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Momentous day - new Q 3.5 ordered!

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#1 medpeds

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 06:30 PM

After exhaustively reading through this forum and seeking as much information about Questars as I could find, I decided to join the Questar family today by ordering a new 3.5" standard with broadband coatings and PGIII from New Hope! I remember seeing the ads depicting these little jewels in Sky&Telescope when I was a teenager, and I appreciated the fine engineering fit and finish that they portrayed. Now that I am reaching a birthday milestone, my loving wife and son encouraged me to buy the telescope of my dreams - a Questar. Prime among my requirements were portability and light weight. I sold my Nexstar 5i last year and although it was relatively portable and had competent optics, it was still inconvenient to transport and setup. The idea of an observatory in a box is very appealing to me! I had also considered an apochromatic refractor, but the overall integration present in a Questar is hard to match.

 

I spoke with Jim Perkins at Questar today who very personable and told me that he had worked at Questar for 40+ years. He recommended 12 and 24 mm oculars. (Any input regarding this selection?) Jim also told me that they have secured a new supplier for leather cases, and I have ordered that too. Any suggestions about cost-effective tripods for this telescope? He recommended a Super Manfrotto. 

 

Jim said that the telescope may be ready for shipping in 3 weeks, which is unbelievable. He stated that parts availability waxes and wanes depending upon what the machine shop is producing but right now all parts would be available and my Q is the next on the board! 

 

I have definitely enjoyed reading through these forums, and the dedication that everyone has to this iconic American product. Please feel free to give me any helpful advice regarding the purchase of my new Questar!

 

 


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#2 coopman

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 06:33 PM

Wow, good for you.  And you could get it pretty fast too, which is even better!



#3 Wisconsin Steve

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 06:42 PM

Nice!

 

12mm and 24mm sounds good, and with the built in barlow will give you 4 different magnifications.

 

Steve



#4 JMKarian

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 06:51 PM

 Medpeds

As with a fine mechanical timepiece, your optical-mechanical gem needs to be used and enjoyed.  

Wishing you the best !

 

John



#5 Gregory Gross

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 07:32 PM

Congratulations, medpeds! I'm sure I speak for everyone by saying that we're delighted to have you join us.

 

I read on the Questar design change history thread beginning with this post that Questar's supplier will no longer offer the leather case they've been using for years, but I didn't know that Questar had secured another supplier for a leather case. I'm really happy to hear that they've secured a new supplier for their leather cases! Thanks very much for sharing this bit of info.



#6 NC Startrekker

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 10:06 PM

Nice!

 

12mm and 24mm sounds good, and with the built in barlow will give you 4 different magnifications.

 

Steve

medpeds, first congratulations and welcome to the family. Second, regarding your eyepiece decision, I suggest you double check the magnification of the internal Barlow with Jim. Over the decades, they have varied between about 1.5x and 2.0x. My 2013 model has a 2.0x Barlow. If yours turns out to be the same then the 12mm will be redundant with the 24mm with the Barlow engaged. In this case, you might be better served with a 24mm and a 16mm or a 16mm and a 12mm. Alan


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#7 Erik Bakker

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 05:38 AM

Medpeds,

 

Welcome to CN and congratulations on getting your new Questar, soon!

Questar is a very traditional company, with some outstanding and very experienced employees. You will be safe and happy following their advice.

 

The 24 and 12 are personal favorites of mine and in the end all I used regularly with my Q7 and 1.65 x eternal barlow.

 

As Alan said, it depends a bit on the magnification of the internal barlow that comes in your specific scope which 2 eyepieces work best together in your new scope.

 

The 16mm is another fantastic Brandon and worth having anyway. For me, the 24,16 and 12 are the favorites in the Brandon eyepiece lineup. And even today are the best match to the Questar optics to my eyes. 

You'll love the simplicity and effectiveness of 2 small superb eyepieces and the internal barlow. It will get you far more observing time and less fiddling switching eyepieces.

 

Enjoy your new scope!


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#8 spereira

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 08:15 AM

Hi medpeds, and welcome here to Cloudy Nights.

 

Congratulations on your purchase.  I'm (we all here) sure that you will enjoy your Q immensely for many years.

I also had a NexStar 5i, and I agree with all you said.  Fine optics, but a bit of a pain to transport and set up.

 

Good luck for a short waiting time until arrival!

 

smp



#9 medpeds

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 09:28 AM

Thanks to you all for your kind and instructive comments. I will discuss the eyepiece recommendations further with Questar in order to avoid potential duplication. I also would like to get a larger effective field of view so will consider a 32 mm ocular. Any opinions on sturdy, light, and portable tripods?

 

Joe


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#10 Loren Gibson

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 11:09 AM

The Brandon 32 mm ocular has a field stop of 25 mm diameter, and the 24 mm Brandon's is 22 mm. This means that the true field of view of the 32 mm eyepiece is only slightly larger than the 24's. The 32 mm eyepiece is a fine eyepiece (like all of the series), but perhaps it's not enough of a gain in field of view to be worth it to you.

 

Loren



#11 Erik Bakker

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 01:32 PM

Thanks to you all for your kind and instructive comments. I will discuss the eyepiece recommendations further with Questar in order to avoid potential duplication. I also would like to get a larger effective field of view so will consider a 32 mm ocular. Any opinions on sturdy, light, and portable tripods?

