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Questars on Ebay

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#26 MrJim

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 02:47 PM

Thank you Terry. It seems like it could be a great way to get into the world of Questar! What is the significance of the star logo? Does the 2-1419 serial mean 1962? It references Japanese eyepieces, so I assume these are pre-Brandon. 



#27 Optics Patent

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 02:56 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!

This 1967 Standard Questar listed on Ebay in "new" condition doesn't thrill me.

"Never used" is irrelevant and is always suspect.  In fact, over the 50 years it's probably better that a scope have its mechanical functions exercised, so lubrication stays distributed.  Transmitting and reflecting photos certainly doesn't wear out optics.  A little used scope will not need the slow motion drives to be serviced.  And things like the velvet flocking on the floor of the case will have minimal wear - I'd like to see an image of that floor to test the honesty of the seller.

 

A 1967 scope isn't old enough to have collectable vintage statue like a 1950s might.  But it needs $500 (new - half that used) in eyepieces and eyepiece holder to operate at a level with more modern scopes from the 70s and 80s.  It fits in the "post-vintage" era of the modern mature design that began in 1964 when the control box was redesigned along with many other aspects to provide a much larger photographic field of view.  This is actually a sweet spot for someone seeking modern optics in a vintage case.

1967 was near the end of the run for the English leather case, and this might be a good specimen.  That case was last depicted in a Questar Sky and Telescope ad in late 1967, and the modern version was first depicted in mid-1968.

 

This listing has poor photos, but at least any concealed cosmetic problems are protected by the "new" condition promise.  Someone who is sloppy and lazy with photos is not the first person I'd want to buy from.  A first-time Ebay seller is also a potential headache waiting to happen.

 

If this were put up for a real auction, it might fetch $2000 as illustrated, and maybe $300-500 more if illustrated and described more nicely by a more credible seller.

Over $3000 on Ebay is the level reserved for scopes with lots of accessories, or excellent very early vintage scopes, or 21st century scopes (which never seem to come up - Ebay hasn't offered a Questar newer than 1991 in the last year that I have seen) especially anniversary models.

 



#28 TerryWood

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 03:29 PM

Thank you Terry. It seems like it could be a great way to get into the world of Questar! What is the significance of the star logo? Does the 2-1419 serial mean 1962? It references Japanese eyepieces, so I assume these are pre-Brandon. 

Questars with the "star" logo were made from 1956-1963. 

 

From Company Seven website:

 

http://www.company7....r/que54-55.html

 

Another good page about the 1961 model and various badges/logos:

 

http://www.company7....star/que61.html

 

On the first link scroll halfway down the page and you'll see the description. The eyepieces were pre-Brandon and the secondary spot was on the outside of the corrector plate instead of the inside (I believe that changed in the late 60's). It's unique and I wish I had the money for it right now. I'd love to have that one!

 

I can't speak to it's performance because I've never looked through one of that vintage.

 

V/R

 

Terry


Edited by TerryWood, 02 May 2017 - 03:41 PM.


#29 Optics Patent

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 04:17 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/

That sold on Ebay for $1799 plus shipping less than a month ago.  I don't blame Tony for snapping it up and finding it a good home.


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#30 MrJim

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 04:26 PM

I think that both the 1962 and the 1967 are beautiful instruments each in their own way. The amount of information available on the Company 7 website is amazing. Thank you Ben and Terry for all this great information. I think that a post-1972 model will serve my needs best. By then the control box was redesigned and so might be less of a transition for me. A nice PGII would be a big plus!

 

I will continue to read the Questar and Company 7 websites while checking CN, Astromart and eBay. I'm very impressed by the Questar community here on CN; thanks everyone.


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#31 Billydee

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 07:01 PM

MrJim,

 

The one that Terry is referring to looks real good.  The Vendor that is selling it works on Questar's and uses them for developing Questar products.  They have a great reputation,  i would trust their assessment of this one.

 

Bill


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#32 BR__

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 07:52 PM

This one on CN listing appears to be very similar to the 1965 model I posted about a few days back, but at a slightly lower price point. Ditto what MrJim said, thanks everyone for your advice and insights.  I'm going to keep looking too. 



#33 Optics Patent

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 10:02 PM

 I think that a post-1972 model will serve my needs best. .

I'm not exactly sure why you draw the line at 1972, but I think you are right on track.  The ones that are most available at the lowest prices with top performance (1970's, 80s) are the most handsome and refined designs.  Before modern compromises, yet with all the optical updates.  Maybe ther is a marginal performance improvement with a 50th anniversary model at 3x the price.  Maybe there is an historic collectible with lower performance at 2x the price, but this is about beautiful telescopes, and the 70s and 80s are the sweet spot in my happy iopinion.


