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Questar logo from 1990's (27,482 bytes)


Questar 3-½ Vinyl Clad Case 83,861 bytes Background: The Questar telescope has since 1954 been recognized as an elegant and refined practical tool for astronomy. Among the accessories that set it apart included a handmade carrying case made of saddle leather in England, this was provided as a standard accessory with each new Questar 3-½ astronomical telescope. The Questar telescope slides into the area portion of the case, while the door interior has pouches sewn in to accommodate those accessories that were provided with the Questar: Tripod Legs, Solar Filter, Aperture Stop, Spare Eyepiece, AC Power Cord, and keys for the Latch Locks.

By about 1968 this original saddle leather case was replaced by a rigid rigid leather case. This was a hard case consisting of a wood frame with leather covering, with a similar opening front door and latch arrangement to store the accessories. This case was made in the USA for Questar by the Chick Luggage Company of New York. This appealed to Lawrence and Peggy Braymers ambition to make the Questar an entirely "Made in The USA" commodity.

By the late 1970's the Chick Luggage Company went out of business and the leather case was dropped from the product line altogether. In its stead Questar provided a case with a similar arrangement but clad in vinyl resembling leather. It took some time to get these perfected, among the early problems were the glue tended to give way and allow some of the coverings to peel, so for some years after these were delivered we offered replacement improved cases in exchange at no cost to our customers. The change to a vinyl exterior was also an effort to improve durability of the case and constrain increasing costs.

Throughout the late 1980's Company Seven prodded Questar to avoid taking any steps at cost cutting that would in any way diminish the appearance and historic appeal of the Questar. For example Company Seven insisted on providing Metal Covers for the Questars sold by Company Seven that retained the machined natural aluminum trim around the perimeter, while Questar delivered all black Lens Covers to other retailers and those who ordered directly form the factory. In response to prodding by Company Seven and possibly some at Questar too, Earlene Austin the President of Questar at the time agreed to revisit the idea of a leather case. In 1990 a prototype leather case was made with combination lock latches made by Presto. In May 1991 this prototype leather case was put on display in Company Seven's Museum Collection. The final design was defined with minor changes from the prototype of 1990, and in 1991 Questar resumed offering the deluxe leather case as an option for their astronomical models. The vinyl clad case design was also refined and so both cases at first glance will appear nearly identical.

Right: Questar leather case, current production model (152,740 bytes).

Today: This standard production case is provided with every new Questar Questar Standard or Duplex astronomical telescope. It is made with a medium reddish-brown leather of vinyl that resembles leather, and this vinyl has such a degree of pliability and a texture that has many convinced this is real leather. This covering is stretched tight over most of the wood frame however, the front lid and rear center panels have padding under the vinyl and so the covering gives more here. The lid is attached by two flush mount hinges. The hinges and the lock hardware are of a polished brass finish. The carrying handle is likewise covered in vinyl, and this is permanently attached to the top of the case. This case is made in the USA.

The case remains arranged similarly to its predecessors with spaces in the lid for the accessories, and there is a soft pouch sewn into the larger half of the case above the level of the telescope Fork Tine, this accommodates the Powerguide or Powerguide II Hand Control.

The case is provided with keyed locking latches that makes it easy to differentiate it even from some distance from the deluxe leather case with its combination locks. The combination lock may be set by the owner of the case (instructions provided with the case) to any three digit number of choice. But do keep it in mind that these locks only serve to keep the honest person honest. Anyone who really wants to get in can handily walk off with the Questar in the case or force these latches open.

The interior storage area for the telescope has two rollers affixed, one to either side of the telescope Base so that they grip the telescope and prevent it from falling towards the top of the case should the case be tipped or tilted. A reinforced pad of material is also sewn into the back wall of this compartment to prevent the Questar from abrading the blue interior.

Incidentally, the Deluxe Leather Carrying Case is sold separately as an upgrade (an additional cost) in place of the standard vinyl case when ordering a new Questar Questar Standard or Duplex astronomical telescope. The leather case is provided as part of the standard equipment with the limited production Questar 50th Anniversary Model telescope.

For a good overview of the decision making process of buying a Questar, we suggest you read our article Selecting an Astronomical Questar Telescope. This includes explanations of the various configurations and of the major optical and accessory choices.

Care and Precautions: This is a good quality of vinyl exterior and given reasonable care it can provide a lifetime of good service. But it is subject to scuffing nicks if handled or stored inappropriately. Some precautions:

  • The exterior should be periodically wiped down with a fine leather cream or polish, this will keep the leather supple and prevent deterioration of the leather. We do not recommend the use of any of the popular automotive vinyl treatments.

  • If the case becomes covered with dew for example, it is a good idea to wipe it down with a clean cloth and allow it to dry out in a climate controlled environment.

  • Do not store the case in an area where it will be exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods. This can cause the vinyl covering to fade or become more rigid and susceptible to developing cracks.

  • When the Questar becomes covered with dew or frost, then it can be placed in the case for safe keeping. But as soon as it is practical, one should allow the case and telescope to acclimate to room temperature, then open the case and remove the telescope thereby allowing both the case and telescope to air out.

Questar 3-½ Leather Case Interior 128,775 bytes Questar Vinyl-Clad Case Specifications*
    Case Exterior Dimensions 10 inches deep x 8-¾ wide x 17-¼ tall
                   245 x 213 x 438 mm
    Case Weight 7 lb. 13.5 oz. / 3 kg 556 g.
    Locking Latch Two, each with keyed lock
    Origin Made In USA

        * Specifications are subject to change.

Right: Questar vinyl case interior arrangement. This is identical to the deluxe leather case interior (128,775 bytes).
Click on image to see enlarged view (406,413 bytes)

We invite you to visit our showroom near Washington, D.C. to see a Questar first hand or contact us by E-mail to, or by telephone 301-953-2000. The showroom is open Monday to Friday 11 am to 6 pm, Saturday 11 am to 5 pm. We are closed on Sundays, on U.S. Holidays, and from 25 December through 1 January inclusive.


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