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QUESTARs 50th Anniversary commemorating the hype

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#101 Cotts

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:01 AM

With regard to 'beating Dawes' limit they refer to linear features like bicycle spokes. It is well known that linear features much smaller than Dawes can be gimpsed in small telescopes. e.g. Cassini division is only about 0.7" across at opposition and yet it is clearly visible in my 3.1" scope with a Dawes limit of 1.4"

The claim of out resolving an 8-inch on globulars is pure fantasy. The Questar can't resolve any globs other than M22, M13, Omega Cen and 47 Tuc.

Dave

#102 JJK

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:42 AM

Dave, the question on the table is who wrote that copy, Questar or Astronomics?

#103 Earlw

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 03:53 AM

Once got to peek through an original ETX and a Questar 3.5 at Jupiter.

If I'd only seen the view in the eyepiece I would have been hard pressed to tell which was which.

Much like those blind listening tests where they setup gear behind screens that get the "audiophiles" all cranky and foaming at the mouth...

#104 azure1961p

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 05:46 AM

Ed,


Manufacturers will often produce that information for any number of vendors to post on their websites or print in brochures. I huge doubt Astronomics invented that. Moreover it'd be funny if they did as it very well summarizes the kind of nonsense that's been propagated over the years.

My favorite? Rodger Gordon bemoaning the fact that while 250x to 400x had been useful on Mars WITH A 3.5" SCOPE, the poor seeing that had arrived at his location would be lucky to allow him 200x - again through a 3.5" scope.

- from the Questar catalog.


Edd their silly claims at this point are legendary. A web page discrepancy isn't going to dispel anything. I'd highly encourage you to read through their catalogs - particularly the classic red cover one that helped launch a glut of "Questar for sale" ads by so many disillusioned customers.





Pete

#105 azure1961p

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 05:59 AM

With regard to 'beating Dawes' limit they refer to linear features like bicycle spokes. It is well known that linear features much smaller than Dawes can be gimpsed in small telescopes. e.g. Cassini division is only about 0.7" across at opposition and yet it is clearly visible in my 3.1" scope with a Dawes limit of 1.4"

The claim of out resolving an 8-inch on globulars is pure fantasy. The Questar can't resolve any globs other than M22, M13, Omega Cen and 47 Tuc.

Dave


Very true Dave but the way they present it is as if its some grand province of the Questars optics that defies law.

Pete

#106 orion61

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 06:22 AM

I had a 1958 Q90 that was in mint cindition. The reason it was mint in 1997 is the optics were JUNK! 5 bright rings around a semi resolved airy disk. in and out of focus one side bright fuzzy the other black with a ring of white around it. I was supposed to be warranteed for a lifetime
against material and workmanship.. They didn't even want to look at it! it was worse than any Dynamax I'd looked through.
Sold it, bought an ETX-90,I still have the ETX...

#107 Paul G

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 07:42 AM

Edd their silly claims at this point are legendary. A web page discrepancy isn't going to dispel anything.


You admonished us to address your OP. We did, people have posted links that refute your claim, and you've been unable to post a single link to a Questar ad containing hype. But don't let the facts "dispel anything" for you. :)

As far as the dealer hype you pointed out, that's nothing new. For many years all Tak dealers contained a claim about limiting magnitude that, to be true, would require their competitors' equal aperture refractors to have a light throughput of 60%. Once they were publicly called out on it the claim disappeared from all the dealer web sites. Caveat emptor applied then, still does.

#108 Asbytec

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:04 AM

Gus, why would all Tak dealers include the same hype over limiting magnitude. To me, this suggests a single source for the ad. And that makes sense. I doubt vendors know every product with a levl of expertise to write effective ads. And if you notice, at least ads I see from time to time, ads do tend to be very similar (prices, too.) Closer inspection might bear this out.

I have seen Q ads that state state pretty much the same same as the one in question. Reading a license plate from across the bay, for example. Still. Its exactly as Dave Cotts said above. Questar, in most instances, does not claim to violate the laws of physics. A 90mm obstructed scope can best Dawes in excellent seeing. They do, however, masterfully market the hype.

#109 coz

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:23 AM

I had a 1958 Q90 that was in mint cindition. The reason it was mint in 1997 is the optics were JUNK! 5 bright rings around a semi resolved airy disk. in and out of focus one side bright fuzzy the other black with a ring of white around it. I was supposed to be warranteed for a lifetime
against material and workmanship.. They didn't even want to look at it! it was worse than any Dynamax I'd looked through.
Sold it, bought an ETX-90,I still have the ETX...



orion61 I believe the optics from the early Questars (50s) were not made by Cumberland as they are now and were not up to par.

#110 Paul G

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:46 AM

Gus, why would all Tak dealers include the same hype over limiting magnitude. To me, this suggests a single source for the ad.