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#34 Optics Patent

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 08:00 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.

I'm not sure why the seller decided time the auction to end the auction on a Friday evening - when people are generally not sitting at their computers.  $707 plus $75 shipping isn't bad, but the seller could have done better with better timing and much better photos.  Soon to appear on Cloudy Nights for $1200?  ;-)


Edited by Optics Patent, 06 May 2017 - 08:01 AM.


#35 Optics Patent

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 07:10 AM

Suspicious Ebay ad for Duplex Questar (don't bother clicking - it's been removed).

 

Never mind pros and cons.  Here's the evidence of fraud (Not any of which proves fraud, but together suggest it):

  • Uses ad to promote an off-Ebay sale.
  • Gmail account
  • Short (3-day) auction duration
  • All feedback more than a year old.
  • Has 184 suspicious high-value auctions now.
  • All feedback for small dollar items
  • All feedback for foreign currency transactions
  • Location of seller is "Worldwide"
  • Photos feel like they were taken on a camping trip, not for an Ebay sale.  I note that photos are not recognized by Google Images as swiped from another site.
  • Low $1500 price.
  • No details like case, eyepieces, filter, legs, tripod.

Edited by Optics Patent, 08 May 2017 - 08:43 AM.


#36 Optics Patent

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 09:00 PM

Overpriced $3900 Vintage QUESTAR DUPLEX TELESCOPE.

 

Pros:

  • Includes Counterweight ($65), porro prism $250, 2 barlows ($200), camera coupling ($110) tripod ($250). Nikon camera and drive ($200?)  Total resellable: $1000+
  • Condition looks nice
  • Vinyl outer case.

Cons:

  • No serial number to ID scope.
  • Old EP focuser and Erfle eyepieces (-$250)
  • No claim that the camera lens is a Nikon.  Presumably worthless off-brand.

Seller is being lazy, and could sell the camera separately, and the tripod.  And the porro.  And each Barlow.  That's how to make money selling telescopes.

 

$2000 scope with $800 of extras that the typical buyer probably doesn't want.  Knock off $1000 and it might get a buyer.

 

This will be around for a while, predict.



#37 Panotaker

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 07:24 AM

A lot of those Ebay scopes are not being sold by the original owner. They are either inherited, sold by an Auction house, estate sale, or pawn shop. They have no idea what they are worth. They find out that a new one cost $5000, and it looks exactly like the one they got, so they ask an arm and a leg for them. They can ask whatever they want, but the truth is, the average used Questar sells for around $2000, give or take a couple of hundred bucks.


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#38 Optics Patent

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 11:00 AM

A lot of those Ebay scopes are not being sold by the original owner. They are either inherited, sold by an Auction house, estate sale, or pawn shop. They have no idea what they are worth. They find out that a new one cost $5000, and it looks exactly like the one they got, so they ask an arm and a leg for them. They can ask whatever they want, but the truth is, the average used Questar sells for around $2000, give or take a couple of hundred bucks.

And as one wise person once said: "Askin' ain't gettin'!"  Which is why I like the real auctions.



#39 Optics Patent

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 08:15 AM

Ebay Auction of Standard Cervit with Questionable BB Coatings.

 

Pros:

  •     Nice case
  •     Nice looking condition
  •     Detailed and forthright description

Cons

  •     Retail shop returned it for bad coatings, and it's being listed for only $50 less than the sale price of the prior auction this year (I track such things).
  •     $500 service, plus maybe $750 for coatings, if lucky.  This need to go back to Q, or be priced as if it needs a transplant.
  •     No photos of optics.  I'd take a video looking into the optics to show all the reflections to give confidence (we know how even a questionable scope can look spectacularly jewel-like this way).  A very clever seller would hook a camera and take a video that way of the moon, terrestrial, etc.  Why people don't use videos to remove doubts, I don't know.
  •     Only one Erfle eyepiece and obsolete EP holder - the end of that era.  Subtract $~200-300 value for not having the modern holder and two Brandons.

This may be a rare case where this should go back to the factory, or not.  But the seller may face ~$1250 in repair bills plus two way shipping ($1500 total costs?) and have a scope that then sells for $2500.  With Ebay/Paypal fee gouging (10% + 3%) they end up paying commission of the value of the repair and net maybe $675.  So maybe not because they could get double that as a buy-it-now.  An as-is sale should be about $1200, and maybe hit $1500 if lucky.  That leaves room for someone with an optics transplant (like me).  The psychological challenge for these owner/sellers is not realizing that they have suffered a loss when their coatings failed.  That's money they will never get back with repair or sale, short of defrauding a buyer.  Start an auction at $0.99, watch the energy and activity create interest, and sell for $1200-1600 and call it a day.  I doubt anyone will bite on this at $1800 opening bid.



