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azure1961p
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QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype
      #5874903 - 05/20/13 10:55 PM

Back in the day a whole heck of a lot of Questars ended up for sale soon after the owners realized the folly of marketing hype versus the actual viewing experience. One look at there marketing of the $7500 Q3.5 and nothing's changed :

This significant difference in total system accuracy is one reason why a 3.5” Questar can often outresolve an 8” Schmidt-Cassegrain on globular clusters, binary stars, and lunar and planetary details – with the Questar invariably exceeding Dawes’ limit for the best resolution available from an optical system of its aperture.

A second reason is the turbulent Earth atmosphere all telescopes must look through. In essence, when observing, you are usually looking through bubbles of disturbed air – microcells typically 4” in diameter in the layer of the atmosphere nearest the surface of the Earth. The image-blurring effect of these microcells is largely invisible as long as the column of light entering the telescope is smaller than the 4” diameter of the cells.

It was for just this reason that an aperture of 3.5” was originally chosen for the Questar. In average to mediocre seeing conditions, a 3.5” Questar will see through individual 4” microcells undisturbed, showing more detail than a larger scope that has to put up with the blurring of multiple turbulent cells.

Pete


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Mike E.
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Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: azure1961p]
      #5875071 - 05/21/13 01:05 AM

First time I looked through a Questar I thought... "Someday".
Twenty seven years later, someday came.


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EddWen
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Reged: 04/26/08

Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: azure1961p]
      #5875140 - 05/21/13 04:51 AM

Are you having a bad day?

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JJK
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Reged: 04/28/08

Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: azure1961p]
      #5875385 - 05/21/13 09:44 AM

Pete,

What's your point? The Questar 3.5 is a wonderful, compete observing package. It's well designed, well built, and a unique portable system. In my experience, it performs as well as it should, given its aperture (e.g., better than my William Optics 80 mm f/6 LOMO apo, slightly less well than an AP 92 mm f/4.9 apo). It certainly does not outperform an AP 105 f/5.9 Traveler.

Whether the Questar is worth it's retail price is a subjective matter. Personally, I wouldn't pay $7.5K for a Q50 edition 3.5" scope. However, I wouldn't think ill of anyone who did. A few extra thousand dollars averaged over a lifetime isn't worth worrying about.

Clear Skies,
JJK


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mayidunk
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Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: azure1961p]
      #5875397 - 05/21/13 09:52 AM

Are you saying that Questars aren't good telescopes? What was it about those telescopes "way back in the day" that caused so many people to put them up for sale?

This is the first time I've ever heard anyone say anything bad about Questar, and I'm curious about why you posted this. Please elaborate?


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rmollise
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Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: mayidunk]
      #5875425 - 05/21/13 10:11 AM

Quote:

Are you saying that Questars aren't good telescopes? What was it about those telescopes "way back in the day" that caused so many people to put them up for sale?

This is the first time I've ever heard anyone say anything bad about Questar, and I'm curious about why you posted this. Please elaborate?




Back in the Day, Questar's wonderful advertisements did lead some of us sprouts to believe that this little telescope would FAR EXCEED the powers of the lowly 3-inch Edmund Space Conqueror. It wouldn't. The laws of physics were in force even back when I was a youngun.

It is a wonderfully made telescope that a person who loves fine things will appreciate. It can even be a useful telescope for someone who wants a portable scope with a decent (not perfect) drive and doesn't mind/wants the long focal length.


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RodgerHouTex
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Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: rmollise]
      #5875465 - 05/21/13 10:31 AM

I have to agree that the Questar's outlandish claims are annoying and untrue, but hopefully the folks who buy them are smart enough to know that.

I have always wanted one, but can never justify the cost. The problem is that being a mechanical engineer by trade, I know what it costs to make and assemble precise machinery. Unfortunately, that is what prevents me from buying one. There is no way Questars should cost so much except that you are paying double for the reputation.