It first appeared on the importer's site as a testimonial, spread from there to the rest of the dealers. The importer was questioned about it on the Tak group, they removed the claim, and it disappeared from the other sites shortly thereafter. The testimonial was from a well known troll on S.A.A. so I highly doubt Tak Japan had anything to do with it.

Another instance of a dealer starting some misinformation that propagated widely was the claim that Tak switched from fluorite to FPL53 because environmental laws in Japan were tightened and as a result fluorite was no longer available. In fact, Canon Optron who made the Tak objectives is still happily cranking out fluorite elements by the millions for Canon L lenses, among others.

That's not to say manufacturers don't do the same. When Celestron beat Meade to the punch with a GPS enabled scope, Meade pumped out ads before Christmas hyping their GPS scope. They didn't even have a prototype, just a CAD drawing, but used the ads to blunt Celestron's Christmas sales.

With all the information available on the net it is more difficult for a manufacturer or dealer to get away with outright false statements than it was in Mad Men days, but a wise consumer still needs to do their research.

#111 Asbytec

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 09:10 AM

Gus, makes sense in those instances. I have read a couple articles and ads claiming Q can best Dawes. No one calls them on it, except Pete ( :ooo: ), and the claim sticks. It does seem to be a recurring theme and, as I understand the physics, a valid and exciting aspect to hype. If such a claim works, why do we not see venders claiming the same for al their products?

#112 Paul G

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 09:22 AM

I guess because in certain select cases one can beat it.

Manufacturers seem to be a little more cagey now. For instance, the SCT manufacturers don't tell you their transmission percentage, but instead will say their new coatings transmit 15% more than their old coatings. Makes it more difficult to pin them down.

#113 Asbytec

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 09:30 AM

Yea, caveat emptor, for sure.

Edit. In this case some of the hype is just good marketing. It excites the potential buyer and they get a great scope that can probably do most of what it says. Most ads just quote the resolution, either Dawes or Raleigh. Questar (or whomever) talks it up.

#114 JJK

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 09:39 AM

Once got to peek through an original ETX and a Questar 3.5 at Jupiter.

If I'd only seen the view in the eyepiece I would have been hard pressed to tell which was which.

Much like those blind listening tests where they setup gear behind screens that get the "audiophiles" all cranky and foaming at the mouth...


I tested those two scopes on views of Jupiter & the Moon (hours long testing), and I had no irons in the fire (I didn't care which one performed better). I thought the Q edged out the ETX. However, the difference wasn't night & day and I felt the ETX was a bargain, price wise.

However, the whole Q 3.5 package is superior to the ETX (mount, built-in finder, focus movement, solar filter, travel case, fit & finish, etc.). After 50 years, there is still no other portable instrument like the Q.

#115 JJK

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 09:47 AM

I had a 1958 Q90 that was in mint cindition. The reason it was mint in 1997 is the optics were JUNK! 5 bright rings around a semi resolved airy disk. in and out of focus one side bright fuzzy the other black with a ring of white around it. I was supposed to be warranteed for a lifetime
against material and workmanship.. They didn't even want to look at it! it was worse than any Dynamax I'd looked through.
Sold it, bought an ETX-90,I still have the ETX...


I've heard the exact opposite about Questar's support. Did you ask them why they refused to support your scope?

While an excellent OTA at a bargain price, the ETX 90 is not as good an instrument as the Q. I gave away my ETX and later purchased a Q 3.5. I have Meade-Wegat 125 (no mount) that obviously collects more light than the Q 3.5. However, after I collimate it (a real pain), I'll likely give it away too.

#116 Binojunky

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 10:00 AM

If I remember correctly Terry Dickinson once compared a Quester 3.5" with a good quality 80mm and 100mm refractor, both were high quality Japanese achromats,the makes were Carson, he found the Questar just edged out the 80mm(no central obstruction) and the 100mm beat the Questar.He commented at the end that however good the optics are you can,t escape the laws of aperture,DA.

#117 ColoHank

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 02:23 PM

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I had a 1958 Q90 that was in mint cindition. The reason it was mint in 1997 is the optics were JUNK! 5 bright rings around a semi resolved airy disk. in and out of focus one side bright fuzzy the other black with a ring of white around it. I was supposed to be warranteed for a lifetime
against material and workmanship.. They didn't even want to look at it! it was worse than any Dynamax I'd looked through.
Sold it, bought an ETX-90,I still have the ETX...


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------







New Questars come with a ten-year warranty. In 1997, a 1958 Questar would have been long out of warranty. Questar, however, would no doubt have been willing and able to restore your 42-year-old scope to like-new condition for a fee.

Your allegation, of course, begs the question: If the optics in your 1958 Questar were indeed lousy, why in the world did you buy it?

Here's hoping you enjoy many happy, trouble-free hours with your ETX.

