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Questar 5

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#76 Erik Bakker

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 02:49 AM

Welcome to CloudyNights HansD!

 

Interesting perspective you have on the new Q.

Personally, I would love to see a very innovative, well integrated 5" scope by Questar like you describe. But ultimately, my soul really enjoys the quietness and relaxation a classic Q offers. And 5" seems like a wonderful size. I am a visual only observer and even my Questar 7 was quite often used without cords, even a power cord. Complete silence under the stars, with a superbly crafted, very user friendly scope. Wonderful.

 

What I do miss in the Q is wider fields. But that will probably remain the domain of refractors. Perhaps a quality refractor by Questar? Now that would get me excited too bigblush.gif



#77 HansD

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 03:42 AM

Indeed, that's what I like most with my Questar: simple, no fuss, quiet observing. It's a joy to use and it always performs. I have the PG 1 so I can have the drive running without the hand controller. I use it a lot because it is so satisfying and relaxing, and takes virtually no effort to set it up in a moment.

 

No doubt many people will enjoy a 5 inch Questar. Thankfully Questar never let quality suffer as a result of cost considerations and I would expect that would be a key part of a 5" model. I just wouldn't consider this innovative like the 3.5" was in the 1950s, or for that matter more recent high quality products like ultra wide angle eyepieces, high tech imaging cameras, well-machined mounts, silky smooth focusers and special glass used in refractors.



#78 ehallspqr

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 03:53 AM

"So the notion of a Q 5 is a little disappointing to me. Are we really hoping for a higher quality Meade ETX 125?"

 

Yes please!

 

Questar = Maksutov Cassegrain and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon. The Mak and Questar are so intertwined that its hard to seperate the two. Yes Questar is also about quality and beautiful execution, but its the Mak design that makes a Questar a Questar.

 

The MCT design has pluses and minuses as does any design out there. The biggest advantage besides the refractor like views is compactness, which equates out to ease of use, which equates out to a telescope that gets used more often. As mentioned, the best telescope is one that gets used. A 5" aperature is just at the threashhold of serious light gathering for deep space objects. Most of the Messier objects are now within grasp. Planetary and moon are a noticable upgrade at the eyepiece. I am a big fan of the MCT and SCT designs. Also love the views through a premium refractor, so the next best thing for me is the refractor like views afforded by a premium Mak like the Questar or ETX Mak series.

 

And speaking of APO refractors. People keep bringing up the 5" short focal refractor as a viable alternative to a 5" Mak. Yes the views may be better overall with no center obstruction and all else being equal. But a quick look scope it is not. And forget about it being a convenient travel scope. A few times a year I help a couple friends setup their 5 and 6" refractors at Star parties. What a pain in the *ss. Then again I am somewhat lazy and would much rather be viewing then messing with equipment.

 

Not my photos, just borrowed off the internet to illustrate a point. 5" Fork mount Mak vs typical 5" refractor setup. Apples and Oranges. Different strokes for different folks.....well you get the picture.....

 

Takahashi%20FS128%20cw%20Losmandy%20G9.j

 

VS.

 

p1000345.jpg?height=315&width=420


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#79 elwaine

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 10:01 PM

Two quite valid, but rather different points of view. Which raises the question, "when is a Questar a Questar?"

 

The quintessential virtue of a Questar is most often touted as being "a complete, high quality, lite weight, portable observatory in a box," that can be set up and used in a matter of minutes - no fuss, no muss. In that case, there is only one real Questar: the 3.5" Standard (and its various versions such as the Duplex).

 

In fact, when Questar owners try to "defend" their love of these little jewels, those are the points most often made. E.g., so what if a high quality 80mm - 90mm apo-refractor throws up a brighter, higher contrast image? It takes longer to set up the apo and it requires a clock driven mount, a diagonal, counter weights, etc. We're all familiar with such arguments. 

 

A 5" Questar can only be high quality ETX 125. It will not be a quintessential Questar. It will never be as portable and will never be ready to use as quickly as the 3.5". (Cool down time will be extensive compared to the 3.5" largely defeating any grab and go utility.) In other words, it will lack the quintessential values as defined by several generations of Questar owners.

