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So whats all the hype about 3.5 Questar scopes?

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#26 spereira

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 03:34 PM

While I cannot advise you about what any individual Q may be worth, perhaps Ben will chime in with his opinion.

There are currently 4 Q3.5's available on AM at the moment:

 

https://astromart.co...h-powerguide-ll

https://astromart.co...0-or-best-offer

https://astromart.co...adband-coatings

https://astromart.co...15-model-454801

 

Good luck!

 

smp


 

#27 astro42

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 03:43 PM

I'm not an AM member so unfortunately I can't see the prices.


 

#28 coopman

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 04:15 PM

Some people like premium optics/mechanicals in a small, very portable package that exudes quality.  I can certainly understand that.  I am not interested in owning one, and I don't want a Corvette either.   


 

#29 Optics Patent

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 05:03 PM

So there is the 1999 Questar in the classified adds right now.

The price of $3000 seems a bit on the higher side after reading some of the comments in the thread.

What's your take on used pricing on these and what should a person expect to pay for a 1999 3.5 Questar?

Someone asking $3000 will get a number of offers, and you might just make one as a "bid" in hopes it is his best.

The modern leather case (with combination latches) and PG2 controller, add significantly to the value.  Might make the nominal used $200 Questar worth $2500, and that might be the best offer the seller receives and enough to buy it.

My better advice is to know what era/look you really want deep down, and wait for that, and don't be afraid to pay a couple hundred too much to get the "right" one.

This is at the dawn of the "modern" era of Questar aesthetics, and one of the final few to use the RA ring with 360 degree markings, as opposed to the 0-20-40 minute markings.

As I look at it it would be utterly perfect for my imagined 25th anniversary model replica project. 


 

#30 RMay

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 10:28 AM

I am not interested in owning one, and I don't want a Corvette either.


If you’re talking about the hand built aspect of the scope, and if you’ve ever watched “How it’s Made” on TV, I would compare a Questar to a Lamborghini or Bugatti Veyron before I would compare it to a Corvette.

Ron
 

#31 coopman

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 11:00 AM

Ok, maybe so, but a Corvette is a BIG step up from my CR-V. 


 

#32 RMay

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 11:05 AM

Ok, maybe so, but a Corvette is a BIG step up from my CR-V.


If one is able to watch them being built on the assembly line, they are probably more alike (parts and build quality; construction process) than you may think...

Ron
 

#33 Terra Nova

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 01:16 PM

Great answers. The only thing I would add is that with careful searching, you can get an excellent, like new Q3.5 for $2000 - $2500. The one I purchased for $2300 was used only one or two times when I received it. I couldn’t distinguish it from new. The power cord was never unwound. It’s worth the wait.

Exaxctly, I got my beautiful 1985 BB complete and in the drum, delivered to my door for two grand. I had almost as much invested in the 3” Unitron equatorial refractor. The views are similar with the edge going to the Questar. It’s a hundred times easier to set up, much easier to store, more comfortable and ergonomic to use, is perfectly apochromatic, and is a wonderful travel scope. In comparison, I can’t say the same foe the Unitron which was a lovely instrument and gave an excellent star test.I sold the Unitron and all its accessories and recouped what the Questar cost. I am very happy with my Questar!

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#34 Toxo144

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 12:34 PM

@Astro42,

 

Even at $3K you are still saving a lot of money over buying new.  I have bought 2 used Questar 3.5" scopes, and both were in great shape.  No regrets.  The one I keep is my 3.5 50th Anniversary model, but the views in the other 3.5 scopes were very comparable.  Heck, put in a lowball bid and see what happens!

 

Best of luck,

 

Toxo


 

#35 DJNoecker

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 07:15 PM

Just my two cents worth on Questers. I own one telescope and it is the Questar 7, and to me, I have never looked through a finer scope. I would not trade it for anything.

I like Maksutovs so much, I am building two of them. A six and an eight inch.

 

Dan


 

#36 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 12:49 AM

Ok, maybe so, but a Corvette is a BIG step up from my CR-V. 

Realistically, your CR-V is a better car than a Corvette, a Lamborghini or Bugatti Veyron.

 

It will last longer, have far fewer issues, get better mileage, cost less to operate, be more comfortable, haul telescopes better.  

 

I can understand the Questar thing because it really is a precision piece of equipment made to the highest standards, more or less.  In general, cars, even expensive cars are compromised,.  The finest materials are not used.. 

 

As far as comparing the cost of a Questar 90mm to a Takahashi.. A 5 inch Takahashi is a far more capable scope.  The comparison should be with a Takahashi of comparable performance.