#118 orion61

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 03:11 PM

I had a 1958 Q90 that was in mint cindition. The reason it was mint in 1997 is the optics were JUNK! 5 bright rings around a semi resolved airy disk. in and out of focus one side bright fuzzy the other black with a ring of white around it. I was supposed to be warranteed for a lifetime
against material and workmanship.. They didn't even want to look at it! it was worse than any Dynamax I'd looked through.
Sold it, bought an ETX-90,I still have the ETX...


I've heard the exact opposite about Questar's support. Did you ask them why they refused to support your scope?

While an excellent OTA at a bargain price, the ETX 90 is not as good an instrument as the Q. I gave away my ETX and later purchased a Q 3.5. I have Meade-Wegat 125 (no mount) that obviously collects more light than the Q 3.5. However, after I collimate it (a real pain), I'll likely give it away too.


They said Warranty was for origonal owners. I inherited it
I must say it was beautiful..
A good one must be pretty exceptional as my early ETX90
performs just like my Vixen C80, wo color..
also answers a long standing question about Q's early optics.
Thanks!

#119 azure1961p

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 06:17 PM

Edd their silly claims at this point are legendary. A web page discrepancy isn't going to dispel anything.


You admonished us to address your OP. We did, people have posted links that refute your claim, and you've been unable to post a single link to a Questar ad containing hype. But don't let the facts "dispel anything" for you. :)

As far as the dealer hype you pointed out, that's nothing new. For many years all Tak dealers contained a claim about limiting magnitude that, to be true, would require their competitors' equal aperture refractors to have a light throughput of 60%. Once they were publicly called out on it the claim disappeared from all the dealer web sites. Caveat emptor applied then, still does.


Well you're wrong. When I have time Ill have it all layed out. You won't be happy. And it'll be free of any source ambiguity.





Pete

#120 jrbarnett

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 07:46 PM

The problem is the 3.5" elephant in the room. You can get a mass-market 90mm MCT that will deliver a substantial proportion of the Questar's performanve for $139. Even at $2k, I fear, the market would be tiny. Perhaps even tinier than it is today. There is a certain subclass of buyer who purchase things just because they are ridiculously expensive (Bugatti Veyron anyone?). Halve the price of such items and those seeking to show off lose interest and those with a lick of sense are no more enticed.

- Jim

#121 johnnyha

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:43 PM

The claptrap about the atmospheric "4 inch microcells" has been in the Questar ads for ages, at least since the 1980's as I recall.

#122 JJK

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:50 PM

The problem is the 3.5" elephant in the room. You can get a mass-market 90mm MCT that will deliver a substantial proportion of the Questar's performanve for $139. Even at $2k, I fear, the market would be tiny. Perhaps even tinier than it is today. There is a certain subclass of buyer who purchase things just because they are ridiculously expensive (Bugatti Veyron anyone?). Halve the price of such items and those seeking to show off lose interest and those with a lick of sense are no more enticed.

- Jim


Jim, with all due respect, you are comparing apples to oranges. The Q 3.5 is not the Bugatti of telescopes and it includes more than just an OTA (add a compact/high quality GEM, finder, Barlow lens, 2 eyepieces, tabletop legs, and compact case).

Also, it wouldn't bother me if neither you nor anyone else couldn't afford any telescope, mount, etc. that I buy and use. I don't buy astro equipment with the thought of increasing my net worth if I sell it. I've sold several Astro-Physics refractors for what I paid.

Lastly, do you have data to support your last claim? You're wrong in my case. I never bought astro equipment to impress others (I buy it to treat my own eyes and to illuminate CCD cameras).

#123 JJK

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 09:14 PM

The claptrap about the atmospheric "4 inch microcells" has been in the Questar ads for ages, at least since the 1980's as I recall.


In my experience, some version of that simplified claim appears to be true. Depending on the degree of seeing, and in visual work, small scopes have performed as well (resolution-wise) compared to a larger aperture scope. Apparently, relatively bad seeing can limit the normally superior capabilities of larger instruments.

A highly simplified explanation for this is the concept that atmospheric turbulence cells above the scope are large relative to the small scope and smaller than the larger scopes. If you have other physical explanations for these observations, please describe them.

There is no doubt that less than perfect seeing can limit any scope's performance. One night, we had what must have been near perfect laminar flow above us. The level of detail I could see on Jupiter was simply staggering. Not surprisingly, the details visible in a friend's 24" Newt were even more mind boggling (the features I saw through that scope were etched into my memory for years). I envy folks in Southern FL.

#124 ColoHank

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 09:16 PM

The problem is the 3.5" elephant in the room. You can get a mass-market 90mm MCT that will deliver a substantial proportion of the Questar's performanve for $139.



Blather like this makes we want to run out and buy a Yugo.

#125 JJK

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 09:27 PM

The problem is the 3.5" elephant in the room. You can get a mass-market 90mm MCT that will deliver a substantial proportion of the Questar's performanve for $139.



Blather like this makes we want to run out and buy a Yugo.


Perhaps, but your signature line betrays you as one who tries to impress others with ostentatious personal effects (e.g., ugly homemade tripod). :grin:


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