A C90 can be had for $140 which is the OTA. Now I'm not saying that a C90 is equal to a Questar OTA but with some additional precise machining and optical work it could be the equal. How much would you have to spend, maybe $500. The eyepieces retail are $235 each and to make the mount with the same quality about $1000. So if someone wanted to manufacture a 90mm. Mak-Cas with similar quality as a Questar it would cost about $2160. And that's why I can't justify in my mind purchasing one.


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Hilmi
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Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5875510 - 05/21/13 10:49 AM

The original post was clearly targeted at the suspect marketing speak in the marketing materials. There was no criticism aimed at the instrument itself. I dont understand why folks got so defensive.

I think the marketing material is clearly targeted at people who have money to burn and don't know much about telescopes. The sort of people who have quarter of a million as their modest entertainment budget for the year are the perfect customers for this sort of marketing material.


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mayidunk
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Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: rmollise]
      #5875864 - 05/21/13 01:10 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Are you saying that Questars aren't good telescopes? What was it about those telescopes "way back in the day" that caused so many people to put them up for sale?

This is the first time I've ever heard anyone say anything bad about Questar, and I'm curious about why you posted this. Please elaborate?




Back in the Day, Questar's wonderful advertisements did lead some of us sprouts to believe that this little telescope would FAR EXCEED the powers of the lowly 3-inch Edmund Space Conqueror. It wouldn't. The laws of physics were in force even back when I was a youngun.

It is a wonderfully made telescope that a person who loves fine things will appreciate. It can even be a useful telescope for someone who wants a portable scope with a decent (not perfect) drive and doesn't mind/wants the long focal length.



Thanks for filling in the blanks, Rod.

I'm aware of their claims that their scopes have continually exceeded the laws of physics for their size. While it's unfortunate that they would ever see a need to stoop to such needless hyperbole, nevertheless they have put a lot of effort into the design, and construction, of these scopes, as well as in maintaining their high quality. Considering how the basic design hasn't really changed over the years (aside from the innovations they've made in their implementation), one might consider that, if they were trying to leverage hype with the more moneyed, then why wouldn't they be continually changing that design, "innovating" in an attempt to appear to be staying on the cutting edge of the state of the art? Instead, they seem to be content to just plod along with the same old basic design, year after year. For those with more money than brains, that strategy might appear to be boring, and not worthy of their excess cash. Especially considering their reasons for owning one may have more to do with bragging rights, than anything else. And for the younger generation with money to burn, the idea of having a classic doesn't always translate into "mine's better than yours'!" For many of them, bling is king!

Oh well, I don't own a Questar, and I probably never will. I was just curious about the OP's posting. In the end, since Questar continues to sell these scopes, they must be doing something right. Especially considering the drubbing they'd likely take from this community if it ever became obvious that they weren't delivering the goods! There must be a reason why Questar scopes have managed to keep their mystique after all these years.

Edited by mayidunk (05/21/13 01:34 PM)


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Billydee
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Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype *DELETED* [Re: mayidunk]
      #5876020 - 05/21/13 02:13 PM

Post deleted by Starman27

Edited by Billydee (05/21/13 02:24 PM)


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mayidunk
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Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: Billydee]
      #5876055 - 05/21/13 02:25 PM

Hmmm...

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TG
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Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5876075 - 05/21/13 02:31 PM

Quote:

I have to agree that the Questar's outlandish claims are annoying and untrue, but hopefully the folks who buy them are smart enough to know that.






One can only imagine what kind of outlandish claims they made for this one

Yes, that's a 35mm SLR camera attached probably to their mirror-zoom lens riding piggyback.




Tanveer.

EDIT: fixed link

Edited by Tanveer Gani (05/21/13 02:41 PM)


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: mayidunk]
      #5876100 - 05/21/13 02:44 PM

I read Pete's post purely in the vein of the marketing hype. Even back in the late 70s, when I was just a wet-behind-the-ears greenhorn on the astro scene (not knowing anything about optics, really), I found something suspect about Questsr's hyperbole in their ads. Later on it dawned on me why. I can't recall details nowadays--I stopped looking at anything Q-related in about '83--but the impression remains.

