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Questars on Ebay

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#1 Optics Patent

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 03:30 PM

This thread is to post and discuss Questar telescopes, parts, and accessories available for sale.  The moderator asks that this not be used to post about your own listings, nor to post listing here that have been listed elsewhere, such as in the ongoing "Classics" Ebay thread.  This is only to help readers learn what is available, and to discuss the pros and cons of a given listing.  This is also a good place to post about Craigslist listings, but not Cloudy Nights or Astromart Classifieds.

 

Here's an interesting 1959 Questar with an actual Ebay auction.

 

This is appealing, with documentation of a recent factory service (costing the owner $662).

 

Pros:

    Looks like great condition, the original English leather case is very nice.
    Optics and drives are presumably excellent based on Questar service.
    Camera coupling gear including swivel adds $100+ value

Cons:

    Lens cap is modern replacement, lacking original machined bare metal outer edge.
    White faux fur for displaying fine optical instruments?!
    While correct for this era, the axial port limits the photo field of view, and the eyepiece holder will not hold modern eyepieces.
   

This was listed for an unrealistic $3000 buy it now, then $2500, and failed to get any action.  This was a reserve auction, and the reserve was not met at $1500, but is now met at $2000.  I tend to think that the seller's mistake is in thinking that investing $662.50 in factory service will pay off.  With Ebay's buyer protections it's still appealing if it's advertised as "excellent optics" because the buyer is protected.  The Questar cleaning and inspection add little more value, because if the buyer finds everything works fine then it didn't really need the service and if it doesn't work fine he's protected and gets a refund (or can negotiate to get the service if needed).  Without the service inflating the price, this would already have sold at $1850 buy it now, netting the seller more than $2500 would have.

 

I'd tell the seller to sell the camera coupling parts separately.  Get $100+ without really reducing the value of the scope in the yes of most buyers.

 

This is comparable to the slightly newer 1961 model that recently was auctioned and ended up at $1776 shipped.  That one had a much worse case, but correct lens cap.  No factory service and a Barlow offsets the camera coupling.

My prediction was that the excellent case adds $200, and the factory service adds $200, for a final bid of $2100 (plus $50 shipping).  Given that it's now at $2000 with several days to go, I think it may reach or exceed that $2500 mark it failed to garner as a buy-it-now.


Edited by Optics Patent, 19 April 2017 - 10:41 PM.

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#2 Optics Patent

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 03:50 PM

Here is a Questar Birder on Ebay

 

$2345 shipped (or best offer) is steep.

 

Pros

Recent service.

 

Cons

Scratched up support ring.  (Easily could have been repaired as discussed here).
Permanent marker on Control Box. 

Missing dew shield
 

Interestingly, this Birder was purchased in an Ebay auction earlier this year for $1277 (I keep track of such things).  Then, it had a bent finder mirror bracket, and an abused dew shield with tape and stickers.  The seller is adding value by apparently omitting the dew shield!

 

Seller has nearly $2000 into this (especially including the anticipated Ebay seller fees), and would have been wiser to skip the service, and to repair or replace the finder bracket themselves - using these instructions for realigning the finder mirror).  If you're gonna be a flipper, you gotta be a fixer.  This could fetch $1800 with the right simple repairs and cosmetic touch-up, yet that would be a loss for this seller, while a gain for a smart flipper.



#3 Oldironsides

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 03:52 PM

I've been dreaming for decades of acquiring a Questar Duplex in excellent condition and kicked myself when the last good Duplex could have been had for the buy it price of $3900. I only lost out by being outbid at the last minute. So I also just spotted the Questar that you write about and wanted to ask someone knowledgeable about Questar service.

 

When a telescope is sent to Questar for service do they automatically report on the invoice every problem they find or only list the work they were told to do by the customer?

 

As you said maybe the seller thought the $660 service would enhance the selling appeal. Since the seller accepts no returns isn't the sale considered "As Is"?