 

Jon


 

#37 GR1973

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 04:51 AM

I did the same calculation for the cost because I want to upgrade to more aperture without scarifying HD image quality. I found the new TV NP127is price is 7k (only tube and focuser). I did the same calculation 12 years ago, Questar won. I wouldn’t use 5 inch apo as much as my Q. With a busy life I can do 5 minutes observing session to see fine details on major planets.
 

#38 JMKarian

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 07:49 AM

Lots of great contributions to this thread . . . Today,  if one were to assemble a time capsule representing the last  75 years of American-made techno devices, to be opened in 75 years,  I’m sure a Questar would be in there with an iPhone, a calculator, a PC, a Tesla, etc.  Safe to say, the Questar would be the only one which would still be functional.


 

#39 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 08:56 AM

I did the same calculation for the cost because I want to upgrade to more aperture without scarifying HD image quality. I found the new TV NP127is price is 7k (only tube and focuser). I did the same calculation 12 years ago, Questar won. I wouldn’t use 5 inch apo as much as my Q. With a busy life I can do 5 minutes observing session to see fine details on major planets.

 

Why is it the 5 inch apo keeps getting mentioned? A 90 mm apo has an inherent advantage over a 90 mm Mak-Cas.  Certainly a 5 inch is more hassle but my 120 mm Eon is still a one trip out the door scope, has few thermal issues and shows much more planetary detail that the most perfect 90mm.

 

But I'm not the guy for 5 minute sessions. I have the time to enjoy the finer things in life at the relaxed pace they're meant to be enjoyed at.  A glass of wine cannot be enjoyed properly in 5 minutes, the night sky.. 

 

Jon


 

#40 Terra Nova

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 10:24 AM

Why is it the 5 inch apo keeps getting mentioned? A 90 mm apo has an inherent advantage over a 90 mm Mak-Cas.  Certainly a 5 inch is more hassle but my 120 mm Eon is still a one trip out the door scope, has few thermal issues and shows much more planetary detail that the most perfect 90mm.

 

But I'm not the guy for 5 minute sessions. I have the time to enjoy the finer things in life at the relaxed pace they're meant to be enjoyed at.  A glass of wine cannot be enjoyed properly in 5 minutes, the night sky.. 

 

Jon

But you can’t put your 5” apo and it’s tracking equatorial mount, a solar filter, and five eyepieces all in a small hand-carry/carry-on case and be out the door in five minutes with it and then boarding an airplane and off to a far corner of the globe! You can’t do that with a 90mm apo either! A Tak Sky 90 or an AP Stowaway, mounted and accessorized takes far more logistics than the little Q!


 

#41 GR1973

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 02:12 PM

Why is it the 5 inch apo keeps getting mentioned? A 90 mm apo has an inherent advantage over a 90 mm Mak-Cas. Certainly a 5 inch is more hassle but my 120 mm Eon is still a one trip out the door scope, has few thermal issues and shows much more planetary detail that the most perfect 90mm.

But I'm not the guy for 5 minute sessions. I have the time to enjoy the finer things in life at the relaxed pace they're meant to be enjoyed at. A glass of wine cannot be enjoyed properly in 5 minutes, the night sky..

Jon


We are discussing the 5 Apo because for sure its much better than Questar in image quality (Law of physics). But for 90 apos, Questar is not far behind and Q wins in portability and ease of use.

Regards

Edited by GR1973, 21 January 2020 - 02:14 PM.

 

#42 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 03:50 PM

But you can’t put your 5” apo and it’s tracking equatorial mount, a solar filter, and five eyepieces all in a small hand-carry/carry-on case and be out the door in five minutes with it and then boarding an airplane and off to a far corner of the globe! You can’t do that with a 90mm apo either! A Tak Sky 90 or an AP Stowaway, mounted and accessorized takes far more logistics than the little Q!

 

We are discussing the 5 Apo because for sure its much better than Questar in image quality (Law of physics). But for 90 apos, Questar is not far behind and Q wins in portability and ease of use.

Regards

 

I really don't see the point of the 5 inch comparison, the 5 inch is so much more capable and so much larger.  

 

A TV-85 on a alt-az mount. It's a different take on airline portable but more versatile and more capable in a number of ways.  When I travel, I don't want an eq-mount. That's a scope to compare the Questar with.

 

The difference between the Questar and the NP-127 is night and day, a different world.

 

Jon


 

#43 Terra Nova

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 08:52 PM

I really don't see the point of the 5 inch comparison, the 5 inch is so much more capable and so much larger.  

 

A TV-85 on a alt-az mount. It's a different take on airline portable but more versatile and more capable in a number of ways.  When I travel, I don't want an eq-mount. That's a scope to compare the Questar with.

 

The difference between the Questar and the NP-127 is night and day, a different world.