Certainly a fine, well made instrument, but one which is too easily bypassed by me in the search for a satisfying performance to cost ratio. But I don't begrudge their owners.


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greedyshark
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Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5876149 - 05/21/13 03:09 PM

To each, his (or her) own. Personally, the investment made towards my used Questar, providing a combination of convenience and optical excellence, was most certainly worth it to me. It is, by far, my most frequently used instrument.

Charles


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rmollise
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Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: mayidunk]
      #5876175 - 05/21/13 03:20 PM

Quote:




Oh well, I don't own a Questar, and I probably never will. I was just curious about the OP's posting. In the end, since Questar continues to sell these scopes, they must be doing something right. Especially considering the drubbing they'd likely take from this community if it ever became obvious that they weren't delivering the goods! There must be a reason why Questar scopes have managed to keep their mystique after all these years.




Your post is pretty much right on the money. I will say this, however: Even now I occasionally daydream myself onto a far-away tropical beach where I await a total eclipse, umbrella drink and Q3.5 close at hand...


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Geo31
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Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5876193 - 05/21/13 03:28 PM

When I was in my teens we had an astronomy Explorer Group. The advisor owned a Questar and was understandably proud of it. But a little too much so. At one of our start parties (our advisor never went, but we had a close knit group who would meet regularly) someone was commenting about how great the optics were, etc. I commented on the fact that the scope was still subject to Dawes limit and that a less expensive 8" scope with decent optics would still out perform it. I think that comment got back to the advisor because after that I was shunned by the advisor.

Edited by Geo31 (05/21/13 03:28 PM)


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Binojunky
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Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: Geo31]
      #5876215 - 05/21/13 03:38 PM

Its like buying a fine watch, its going to be mechanical movement yet it won,t keep time as good as a Timex or Casio quartz which cost a fraction of the price,however when I strap my Omega Constelation onto my wrist It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling that comes with owning a fine time piece, I would think that also comes with owning a Questar,I have looked at one and they are a thing of beauty with superb engineering and mechanics,however my C90 is a fine performer for a fraction of the price,DA.

Edited by Binojunky (05/21/13 03:40 PM)


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rmollise
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Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: Binojunky]
      #5876227 - 05/21/13 03:45 PM

Quote:

Its like buying a fine watch, its going to be mechanical movement yet it won,t keep time as good as a Timex or Casio quartz which cost a fraction of the price,however when I strap my Omega Constelation onto my wrist It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling that comes with owning a fine time piece, I would think that also comes with owning a Questar,I have looked at one and they are a thing of beauty with superb engineering and mechanics,however my C90 is a fine performer for a fraction of the price,DA.




Right on. But...I don't have an Omega Speedmaster, either. Though, as with the Q, sometimes I wistfully wish I did...

It ain't all gravy even at the high price points, either. An Omega may not keep time as well as a Casio, and some of the 3.5s I've used looked mechanically superb, but had more backlash in their slow motion than the average Celestron or Meade.


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EddWen
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Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: Binojunky]
      #5876247 - 05/21/13 03:51 PM

Would someone point out a link to some of these outlandish claims?

Thx,


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mayidunk
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Re: QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype [Re: rmollise]
      #5876252 - 05/21/13 03:54 PM

Quote:

Quote:




Oh well, I don't own a Questar, and I probably never will. I was just curious about the OP's posting. In the end, since Questar continues to sell these scopes, they must be doing something right. Especially considering the drubbing they'd likely take from this community if it ever became obvious that they weren't delivering the goods! There must be a reason why Questar scopes have managed to keep their mystique after all these years.




Your post is pretty much right on the money. I will say this, however: Even now I occasionally daydream myself onto a far-away tropical beach where I await a total eclipse, umbrella drink and Q3.5 close at hand...



Dare to dream, my friend... dare to dream!

Thanks.


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