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Why did you buy a Questar?

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#26 bmwscopeguy

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 07:35 PM

:-)



#27 justfred

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 03:41 PM

Because it made me smile. :)

 

attachicon.gifmeandq.jpg

This pretty well sums it up!

 

Fred


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#28 starboy1954

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 07:52 PM

In the 60's was seduced by the S&T ads of course but at that time could not afford one.  Got the 3" Unitron, got the 8" Celestron.  Liked the sharpness of the Unitron and the light grasp of the Celestron.  When I could finally afford a Questar I jumped on one.  Loved the beautiful images, the mechanical excellence, the aesthetic experience, and the ease of use.  I did buy one more scope after that... A 50th anniversary Q!  Gave my other one away as a present.


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#29 Daniel7

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 12:56 AM

Found myself with no scopes due to divorce war and had been into AP Apos for many years. 

 

Needed Optics for Birding and Astronomy and ended up with the Questar to tide me over for both as it is the undriven model.

 

Awesome as no need for barlows nor a big eyepiece collection, extensions and diagonals investment that refractors imply.

 

I like it as a spotting scope, and this one has 1/10th wave optics, so it is great for moon and planets my faves..

 

Now i am building a big Cassegrain, and i will not sell the Questar as it is just too darned handy as a grab and go for birding as well as for Astronomical subjects.

 

cheers


Edited by Daniel7, 15 April 2016 - 12:21 PM.


#30 RobertPettengill

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 01:48 PM

To be honest, it's mostly because I've wanted to own one sine I was 13 years old.  I did look seriously at similar sized APO scopes, for similar quality and options the package was bigger and heavier and just as expensive. 

 

I like small mall convenient things. The smaller the more often I use them. I thought that with the advances in digital cameras it should be possible to do a lot with a small unguided scope and short, stacked exposures.  

 

The Questar control box makes switching from visual observing  to camera just a flip of the switch. I can set up for astrophotography in 5 minutes, and do that about 100 nights a year. Many of those are short sessions - 5 minute setup, 20 minutes observing and photographing the moon or a planet, the 5 more minutes and everything is packed away.   I spend more time post processing than I would with a larger scope, but that can be done any time.  I'm very pleased with the images and don't have any urge for a larger personal scope.  I do plan on applying what I've learned to LSST data when it becomes available - an 8 meter scope with 3200 MPixel camera covering the sky every couple of days will be too much to pass up. 

 

The narrow FOV of the Questar is it's biggest limitation. My personal direction there has been to go to an even smaller kit. Rather than buying another telescope:  I bought an ultra compact Vixen Polarie mount and some good prime focus lenses for my camera and have great wide views. This setup is about half the size and weight of the Questar. 

 

I also have an 8" Dob, which doesn't get much use. If the camera is busy on th Q for a long session, it can be worth while to drag out the Dob for some visual observing. 

 

;rob


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#31 prozac919

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 02:47 AM

So what's a used Questar worth these days?  I see one on Craigslist close to where I live.  It's the standard version in the leather carry case.



#32 Bomber Bob

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 05:29 AM

There's a 1978 Standard on eBay now with an $869 opening bid, or $1769 Buy It Now.  Needs some TLC.  I got my pristine 1958 Standard for $2K.



#33 bmwscopeguy

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 06:10 AM

Questers seem to go for anywhere between $1700 and $3000 depending on year and accessorisation - but like most things it is driven by supply and demand. They don't come up often and purchases are mostly planned, not impulsive so this tends to keep the prices up.

 

I paid around $1700CDN for my first 2 Questers, and my present one cost me about $2000CDN after exchange. Condition is rarely a factor with these scopes, they have all been pampered throughout their lives, so the price has little to do with the age - unless it's a very recent production.

 

Every Q should come with the 2 factory issued eyepieces, the sub-aperture solar filter, power cord, legs and a good condition case. This will preserve the re-sale value of your Q. If you can get the manual, a full-aperture solar filter, and a more recent eyepiece diopter adapter that allows use of standard 1-1/4 EP's then this is a bonus. Earlier versions did not have a built-in finder solar filter (mine doesn't) so pay attention to that if you want to do solar work. You can get it retrofitted by Questar - but at a steep price.

 

Pretty well any other accessory would be a curiosity for the average user, but at least you could resell it to defray the cost of purchase.

 

Quartz or Cervit mirror substrates tend to drive the asking price up, as do broadband coatings. There is considerable debate on the internet as to whether there is any real world advantage that these add to a 90mm optic.

