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albert1
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Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: bremms]
      #5684803 - 02/17/13 09:13 AM

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

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starman876
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Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: albert1]
      #5684903 - 02/17/13 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

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terraclarke
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Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: rmollise]
      #5684918 - 02/17/13 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.


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starman876
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Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5684926 - 02/17/13 10:42 AM

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


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terraclarke
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Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: starman876]
      #5684936 - 02/17/13 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.

Terra


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kansas skies
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Reged: 12/02/12

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Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5684947 - 02/17/13 10:54 AM

Other than the comment about tuna, I would have to say, "Well said, Terra!".

Bill


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5685007 - 02/17/13 11:27 AM

Quote:

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.




If you like a Questar, I'll not naysay it. As I've said before, I still sometimes envision myself on a desert isle waiting for an eclipse, umbrella drink in one hand and Questar at my side.

Some points however...

If you go back and read my post, you'll see that I stated that an ETX or C90 might be nice if build quality is not important. There is no comparison there, that's for sure. All that shiny metal and that pretty Questar dew shield and all... B-U-T... The optics are another story. Some folks say they can tell the difference between the Questar and the ETX 90 image-wise. Me? Nope, I cannot. And I have done that shootout a couple of times at least.

The laws of physics may make you cringe, but they are what they are and, alas, they are merciless. A 5-inch optic has considerably more resolving power and light gathering power than a 90mm, and there is no way around that, assuming the 5-inch is made decently well. Not even if the 90's optics are made of the vaunted Unobtanium.

Taste is fine. If you like fine things, good on you. Me? I'm more of a Casio guy than a Rolex guy, I reckon.

You may dismiss what I am saying as "poppycock," Terra. That is your perogitive...this thread is titled "OPINION" after all. But the fact is, you will still see more with that plebian C5 than you ever will with the Questar 3.5. And you will see the same in comparable detail with the lowly ETX. Does that make either "better" than a Questar? That is up to you, since "better" is indeed a slippery thing with different meanings for different folks.

Me? I want to see as much of the Universe as I can in the time remaining to me, and I don't mind a bit if that has to be with an humble hand-made wooden Dobbie or a peasant like C5 or C8. If that makes me one of them Bufoonish Fellows, I am OK with that...

Edited by rmollise (02/17/13 11:30 AM)


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terraclarke
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Reged: 05/29/12

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Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5685025 - 02/17/13 11:38 AM

Quote:

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.




Obviously you did not get my meaning, I have nothing against the "Laws of Physics" I build a career on them. They certainly do not make me cringe. What makes me cringe is the blind quoting of the phrase without the understanding of the principles to back it up. They use this phrase blithely with the meaning that aperture is always better. In many cases, it is not.


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5685030 - 02/17/13 11:43 AM

Quote:


Obviously you did not get my meaning, I have nothing against the "Laws of Physics" I build a career on them. They certainly do not make me cringe. What makes me cringe is the blind quoting of the phrase without the understanding of the principles to back it up. They use this phrase blithely with the meaning that aperture is always better. In many cases, it is not.




But I do understand them, Terra. I teach in a Physics Department, after all.

As for the Questar? You can talk about seeing and other factors all you want. The C5 has too much of an aperture advantage for the little Questar to come close. Don't believe me? Point both at M13 and have a look. Does that make the Questar bad? NO. It's small and portable and fine. It is one of the better made small telescopes on the market. But it's a losing game to make it out to be something it's not. It's a small scope good for grab and go and suitable for casual inspection of the Moon and planets. For a lot of folks that is MORE than enough.

Edited by rmollise (02/17/13 11:45 AM)


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DAVIDG
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Reged: 12/02/04

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Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: rmollise]
      #5685049 - 02/17/13 11:55 AM

When it comes to the optics quality of Questar and ETX-90 it's difficult to see any difference on a double pass autocollimation test on the my optical bench of ones I have done.
As for the one on Ebay, the optical design of this one looks to have the aluminized spot on the outside of the corrector since it is painted over with black paint. If that is the case then it using a design to get around the original Perkin Elmer/ John Gregory patent. This design is inferior to the original design that uses the spot on the back of the corrector since it introduce more color. So a modern day ETX 90 in theory would give a better image. When the patent ran out, Questar changed the optical design with the spot on the back of the corrector.
Questar has a reconditioning service that starts out at about $500 and can restore a unit to as new condition. The one on Ebay could use a trip back to Questar in New Hope PA. I would be surprised if it doesn't sell for at least $1000.

- Dave


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terraclarke
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Reged: 05/29/12

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Re: Questar Opinion- an affordable alternative new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5685053 - 02/17/13 11:56 AM Attachment (25 downloads)

This (a LOMO Astele 95) is a nice alternative that is far more affordable, tho far harder to find. They occasionally do come up however on CN, AM, and eBay. They don't make them anymore as LOMO has gotten out of the amateur market and now makes exclusively for professional, military, and industrial buyers. Most folks who have one tend to hang on to it, many who don't later regret getting rid of it.

