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50th Anniversary Q 3.5 available on AM

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13 replies to this topic

#1 spereira

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 05:41 PM

This is not mine, but I certainly wish it had been available prior to my purchase last year!

 

https://astromart.co...another-questar

 

Opinions on the asking price?  It's been there for a little while now.

 

smp

 



#2 cbwerner

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 05:57 PM

I don't know about the asking price but am interested having one myself (though II'm never going to sell it), but . . .

 

Why the heck would anyone buy something that expensive and not use it even once?!?!? SMH  foreheadslap.gif


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#3 Optics Patent

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 06:21 PM

It’s been there for a couple weeks. These don’t come up often but I recall $5-6000 is the normal range. Without extras but a nice complete kit with docs deserves a $5k offer
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#4 agmoonsolns

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 08:27 PM

It seems pretty fair to me for a like new unit. I have seen some go for as much as $7500 to $8500 when they have low serial numbers (those first ones had truly exceptional optics and are literally the best Questars you can buy of any type). Any 50thAQ with a serial number of 25 or less is an exceptionally rare and special beast and most definitely not your typical 50thAQ. I think Stew Squires had one of the first few out the door, check out his test report numbers, they are really something else. Those first few were so good I heard Marty Cohen over at Company Seven sold his prized showcase perfect 25thAQ and replaced it with the new 50thAQ. He must have been one of the first to place his order and so I would imagine he has a super low serial number too. He probably has a page up about it on his website.

 

That being said, I very much doubt one could tell the difference between them and the later ones had all of the bugs worked out (drive/controller issues mostly). If it were me, I would save thousands and get one of the later, cheaper units. The early units are kind of prestige pieces and the first, best were reserved for people who had done something special for Questar - Mike and his stunning Questar photography, Stew and his sales as a dealer and all of his amazing Questar research, Martin Cohen because he's a terrific Questar dealer with lots of sales and because of all the work he has done popularizing Questar equipment over the years (he's also a big part of many special government contracts for Questar - a whole other story in itself). Many of those special early Questars went to people here on CN and it would be awesome if they were to speak up and tell their 50thAQ stories.


Edited by agmoonsolns, 23 May 2019 - 08:39 PM.


#5 agmoonsolns

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 08:35 PM

P.S. Any 50thAQ is going to be really rare and special, but finding one in such mint condition definitely makes it worth the asking price in my book. The reason it has been slow to sell is because most people don't want to spend that much on a catadioptric with a large central obstruction that's only 3.5" in aperture. They can get a 5" Takahashi for that price and still have lots of cash left over. Most people would rather go for the larger, unobstructed refractor. Everyone needs to choose the telescope that's the best fit for them. For some it's a Q while for others it's more aperture. All equally valid choices.


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#6 Matt Looby

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 12:34 AM

I owned new  50th-  if you are a collector ok-some folk buy low and flip- ok too- but don't expect a 50th  to outperform your Questar- I use a '67 Quartz that outshines the 50th. 

 

At the time I owned a new standard Q3.5 and a new 50th I felt there was no difference.

 

Matt  


Edited by Matt Looby, 24 May 2019 - 12:35 AM.


#7 Optics Patent

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 10:04 AM

In my archives of most every Ebay and CN Questar sale or listing since late 2016, and every AM listing since it began nearly 20 years ago, I've never seen an asking price for a 50th above $6000 (nor much below aside from the Ebay with missing parts and needing service that I acquired last year).  I'm interested to know where the $7500-8500 offerings were seen.

 

My limited observation with a 10-year-old model (knowing that the reflectance of the special silver coatings declines) is that it is as good as the best Questar examples, but not noticeably better.  As one who long ago was an engineer in the optics world, "noticeable" is a strong word above "detectable" (but in the case of defects, below "objectionable"). I should also note that the worst Questar in the range is still excellent and not far from a typical or even top of the range - putting aside the early models with different optical designs and their inherent limitations.  SO I agree with Matt.  Even if a 50th typically outperforms a comparable non-commemorative, no one should expect it to outshine.