#40 ehallspqr

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 11:25 AM

New style Universal Eyepiece holder that will take 1.25" eye pieces is fairly cheap and owner installable. I would definitely say that is a must upgrade for the sake of usability.

 

The case looks like 2nd version English leather type which makes it much nicer than the standard vinyl. Not sure but if you desire to add Powerguide ll? If so then this case may be too short and the scope will not fit. You should check on that first because a new taller English leather case is around $600 bucks.

 

$1800 opening bid is not too out of line considering this scope has the Cervit, BB and leather case. The condition looks above average, certainly very nice. Condition of the case suggests care was afforded this instrument. Probably did not get much use and was stored properly. The broadband coatings are the issue. Will they need servicing? My 93 BB was just serviced and Questar said the coatings (and optics in general) are fine. Yes 20 years newer, but if a scope spent most its life in its case and in a dry environment then there is a good chance the optics are good. Just the standard service which any purchased used Questar should get.



#41 Optics Patent

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 04:26 PM

To be clear the listing reveals that this scope was rejected and returned for failed coatings. Any smart retailer who paid $1850 would have kept it if the coatings were acceptable. It's wishful thinking for any bidder to assume that the coatings don't need a major service.
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#42 ehallspqr

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 08:24 PM

Good point about the dealers observation on the coatings of this particular scope. A dealer is looking to turn a profit not fix and retain a scope for personable use so his requirements are totally different than someone buying a scope to fix up and keep. He will not invest in costly repairs that cut into his profit. A dealer would probably ask 3k for this scope so there is noway for this to work out if he has to redo the optics. A person wanting a nice Questar could rebuild this scope and still be way under the price of new. If that scopes optics where perfect it would be worth $2500-2800, at least to me. I realize people want to save as much $'s as possible and still get what they want but when your talking Questar there is only so much you can do to mitigate costs. Add to that, in most cases people are buying sight unseen from someone that doesn't know the first thing about a telescope. Its all a crap shoot. I would almost certainly plan on redoing any used Questar that I purchased sight unseen. So maybe a good strategy for the OP is just buy a junker for $1000-1200 and plan on rebuilding the whole thing? Bite the bullet and go through the whole rebuild enchilada, that way you'll know 100% its correct & perfect.

 

Coatings slowely degrade overtime just on there own however factor in how much use a telescope has had, how it was stored, environmental conditions etc. What I understand is on average they degrade 1-2% a year, rule of thumb. Obviously there are exceptions either side of the average. Iv'e seen telescopes that lived near the ocean and the coatings degraded in a few years. My own 1962 and 93 Questar's optics are still pretty good and friends 70's, 80's refractors/SCT scopes that are still doing well with regards to optics. I assume a telescope dealer knows what to look for with regards to coatings. Maybe contact the seller and point out the costs to redue the coatings and see if he'll knock some off the price. I think any older used Questar you look at will have the same questions unless the seller can provide documentation proof. Most used Questars I have inquired about did not have any expensive recent service and if they did the seller was asking allot more than $1800. 



#43 DAVIDG

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 09:49 PM

 The  Broad Band coatings can not be stripped and redone so the optics have to be replaced at a cost of around $1500 for ones with standard coating and more for the ones with BB coatings. So the one of Ebay is worth much less then the seller believes if the new owner want to bring up to new condition. 

 

              - Dave 



#44 ehallspqr

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 10:47 PM

That's what I heard, they just swap out the glass. I heard $1200 for standard, $1500 for broadband and $1650 for the 50th anniversary optics set. $1500 for standard optics swap is quite steep and makes rebuilding a non starter for someone that is looking for a bargin Questar with broadband and low expansion glass. You'd have to buy the scope for under a grand to make this work. Any Questar that the seller claims has perfect optics I'd demand to see the receipts if I couldn't see the scope in person or else come to an agreement about sending in the scope to Questar for them to evaluate.

 

BTW. If I could find a late 70's to late 80's Questar standard, with BB, Low expansion, with verified perfect optics, in excellent condition, with all its accessories and for $2500 I would be doing backflips and buy it on the spot. I'm in the market if there's any takers lol. Oh and if it has PG2 installed I will go $2700. No joke.



#45 Rpsqueezer

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 08:59 AM

While I agree with the general assessments being discussed here, the prices for optics replacement are not completely correct. I got prices from Jim at Questar earlier this Spring. For the Pyrex mirror the cost is $750 and for BB the cost is $1,400 -- to which you have to add the $550 standard service fee.

 

But, all in all, if the eBay listing does have compromised optics, then at $1,800 or more is no bargain. 