 

Lastly, buy a Q because you want one for what it is - a beautiful, functionally perfect piece of astronomical history. There are a lot cheaper ways of getting a 90mm scope.


Edited by bmwscopeguy, 04 May 2016 - 11:28 AM.

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#34 JREnglar

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 02:49 AM

Questers seem to go for anywhere between $1700 and $3000 depending on year and accessorisation - but like most things it is driven by supply and demand. They don't come up often and purchases are mostly planned, not impulsive so this tends to keep the prices up.

 

I paid around $1700CDN for my first 2 Questers, and my present one cost me about $2000CDN after exchange. Condition is rarely a factor with these scopes, they have all been pampered throughout their lives, so the price has little to do with the age - unless it's a very recent production.

 

Every Q should come with the 2 factory issued eyepieces, the sub-aperture solar filter, power cord, legs and a good condition case. This will preserve the re-sale value of your Q. If you can get the manual, a full-aperture solar filter, and a more recent eyepiece diopter adapter that allows use of standard 1-1/4 EP's then this is a bonus. Earlier versions did not have a built-in finder solar filter (mine doesn't) so pay attention to that if you want to do solar work. You can get it retrofitted by Questar - but at a steep price.

 

Pretty well any other accessory would be a curiosity for the average user, but at least you could resell it to defray the cost of purchase.

 

Quartz or Cervit mirror substrates tend to drive the asking price up, as do broadband coatings. There is considerable debate on the internet as to whether there is any real world advantage that these add to a 90mm optic.

 

Lastly, buy a Q because you want one for what it is - a beautiful, functionally perfect piece of astronomical history. There are a lot cheaper ways of getting a 90mm scope.

 

Note that for the finder solar filter it is easily retrofitted by the end user and doesn't need to be sent to Questar for this. When I bought my very gently used 1964 Standard scope a few years ago the finder solar filter was around $190 US from Company 7.  The actual installation took less than 2 minutes and they supplied the spline wrench as well!

 

I am still impressed that you can buy parts for upgrading a 50 year old telescope (I also purchased the threaded lens cap, eyepiece adapter and manual). Not many companies/products can match that record!

 

JRE


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#35 Erik Bakker

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 06:02 AM

I think it is safe to say there never was, is or likely ever again will be anything like Questar  :bow:


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#36 sgorton99

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 06:19 AM

For me, I was downsizing the number of scopes I had. In particular, I collect mostly classic scopes and at one time had about a dozen. You look at all the boxes and realize they don't get outside very often and just kind of wonder "why"?

 

So I was looking at downsizing in quantity and finding a high end portable scope, like a Tak or Televue. Then, a Questar Field model was for sale locally so I went to check it out. Unfortunately, the seller was pretty firm on the price and it would need to be sent to Questar for servicing as it had just a few bits of fungus appearing on the primary. In doing research on Qs when considering this one, I became more intrigued about getting a Questar Standard or Duplex instead of another small portable scope that I would also need a mount for.

 

Sold a few astro things and placed a "wanted" ad for a Questar. Within a few days I was contacted and the seller actually sent to me to check it out before I even paid for it! I can say I am very impressed with this "little" scope, and the views are exquisite. This is also the very first scope that my wife said - "If you ever decide to sell it, I want it. It is beautiful."

 

Oh, and my new granddaughter's name is Quinn and we call her Q for short!

 

Steve

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#37 bmwscopeguy

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 06:35 PM

Yeah - It must be a lot easier logistically to design, mfr, and stock parts for a device that has not changed for all intents and purposes for over 50 years. Try that Meade!

 

I'm busily trying to duplicate the solar finder in my machine shop, trying to get the angles and dimensions right. I'll eventually spring for the real deal, but for now it's an intriguing puzzle.

 

Cheers everyone - Malcolm


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#38 JREnglar

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 02:54 AM

I think it is safe to say there never was, is or likely ever again will be anything like Questar  :bow:

 

I agree wholeheartedly and, when I'm dead and gone, mine is earmarked for my first grandson (he's only 4 at the moment). Maybe the fact that the Questar is part of a history unlikely to be repeated was the main reason I jumped at the chance when my local brick and mortar store had one on consignment a few years back. 

 

JRE


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#39 JonH

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 08:00 AM

Because Unitron didn't do a 7 inch scope :)

 

Cheers

 

Jon


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#40 Bomber Bob

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 08:05 AM

the Questar is part of a history unlikely to be repeated

 

Sad, but true!  I'd like to think the current disposable culture is just a phase.  No matter, I hope to keep my Questar in the family; and of all my Classics, it has the best odds of being used decades after I'm gone.  It's compact, precisely made, performs reliably, and is so easy to use.  I think it'll win over unborn generations of Stewarts -- as it did me!


