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Should I Buy One?

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#1 Mordakyblu

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 07:59 PM

I have an opportunity to purchase a 1974 3.5 Qustar for $2000.00. It is a local sale. I was going to offer $1700.00. Was that a good model year?
How much does it cost to add the power guide feature?

#2 houndsbourgh

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 08:12 PM

You can request a current price list from Questar with a phone call. They will email it to you. As far as value of the scope it has a lot of variables. Others here on the forum are more qualified /experienced to comment.


Edited by houndsbourgh, 09 September 2020 - 08:13 PM.


#3 TerryWood

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 08:37 PM

If the optics are in good shape, it's clean and tracks well, $2000 seems like a very good price to me. "Optics Patent" (he posts on here regularly) is a very good source to answer any detailed questions. You might PM him to get some guidance. V/R Terry

#4 cbwerner

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 09:09 PM

I have an opportunity to purchase a 1974 3.5 Qustar for $2000.00. It is a local sale. I was going to offer $1700.00. Was that a good model year?
How much does it cost to add the power guide feature?

The first question you need to ask yourself is "Why do you want one?".

 

Is it the great optics? Well, it has that for sure, but so do a lot of cheaper scopes.

 

Is it the mechanical build quality? That's a rarer thing, and definitely something I love about mine, but that largely gets to the fact that it's a pretty retro kind of scope. Which is also why I like mine.

 

Is it the functionality of the control box? Ok, now we're getting into really unique territory, but really, how many people struggle to swap eyepieces / add barlows / go from eyepiece to finder in the field?

 

Or is it the experience? Is it the experience of owning and using a high quality scope with top level optics, albeit small aperture, that is about the easiest scope ever to set up? One that does a quality job on brighter objects, and one that might get used a lot more than other scopes in your lineup because it's so ridiculously easy to transport and deploy?

 

If you love fine mechanical builds, that definitely adds to the appeal. But the fact of the matter is that you can spend less and get a scope that *can* see more than a Questar will. Will you see more with it? That depends on how much a larger scope / longer setup deters your usage.

 

I currently have 5 scopes in my lineup. The Q is my second smallest by aperture (#1 being an 80mm refractor), #1 by ease of setup and use - it sees 80%+ of my sky time. 

 

I will readily confess that I ached for one for decades because I'm one of those 70's kids that saw the S&T ads every month and drooled, but I also need to note that my first every view through a telescope was through a Q owned by a middle school science teacher. But while that might have made me buy it, what has made me use it more than any scope is the other things I mentioned.

 

There is no wrong decision. Only a wrong for you decision. But if you buy it, and don't end up liking/using it, you're not going to lose a pile of money if you resell it, unlike a lot of other scopes.

 

Good luck with your decision!


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#5 Mordakyblu

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 09:09 PM

I think it was refurbished.

#6 Mordakyblu

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 09:30 PM

The first question you need to ask yourself is "Why do you want one?".
 
Is it the great optics? Well, it has that for sure, but so do a lot of cheaper scopes.
 
Is it the mechanical build quality? That's a rarer thing, and definitely something I love about mine, but that largely gets to the fact that it's a pretty retro kind of scope. Which is also why I like mine.
 
Is it the functionality of the control box? Ok, now we're getting into really unique territory, but really, how many people struggle to swap eyepieces / add barlows / go from eyepiece to finder in the field?
 
Or is it the experience? Is it the experience of owning and using a high quality scope with top level optics, albeit small aperture, that is about the easiest scope ever to set up? One that does a quality job on brighter objects, and one that might get used a lot more than other scopes in your lineup because it's so ridiculously easy to transport and deploy?
 
If you love fine mechanical builds, that definitely adds to the appeal. But the fact of the matter is that you can spend less and get a scope that *can* see more than a Questar will. Will you see more with it? That depends on how much a larger scope / longer setup deters your usage.
 
I currently have 5 scopes in my lineup. The Q is my second smallest by aperture (#1 being an 80mm refractor), #1 by ease of setup and use - it sees 80%+ of my sky time. 
 
I will readily confess that I ached for one for decades because I'm one of those 70's kids that saw the S&T ads every month and drooled, but I also need to note that my first every view through a telescope was through a Q owned by a middle school science teacher. But while that might have made me buy it, what has made me use it more than any scope is the other things I mentioned.
 
There is no wrong decision. Only a wrong for you decision. But if you buy it, and don't end up liking/using it, you're not going to lose a pile of money if you resell it, unlike a lot of other scopes.
 
Good luck with your decision!