#4 Mike Allen

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 04:49 PM

I've sent my Q3.5 back to New Hope for standard service or repair a number of times.  Never had an invoice list other than what services were performed.



#5 Optics Patent

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 05:14 PM

$3900 is steep for a good Duplex unless there are a bunch of valuable accessories.  I just paid $2100 (Craigslist from Minnesota - arrived today) for a Duplex that is in great condition including the leather case, and included full solar, piggyback, Powerguide, 2 Barlows, counterweight, and a heavy Gitzo tripod purchased from Questar, along with lots of original documentation.  That's maybe $1200 in quick-sale accessories, and a $900 Duplex in nearly pristine condition.  The full setup cost the original owner $2555 in 1977.  This isn't to brag (just a little - Craigslist has its ups and downs) but to show that deals can be found.  I won an Ebay auction at $2550 for a pristine Standard with an even more valuable accessory package  (If there is a pattern, it's that the deals tend to have nice packages and high total cost that looks high to the unaware, and smart sellers sell accessories separately. 

 

And message me because a good Broadband Duplex might be the first of my collection I sell if my current mount/drive restoration project works out (if not, that one becomes the recipient of a Powerguide-1 transplant and I keep it).  I wouldn't charge you $3900, that's for sure.

I believe Questar is private about scopes that are serviced so they won't tell you without the seller's permission, but you should be able to ask the seller for permission, or get some kind of written assurance that there were no problems or still-needed repairs identified by Questar.  The key with Ebay is that the seller say something positive in the ad about optics and operation, because then any real problems are cause for return and refund.  "No returns" means little to a careful Ebay buyer, because it means only that you can't return it unless it's not as described (which is usually the problem), and a careful buyer will be happy if it's as described.



#6 Billydee

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:52 PM

Ben,

 

The 1959's Camera Coupling Set is for a 0.95" Axial Port and won't work on the later model's 1.20" Axial Port.

 

Bill


Edited by Billydee, 19 April 2017 - 11:36 PM.


#7 Rpsqueezer

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 09:16 PM

IIRC my '60 Q has a 0.9" diameter axial port common to that period and the ports on later Qs with the Wide Field update is 1.2".

 

Ross Schlabach



#8 Billydee

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:39 PM

Ross,

 

Thanks, You are correct (I corrected my Post).  I checked the price list and they list the early Axial prt at 0.95".

 

Bill



#9 Optics Patent

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 07:26 AM

This Duplex Questar has been lingering on Ebay for a long time, with a German retailer asking $3570.

Pros:

  • Cervit and Broadband
  • Full solar filter (adds $400)
  • Rare solar shield - Unclear how it attaches.  Has anyone seen one of these?  How would one make one?
  • Notable prior owner ("Root Beer Heir")
  • Vinyl cover for leather case

Cons:

  • Skimpy pictures, case not illustrated
  • No eyepieces shown
  • Power cord shows Euro plug - creates uncertainty about 110V operation and conversion.
  • Importation can create an unexpected bill for duty (~10%) unless you jump through hoops and file an affidavit from Questar that this is "Return of US Made Goods".  Perhaps if it is properly described as such initially it avoids the headache.
  • Expensive shipping if there is a reason to be dissatisfied - though Ebay protection should apply.

The price is at the top of the tolerable range for a buyer who highly values the rare solar shield, full filter, and vinyl outer case, and if all the illustrated items are present.  If I were the seller (or buyer wanting only the scope) I'd post the filter for $400, the shield for $400 and the case sleeve for $200, That makes this a $2500 scope, which is a little steep but not bad.

A serious buyer might offer $2850 and settle on $3000, in hopes the Teutonic seller will be that flexible.  I can report that several months ago they refused to sell the solar filter separately to me.  I have since ended up with four (!)



#10 alwilder

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 06:42 PM

I found the shorter focal length of 1077mm and thus slightly faster respective speed of f/12.1 interesting. Was this common on the early scopes given the current ones are 1300mm, f/14.4?

Edited by alwilder, 20 April 2017 - 06:47 PM.


