children just can't stop themselves from poking the optics.

#17 Gordon Reade

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 01:35 PM

My Q 50th is my first scope.

#18 Les

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 05:25 PM

My first scope was an Intes Micro M603 6" Mak. It was of such mediocre quality that I eventually replaced it with a Questar Astro 7. I have since sold the Astro 7 but still cling to my Q50th.

#19 cbwerner

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 10:04 PM

A Questar was the first scope I ever looked through, back in 1976 - owned by the teacher who introduced me to astronomy. In the intervening years I've had a 6" reflector, several SCT's, and several refractors, and still have 2 SCTs and a refractor, and now my Q50th.

As you seem to understand, the Questar is a different experience from other telescopes, and for me, I have no doubt it will also be the last scope I ever look through.






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