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#41 Michael Edelman

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 06:47 PM

I bought an early Q- serial number 123! - through Bob Little, when he was brokering them and making custom accessories in the 80s. I'd always been fascinated by the ads in SciAm when I was a kid. It was the cheapest one I could find, and it was kind of simple compared to later models, with no tripod socket, no solar finder filter (I added one), and the Japanese oculars. Bob told me a story of how the solar finder filter came about: He received an angry call from Johnny Carson complaining about the danger, and that convinced the company they should do something about it, Johnny being a guy whose opinion could influence a lot of people.

 

Don't remember why I sold that, but I missed it, and when a Duplex came my way a few years later I grabbed it- only to sell it to a friend when I needed the money for a very fine side by side shotgun. The last one- a standard 3.5 from the 1980s, I think- came into my hands around 15 years ago and this one is staying. 

 

I've owned refractors from 2 to 5" and Newtonians from 8" to 18, but there's simply nothing like a Questar when it comes to combining quality, ease of use, portability, and convenience. With the Q, I set up my ancient Davis & Sanford tripod, bolt on the Q, adjust the head tilt to 42 degrees and that's it for a pleasant evening of viewing. Last week I set it up to photograph the transit of Mercury and it took perhaps ten minutes to set up before I was ready to shoot. 


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#42 bmwscopeguy

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 07:05 PM

Hi Mike,

 

Your experiences parallel mine. Having one and then letting it go - regretting it and getting another only to have to let it go, and then finally getting one under circumstances that allows you to keep it. Mine also came without a solar finder filter (#6-2693) and I too am awaiting one from Jim at Questar.

 

And like you, I watched the transit of Mercury - me at our office parking lot where I set the Q up so everyone could come out and have a peak. 5 minutes to set up and down - try that 20" Dob guys!

 

Malcolm


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#43 SJTill

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 09:12 PM

Like Mike Edelmann, I fell in "boing" with the Questar at about age 15, from the ads in Scientific American.

What I bought instead was, of course, a Criterion Dynascope 4 inch Newtonian with an awful, awful "Equatorial" mount.

Later came a 3 inch refractor I bought at a department store; used it to view the total solar eclipse of 1970 in Virginia Beach, VA. BTW drove there in our brand new BMW 2002--sorry I had to sell that one.

Last year I got an award at work for $2500. My wife (bless her heart!!) suggested I buy a scope since I had always wanted one (and her Dad was an amateur astronomer so she understands). I thought about a Questar, but ended up with a Tak TSA-102. A great scope, but getting it out and ready to use, especially if I have to put it in the van and drive to the dark site, is so much trouble I rarely use it. 

So a couple of months ago I answered an ad for a Q 3.5 with Cervit and BB, in great shape. I look forward to using it much more, and to add simplified AP to my repertoire.

With age the back has gotten to be a problem--twisting and lifting will throw it out for a couple of days.

So I'm hoping the Q will allow me to satisfy my astronomy bug without having to set up a 60-pound scope and mount.


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#44 CSG

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 12:42 PM

Like others, I'd grown up with the ads and always thought they were things of beauty.  When I bought mine new directly from Questar in 2006, I owned a Televue NP101, Pronto, and Celestron C8.  I was so excited to receive it and it was beautiful.  Had most of the options.  However, when it came time to use it, I found it incredibly difficult to find what I wanted in the night sky.  The narrow FoV, minimal finder, and a few other operational things made me not use it much.  I was spoiled by the Televue approach to astronomy (still am) and, after a few years of ownership, finally sold it.  Honestly, I have no regrets buying it and selling it when I realized it wasn't for me.

 

Now, all I have an use is my old Pronto which was really all I ever wanted in a scope as well as some good binoculars (I have a bunch).


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#45 Laika

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 07:09 PM

I don't own one, yet, anyway, but I see the attraction.

I own a C90 which I love, also have an Apex 127, I just love Maks. :) Not sure why, guess I don't need a reason lol

I see a Q or even a Russian Mak in my future :)

Keep posting those Q's!

#46 orion61

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 09:36 PM

If NASA chose it to go up in their Spacecraft, it SHOULD be good enough for me.

Seriously it is one of the only things Mechanical that an average guy can save up for and have "The best scope made"

that at times out performs other scopes many times larger. They LOOK as good as they perform.

