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kansas skies
sage


Reged: 12/02/12

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: Questar Opinion- an affordable alternative new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5685220 - 02/17/13 01:22 PM

Quote:

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?




Naw...

Bill


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5685253 - 02/17/13 01:43 PM

Quote:

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.




I absolutely agree. There is more to the total user experience than just the results of a double-pass auto-collimation test. A Questar will be pleasing its owner and its owner's heirs for ages: The Stradivarius of telescopes indeed! There is much to be said for precision manufacture from the finest materials. For people who need or appreciate that, Questars are clearly worth their money. For those of us who can't afford one, optically, there are plenty of alternatives. Questars are worth their money, but like all specialty items, they are not for everyone.

Full disclosure: I have peered through exactly one Questar. Holding it in my hands and fiddling with the spectacular build was even more impressive than the view. I don't have a Stradivarius, but I have a fine double bass made in Berlin around 1840. I love things that are built to last!

A radical thought: Questars are only costly because, currently, they must be machined. Imagine printing technologies for manufacturing having become so advanced that Synta could print telescopes as fine as Questars. Now who would not want a Questar?


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kansas skies
sage


Reged: 12/02/12

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5685288 - 02/17/13 01:56 PM

Quote:

A radical thought: Questars are only costly because, currently, they must be machined. Imagine printing technologies for manufacturing having become so advanced that Synta could print telescopes as fine as Questars. Now who would not want a Questar?




Will this coincide with fine cuisine that is served up in a capsule?

Bill


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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: rmollise]
      #5685324 - 02/17/13 02:19 PM

Quote:

Questar mechanical quality is far, far better than that of the ETX. Optical quality? Not so much.





Following that assessment, I'm sure all those entities that use Questars for business rather than pleasure will be makng the switch to ETXs any day now.


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rdandrea
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/13/10

Loc: Colorado, USA DM59ra
Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5685343 - 02/17/13 02:33 PM

Interesting thread. But to loop back to the Original Poster's Original Question, I'd love to have a Questar some day, just not THAT one. It looks like a beater. What else has been neglected on it?

RE choice of food, I don't eat either tuna or quarter-pounders with cheese, but I find it hard to walk away from a good Philly cheese steak. Just not every day. God only gives you so many of those...


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terraclarke
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: rmollise]
      #5685347 - 02/17/13 02:35 PM

Thank you Hank. You have validated exactly what I said in my first post on the subject.

Terra


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: kansas skies]
      #5685367 - 02/17/13 02:49 PM

Quote:

Quote:

A radical thought: Questars are only costly because, currently, they must be machined. Imagine printing technologies for manufacturing having become so advanced that Synta could print telescopes as fine as Questars. Now who would not want a Questar?




Will this coincide with fine cuisine that is served up in a capsule?

Bill




No. Printing has a long way to go before a Questar could be printed, but hunks of aluminum and glass would be vastly simpler still compared with printing the cells in meat and vegetables. Frankly, I have my doubts about printing food, but printed manufactured items are coming, in some cases sooner than we think.

I'm not advocating this. I'm saying it's coming, and that replacing machining and molding with printing will radically change the economics of mechanical objects. Rather a futurist thought for now.


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5685388 - 02/17/13 03:00 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Questar mechanical quality is far, far better than that of the ETX. Optical quality? Not so much.





Following that assessment, I'm sure all those entities that use Questars for business rather than pleasure will be makng the switch to ETXs any day now.




No. For business, the beautifully machined Questar is far, far more reliable than an ETX. When spending a fortune to send an expedition up a mountain with instruments to place an observatory, bet on Questars. It's the same logic as buying insurance. The economics of a failed expedition require reliability. When expenses run hundreds of dollars an hour, there is no savings in losing a few hundred dollar telescope.

I'd love a Questar, and have enough money in the bank to buy one right now. It's just that that's not how I need to be spending my money. I see both sides of the issue, and respect those who do, do not, and even can not buy Questars.

The world is a better place with objects such as Questars. It's sad we can't all afford them, and also good that there are inexpensive substitutes for backyard astronomy, along with alternatives of different kinds of scopes altogether in every price range.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5685410 - 02/17/13 03:33 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Questar mechanical quality is far, far better than that of the ETX. Optical quality? Not so much.





Following that assessment, I'm sure all those entities that use Questars for business rather than pleasure will be makng the switch to ETXs any day now.




Because I said Questar mechanical quality is better, companies using the Questar for whatever will switch to Meade? Help me understand that, Padawan...

Or are you saying that the fact that the ETX 90's images are as good as those in the Questar, that will cause the stampede?

The truth of the matter, of course, is that Questars are used in demanding applications, that require excellent mechanical robustness, and the Questar does well in such applications.

The truth is also, bitter as it may be for Questar owners, that the ETX90's and the C90's images are indistinguishable from those of the magic Questar...sorry...but there it is. Questar love ain't about optics or seeing lots of stuff, anyway.

Edited by rmollise (02/17/13 04:10 PM)


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albert1
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/01/07

Loc: Southern New Jersey
Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: rmollise]
      #5685453 - 02/17/13 04:06 PM

A couple of years back I did a lengthy side by side with my C90 Astro and Q 3.5. Planetary/lunar details were indistinguishable. I was not surprised. The Questar was a bit brighter.

