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Thread: Suggestions for a Light Pollution Filter?

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Suggestions for a Light Pollution Filter?



    Regarding price. Make sure you compare apples to apples. For example the Astronomik CLS filter. You can get this as a 1.25 inch, 2 inch, or a DSLR clip-in filter. The price ranges from under $100 to around $200. Same identical filter, just different sizes and mountings.

    I think that for the money, the CLS filter is difficult to beat for certain situations. As mentioned in one of the threads above, the CLS filter is not a severe filter. It is a fairly broad band filter and works very well for viewing with small aperture telescopes. For visual work, it darkens and improves contrast improving details. However, it will not make an object that is invisible due to light pollution become visible to the eye in the eyepiece.

    For photography, a different story. The removal of the yellows makes a big difference in the contrast and details of a nebulae that a camera will capture. It seems to help also with reflection nebulae as well as with other deep space objects. There are two variants of the CLS filter, the CLS and the CLS CCD. The difference is the CCD filter is designed for cameras that do not have a infrared filter while the CLS filter is for cameras like unmodified DSLRs that have a infrared filter and for visual work.

    Are there better filters than the CLS filter. I think that depends upon what you are doing. For my situation here in my light polluted skies and my unguided short exposure photography, a filter like the CLS filter is perfect. For someone who is doing guided long exposures, I think a more severe filter would produce better results.

    For an example of images made unguided short exposures using the CLS filter look at M42 and M45 on my flickr site (the link to the site is in my signature). Both images were made using an Alt-Azimuth mount .. 30 second exposures with an unmodified DSLR. With out the filter, I was never able to capture the nebula in M45 or the depth and color in the image of M42.
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  2. #12
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    Default Re: Suggestions for a Light Pollution Filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by sxinias View Post
    For an example of images made unguided short exposures using the CLS filter look at M42 and M45 on my flickr site (the link to the site is in my signature). Both images were made using an Alt-Azimuth mount .. 30 second exposures with an unmodified DSLR. With out the filter, I was never able to capture the nebula in M45 or the depth and color in the image of M42.
    Looks like I can't view links in signatures until I get 5 posts.... which ironically this is my 5th post, haha.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Suggestions for a Light Pollution Filter?

    So I actually ordered the Orion SkyGlow Astrophotography Filter the other day, and was able to try it out last night... I do have to say it makes a pretty noticeable difference. It's not a miracle worker... but it certainly does kick things up to a new level. So far I'm really satisfied with it.

    Here's a comparison between with and without the filter (both images are processed)... You'll have to excuse the quality of the images... I'm still kinda a beginner in regards to nebula photography.
    15449099660_a44e8ea0ab_z.jpg


    I am certainly able to pick out a lot more detail than before... I suspect that as my proficiency in this type of astrophotography improves, this difference will be more noticable.

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    Default Re: Suggestions for a Light Pollution Filter?

    You might also want to look at DGM Optics. They have great filters. I have the Astronomiks UHC which was my favorite filter, but have recently purchased a DGM NPB (their UHC) and the VHT and they have edged out my Astronomiks. Here is a link to some images take with the VHT plus an IR Cut filter

    http://www.dgmoptics.com/vht_imaging.htm
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    Default Re: Suggestions for a Light Pollution Filter?

    I used an Astronomik cls filter for awhile, but moved away from it and ultimately sold it. I did not like what it did to the color balance of my images, and in a lot of cases the change seemed unrecoverable in post. I decided to just make a point of only imaging in certain areas of my sky to limit the effect LP has on my images. I like the results much better.

    Your comparison is interesting, in that it does show a pretty substantial improvement in detail (were the exposure lengths the same for the subs in each?). But, it exhibits a pretty hefty blue shift.
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    Default Re: Suggestions for a Light Pollution Filter?

    Color balance can be corrected in post for any filter. When I first started out I had trouble getting the color back to normal but when I bought PixInsight I was able to fix color balance much easier than I could with Photoshop.
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    I never could get the histogram in balance with PI or PS. Probably user error.
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    Default Re: Suggestions for a Light Pollution Filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by fort384 View Post
    Your comparison is interesting, in that it does show a pretty substantial improvement in detail (were the exposure lengths the same for the subs in each?). But, it exhibits a pretty hefty blue shift.
    I believe they were mostly the same, but not entirely. I guess that kind of biases the comparison and makes it highly unscientific now that I think about it. One of these nights I'll have to sit down and do two sessions that are identical in every way except for the filter... to give more accurate results.

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    Default Re: Suggestions for a Light Pollution Filter?

    Ashley, In the end, it really is up to the person's own eyes that determine what works for them. Every set of eyes and brains are just a little different from each other. Those two together will match what works the best for you. You are doing great asking for opinions, as this narrows down the field considerably, weeding out the bad or mediocre filters, and leaving you with what others think are the best to try.

    Best wishes on your choices of filters, and your continuing venture into our wonderful hobby. Caley
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