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Inherited Questar early model - seek information

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#1 Karen Stephan

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 10:32 AM

Questar4a.jpg

 

Hello Forum.! I found this forum and was able to learn a great about my inherited Questar telescope. I then joined yesterday so that I could ask some questions of you.

 

I inherited it from my father over thirty years ago. I lived at the time in New York, which wasn't really a good place to use it anyway. I then moved to Germany in 96 (where I still am)  and although it fascinates me and I've even used it a couple of times, it has spent most of its life with me in the cupboard (I mean the telescope in the cupboard alone smile.gif. Even so, I never wanted to part with it, but now I'm in my seventies and I've started "letting things go".

The 'scope is apparently a very early one with a serial number: # 2-1217 which I take to mean 1962. What I'm wondering is, is the fact that it's so early a negative when it comes to selling it? I've taken some photos to show you the condition and what I have for accessories. As far as my knowledge goes, I would say it's in very good condition. The case has wear on all the outer vertical corners and handle.I never had the lens cover. I do not know exactly when my father bought the Questar or  whether he bought it new or used, I just remember it was sometime in the 60s.

The gallery link is https://www.cloudyni...questar-2-1217/

(I hope I did this right). In any case I also have photos of the case which I'll also post but later. 
If there are other pictures you'd like to see just tell me.

I would be grateful for any feedback you might have for me. I know there's a classified area in cloudynights but I first want to get the "lay of the land" if you know what I mean. It's important to mention again, that I live in Germany and I just don't know where I should look for an interested person. I'm sure the shipping could be difficult. Has anyone any info on that?

Looking forward to hearing from you and thank you.

Karen


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#2 happylimpet

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 10:40 AM

I dont know much about Questars, but I would bet that's worth a bomb. I hope you're not lonely in the cupboard without it.


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#3 Optics Patent

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 11:04 AM

The early year is desired by some because of the original design and nice purple color (if the star chart shows signs of fading in different portions that reduces value).  Linked in my signature is a "design history" discussion, but just be assured that different people prefer different era so some will value this one.  It's not so early to command a great premium over good condition modern models, but the desirability of the early look offsets an age factor.

 

If the condition is as good as it appears, then this is as desirable as any Questar.  $2000 is a good guess for an easy sale on the classified here.  Yours may prove to be in unusually pristine condition which doesn't hurt.  See my article on "how to sell a Questar" also linked.

 

Visit my videos also linked to find an intro video to help you use it to its best. 

 

Not that it means much, but this would be among the earliest of the ~400 produced in 1962.

 

Also, the one upgrade I'd suggest without devaluing the originality is a solar filter for the finder - as an essential safety measure for any scope that includes a solar filter.  The factory can sell you one new ($190).

 

Also, your scope is "flopped."  The azimuth knob should be away from the user, and the indicator window toward the user.  The elevation knob should be on the right, not left.  It's an easy fix - roll the main tube a half turn on its own axis so the eyepiece points down, then pivot the eyepiece under the fork to it pops up on the other side.  Use care - none of this should require great force, and watch to make sure nothing contacts or scratches.


Edited by Optics Patent, 22 August 2019 - 11:15 AM.

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#4 Gregory Gross

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 11:08 AM

Hi Karen,

First, welcome to the Questar forum on Cloudy Nights!

From my admittedly biased perspective, Questars from the 1950s and early 1960s are *highly* sought after. (My preferences tend strongly toward that era.) Considering that yours is in such excellent condition is all the more reason why it should fetch top dollar if you get to the point of selling it.

The optics appear crisp. The "*Questar" side badge, as opposed to the more recent "QUESTAR" logo, are relatively uncommon. See Company 7's discussion of these about two-thirds of the way down on this page (this whole article is worth reading). From what I can see in your photos, your Questar includes its leather case in great condition, two eyepieces of the correct design for an early 1960s Questar, its tabletop tripod legs, power cord (nicely wrapped -- a nice touch!), off-axis solar filter, and instruction booklet (I believe the orange-yellow colored booklet that you have would have accompanied later Questars and would not be original to yours -- see this discussion for more info). The bottom base plate with serial number looks as fresh as it was when it came off the assembly line (they often attract scratches and such when used on a table or attached to a tripod head).

I'm curious: do you know if you also have the keys for the case? See the second picture in this post. Also, do you have the small Bristol wrench that would have come with the scope? It looks like a small Allen wrench (probably not more than around two inches long) and would likely have been deposited deep down one of the side pockets (shine a flashlight down them and have a close look). See this post of mine for details. The inclusion of these small details make the scope all the more desirable.

You have an unbelievable gem in your possession! I have the impression that Questar telescopes are quite rare in Europe, so an amateur astronomer with an interest in them will not hesitate to make you a solid offer.
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#5 Karen Stephan

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 11:53 AM

Thank you thank you. You folks are wonderful.
@Optics "flopped" !!  That's embarrassing. It just shows how seldom I ever tried to use it.I don't think I've opened the case for the last 15 years.