I had a later 50's Questar that unfortunately had far from perfect optics WAAY BAAD Spherical Aberration.

One side of focus was an edgeless Fuzzball the other a sharp dark outer ring on the edge and when both sides of focus overlapped there were 5 or 6 bright rings. My (Jones-Bird) Comet Chaser out performed it! I traded it for a brand new 8"

Meade Premier F6.3 scope with great optics, massive tripod, a set of eyepieces, Digital setting circles and a power tank in 1991.

BTW I only paid $600.00 for the 1959 Questar. It had set unused on display in a Dr's Office since new and the Dr Practiced virtually until the week he died! I got it from his son that looked up the price of $995.00 and figured it hadn't been used so should be worth $600.00. I couldn't dig the money out fast enough, but I didn't look through it...

This is my 2nd chance at a Questar... It will be here in a week...

 Wish me luck!


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#47 JHollJr

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 10:18 AM

My first telescope was a 6" Cave Deluxe that I bought in college, but got tired of lugging it out and setting it up on cold nights in Minnesota. So being mesmerized by adds in Sky & Telescope, I purchased a Questar 3.5 (serial # 0-7787) in late 1980 and sold the Cave. I still have the Questar.

 

I also have a Celestron NexStar 8i SE, which I use for convience and for light gathering power, but when the moon is bright and the planets are parading, I always go to the Questar, as I did last night. The views of planets through the Questar are as good or better than through the Celeston and it is so much easier to get out and use. I also prefer viewing double stars through the Questar. The stars are so much cleaner and clearer through the Questar.


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#48 JonTeets

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 07:06 PM

Impulse buy.   No, really!

I was in the market for a scope after not being able to indulge the hobby for nearly a decade.   I've had dobs, a Celestron SP-C102 refractor, an early 80s C8, a Pronto and a lot of small scopes and binoculars going back deep into the recesses of time.   I was looking at a TV-85 or maybe a 101 (non-NP), and a TV alt-az mount, something I knew I'd be comfortable taking out into the back yard to scratch the itch that came without fail every night the whole lost decade.  

Then a Questar popped up on eBay with a very low price and "Buy it Now" and "Make an Offer" buttons.   I watched it appear the moment it was listed.   So of course, I pressed buy it now before someone else beat me to it.   In the real world, the scope, if it showed up at all, would have come in a box of fungus.   But no, other than dirty eyepieces, a broken handle on the case, it's a great little scope.  Easily the best total package scope I've ever had.   Boy does it scratch the itch.  

BTW, I found a TV 540mm f/5.4 Renaissance SDF for a song and picked it up after a lot more deliberation.   Now if I can just find the right dob... 


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#49 JHollJr

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 09:04 PM

I bought a Questar for nights like tonight. The sunset at 20:36 and I set up the scope. During the early twilight I was able to see Jupiter and its moons, but the Questar hadn't acclimated yet and it was still too bright to really get good looks. The moons were nice, though. At 21:10 clouds rolled in a viewing was over for the evening.

 

Since set up and take down are so easy, it really wasn't a big deal. There is always tomorrow, God willing.

 

Justin


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#50 Absorber

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 08:24 PM

At 12 years old, My first telescope observation of Jupiter and Saturn was through a Questar. I never forgot those views and the compact scope of polished metal and star chart on the tube. In many ways I was hooked that night on astronomy.  Scopes I had access to afterward, mostly cheap refractors with bad EPs, could not live up. It would be many years later after college before my interest came back in astronomy.  

When I had the money to spend for a decent scope the Questar was still out of reach, but a decent C8 was obtainable.  Plus I figured it was like the scope from my youth only larger so it must be better. The C8 was my only scope for several years and still serves to this day. Then l discovered large dobs and Aperture fever took hold for about 20 years. I still have a 16" that I enjoy on DS viewing but it is a pain to haul out and set up.

Still I always wanted that little 3.5" gem, but the price was not easy to justify. After much consideration about buying a new unit or used, 2 weeks ago I purchased a used 50th (#151)that came up for sale. Since picking it up, nearly every decent night since has been spent with spectacular views of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and even Moon.  The contrast is exceptional and noticeably better than my other scopes. I am a very happy new owner of a Questar.

 

 I want to thank this forum.  I have followed quietly for a couple of years and the information shared here along with other forums have greatly helped in my purchase and appreciation. I look forward to participating further in this forum.


Edited by Absorber, 27 June 2016 - 06:59 AM.

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