The Questar 3.5 telescope and I go back a long way … 62 years in fact.
The first Questar debuted in 1954, just months after I was born. I discovered it as a teenager interested in astronomy and all things aerospatial in the giddy years of the 1960s moon race. It has been an unrequited love affair ever since. I followed the Questar with great interest during the 60s, 70s, and 80s – sending in handwritten letters requesting their latest catalogs. In college, while other engineering students were thumbing through their Playboy and Penthouse magazines, I read and reread my Questar catalogs. My lust was every bit as real and unsatisfiable as theirs. (Not that I never read their magazines, but I read them solely for the interviews and journalistic content.)
Married in 76 with profession, mortgage, and children arriving on schedule like most other couples, my attention shifted elsewhere. With the arrival of the Internet I had instant access to better astrophotos than the best telescopes on earth much less any amateur telescope. In the late 90s my wife was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I tell people that I feel more comfortable in hospitals than any non-medical person has a right to feel. So with mortgage company, kids, doctors, hospitals, and big pharma all dependent on my salary – any telescope was out of my price range. Life went on …
Every so often I would google “Questar” just to see if they were even still in business. To my surprise they were. Even more interesting Company Seven had arrived on the scene. But as before, life went on …
Things have stabilized. My wife’s MS and other complications are manageable. I’m not rich, but I’m not broke (yet). In the past few weeks I have reacquainted myself with Company Seven and have been having a very enjoyable and elightening email dialog with Martin Cohen one of the cofounders of Company Seven. I can imagine how busy he must be so I feel honored that he has taken the time to answer my questions personally. Then again he may give all of his customers this personal touch, just one of the many reasons that makes Company Seven special. Company Seven provides a full range of products and services supporting the amateur astronomy community as well as government, security, and corporate customers. They are a fully authorized distributor for Questar (in fact the only one, I believe) and provide a full range of associated products and services. Their online library of current and historical literature is truly amazing.
However Company Seven is not solely a Questar distributor. Their list of products and services reads like an encyclopedia of optics and astronomy.
Company Seven played a key role in the development of the “spectacles” used to correct design deficiencies in the focus of the Hubble Space Telescope primary mirror. They even used a variant of the Questar to quality check the calibration of the optics.
Click to access 19910003124_1991003124.pdf
Trust me – if the general topic of telescopes, optics, accessories … and the history of the above interests you – then the Company Seven website will give you hours if not days of reading enjoyment.
Even more impressive (at least to me) is the level of Quality Assurance and Testing they give to each and every product they sell. Their webpage below on testing is both enlightening and entertaining. After reading it I am going to be purchasing ALL of my optical gear through Company Seven – especially my Questar.
If you are in the market for quality optics of any kind, do yourself a favor and contact Company Seven first.
And now for the obligatory Questar YouTube video courtesy of Dave Trott.
Lest there be any doubt, please realize that the Questar is as much an objet d’art as it is a mere telescope. It is a handmade sculpture of engineering excellence. A future heirloom. A “bucket list” item. Proudly made entirely in the USA throughout its 62 year history.
Company Seven http://company7.com
Questar Corporation http://questarcorporation.com
And now for an entirely different perspective – the modern Apochromatic (Apo) Refracter vs the Questar.