 

Joe

If money is less of an object, Gitzo Carbon Series 5 tripods will be lightweight and stable for the little Q. I use their Series 3 Carbon tripod for a small 83mm spotter and find it very light and capable. The longer focal length of the Questar will do better on the heavier Series 5.


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#12 cbwerner

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 09:24 PM

If money is less of an object, Gitzo Carbon Series 5 tripods will be lightweight and stable for the little Q. I use their Series 3 Carbon tripod for a small 83mm spotter and find it very light and capable. The longer focal length of the Questar will do better on the heavier Series 5.

+1 on the 5 series. I don't use it for my Q because I made an adaptor to fit on an old (early 90's) lightweight Celestron tripod for a C5, the adaptor enabling the attachment of the Tristand head, that I keep set up and can grab the whole setup and walk out in one trip.

 

But my Gitzo Carbon Series 5 I use for several other scopes with a Stellarvue M2C mount, from an 80mm refractor to a C6. It's a great setup.


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#13 munirocks

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 03:34 AM

A waiting time of 3 weeks is very short indeed. I wonder if this means that enough of the backlog is cleared that they can spend more time bringing the full 5" version to market. Just thinking outloud.


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#14 Darkskyaz

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 11:11 PM

As far as tripods go, pretty hard to beat the new Helium tripod being offered by Bisque. 



#15 GR1973

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Posted 15 December 2019 - 04:01 AM

First, congratulation on your new Questar. 

 

Your story about your Next Star helped me. I was thinking about extra aperture ( Nextstar 6 or 8) and I imagined It would be portable as Questar.

 

You wouldn't find  much difference between your previous 5" and Questar . Questar wins in contrast specially for planets.

 

My barlow is 1.6x. I got this number from C7. They recommended 24 and 12 to avoid overlapping magnifications. One year later I bought my wonderful 16 mm. I use both in observing.

 

You can start with either 16 mm or 12 mm and this depends on what do your like to observe. I do not use my 16 mm for Mars and Saturn. My recommendation to start with 12 mm and you can buy the 16 mm

 

if you need to observe at lower magnification.

 

The 16 mm has much larger exit pupil and good eye relief to be used with glasses. The 24 mm is the best low magnification for your Q and can ad 19 mm panoptic as an extra but do not swap the Brandon 27 mm.

 

 

Good luck with your new Questar. You will not regret for this.


Edited by GR1973, 15 December 2019 - 04:03 AM.


#16 medpeds

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Posted 25 December 2019 - 07:20 PM

What a whirlwind Christmas! My wife and son successfully shielded the delivery of my new Q 3.5 from me until Christmas morning after we had finished opening up gifts. (It was actually delivered on Monday, and they hid it in plain sight in the entranceway closet!) 

 

First impressions include how securely it was packed and how nice the case looked. Seeing and touching the Q for the first time is actually quite a moving experience. I remember at 10 years of age how much I wanted a telescope, and my parents surprised me with an alt-az Jason Empire refractor for Christmas. I used to either hold my breath or breath through a straw in order to not fog up the eyepiece while observing in frigid winters in Buffalo, NY. The Q resurrected the nostalgic feelings from that Christmas long ago.

 

I spent the afternoon reading the instruction manual and focusing on targets in our development. My wife and son were very impressed with the resolution of the scope, and my son with his 20/15 vision could not even see the American flag with his naked eye that I easily observed in the Q!

 

Before heavy clouds moved in, I took the Q out, and I was able to observe a gibbous phase Venus. I did a quick star test on Vega and noted no aberrations! Very impressive. All without full thermal equilibration!

 

Anyway, I am very blessed to be able to have this instrument, and I hope to learn much more about how to effectively use it from the Questar forum members in the future.


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#17 pao

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Posted 25 December 2019 - 07:31 PM

Congratulations medpeds! Surely your eyes will shine ever and ever more, I'm sure.
Hope to enjoy and share the Questar club with all you very soon.
Have a good and exciting first sessions with it.
pao

#18 davidmcgo

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Posted 25 December 2019 - 08:34 PM

Wow, That’s great you got it!  I think I’d have gone through the roof though with it having been hidden for a couple of days.

 

Dave



#19 davidmcgo

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Posted 25 December 2019 - 08:43 PM

By the way, we would all love to see pictures!  Also, if you still are needing a tripod, Camera Concepts in Long Island has a used Davis and Sanford airlift on their web site under used tripods that would, work perfectly for seated viewing,  same model I’m using and the price looks very reasonable.

 

Dave


Edited by davidmcgo, 25 December 2019 - 08:44 PM.


#20 Optics Patent

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Posted 25 December 2019 - 08:56 PM

I love that inspirational story from your youth. You were blessed to have such parents.
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#21 Erik Bakker

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Posted 26 December 2019 - 05:14 AM

Your wife and son did well. What a wonderful Christmas story! Brings back sweet memories for sure.

 

Enjoy your new Questar under hopefully excellent skies soon love.gif



#22 medpeds

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Posted 26 December 2019 - 05:54 PM

J3 questar.jpg

 

New Q out for the first time on Christmas Day!


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#23 Erik Bakker

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Posted 26 December 2019 - 06:04 PM

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#24 Gregory Gross

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Posted 26 December 2019 - 06:28 PM

Congratulations!!!



#25 RMay

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Posted 26 December 2019 - 11:03 PM

Congrats!! I’ve had my Q for now going on 36 years, and I’ve never yet grown tired of the views it has afforded me.

Clear skies, and happy viewing always.

Ron


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