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Glen A W
sage


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA USA
Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: albert1]
      #5685496 - 02/17/13 04:38 PM

As someone who went out and paid $700 for one of the first USA-Made ETX-90s the better part of two decades ago, I am surprised anyone would claim the optical quality of the ETX is anything like the Questar. I still have the ETX brand-new and in the box for a reason. I can't stand to use it. I am sure I could spot an ETX in a blind test without much trouble. Just think "dim dim dim" and you have it all figured out. An ETX should NEVER be pointed at the sky because it is so dim..... and I have not even gotten into the barely-acceptable resolution. Maybe for birdwatching it would work, but its too delicate for the field.

The Questar, on the other hand, has excellent optics. But it is too small and really has never lit my fires. Maybe if I'd been around in the 50s or 60s I'd idolize it. But for me, it's just too small - but not dim like the ETX. The Questar is more like a really good long-focus Japanese refractor in a portable box. A very nice scope, for what it is. But I bought a Vixen 260 for about the same money and enjoy it more, I believe.

But that is beside the point, the point being that the ETX is a wretch. And the beat-up Questar on Ebay is a bad idea because people who buy Questars want nice ones, and that one is only good for the privacy of your own home, unless you have skin thick as a rhino.

GW

Edited by Glen A W (02/17/13 04:40 PM)


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starman876
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/28/08

Loc: VA
Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5685522 - 02/17/13 04:53 PM

No matter how you slice it I still sense questar envy

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Glen A W
sage


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA USA
Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: starman876]
      #5685527 - 02/17/13 04:55 PM

You may be right - I've nearly bought one on several occasions. I think I fear breaking it more than anything. GW

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5685535 - 02/17/13 05:01 PM

Quote:

As someone who went out and paid $700 for one of the first USA-Made ETX-90s the better part of two decades ago, I am surprised anyone would claim the optical quality of the ETX is anything like the Questar. GW




I'm guessing you eiher haven't used an ETX and a Questar side by side, or your ETX was run over by a truck.


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: rmollise]
      #5685543 - 02/17/13 05:07 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if the ETX is microwave safe, but I'm pretty sure the Questar wouldn't be.

-Tim.


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greedyshark
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/31/05

Loc: 3rd Rock
Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: rmollise]
      #5685550 - 02/17/13 05:10 PM

Quote:



The truth is also, bitter as it may be for Questar owners, that the ETX90's and the C90's images are indistinguishable from those of the magic Questar...sorry...but there it is. Questar love ain't about optics or seeing lots of stuff, anyway.




Uncle Rod...I have to respectfully disagree...The Questar puts up images that are "indistinguishable" from the ETX90 and C90? Not my experience in 40+ years of visual observing. I can't speak to the C90, however, I have viewed through a handful of ETX90s side-by-side with my '64 QTZ Questar. Perhaps they were all bad examples of ETX's, but the Questar won in both sharpness and contrast. My Questar love IS about optics, amongst other things.

Charles


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terraclarke
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: greedyshark]
      #5685555 - 02/17/13 05:12 PM

Vindicated again
And the C90 has one of the worst reputations of any small scope.


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terraclarke
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: tim53]
      #5685558 - 02/17/13 05:15 PM

Tim, with all that metal, the Questar would fare terribly in the microwave. The ETX would do great- it's mostly plastic

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starman876
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/28/08

Loc: VA
Re: Questar Opinion new [Re: tim53]
      #5685563 - 02/17/13 05:16 PM

I have had both the cheap ETX-90, the C5 the C6 and Meade 5" scope and they were all your typical optics from a third rate vendor. I bought an ETX when they first came out thinking oh boy here is a scope that they claim is the equal of a questar. I never laughed so hard after I looked through a couple. Surprised they did not sell a bottle of snake oil with it.
It is kind of like comparing a Telementor to a Meade 60mm refractor.
The larger optics of the C5 might show more fuzzies, but I like to resolve what I am looking at rather then imagine what I am seeing. It sounds like there is a lot of imagination here rather then straight facts about the quality of really good optics versus aperture. brighter object because of increase in aperture does not mean you are resolving the object. I would suspect your brain is doing the resolving rather then the second rate optics.


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Paul Hyndman
sage


Reged: 07/13/04

Loc: Connecticut Shoreline USA
Re: Questar Opinion [Re: Copernicus1473]
      #5685604 - 02/17/13 05:38 PM

WARNING: My 2¢ (and probably overpriced)!

Telescope Optics (Rutten & van Venrooij) and Star Testing Astronomical Telescopes (Suiter) do a good job of explaining the whys and wherefores governing telescope design/performance, if one is so inclined to wonder about the constraining factors.

It has been more than fifty years since my first ATM project (6" f8 'Newt... my mentor is still going strong and is now in his mid 80's) and, though I've owned or viewed through many world class instruments, have yet to witness any 'scope that circumvented the "laws of physics" (sorry if that sounds too cliché, but I've no clearer way to state it... of course, YMMV).

Nowadays I get much more of a rush savoring a target than spending endless time performing batteries of in/out-focus star tests.

Back to the original topic though, Questar scopes are (usually) great instruments, but possess no special magic. If one outperforms a seemingly "heavier hitter", it could simply be that while scope A is truly a great example, scope B is less than a (ahem) stellar example. No free rides!

As to the particular one in question may need far more TLC than is economically feasible.


Paul


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