You make very good points. I like the high quality optics, and the control box. Ease of setup is a big plus. In the city I look at the moon and planets. I have Vixen VMC200L for dark skies. I’m using a old Celestron SPC 102 for my GNG, but it’s a bit much. I was thinking about getting a vixen 80 mm APO but this opportunity has come up. Thanks for the help.
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#7 edhuff

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 09:35 PM

I have an opportunity to purchase a 1974 3.5 Qustar for $2000.00. It is a local sale. I was going to offer $1700.00. Was that a good model year?
How much does it cost to add the power guide feature?

I have a friend holding his 1980 Q Duplex (Pyrex) for me. B/C Questar is close by I took the scope to Questar and had Jim Reichert appraise it. The scope is in pristine condition with a value of $3K. I wanted precision, power, portability as I'm back and forth between PA and AZ. Questar fits the bill, plus I still remember looking through my Shop (Industrial Arts) teacher's Questar back in the early 60's in eighth grade and gazing at "jaw-dropping" images of the lunar surface. If the '74 Questar is in really good shape, $2K sounds like a fair price.

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Edited by edhuff, 10 September 2020 - 08:31 AM.


#8 ShaulaB

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 09:44 PM

One of the schools I taught at had a 3.5 inch Questar of around that model year. Even though I have not looked through it in 15 years, I still recall the outstanding views it produced in the eyepiece.

 

If you go to inspect the scope, have an observing buddy go with you. Upon seeing the scope, you might have love at first sight, and want to hand over the cash right then. An objective friend might help you be more objective in your assessment. s



#9 alwilder

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 03:23 AM

It's a fair price assuming everything is in good working order. Repairs can be pricey so make sure everything checks out with inspection. My 1978 Duplex with Cervit mirror and BB coating was slightly more and in great condition except for the carrying case. Upgrading to Power Guide III costs $649. You can recoup a little of that cost by selling the original motor assembly in CN classifieds once returned after the Power Guide is installed.



#10 Optics Patent

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 09:09 AM

$2000 is a good fair price.  The $3000 appraisal is too high.  You'll always be able to sell for $2000 if there's nothing really wrong with it.

 

Don't bother with the PGIII upgrade.  It has a giant, clumsy controller and eats batteries.  Instead get an Orion Dynamo Mini if you want off-the-grid driving convenience.  It's very unlikely you'll have needs for more than that, and if you do an upgrade is realistic, and there might well be something better than the PGIII.



#11 RMay

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 09:37 AM

Here’s another nod for the Orion Dynamo Mini. Works like a charm... couldn’t be happier.

Ron

#12 Toxo144

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 12:35 PM

Mordakyblu,

 

That is a good price on a Questar 3.5 in good condition.  If you are unsure about whether this is the right instrument for you, and for the money, take a moment and read through Allister Saint Clare's review of the Questar 3.5 before you plunk down your hard-earned cash.  Here is a link:

 

https://www.cloudyni...nts/questar.pdf

 

This is an excellent summary of what the little Questar is, and isn't.  Be sure that this is the scope you want, especially before taking a chance on the used market.

 

Best wishes on whatever decision you make.  And remember, if you do buy the Questar there are lots of folks here on this forum that will want you to post pictures when it arrives....

 

Toxo


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#13 Terra Nova

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 04:23 PM

If you are looking for a uniquely fine telescope that provides an equally unique telescope viewing experience, then I would say Go for it! There is nothing else in my collection that provides such wonderfully sharp views in such a small and exquisitely built package. It’s the perfect grab and go and I find my AC drive works just fine, either plugged in or using a lithium 12V power pack and inverter. If I really want to go light and easy, I set it up in alt-azimuth mode on a small, light-weight wooden tripod I made especially for the Q. As you can tell, I love mine. I paid $2000 for it, including two Questar-Brandon eyepieces- 24mm and 16mm. I added two more eyepieces, the color filter set, a full aperture solar filter, and a heavier tripod and equatorial wedge later.



#14 rcwolpert

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 07:03 PM

It’s a decent price and I don’t know anyone who has been sorry that they’ve purchased a Q3.5 for $2K.



#15 Darkskyaz

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 09:00 PM

Mordakyblu,

 

That is a good price on a Questar 3.5 in good condition.  If you are unsure about whether this is the right instrument for you, and for the money, take a moment and read through Allister Saint Clare's review of the Questar 3.5 before you plunk down your hard-earned cash.  Here is a link:

 

https://www.cloudyni...nts/questar.pdf

 

This is an excellent summary of what the little Questar is, and isn't.  Be sure that this is the scope you want, especially before taking a chance on the used market.

 

Best wishes on whatever decision you make.  And remember, if you do buy the Questar there are lots of folks here on this forum that will want you to post pictures when it arrives....

 

Toxo

Great advice, and that is a great review for those considering buying a Questar. Here is another classic review: http://scopeviews.co.uk/Questar35.htm

 

The writer comes to very similar conclusions.  




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