#11 Optics Patent

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:42 AM

Questar 700 on Ebay with a $699 asking opening bid (relisted after failing to get any bids at the same price).

 

Pros:

  • Appears nice optics
  • Unusually good cosmetic condition.  The fragile paint on these heavy lenses is typically scratched up.

Cons:

  • No case
  • Pre-10700 serial number means no broadband coatings.
  • Description makes no promises about optical or mechanical functionality, stating only "Very clean."

These have been selling for about this price, but making this the starting bid is off-putting.  I'd tell the seller to make it a buy-it-now at that price, or start the bidding at $0.99 and generate some enthusiasm.


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#12 Optics Patent

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 05:58 PM

That 1959 model is now at $2900 with two days to go. I'll bet the bidders wish they has grabbed it as a buy it now for $2500 earlier this month.

#13 sgorton99

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 08:01 PM

Questar 700 on Ebay with a $699 asking opening bid (relisted after failing to get any bids at the same price).

 

Pros:

  • Appears nice optics
  • Unusually good cosmetic condition.  The fragile paint on these heavy lenses is typically scratched up.

Cons:

  • No case
  • Pre-10700 serial number means no broadband coatings.
  • Description makes no promises about optical or mechanical functionality, stating only "Very clean."

These have been selling for about this price, but making this the starting bid is off-putting.  I'd tell the seller to make it a buy-it-now at that price, or start the bidding at $0.99 and generate some enthusiasm.

A couple of times ago when he listed it I asked if he had a lower BIN price, as I'm looking to "upgrade" my C90 for some camera stuff. I got a curt "no".



#14 BR__

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 12:13 PM

I'm interested in buying a Questar (it's all Rob Pettengill's fault), and have been looking at this scope on Craigslist in my area.  I think the $2600 asking price is a bit steep, but could use some advice. 

 

Built in 1965, supposedly like new, w/ leather case and quartz mirror.  Hard to see if all the accessories are there, but I'm going to meet the seller next week to check it out. 

 

My thoughts:

  • I'm thinking $2000-ish would be a quite fair price for a scope of this vintage assuming all the parts there and it is really "like new"
  • Maybe I handicap that up a bit for leather case
  • Since I can inspect it before purchase, I'd go a bit higher to get this one as opposed to one I had to buy sight-unseen
  • I really don't know how to value the quartz mirror...I understand this was a premium feature that significantly increased the original price, but what is a fair allowance for this feature in a used scope?
  • Would be more desirable if it had broadband optics, so that's a minus
  • Older model, so I'd need to buy an adapter if want to use modern eyepieces, and I'd want to buy/install the finder solar filter...so some additional expense expected. 

Anything else I should factor in or things to look for?  Advice appreciated.

BR



#15 Optics Patent

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 08:22 PM

BR, if this is to be your one and only Questar, then I'd say focus less on the beautiful vintage coloring and case, and focus on the optics.

 

Those early eyepieces are disappointing, and could even be called crappy compared to the Brandons.  New, the holder and two eyepieces you'll really need will set you back $500.  Half that used if you're lucky or patient.  The finder filter is $190 new.

 

Quartz doesn't add much in my book.  Back then, it added $100 (less than 10%) and in modern times superior Zerodur adds an even lower percentage.  My rule of thumb is that in the used market upgrades retain only half their percentage upcharge.  Don't add more than $100 value for Quartz.

 

In an old scope I'd worry that the coatings were substandard.  Early broadband (not this one) reportedly sometimes had a short life.  A 1970s or 80s scope may give more confidence (though my one Questar with failing coatings is my newest, a 1992 non-Broadband - thankfully I didn't pay much for it).

 

The vintage look is sexy, but you can get much newer without losing the glossy purple and refined details that might be absent from the newest scopes (which don't show up in this price range anyway).