 

Jon

I’m didn’t bring up the 5” apo, I only responded to your mention of it. I brought up the Sky90 and Stowaway because, like the TV85 it’s a better comparison. I have a TVGenesis SDF (4” F5.4 apo) so I get it. I also have an Tak FC76 which is a very good comparison to the Q, but both of those refractors require more space in the vehicle and trips out the back door. Don’t get me wrong, I love those two refractors but I also love my Questar. As they say, different horses for different courses. In fact, as I said before in other threads, my Questar and my TeleVue complement each other rather than compete with each other. I could only have two scopes, it would be those two and I would be one very happy camper. My TV is on the alt-az Gibralter mount. It’s a perfect match for that scope. Also, it’s a completely different viewing experience from the Q. On the other hand, My Tak FC76 is on an equatorial mount. The views and the experience are more similar to the Questar, but still, the Questar is more portable. I have no plans on getting rid of any of the three.


 

#44 davidmcgo

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:57 PM

I agree with Jon that the most relevant comparison for something intended as a system with similar capability and cost is something like the TV85 with a TV mount.  By the time you take the cost of a TV85, outfit it with two eyepieces, a Barlow, and a finder plus the mount you are at the high end of at least a second hand Q3.5 in good shape.  I left off the solar filter because white light has been a whole bunch of nothing for the last couple of years.

 

I have a TV85 and a Panoramic head on a Bogen 3246 tripod and have barely used it since getting the Questar 3.5.  Most of my observing with my smaller scopes is higher power and in town.  The Questar has tracking and the built in optical finder is fantastic for finding fainter doubles compared to the Starbeam on the 85.  The eyepiece position varies a lot more on the TV 85 and really needs an adjustable chair whereas the Q everything stays within a few inches and a normal chair is fine.  For low power under a dark sky, I would agree the TV85 is a better and more versatile choice but the planetary views are pretty similar.  The TV85 has a bit of an edge on unequal right doubes like Delta Cygnus, but that is about the most pronounced difference I have noticed from 60x on up to 200x or so.

 

Dave


 

#45 RonLevandoski

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 12:27 AM

I recently acquired a 3.5" Questar from a vendor on the CN classifieds. Of course, we have had non stop cloudy Wx here in SW Utah for months. Just for kicks, I installed a ZWO 120 guide cam into the camera port and shot some birds on the feeder out back. The results were impressive. I also used my Sony a7RIII with some adapters and the sharpness and contrast were most excellent. Compares favorably with my Canon L glass. 

 

I vividly remember as a kid walking past the new shopping center in Natrona Heights, PA and longingly admiring Questar scopes in a jewelry store! The shiny metal fork arms and the amazing blue hood with constellations had me hooked.

 

As life went by, I acquired a Rolex Stainless and Gold Submariner with the blue dial. One day I was polishing it and I thought of that jewelry store with the blue Questar. The blue hood and all. It was an easy decision. I really needed that Questar. So, out goes the Rolex and had more than enough funds to purchase the Questar. 

 

My Q sits on my desk where it always attracts a lot of attention from visitors. For observing, I mounted it on a big old Losmandy tripod with a Celestron ETX wedge. The whole assembly is total overkill for the light scope, but it is rock solid. I got the idea from posts in CN forums. Will do some planetary photos and maybe some DSOs if the sky ever clears again...

 

ronlevandoski


 

#46 cbwerner

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 09:33 PM

Excuse my ignorance but why pay that kind of money for a 3.5 inch scope.

I understand the optics and build quality are top of the line but 3.5" in very limiting considering the price of the Questar scopes.

I'm sure you can buy a nice 5" Takahashi or other higher end refractors for that kind of money that will give you a lot better views.

Based on its initial cost (mine is a Q50), it's by far the most expensive scope I own.

 

Based on its initial cost divided by the number of times I use it, it's by far the cheapest scope I own.

 

It's not for everyone, but optical quality, mechanical build quality, intuitive and user friendly design . . . it's my clear #1.

 

 

P.S. - Astro42 is my license plate. In my case short for AstroDad42, the user name my daughter gave me for my first online venture, an AOL IM account. :lol:


 

#47 GR1973

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 02:22 AM

Another thread with more answers

 

 https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/491423-why-did-you-buy-a-questar/

 

 


 

#48 Terra Nova

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 11:59 AM

Thanks, that’s a nice read!


 

#49 PXR-5

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 02:43 PM

Another good read here is the Something For Nothing Thread in Cats and Casses.

It’s  been going on for over half a decade. The C90 Mak is amazing!! :)

So Why should not the Q :)


 

#50 justfred

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 03:12 AM

Harry Potter put it best,

 

"If you have to ask, you'll never know."

 

Fred

 

 

 


 


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