 

Ross Schlabach


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#46 Optics Patent

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 10:14 AM

The key word in your $2500 wish is "verified". It's not hard for a careful and patient buyer to get all that for even less. But if you expect a factory certification you're incurring needless cost. Better to rely on an eBay description and the Buyer Protection for verification.

But the real answer will be in whether this auction of a telescope with admittedly bad optics will get any bids. My money says no.


Edited by Optics Patent, 14 May 2017 - 10:16 PM.


#47 ehallspqr

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 01:19 PM

 Thanks for clarifying the costs to replace the coatings. With Questar you see prices all over the place. Mostly old obsolete pricing or semi-educated guessing. Best to always call Questar directly. I agree with group consensus that if this particular unit is known to have bad optics then the $1800 is probably on the high side, but not overly high. I mean if this where your telescope would you sell it for a $1000 or even $1200 dollars? I wouldn't. On the otherhand if the optics where in great condition then this scope would be worth far more than $1800. Something is only worth what people are willing to pay.

 

So $1800 to start and $1950 to replace the optics and service. And another $550 for Powerguide 2 so total would be $4350 + figure another $150 shipping and $250 for the missing eyepiece. So total would be around $4700 vs new at $6275 which is the price shown on Astronomics website, a savings of $1575 over new. And you get that original beautiful purple OTA and dew shield color you had your heart set on. On the otherhand for only $1575 more you get brand new. So the only viable option for someone desiring a nice Questar for under say $3500 is to buy a scope with good optics and not go down the replacement optics route. Just too costly to justify for most people.

 

I'm not really qualified to access condition of telescope optics. When I bought my two Questars I did visually inspect both scopes, they looked fine to me and fellow astronomer friends. But only after Questar looked at them did I feel satisfied the coatings where still servicable and good. Needless or no, I would gladly pay for that verification but that's just me.

 

So when I say verified that means a receipt from Questar or a reputable shop that says the optics checkout. And/or if no receipt, calling Questar to discuss the repair history and particulars of that scope. And if Questar cannot provide info on recent repairs or condition I would work out with the seller to send the scope back to Questar and have the telescope checked out. I would pay for that and if there was a problem we could go from there and renegotiate price or the seller gets his scope back and I'm out the shipping and inspection fee which I imagine would be $350 or so. If the optics did checkout I would have Questar continue with a full service and install a PG2 or whatever else I wanted them to do. I'm with you on this not selling. The high opening bid will deter many bidders and of course the disclosure of bad coatings. Pity. The seller seems very straight forward and honest. Unlike some sellers who don't disclose known problems or worst yet purposely mislead a buyer. That's why I will never rely on a seller's description alone. This guy seems honest and initially did not know the coatings where bad. An honest mistake?

 

You can be the smart "Pat" buyer if you have the following: patience, luck and are willing to invest the time/effort to religiously follow all sales avenues. I am none of those things lol. Never been the one to score the great deals or invest allot of concerted effort to ferret out the best deals available. Day late and a dollar short is my fate. I did buy my 1993 for 2K 6 years ago and as it turns out the optics are fine per Questar. It also had a sun faded dew shield and lens cap from years of open display in a living room. $300 + bucks to replace those. So while not a great deal, its not a bad overall deal I guess.


Edited by ehallspqr, 14 May 2017 - 01:21 PM.


#48 DAVIDG

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 07:59 PM

 With standard coatings and if you have the mechanical skills to disassemble the scope you can have them done much cheaper. The primary will cost  around $50 from many of  the companies that re-aluminumized optics. Companies like Majestic charge about $10 per inch of aperture and they will recoat secondaries free of charge so you could include the finder mirror.

   I had my corrector recoated by Cumberland a few years ago from 1961 Q. They stripped the old hazy MgF2 coating off the rear, reapplied  it to both the front and back and redid the spot on the front of the corrector for $250. Back in the 60's they only would MgF2 coat the back surface so it was an  improvement to have both surfaces AR coated. To replace the paint spot over the aluminum spot which acts as the baffle I purchased the metal disk that Questar now uses.

   With the Board Band coatings they are multi-layer dielectrics coatings and cannot be chemically stripped so when they go bad you have to either polish them off and  refigure the optical surface or replace the optics. 

 

              - Dave


Edited by DAVIDG, 15 May 2017 - 08:50 AM.

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#49 Optics Patent

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 10:23 PM

David that's good info and a notable "silver lining" to standard coatings. Sadly my junker OTA named "Ralph" with the yellowing coatings is a broadband or I'd be all over that recoating option. Some things were meant to be up on blocks for parts. 



#50 Optics Patent

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 01:35 PM

$1800 Questar Broadband with rejected coatings has some new photos of the optics.  Doesn't look good.




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