 

$2000 and a little luck or patience should get you an excellent 70s or 80s scope (probably a Duplex) in nice condition, not needing any parts or repairs.  Possibly with some valuable accessories.  (I just received a Craigslist Duplex that cost me $2000 plus shipping, but included accessories worth $1200 on the resale market - the full aperture solar filter was my fourth, so it's up for sale now.)  Don't sweat whether or not it has broadband.  You'll be happy either way.

 

And don't plan to pay more in person.  If you don't have lots of experience inspecting Questars, you might still be missing issues the seller might not even know about.  Being in person is a benefit you bring to the seller: cash in hand and no shipping and insurance headaches.  Craigslist is riskier than Ebay, and prices are lower (the seller doesn't have to pay 12-15% to Ebay and paypal).


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#16 Optics Patent

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 07:30 AM

This one is good to see up for auction.  After yesterday's $2900 Ebay sale of a 1959 Questar, this 1957 Questar on Ebay might do well with an enthusiastic auction is the key (and there are more enthusiastic buyers.)  It has also appeared on Craigslist, and in classifieds here for $1875 plus shipping.

Pros:

  • Assures good optics and performance.
  • Early blue shiny star chart.
  • Includes tripod.

Cons:

  • Only one eyepiece.
  • Case damage described but not illustrated.
  • Incorrect modern lens cap.
  • Incorrect modern fork hubcaps - should have star and different font, not ®.
  • Skimpy optics photos.
  • The usual design disadvantages of an early scope.

Seller needs bid to reach ~$2100 to equal what he was asking on CN classifieds.  Given the recent high-price sale of a similar scope (but with recent factory service and all original parts) I predict this will reach that.  I'll predict $2150 plus the $100 shipping.



#17 JHollJr

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 10:57 AM

I found the shorter focal length of 1077mm and thus slightly faster respective speed of f/12.1 interesting. Was this common on the early scopes given the current ones are 1300mm, f/14.4?

Company Seven measured my Questar Standard 3.5 #0-7787 at 1070mm and f/11.9. I don't whether that is good or bad. I'd actually like the greater magnification of a longer focal length.



#18 DAVIDG

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 12:08 PM

This one is good to see up for auction.  After yesterday's $2900 Ebay sale of a 1959 Questar, this 1957 Questar on Ebay might do well with an enthusiastic auction is the key (and there are more enthusiastic buyers.)  It has also appeared on Craigslist, and in classifieds here for $1875 plus shipping.

Pros:

  • Assures good optics and performance.
  • Early blue shiny star chart.
  • Includes tripod.

Cons:

  • Only one eyepiece.
  • Case damage described but not illustrated.
  • Incorrect modern lens cap.
  • Incorrect modern fork hubcaps - should have star and different font, not ®.
  • Skimpy optics photos.
  • The usual design disadvantages of an early scope.

Seller needs bid to reach ~$2100 to equal what he was asking on CN classifieds.  Given the recent high-price sale of a similar scope (but with recent factory service and all original parts) I predict this will reach that.  I'll predict $2150 plus the $100 shipping.

 The optics in that scope don't appear to be original. The corrector has  the modern metal disk that covers the aluminized spot on the corrector vs the original painted on spot. Also the corrector looks to be  MgF2 coated on the front surface and these coating were only applied to the rear surface. 

 

             - Dave 



#19 Optics Patent

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 01:11 PM

 

This one is good to see up for auction.  After yesterday's $2900 Ebay sale of a 1959 Questar, this 1957 Questar on Ebay might do well with an enthusiastic auction is the key (and there are more enthusiastic buyers.)  It has also appeared on Craigslist, and in classifieds here for $1875 plus shipping.

Pros:

  • Assures good optics and performance.
  • Early blue shiny star chart.
  • Includes tripod.

Cons:

  • Only one eyepiece.
  • Case damage described but not illustrated.
  • Incorrect modern lens cap.
  • Incorrect modern fork hubcaps - should have star and different font, not ®.
  • Skimpy optics photos.
  • The usual design disadvantages of an early scope.

