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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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donnie3
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/15/04

Loc: bartlesville oklahoma
my curiosity is bugging me!
      #5631721 - 01/19/13 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

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Eddgie
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/01/06

Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: donnie3]
      #5631743 - 01/19/13 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.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: donnie3]
      #5631745 - 01/19/13 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.

Edited by rmollise (01/19/13 03:22 PM)


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donnie3
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/15/04

Loc: bartlesville oklahoma
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: rmollise]
      #5632209 - 01/19/13 09:03 PM

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

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Billydee
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Winter Haven, FL
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: donnie3]
      #5632283 - 01/19/13 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


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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: donnie3]
      #5633431 - 01/20/13 03:36 PM

Quote:

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.


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Eric P
sage
*****

Reged: 04/04/05

Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: donnie3]
      #5634473 - 01/21/13 08:21 AM

Here is a short film on the subject

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Panotaker
sage


Reged: 09/12/03

Loc: Austin, Texas
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Eric P]
      #5634742 - 01/21/13 11:17 AM

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

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yonkrz
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/16/06

Loc: SW Minnesota
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Panotaker]
      #5634779 - 01/21/13 11:44 AM

That was a good way to put it.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: yonkrz]
      #5634791 - 01/21/13 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


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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5635055 - 01/21/13 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.

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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Panotaker]
      #5635099 - 01/21/13 02:32 PM

Quote:

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.


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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5635233 - 01/21/13 03:41 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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.


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Norm Meyer
sage
*****

Reged: 02/08/09

Loc: Warren, ME 04864
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5635251 - 01/21/13 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


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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Norm Meyer]
      #5635313 - 01/21/13 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.

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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5635774 - 01/21/13 09:39 PM

Quote:

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.


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Eddgie
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/01/06

Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: GeneT]
      #5636440 - 01/22/13 09:08 AM

Quote:

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.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: GeneT]
      #5636446 - 01/22/13 09:09 AM

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

-Rich


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Eddgie
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/01/06

Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5636449 - 01/22/13 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.


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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5636643 - 01/22/13 10:58 AM

Quote:

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.


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