LOMO, by the way stands for Leningrad Optical & Mechanical Enterprise. It has existed since 1914 and many of its optical craftsman were trained by Carl Zeiss, Jena. Following WWII much of Zeiss, both personal and equipment was carted back to Russia, much of this found its way to LOMO. 95mm aperture, 1200 mm f.l. Mak, and built like a tank. All metal, much of it hand-tooled construction and excellent optics. It has a thread on lens cap and thread on dew shield, and don't think the little peep-site finder is a coincidence to the exact same one found on the Zeiss Telementor.


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terraclarke
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Reged: 05/29/12

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Re: Questar Opinion- an affordable alternative new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5685059 - 02/17/13 11:57 AM Attachment (18 downloads)

Another one.

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terraclarke
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Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re: Questar Opinion- an affordable alternative new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5685060 - 02/17/13 11:58 AM Attachment (13 downloads)

One more.

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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: DAVIDG]
      #5685061 - 02/17/13 11:59 AM

Quote:

When it comes to the optics quality of Questar and ETX-90 it's difficult to see any differnce on a double pass autocollimation test on the my optical bench of ones I have done.
As for the one on Ebay, the optical design of this one looks to have the aluminized spot on the outside of the corrector since it is painted over with black paint. If that is the case then it using a design to get around the original Perkin Elmer/ John Gregory patent. This design is inferior to the original design that uses the spot on the back of the corrector since it introduce more color. So a modern day ETX 90 in theory would give a better image. When the patent ran out, Questar changed the optical design with the spot on the back of the corrector.
Questar has a reconditioning service that starts out at about $500 and can restore a unit to as new condition. The one on Ebay could use a trip back to Questar in New Hope PA. I would be surprised if it doesn't sell for at least $1000.

- Dave




Yep, I have little doubt it will sell for that much. I will say that it would probably be cheaper just to buy one in better condition once all is said and done. There's not shortage of used Questars AFAIK, it it will likely take some $$$ to put this one right.


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rmollise
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Re: Questar Opinion- an affordable alternative new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5685068 - 02/17/13 12:01 PM

Quote:

This (a LOMO Astele 95) is a nice alternative that is far more affordable, tho far harder to find.




At one time, a few years back, I thought Lomo was going to give Meade/Celestron a run for their money...but then they dropped out of the amateur scope business, dang it.


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Atl
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Reged: 04/13/12

Re: Questar Opinion- an affordable alternative new [Re: rmollise]
      #5685110 - 02/17/13 12:19 PM

I was in a telescope shop in Tucson a while back. There were so many Questars there that several were relegated to a top storage shelf. If a person wants one they are certainly not hard to find.There is no need to buy a beat up one when the market is flooded with fine examples. I like the look but ultimately I go for the cheeseburger over the tuna.

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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

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Re: Questar Opinion- an affordable alternative new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5685113 - 02/17/13 12:20 PM

The beauty of these forums is their being open for all to speak their minds. I applaud that, yet have to ask: Do the arguments over Questars never get tiring? By now, all ought to know that the Questar is a work of the machinist's art, and, as such, brings pleasure analogous to a fine watch or a fine car, neither or which keeps time or arrives at its destination better than lower-cost alternatives. Everyone agrees that the enjoyment of fine machining is legitimate. If one wants, and can afford, a Questar instead of an ETX90 or C90, enjoy! It's perfectly respectable.

For the record: The laws of physics can not be broken. Odds are that most telescopes considered by their owners to be close to perfect are not, so when one comes along that actually pushes the bounds of perfection, it is mistakenly said to exceed theoretical limits. We can be quite certain that never happens.

Speaking of theory, DavidG has run double-pass autocollimation tests comparing the optics of Questars to those of ETX90s. Case closed.


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tim53
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Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5685165 - 02/17/13 12:53 PM

Quote:

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.

Terra






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ColoHank
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Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: rmollise]
      #5685171 - 02/17/13 12:57 PM

Quote:

It's a small scope good for grab and go and suitable for casual inspection of the Moon and planets. For a lot of folks that is MORE than enough.




Most Questars aren't made for or used by backyard astronomers. Most are destined for government and industry, where they're used in all manner of challenging environments and for all manner of challenging applications. A team of University of Hawaii folks back in the day used interferometers with Questar optics to determine the best places to locate the observatories on Mauna Kea. My cousin was involved in that survey, and it was on his recommendation that I bought my scope.

Let's face it: comparing a Questar to a Meade ETX is like comparing a Stradivarius to a factory fiddle from Montgomery-Ward. Yeah, they look the same superficially, but that's as far as it goes. Perhaps that explains why Questar has been satisfying customers for more than fifty years, and the copycat manufacturer, with its pentient for planned obsolescence, lousy quality control, and indifferent customer service, perennially struggles to stay in business.

Those sentiments aside, a scope of larger aperture will gather more light and likely offer greater resolution than my little Questar. In terms of the total experience of use, however, the Questar can't be beat.

Edited by ColoHank (02/17/13 02:02 PM)


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5685185 - 02/17/13 01:04 PM

Which is exactly what I said in my posts: Questar mechanical quality is far, far better than that of the ETX. Optical quality? Not so much.

Larger optics _will_ offer better resolution, no maybe about it, assuming they are are of reasonable quality.


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