Seller needs bid to reach ~$2100 to equal what he was asking on CN classifieds.  Given the recent high-price sale of a similar scope (but with recent factory service and all original parts) I predict this will reach that.  I'll predict $2150 plus the $100 shipping.

 The optics in that scope don't appear to be original. The corrector has  the modern metal disk that covers the aluminized spot on the corrector vs the original painted on spot. Also the corrector looks to be  MgF2 coated on the front surface and these coating were only applied to the rear surface. 

 

             - Dave 

 

Looks like the seller pulled the auction, I thought it was looking good as it broke $1500 with a couple days to go, but the seller may have gotten cold feet (unethically, in my opinion).  The seller's active Craigslist auction states: "Listed on EBAY and will NOT sell unless bid goes to $2000."  That means that the seller violated Ebay's terms by "circumventing reserve fees."  Dirty.


Edited by Optics Patent, 30 April 2017 - 01:13 PM.


#20 sgorton99

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 05:46 AM

Questar Field model with a couple of eyepieces. Looks nice, but check or MO and no feedback for over a year with only 13 total?

 

http://www.ebay.com/...uEAAOSwrhBZBpMH



#21 Optics Patent

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 07:10 AM

I'm not too worried about that Questar Field Model on an Ebay auction.

 

Pros:

  • It's an auction, so could be a good deal.
  • Newer manufacture (late 80s or 90s)
  • Ebay buyer protection backs up "excellent condition" claim.
  • Photos don't "smell" like fraud
  • 2 Brandons
  • Is case original? (insert can be replaced)

Cons:

  • First auction by seller in more than a year.
  • Condition is a little rough with scratches and dings.
  • Dew shield appears to be absent (presumably was too trashed to include without dragging down the impression the photos make on a bidder - smart seller choice).  Update: seller confirms no dew shield.

I'd say that because this lacks "appeal" it might not reach $700 total, but I'll estimate the final auction price at $550-750 plus (overpriced) shipping.


Edited by Optics Patent, 01 May 2017 - 12:49 PM.


#22 sgorton99

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 12:23 PM

I'm not too worried about that Questar Field Model on an Ebay auction.

 

Pros:

  • It's an auction, so could be a good deal.
  • Newer manufacture (late 80s or 90s)
  • Ebay buyer protection backs up "excellent condition" claim.
  • Photos don't "smell" like fraud
  • 2 Brandons
  • Is case original? (insert can be replaced)

Cons:

  • First auction by seller in more than a year.
  • Condition is a little rough with scratches and dings.
  • Dew shield appears to be absent (presumable was too trashed to include without dragging down the impression the photos make on a bidder - smart seller choice).

I'd say that because this lacks "appeal" it might not reach $700 total, but I'll estimate the final auction price at $550-750 plus (overpriced) shipping.

How would the ebay buyer protection help, since he wants to be paid by check or money order? I know you could raise an issue with a problem with ebay, but I just don't see how you could get the money back...



#23 Optics Patent

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 12:48 PM

How would the ebay buyer protection help, since he wants to be paid by check or money order? I know you could raise an issue with a problem with ebay, but I just don't see how you could get the money back...

I wondered about that.  Then I saw that the auction allows PayPal so the winner can simply use PayPal to preserve the Ebay buyer Protection, and if the seller tries to duck that they have a problem with Ebay.

 

I also note that the Field Model being auctioned does not include a dew shield.  The seller replied on this, so I'm comfortable that the seller is a real seller and not a hacked account.



#24 MrJim

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 01:34 PM

Any advice on the eBay ad for a 1967 3.5" for $3,500 that is advertised as "never used"? After decades of admiring Questar, I am finally ready to begin my search now that I am retired. But I must admit, I need to learn all I can on pricing and being an informed purchaser. Thanks for the help!



#25 TerryWood

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 02:22 PM

Here's a really nice one with the Questar "star" logo for what appears to be a good price for sale right here on CN:

 

https://www.cloudyni...culate-questar/

 

V/R

 

Terry




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