 

I apologize in advance to all Q7 owners. You folks are fortunate to own a fabulous telescope. But it's not a real Questar.  grin.gif

 

That said... I'm beginning to think that I might actually like to own one of those non-Questar 5" Questars. 

 


Edited by elwaine, 01 May 2017 - 10:05 PM.

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#80 RichA

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 10:26 AM

We already have dozens of medium to high quality small apo refractors.  Adding one more would be a waste of time.  Questar should stick to Maks.


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#81 ehallspqr

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 03:51 PM

I had access to a fairly new 7" Questar with BB coatings for several years and amassed a fair amount of eyepeice time with that wonderful scope. More so than the owner who was off playing with his Astrophysics and Takahashi Apochromatic refractors. It must be nice to be rich and have no one to tell you "No, your not buying that" lol.

What a machine that Q-7 was, but it did take a fair amount of effort to setup (2 large cases an equipment bag + tripod bag) and transport. Cool down times where on the order of 2.5 hrs to get to the point of decent viewing and even longer to reach full stable potential. You can mitigate much of long cool-down time by some preplanning. The cool down time for my 5" Mak is around 1-1.5hrs from room temp to outdoor ambient temps. Not bad at all but definitely more than a Q-3.5. I usually setout the Scope I will be using a couple hours before planned viewing so I can pop out for a quick look at my leisure. I'm sure most people that have been around the hobby for awhile are doing the same thing I am.

 

I agree that the 5" will never match the compactness, portability and convienience of the baby Questar. But if it ends up being the same form/ factor/quality as the 3.5 it should still be very conveinent to transport, setup and use. My observation having used, transported, setup and comparing cool down times and overall conveinience etc. The increased 5" aperture vs the tradeoffs is totally worth it to me. Its still one trip to walk it outside, tripod and all.

If your on the fence and wondering what you'll see in the EP of a 5" vs the 3.5" that makes this upgrade worth considering? Try and get a look through an ETX 125 or an Intes or Skywatcher 5" then compare if you can to your Questar. I think people's buying decision will be based off whether or not the increase in performance is worth the loss of conveinience and of course the costs involved.

 

Here is a link to a blog I had been following for many years. Uncle Rod's astro musings. He has a long ongoing test and love affair with his ETX 125 affectionately named "Charity". He makes a strong case for the 5" Mak fork mounted goto. More than anything his blog planted the seed for me to start looking for a "bigger" Questar. I still miss that Q-7. Friend sold it to finance yet another premium refractor.

 

http://uncle-rods.bl...eymoon.html?m=1


Edited by ehallspqr, 02 May 2017 - 04:37 PM.

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#82 Augustus

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 05:26 PM

I had access to a fairly new 7" Questar with BB coatings for several years and amassed a fair amount of eyepeice time with that wonderful scope. More so than the owner who was off playing with his Astrophysics and Takahashi Apochromatic refractors. It must be nice to be rich and have no one to tell you "No, your not buying that" lol.

What a machine that Q-7 was, but it did take a fair amount of effort to setup (2 large cases an equipment bag + tripod bag) and transport. Cool down times where on the order of 2.5 hrs to get to the point of decent viewing and even longer to reach full stable potential. You can mitigate much of long cool-down time by some preplanning. The cool down time for my 5" Mak is around 1-1.5hrs from room temp to outdoor ambient temps. Not bad at all but definitely more than a Q-3.5. I usually setout the Scope I will be using a couple hours before planned viewing so I can pop out for a quick look at my leisure. I'm sure most people that have been around the hobby for awhile are doing the same thing I am.

 

What if Questar or somebody made a 7" with large ventilation holes in the OTA, with a grating over them to keep out dust/bugs? That would help to alleviate cool-down issues.


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#83 elwaine

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 07:29 PM

Hey Rob: please, cut it out. Your cogent arguments are driving me to distraction. smile.gif  I'm now seriously starting to think that I'd like to buy a Q5. I'm not kidding. But my thoughts on this subject remain conflicted. — Do you have any idea when a Q5 will go into production? Are we talking months, years, or decades? 

