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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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Billydee
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Winter Haven, FL
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5637121 - 01/22/13 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

Edited by Billydee (01/22/13 03:12 PM)


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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: donnie3]
      #5637359 - 01/22/13 05:10 PM

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

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Stephen S
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/21/07

Loc: Carmel, IN
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: GeneT]
      #5638072 - 01/23/13 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.


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Darren Drake
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/09/02

Loc: Chicagoland
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Stephen S]
      #5638339 - 01/23/13 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.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5549953/page...

Edited by Darren Drake (01/23/13 07:43 AM)


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greedyshark
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/31/05

Loc: 3rd Rock
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Mike E.]
      #5639234 - 01/23/13 04:56 PM

Quote:

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.




...in Mystic Purple.

Charles


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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: greedyshark]
      #5639497 - 01/23/13 08:00 PM



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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Mike E.]
      #5640918 - 01/24/13 03:25 PM

I tried out to a 1958 or 59 Questar in the early 90's,
It was a beautiful telescope, built to the highest standard machine wise. I loved to have it in my hands feeling the Buttery smooth action. But under the stars it was a real dog!
My B&L 4000 was better! Stars showed about 6 diffraction rings, on the Questar! Horrible S.A.
I passed on it, still have the B&L. I would expect the poor performance due to the early production. Even tho they claim a Lifetime warranty against materials and workmanship,
they wouldn't do anything about it, even tho the original owner said he would send it to avoid warranty issues.
I was so turned off by their Cavalier attitude it made me sick. Doesn't lifetime mean more than 32 years?
You can keep em' I have an ETX 90 1st series I love and would rather loose my hand than sell it...


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Ed Kessler
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/17/06

Loc: Millersburg, PA
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Eric P]
      #5641260 - 01/24/13 07:00 PM

Quote:

Here is a short film on the subject




That's good!


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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: orion61]
      #5641985 - 01/25/13 06:33 AM

Quote:

.................You can keep em' I have an ETX 90 1st series I love and would rather loose my hand than sell it...




I would toss my Questar 7 in the trash, rather than loose even the tip of a finger.
This is only a hobby after all.


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jmasin
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/22/08

Loc: Murphy, TX (DFW)
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Mike E.]
      #5642290 - 01/25/13 10:31 AM

I'm lost, what watch should I buy again?

(I'm a watch collector also)


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RossSackett
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/17/07

Loc: Memphis, TN
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Eric P]
      #5642345 - 01/25/13 11:08 AM

Quote:

Here is a short film on the subject




That is hilarious. We've all been there.


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Yu Gu
member


Reged: 06/18/06

Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: donnie3]
      #5642351 - 01/25/13 11:11 AM

Because they are expensive, they must be special

They wouldn't compete as well if they were cheaper...

So they have to be expensive...

Just like a Leica, or many other brands...

Quote:

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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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: orion61]
      #5642531 - 01/25/13 12:57 PM

Quote:

I tried out to a 1958 or 59 Questar in the early 90's,
It was a beautiful telescope, built to the highest standard machine wise. I loved to have it in my hands feeling the Buttery smooth action. But under the stars it was a real dog!





Reading between the lines, it appears that particular Questar was a used instrument which you once considered buying. If that's indeed the case, then you're lucky to have discovered its many faults before plunking down any cash.

In another thread, however, you claim to have owned the scope, and you voice the same criticisms of its performance. If that's true, and if you had a chance to examine it and observe through it before purchase, then why did you buy it?

If the scope was used, perhaps the previous owner mistreated it somehow, in which case Questar would be under no obligation to repair it under warranty. Or perhaps, though the previous owner handled it with kid gloves, it simply needed a cleaning and tune-up. After several decades of even careful use, I'd expect moving parts to wear, lubricants to dry out, etc.

Questars are not warranted for life, as you allege. They are warranted for only ten years. If the scope was actually 32 years old when you either owned or considered buying it, then it would be unreasonable to expect the company to repair it under warranty.

Finally, Questar maintains a parts inventory, or can manufacture the parts anew, for every scope it ever made since the mid-1950s, and the company willingly accepts any and all of its scopes for repair or refurbishing regardless of age. If an instrument returned to them is not under warranty, Questar rightly charges for those parts and services.

Here's hoping that you continue to enjoy marvelous views through your ETX and B&L scopes for many years to come, and that you never have to return them to their manufacturers for warranty (or other) repairs.