 

@ Gregory  No, I'm afraid I don't have the keys. I even checked down in the pockets and nada. No Bristol wrench either.
BTW, I read the link you posted about the keys and the "Cheney #30" is often mentioned. . I'm not sure I understand. I see in E-bay (mostly in the UK E-Bay) Cheney keys and some #30s. Will a #30 work with my case locks? I would think every key was different and that being able to slide it into the lock wouldn't be enough. But the way members were writing about it, that doesn't seem to be the case.
 

I also looked at the discussion on the books that you linked and I should mention that my book has 31 numbered pages.
As far as the Questar LogoI had seen this article from Company 7, which confirmed for me the dating.
I've been reading a lot about the Questar in the last couple of days (doing my homework, so to speak) and I really wish I had the time to immerse myself in using it, but I really don't. It's time for it to find a new owner.



#6 Karen Stephan

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 12:00 PM

I wanted to add, the "purple color" on the telescope is not what I call purple. It's more of a deep blue, both on the star chart and also on the moon map on the barrel. 



#7 Gregory Gross

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 12:27 PM

@ Gregory  No, I'm afraid I don't have the keys. I even checked down in the pockets and nada. No Bristol wrench either.
BTW, I read the link you posted about the keys and the "Cheney #30" is often mentioned. . I'm not sure I understand. I see in E-bay (mostly in the UK E-Bay) Cheney keys and some #30s. Will a #30 work with my case locks? I would think every key was different and that being able to slide it into the lock wouldn't be enough. But the way members were writing about it, that doesn't seem to be the case.
 
I also looked at the discussion on the books that you linked and I should mention that my book has 31 numbered pages.
As far as the Questar LogoI had seen this article from Company 7, which confirmed for me the dating.
I've been reading a lot about the Questar in the last couple of days (doing my homework, so to speak) and I really wish I had the time to immerse myself in using it, but I really don't. It's time for it to find a new owner.

Any "Cheney #30" key should work. They are not individually keyed to individual locks but are rather generic in shape. My '62 Questar did not include them. I found a pair on eBay, and they work perfectly on the locks on my English leather case.

You may consider calling Questar in Pennsylvania for an exact manufacture date for your scope. They're very friendly and helpful on the phone.

I'm 99% certain that the pink Questar instruction booklet with the white pasted "QUESTAR" label on the front cover would have been the original instruction booklet for a 1962 Questar. I've seen lots of Questars appear for sale online without their original instruction booklet, however. Many don't even have an instruction booklet to begin with.

I neglected to mention in my earlier post that the fact that your Questar has an unbroken chain of known ownership helps establish provenance and thus, in my mind, increases the desirability of your scope.

 

Also, your scope would not have had a dust cover to begin with. Questar began including those much later. They felt that storing the scope in its case served to keep dust off the front corrector lens.



#8 Gregory Gross

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 12:49 PM

Also, the one upgrade I'd suggest without devaluing the originality is a solar filter for the finder - as an essential safety measure for any scope that includes a solar filter.  The factory can sell you one new ($190).

Clearly for actual use as a solar observing instrument, the solar filter for the finder is indispensable. But for the purposes of respectful debate, I would offer that the addition of that filter would be a negative. I say that as someone with several pieces of solar observing gear (dedicated H-alpha solar scope, Herschel wedge, etc.) that I rely on as workhorses for solar observing. Conversely, I see my Questar as something I wouldn't call upon for serious solar observing. For me, it's more a collectible item that reflects the time in which it was built. The set screw that attaches the solar finder filter to the scope would nick the lens cell, and I would see that negatively. But, again, if the scope is to be actually used for solar observing, then the addition of that filter would be a must. There's no question: safety trumps collectability.



#9 Cajundaddy

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 12:51 PM

Your scope looks to be in fine shape and should be rather easy to sell here.  Choose your buyer carefully and good luck!



#10 Optics Patent

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 01:08 PM

This gave me the idea of a dumb pinhole finder filter.  Good enough to center the sun and to block 99.9% of light.



#11 Xeroid

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 03:09 PM

Karen,

 

When and if you sell that jewel, please let us know approx selling price so we can all drool..shocked.gif



#12 Karen Stephan

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 03:27 AM

@Apollo
You don't need to drool! When I come to selling (which I can't do here for 30 days as a newbie anyway) there are only a couple of places to do it. E-Bay is out of the question. I am a regular E-Bayer, buying or (less often) selling, and I'm not happy with their system when it comes to more valuable things. That leaves me with Astromart (which I haven't joined yet) and Cloudy Nights. Since I started here first and find it a very friendly venue, I may just stay here with my treasure.

By the way, I LOVE your profile photo!


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#13 munirocks

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 07:59 AM

The de-facto standard place to buy and sell astronomy-related goods in the UK (after Cloudy Nights, of course) is ukastrobuysell.com/uk/

That's how I found my Questar. Some continentals such as yourself use it, too.

You could also try the UK-based stargazerslounge.com


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#14 Karen Stephan

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 05:33 AM

@Munirocks
Thank you for the info!




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