 

BTW, when I owned both an ETX-90 and an ETX-125PE I did do side-by-side comparisons. From a pure performance perspective, your point is well taken. However, I never traveled on an airplane with the 125, but did so on numerous occasions with the 90. The telescope you have with you shows a heck of a lot more than the one you left at home... even if it can't match the resolution and brightness of the closet or shelf queen. 


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#84 RichA

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 01:31 AM

Hey Rob: please, cut it out. Your cogent arguments are driving me to distraction. smile.gif  I'm now seriously starting to think that I'd like to buy a Q5. I'm not kidding. But my thoughts on this subject remain conflicted. — Do you have any idea when a Q5 will go into production? Are we talking months, years, or decades? 

 

BTW, when I owned both an ETX-90 and an ETX-125PE I did do side-by-side comparisons. From a pure performance perspective, your point is well taken. However, I never traveled on an airplane with the 125, but did so on numerous occasions with the 90. The telescope you have with you shows a heck of a lot more than the one you left at home... even if it can't match the resolution and brightness of the closet or shelf queen. 

The Q5 could be the Goldilocks scope for people, not too big, not too small.  It's right on the edge of advanced performance and size.


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#85 bobhen

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 12:00 PM

 

I had access to a fairly new 7" Questar with BB coatings for several years and amassed a fair amount of eyepeice time with that wonderful scope. More so than the owner who was off playing with his Astrophysics and Takahashi Apochromatic refractors. It must be nice to be rich and have no one to tell you "No, your not buying that" lol.

What a machine that Q-7 was, but it did take a fair amount of effort to setup (2 large cases an equipment bag + tripod bag) and transport. Cool down times where on the order of 2.5 hrs to get to the point of decent viewing and even longer to reach full stable potential. You can mitigate much of long cool-down time by some preplanning. The cool down time for my 5" Mak is around 1-1.5hrs from room temp to outdoor ambient temps. Not bad at all but definitely more than a Q-3.5. I usually setout the Scope I will be using a couple hours before planned viewing so I can pop out for a quick look at my leisure. I'm sure most people that have been around the hobby for awhile are doing the same thing I am.

 

What if Questar or somebody made a 7" with large ventilation holes in the OTA, with a grating over them to keep out dust/bugs? That would help to alleviate cool-down issues.

 

Ventilation holes in the OTA wouldn’t do much if anything even if they could be designed in.

 

You need fans blowing outside air on the back of the primary mirror or large sections of the back plate that can be removed so outside air can circulate around the back of the primary to facilitate cooling the mirror.

 

However that would seem to be impossible with the current configuration of the Q 7’s control box.

 

Bob



#86 Rpsqueezer

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:04 PM

Any kind of ventilation holes, even if they are covered with some kind of filtering medium, will allow the slow accumulation of dust on the primary mirror. And since Questar's aren't designed for cleaning by the owner, this means that they would require more frequent returns to Q for service and cleaning -- not an inconsequential expense. Instead, prior planning on the part of the owner will ensure that the Q is ready for the night's observations. For a Q5, this planning will require an slightly earlier start before each night of observations, but I doubt that this will be a show stopper for anyone seriously interested in the additional brightness and resolution that the Q5 should offer.

 

Ross Schlabach


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#87 ehallspqr

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 05:03 PM

 

I had access to a fairly new 7" Questar with BB coatings for several years and amassed a fair amount of eyepeice time with that wonderful scope. More so than the owner who was off playing with his Astrophysics and Takahashi Apochromatic refractors. It must be nice to be rich and have no one to tell you "No, your not buying that" lol.

What a machine that Q-7 was, but it did take a fair amount of effort to setup (2 large cases an equipment bag + tripod bag) and transport. Cool down times where on the order of 2.5 hrs to get to the point of decent viewing and even longer to reach full stable potential. You can mitigate much of long cool-down time by some preplanning. The cool down time for my 5" Mak is around 1-1.5hrs from room temp to outdoor ambient temps. Not bad at all but definitely more than a Q-3.5. I usually setout the Scope I will be using a couple hours before planned viewing so I can pop out for a quick look at my leisure. I'm sure most people that have been around the hobby for awhile are doing the same thing I am.