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blave
member
*****

Reged: 08/11/09

Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: donnie3]
      #5643062 - 01/25/13 06:01 PM

Quote:

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




I first saw the famous cutaway image of a Questar 3.5" scope in my then-new copy of The Telescope Guide and Star Atlas book, which was one the two astro books I got from my parents on my 21st birthday, and wanted one from that moment on (I can't tell you how many times I opened that book just to look at the cutaway). Twenty-nine years later I finally bought myself one for my 50th birthday... It certainly has its limits but its functionality and portability cannot be beat by anything, not to mention its craftsmanship and overall quality. Yes, they're very expensive (I bought a restored 1972 model, as even I couldn't justify $5K for a new one) but I will keep mine "forever".

dark skies,

Dave B.
San Jose, CA


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Darren Drake
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/09/02

Loc: Chicagoland
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: blave]
      #5643071 - 01/25/13 06:05 PM

I see that cutaway Q every time I'm at work. Check out the link from the earlier in this thread....

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jouster
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/27/05

Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: Darren Drake]
      #5651061 - 01/29/13 08:03 PM

I wouldn't buy one - I need more aperture for my dollar that they can give me - but I always check them out at NEAF. They are so beautifully made.

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teskridg
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/15/08

Loc: PA
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: jmasin]
      #5651296 - 01/29/13 10:23 PM

Quote:

I'm lost, what watch should I buy again?

(I'm a watch collector also)




I have an Omega Seamaster, and my friends with Rolexes say it keeps better time; of course, if accuracy is an issue, then get the Casio. Tim


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ukcanuck
Vendor (Skylight Telescopes)
*****

Reged: 11/07/06

Loc: London, UK
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: teskridg]
      #5653646 - 01/31/13 06:01 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I'm lost, what watch should I buy again?

(I'm a watch collector also)




I have an Omega Seamaster, and my friends with Rolexes say it keeps better time; of course, if accuracy is an issue, then get the Casio. Tim




I have a vintage Automatic Omega Constellation. It falls asleep after two days if I don't keep wearing it and is a bit of a pain at times...but I don't care. I love wearing it.

I bet there are discussions very similar to this on watch forums too! I think the watch analogy is a rather good one. I've been to a few watch shows in London and see enthusiasists/collectors appreciate why the time consumed in building things by hand results in a watch that can carry a 4, 5-figure or even 6 figure sum (or higher still). Sometimes the movement can be a mass-produced ETA example and the work is in the casing or complications, but for the really high prices how about a watch with a custom mechanism and a Tourbillon?

For what it is and what it represents, I actually think the Questar is quite reasonably priced.

Just my two


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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: ukcanuck]
      #5653809 - 01/31/13 08:39 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I'm lost, what watch should I buy again?

(I'm a watch collector also)




I have an Omega Seamaster, and my friends with Rolexes say it keeps better time; of course, if accuracy is an issue, then get the Casio. Tim




I have a vintage Automatic Omega Constellation. It falls asleep after two days if I don't keep wearing it and is a bit of a pain at times...but I don't care. I love wearing it.

I bet there are discussions very similar to this on watch forums too! I think the watch analogy is a rather good one. I've been to a few watch shows in London and see enthusiasists/collectors appreciate why the time consumed in building things by hand results in a watch that can carry a 4, 5-figure or even 6 figure sum (or higher still). Sometimes the movement can be a mass-produced ETA example and the work is in the casing or complications, but for the really high prices how about a watch with a custom mechanism and a Tourbillon?

For what it is and what it represents, I actually think the Questar is quite reasonably priced.

Just my two




I use a winder at night. Place your watch on the winder when you are not using it and it will stay wound.

Tony


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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: my curiosity is bugging me! new [Re: ukcanuck]
      #5654439 - 01/31/13 02:35 PM

Quote:

.........For what it is and what it represents, I actually think the Questar is quite reasonably priced.




I would agree, and no upgrading needed. Watches like Omega and Rolex are also worth the investment. My current Yachtmaster watch has increased 43% in value since I purchased it four and a half years ago; what bank will give you that kind of return ?
I believe Questar scopes will hold their value long into the future, like Skylight Refractors.


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Panotaker
sage


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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wz2
Most Boring Astronomer...


Reged: 07/30/10

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

Quote:

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?"

Chris


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Panotaker
sage


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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notrix
member


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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Stargazer3236
member
*****

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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ChristianG
sage


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!

--Christian


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