Sometimes it's the little things that bring me the most delight.
When my Questar #2-15xx arrived three years ago, it was immediately apparent to me that the declination brake knob was frozen (more on that here). The evening of that arrival day, I was curious about whether the Bristol spline wrench that I needed to remove the knob was somewhere hidden inside one of the case pockets. Sure enough, there it was wedged into the bottom of the solar filter pouch.
Remembering that little moment still brings a smile to my face.
Fast forward to a few nights ago. I had my other Questar, #2-14xx, out to look at the Moon. After I brought it back in, I happened to have a close look at the bottom of the power cord pouch, which had always looked a little crunched up. Again curious, I gently squeezed that bottom end of the pouch. "Wait a minute," I thought to myself, "I think... I think there's something in there!"
Unlike the solar filter pouch, there's no clear view down into the bottom of the power cord pouch. The eyepiece pouch blocks a straight-down view into the power cord pouch. So I grabbed my iPhone and used the camera to do the looking for me. Sure enough, another stroke of luck! There was indeed something wedged way, way down at the very bottom of the pouch.
"Hmmm... That looks like a shutter release cable," I thought to myself.
When I bought my Questar, #2-14xx, it came with a Praktina FX camera body that had all of the behavior of what the company described on page 28 of the 1960 Questar booklet as a Questar-modified camera: "Each camera body is specially modified for us so mirror can be controlled by cable release to flip up well BEFORE shutter works, eliminating mirror-slam vibrations." A little later, Questar also mentioned that it included a cable release as part of the package.
This afternoon, I got around to fishing out the suspected cable release. I used a relatively long zip tie with a paper clip fashioned into a hook. I used electrical tape to make sure everything was securely put together. I also took another piece of electrical tape to mark the distance between where I felt the top part of the mystery item and the top of the pouch.
Yep, it was the cable release! Just like that moment when I discovered my Bristol spline wrench three years ago, a little smile -- well, a big smile -- emerged on my face. I am still in somewhat of a state of disbelief that something that long could have been crammed into a space not more than a few inches from the bottom of the power cord pouch.
Time for some beauty shots of the whole setup with camera re-united with its cable release!
If you have a Questar that has passed through hands other than yours, don't hesitate to inspect those case pouches. You never know what you'll find!