 

What if Questar or somebody made a 7" with large ventilation holes in the OTA, with a grating over them to keep out dust/bugs? That would help to alleviate cool-down issues.

 

As people have mentioned any added venelation holes will introduce a pathway for dust to enter the OTA. One of the big pluses for Cat family of telescopes is the sealed design which help keep your optics cleaner than open designs. I prefer to just deal with the cooldown times by setting the scope outside before viewing to let it cooldown on its own. That said I have seen ventalation holes on MCTs like the Intes Maks and my newer 8" SCT Celestron HD OTA has them also. I assume they are filtered? Also you could get a fan device like the Cat cooler shown in the link below. Have seen these at Star parties and the users say that they do work.

 

http://www.lymax.com



#88 Optics Patent

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 05:38 PM

My top-ten thoughts on thermal issues:

  1. A 3.5" scope simply isn't much affected.
  2. A compact scope is easy to set outdoors after sunset to equilibrate by the time darkness arrives.
  3. It's not unpleasant to see images improve in the early stages of observing.
  4. Much of the time, the temperature outdoors isn't much different from temperature indoors.
  5. A cheap compact fridge or freezer with an external thermostat to increase the temp range can be perfect to pre-chill to the expected temp at observing time.  (So can your back doorstep).
  6. Most concerns with temp adjustment are big scopes that reside in sun-baked outdoor observatories all day in summer, not scopes brought out from room temp for observing.
  7. Zerodur and other exotic materials might not change shape as they cool down, but they will cause plenty of convection in the air in the tube until they do, impairing viewing - for this reason I think that they are an unnecessary added expense because they solve only one of the thermal issues).
  8. The active cooling solution is not a vented hole in the scope, but a vented hole in the CASE, with a thermoelectric cooler chilling the case interior to expected observing temp (see advice above about back door step).  Imagine 24/7 temp stability at the typical evening temperatures for the season.  For 10% of the cost of a Zerodur upgrade. 
  9. For a low-tech solution, knowledge of the thermal mass of the scope, and a cooler with a certain amount of mass of ice would equilibrate to any desired temp.  This is the low-tech solution - beware of moisture issues.  Maybe putting a gallon jug (8 lbs) of 35F chilled water in a cooler with a 75F 8 lb. scope to lower it to 55F in an hour or two (45F with two jugs) is a solution.
  10. I would be delighted to have a large enough Questar to worry about thermal issues!

As far as the Q5:  Make it beautiful (prettier than the Q7 Astro), and bring it on!


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#89 Richard O'Neill

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 09:50 AM

"What if Questar or somebody made a 7" with large ventilation holes in the OTA, with a grating over them to keep out dust/bugs? That would help to alleviate cool-down issues."

 

 It's been done.

 

 Meade made a 7" with filtered fan that continuously circulates outside air throughout the interior before exiting. The only drawback is that cool moist air can become trapped when the fan is stopped and the scope is brought indoors. Trapped moisture can provide an ideal environment for fungus to thrive. To greatly reduce this possibility one can simply connect the output port to the input port and radiatively cool the transfer tube to speed thermal equilibrium.

 

 TEC made a 7" Mak with internal fans that mixes and recirculates interior air to eliminate temperature stratification until the scope achieves thermal equilibrium, a very effective approach that allows observations to begin once the scope is set up. The scope can remain sealed with low humidity air.


Edited by Richard O'Neill, 08 May 2017 - 09:56 AM.

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#90 Kevin Barker

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 05:53 PM

Attached File  ApertureLTCOQuestarCalculations.docx   11.91KB   76 downloads

 

The document summaries my first message is another tread. I added calculated values for BB(Light Transmission 0.97 or 97%) and standard(Light transmission 0.84 or 84%)

 

I know folks say contrast is improved with BB coatings, not sure how this factor can be calculated. I have not attempted to calculate limiting magnitude.

 

I reckon the 5 inch will be a nice sized scope. It has more than twice the light collection of the 3.5" Q.

 

It will still be portable.


Edited by Kevin Barker, 25 May 2017 - 05:59 PM.

