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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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Reged: 09/12/03

Loc: Austin, Texas
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Mike E.]
      #5656649 - 02/01/13 04:05 PM

Questars are not necessary expensive, you just have to know how to shop. Two years ago, I didn't own any Questars. Today I own four of them, and I have only spent $1000 total. The first one I bought is a 1959 model Standard. I paid $150 from a local picker. The solar filter was cross threaded on, so he thought it was broke because he couldn't see anything through it. Scope looks absolutely brand new. Second one is a Questar birder with all the options. I paid $400 for that one from another picker out of state. I thought I was going to get burnt on that one because the guy wanted me to send him a money gram to the local Walmart. I figured since I was ahead on the first one, if I lost $400, I would still be ahead. 3 days later, a prestine Questar birder showed up with not even a speck of dust on it. I don't know how many Questar Birders where sold with the fast focuser, but I don't know of anyone else that has one. The third one is a Questar field model. This one was owned by a 80 year old widow. She was giving it away for free on craigslist and had no takers till I showed up. She was actually trying to sell a broken tripod for $100 and was giving away the scope that was mounted on it at the time her husband broke the tripod. I emailed her and asked about the scope. She said her husband told her that the scope broke when the tripod broke. I offered her $100 for the broken scope and told her she could keep the tripod. So I sent her $150 to cover shipping and figured that the two eyepieces where worth at least that much. A few days later, a perfect Questar field model shows up. So I called her and offered to send her more money for the scope, but she refused. She was happy it went to a good home. A few days later, she mails me a check for $30 because it only cost her $20 to ship me the scope. I still have the check. The fourth one is a 700mm Questar lens that I got on Ebay for $400. No one else bid on it. The lens has a bunch of scratches on the body, but the optics are perfect. The lens belonged to a pro that used it in Africa, so that explained all the scratches on the body. So no, not all Questar scopes are expensive, and deals are still out there to be found. You just have to be patient and do a lot of digging.

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Darren Drake
Carpal Tunnel

Reged: 10/09/02

Loc: Chicagoland
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Panotaker]
      #5656661 - 02/01/13 04:11 PM

Wow now thats some good luck. Any of those would be the deal of the decade and you found all that in 2 years. I need to check Craigslist more often and get to know some local pickers....

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Most Boring Astronomer...

Reged: 07/30/10

Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Panotaker]
      #5658248 - 02/02/13 02:13 PM


The first one I bought is a 1959 model Standard. I paid $150 from a local picker.

OK, I'll bite, what's a "picker?"


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Reged: 09/12/03

Loc: Austin, Texas
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: wz2]
      #5658399 - 02/02/13 03:52 PM

A picker is somebody that bids and buys abandon storage lockers. When people rent a storage locker to store their stuff, they have to pay monthly rent. If they don't pay, they auction off the contents of the storage locker. A picker is one of those persons that buys those lockers. They then sell off the contents little by little and try to make a profit. They also buy stuff from people that have a garage or barn full of junk. They will pick through their junk, and buy anything they think they can sell. Picking has become popular now because there are a bunch of TV shows that show the pickers making tons of money by finding all kinds of treasures in abandon storage lockers. In reality, most of the time they buy a locker full of somebody else's junk.

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Reged: 05/15/14

Loc: high desert ca
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: ColoHank]
      #6597811 - 06/23/14 04:22 PM

looks like I got a realy good scope at a heck of a deal.

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Reged: 08/07/10

Loc: Waltham, MA
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: ColoHank]
      #6597923 - 06/23/14 05:34 PM

Questar used to advertise in Sky and Tel and Astronomy many, many years ago. I know, I have seen them advertised in Sky&Tel in lavish adverts in the 1970's and 1980's issues. Then they stopped advertising them, I wonder why?

I have seen many a Questar up close and personal. I can't imagine what the big deal is. There have been side by side tests done on the optics and in a few cases, the ETX 90 was as good if not slightly better than Questar (not all, just a few). I like the old OTA design of the night sky in constellations like the old Sky&Tel monthly sky charts of olden days. You could also get a nice dew shield too. But then, Meade introduced the ETX PE or Premiere Edition with colorful images on their OTA's.

I guess it's like having the Mona Lisa of Telescopes, a rare example of a fine quality telescope for the elite astronomer.

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Reged: 10/18/12

Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Stargazer3236]
      #6598482 - 06/23/14 11:20 PM

Hi all.

Perhaps the difference in opinions about the optical performance of the Questar telescope comes from the fact that a standard MgF2 coated Questar has only about as much contrast as a stock C90 or ETX90, whereas a broad-band coated Questar is, lets say, much better...

I have compared three different Questars (two with BB coatings and one with MgF2 coatings) that were in good condition next to a C90, Apex 90 and ETX90, with an artificial star (working in a physics department has its perks). The collimation of all instruments was the best that could be achieved. All three Questars had much better star tests (i.e. similar inside- and outside-of-focus) than the Synta or Meade telescopes (outside-of-focus markedly different from inside-of-focus). The broad band coated Questars had much more contrast than the MgF2 coated one, or the other Maksutovs. This comparison finalized my decision to buy a Questar for myself, and I made sure that the one I ended up buying had the 'BB' at the end of the serial number.

As was pointed out, add a clock drive, tabletop equatorial mount, fine control knobs, switchable barlow, switchable finder through eyepiece, switchable axial camera port, solar filter (I opted for the full aperture filter), two good eyepieces, star and moon maps, extendable light/dew shield (other Maksutovs don't have one), small carrying case, and suddenly the price doesn't seem so outrageous.

For me, the telescope 'just works'. On a sturdy equatorial wedge, it's very nice. I run mine from the inverter that's part of a Goal Zero solar panel kit. And it seems to cool faster than the other Synta-made Maksutovs I have. Cheers!


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