 

The 50th has a certain cachet and a personal emotional appeal as presumably the best ever made - I couldn't pass up the chance to acquire one.  (I note that earlier models had more polish and certain details that are arguably superior to the modern scopes).  But there is a newer 3.5 on the same site right now for $2500 less (with an added EP and UHC filter offsetting the lack of a full solar filter) whose conventional coatings may already be outperforming those of the 50th, and whose overall optical performance may well be indistinguishable.  While I don't doubt the seller of the 50th, I put little stock in the importance of whether a scope was used or not.  I'd rather find one whose lubricants and drives were exercised, but either way it's irrelevant whether a 5-year-old (or 50-year-old) scope was used carefully or not at all.  I have also found many sellers are mistaken about the age of their scope or date of purchase (invariably and innocently recalling things as being more recent that they are) - I trust serial numbers and factory records over hazy happy memories.

 

My records show that the first 50 of the 50th sold around 2000-2001, and the next ~200 over the following ~13 years.  This one (#20245) is the last (most recent) one in my limited records that show 12.



#8 agmoonsolns

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 05:21 PM

There's an awful lot of equipment out there that isn't sold on AM or CN. Limiting yourself to just those two and you're going to miss out on a lot.



#9 drprovi57

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 07:14 PM

I recently acquired a Q3.5 50th (S/N ..91) from the original owner.  I brought Q3.5 to Company 7 and learned a lot about the 50th edition... according to C7, the first 70 Q3.5 50th did not meet C7 strict standards, was not until S/N 75 did C7 start accepting the 50th edition for sale to owners.  C7 found several mechanical issues (minor) that needed correcting.  C7 also runs their own in-house optical testing (looks like my 50th is very good).   I have also owned a 1968 Q3.5 (beautiful example) - so I hope to get my 50th back from C7 in a few weeks and will see what “first-light” shows.  I tend agree with many on CN - Q3.5 scopes all tend to perform near optical perfection - its all in the mechanical details that some Q’s shine a bit more than others.  By the way, I purchased my 50th for $5500.  C7 also checked the sliver coatings - they are excellent.. the silver coatings applied on the 50th are very durable and should last for several decades with little reduction in reflectivity - time will tell.

 

Best

jason



#10 agmoonsolns

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 08:08 PM

Strange as that's so very different from what he told me. I would frequently visit his store when we lived out there and we talked for hours and hours about Questar, Astro-Physics, Zeiss, etc. He would show us some of his repair horror cases and his amazing showcases of equipment. He had a low serial number 50thAQ in his shop for a while and he only had glowing comments for it. It's been a while since we visited, maybe his opinions have changed. I should give him a call to catch up. Quite an amazing gentleman. If you're ever in the area, I can highly recommend visiting Company Seven, it's definitely worth the trip.

 

I recently acquired a Q3.5 50th (S/N ..91) from the original owner.  I brought Q3.5 to Company 7 and learned a lot about the 50th edition... according to C7, the first 70 Q3.5 50th did not meet C7 strict standards, was not until S/N 75 did C7 start accepting the 50th edition for sale to owners.  C7 found several mechanical issues (minor) that needed correcting.  C7 also runs their own in-house optical testing (looks like my 50th is very good).   I have also owned a 1968 Q3.5 (beautiful example) - so I hope to get my 50th back from C7 in a few weeks and will see what “first-light” shows.  I tend agree with many on CN - Q3.5 scopes all tend to perform near optical perfection - its all in the mechanical details that some Q’s shine a bit more than others.  By the way, I purchased my 50th for $5500.  C7 also checked the sliver coatings - they are excellent.. the silver coatings applied on the 50th are very durable and should last for several decades with little reduction in reflectivity - time will tell.

 

Best

jason



#11 Optics Patent

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 08:14 AM

There's an awful lot of equipment out there that isn't sold on AM or CN. Limiting yourself to just those two and you're going to miss out on a lot.

No doubt. I’m like the drunk guy who looks for his lost car keys under the streetlight “because the lights better.”

 

But besides EBay and the challenges of searching hundreds of Craigslist locations where else would you suggest?

 

my question remains: where did you see examples go for those prices?  


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#12 coz

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 03:21 PM

I'm not sure I'd value an early 50th differently from a later one. I know there was some high PV versions early on like Squires but I don't believe he had them silver coated to ensure longevity. It's not a deep market they took so long to sell out. I bought one from C7 about 8 years ago and love it incidentally! 


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#13 Erik Bakker

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 02:51 AM

I would not lean too much on serial numbers, anecdotes or production dates of a Questar, or any scope for that matter, to assess it's quality. Just use the instrument and evaluate it under the stars. It will tell you all you need to know about the specific instrument at hand.


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#14 spereira

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 08:02 AM

I no longer see this scope in the AM listings - but I don't see it in the SOLD listings either.  Does anyone here know if it sold or not?

 

smp




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