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#91 Larry Geary

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 01:50 PM

I like the design of the Quantum 6, so if they go that route I'd be happy with that. I would be even happier if the Q5 had double forks. The Q5 prototype mount looks very robust too. From their e-mail it appears that it will actually be larger since he said it's currently under-sized. But I wonder how setting circles will fit onto that base the way it's designed. I guess we'll see.

 

(here's my Quantum 6...I think it weighs roughly 40 pounds)

 

update: the Quantum 6 catalog says it weighs 30 pounds, so my mistake.

 

V/R

 

Terry

 

The Quantum 6 is very stable in the altazimuth position, but when tilted for equatorial use it is much less stable. I have mine on a Quantum wedge mounted to a Losmandy G-11 tripod, and a tap on the tube will set it vibrating. The same thing happens when it's mounted on its three legs. The problem may be the single fork arm, so I advise Questar to use two arms instead of one.


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#92 nicolasM

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 10:23 AM

So a Questar 5 that is merely an enlarged Q3.5, even with goto, isn't really innovative or appealing, in fact it is yesterday's solution to an application far different than the one it addressed decades ago.

You are right. 

 

But Questar is like Leica Camera with their M: Nesting in a technological dead-end 

30c9506f8537fde3e1391e89b78ee9e2.jpg =  Leica-M-A-1_teaser-480x320.png

 

So we should not expect them to do something else they are good at. 


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#93 Rpsqueezer

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 03:53 PM

HansD and NicolasM have suggested an interesting thought: that the Questar telescope is in essence obsolete. HansD calls it "yesterday's solution" and NicolasM says they are a "technological dead-end". They may be right; but does it matter? Optical telescopes are not especially different from ones built many decades ago. We slap digital cameras on them and use computers to control them and even help to form the image. Yes, there are some newer optical systems like the Mak (even that is getting old) but the basic telescope tube has been around a long time. And yet, people continue to buy telescopes when they could instead go on the Net and find much better images made by the Hubble Space telescope.

 

 

 

What I am leading to here is that many people, our own forum group being an excellent case in point, enjoy star & planet gazing even without all the extra things that technology can bring to the experience. And that suggests -- at least to me -- that the Questar 5 can be successful even without a lot of technical gadgets. There are those among our group who want some of the new technology but all of us value the things that made a Questar what it is: a compact, elegantly & ergonomically designed telescope that gives us the best views of the heavens for its size. As long as those characteristics are maintained, there is no reason (other than outrageous pricing) why it should not find an eager and enthusiastic market. So, I'm hoping that Questar will produce a product that adheres to their basic philosophy, and that they will offer special  technology features as optional additions as they have in the past. 

 

Ross Schlabach


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#94 RichA

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 03:54 PM

 

So a Questar 5 that is merely an enlarged Q3.5, even with goto, isn't really innovative or appealing, in fact it is yesterday's solution to an application far different than the one it addressed decades ago.

You are right. 

 

But Questar is like Leica Camera with their M: Nesting in a technological dead-end 

attachicon.gif30c9506f8537fde3e1391e89b78ee9e2.jpg =  attachicon.gifLeica-M-A-1_teaser-480x320.png

 

So we should not expect them to do something else they are good at. 

 

Except that leica sells all they make and mass market cameras like nikon sales are off 30% in thre years.


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#95 Optics Patent

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 04:37 PM

A Questar is like a Leica (see what I just did there?) lens. They are unlike digital bodies and cameras that rapidly lose their value. They are not like Leica film cameras that are obsolete and undesirable except to collectors. Arguably a 1950s Questar is like this or certainly a carpod or other accessory oddity.

While like a Leica lens the big difference is that I can tell you a number of other lens companies like Fuji and a couple others y'all may have heard of that are equal or arguably superior to Leica at a fraction of the cost while I'm trying to think of the alternative for Questar

#96 nicolasM

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 07:09 PM

While like a Leica lens the big difference is that I can tell you a number of other lens companies like Fuji and a couple others y'all may have heard of that are equal or arguably superior to Leica at a fraction of the cost while I'm trying to think of the alternative for Questar

High-end fast Leica lens remain the sharpest at full aperture, far above the competitor. While Leica M body hasn't evolved, lens have been improved in the last decades thanks aspheric surfaces and more complex optical formulae. M is not dead because of the excellence of its optics and mechanical qualities. Innovation drives. 

 

A new 5" Questar should bring something new, otherwise, it is going to cannibalise the sells of its little and big brothers.

I'd like to see a Questar focal reducer correcting the coma... 



#97 Optics Patent

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 07:21 PM

Nick , what is the best example of the popular Leica lens you have in mind that is significantly superior to a competing lens for less than half the price? More importantly who do you think is the real competitor of Questar? (I wonder if it might be used Questars - suggesting the Q5)

#98 nicolasM

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 08:43 PM

 Asph. Summicron or Summilux offer the best performances on the market at full aperture.

The 50 f/2 apo has no equivalent in term of performance (and pricing).

 

As competitors, there are plenty. On the down to medium scale, all chinese goto mak and SC or russian ota.

on the upper scale, any scope in the same price range. 

Q's uniqness is that this is the only ultraportable and of top optical quality


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#99 NC Startrekker

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 09:11 AM

HansD and NicolasM have suggested an interesting thought: that the Questar telescope is in essence obsolete. HansD calls it "yesterday's solution" and NicolasM says they are a "technological dead-end". They may be right; but does it matter? Optical telescopes are not especially different from ones built many decades ago. We slap digital cameras on them and use computers to control them and even help to form the image. Yes, there are some newer optical systems like the Mak (even that is getting old) but the basic telescope tube has been around a long time. And yet, people continue to buy telescopes when they could instead go on the Net and find much better images made by the Hubble Space telescope.

 

 

 

What I am leading to here is that many people, our own forum group being an excellent case in point, enjoy star & planet gazing even without all the extra things that technology can bring to the experience. And that suggests -- at least to me -- that the Questar 5 can be successful even without a lot of technical gadgets. There are those among our group who want some of the new technology but all of us value the things that made a Questar what it is: a compact, elegantly & ergonomically designed telescope that gives us the best views of the heavens for its size. As long as those characteristics are maintained, there is no reason (other than outrageous pricing) why it should not find an eager and enthusiastic market. So, I'm hoping that Questar will produce a product that adheres to their basic philosophy, and that they will offer special  technology features as optional additions as they have in the past. 

 

Ross Schlabach

Other have alluded to it and I agree... I do not think that Questar's development of a 5 inch version is driven by the amateur astronomy market.  If Questar's principal focus had not shifted to government applications, I do not believe they would still be in business.  I personally believe that a governmental request underlies the development of a 5 inch OTA but, probably not the mount and drive.  That (mount and drive base) is more than likely targeted at us (amateur astronomers).  What form and shape it takes will probably be guided by Questar's historic corporate culture.  I think it will largely reflect the designs they are well familiar with and have employed successfully for so long.  I would not put a lot of optimism in the hope that it will employ cutting edge electronics.  With their principal source of income coming from government contracts, they do not have to concern themselves with whether an idea has mass appeal or will result in volume sales.  I would submit that they would prefer it not because they would not be able to fulfill such orders in a timely manner.  I think adapting a 5 inch for amateur use will be more a labor of love and a sideline for Questar, just as the 3.5 and 7 inch versions have been for several decades now.  One man's opinion; not based on any specific insider knowledge.  Alan


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#100 ehallspqr

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 10:33 AM

If past track record is any indication, the 5 will have exquisite optics, excellent build quality and be user friendly. Oh and be elegant astro-art when not in use, follow tradition, North American sourced, exclusivity etc. That's what your paying for with a Questar. This is not a brand that will feature the latest electronics and optical bang for the buck. There are plenty of options available for those looking that direction.

 

Whatever the reason this scope is being developed it is not to compete with mass marketed scopes in the least. I for one will welcome any electronic goto drive should Questar make that available. The qualities that make Questar a Questar in a larger aperture with optional upgraded drive and somewhat reasonable cost (by premium telecope standards). Personally, Me thinks they won't be able to make them quick enough, but the marketplace will decide that.




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