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Thread: Advice on nebula filters for XT8

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    Default Advice on nebula filters for XT8



    Hi,

    I recently got an Orion XT8 dobsonian (focal length 1200mm, aperture 203mm, f/5.9) and am thinking of buying an ES82 11mm eyepiece. The telescope comes with a 25mm plossl. I can only really afford one filter for deep sky observing. Which kind provides the most benefit to the largest number of northern hemisphere objects visible in Bortle 4 skies?

    Thank you,

    Ben

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    Default Re: Advice on nebula filters for XT8

    Most folks go with a UHC and or a OIII filter.
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    Default Re: Advice on nebula filters for XT8

    Do a google search on filters. There are a few good articles showing which filters work best with objects.
    Some will tell you UHC (I own) and others will say the OIII; and some will recommend others.
    See if you can locate that article and determine which objects are in YOUR sky that can best utilize whatever filter.
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    Default Re: Advice on nebula filters for XT8

    There is another filter option that few people are aware of. That is the OIII/Hbeta hybrid filter that Omega Optical produces there in the US.

    Omega Optical is the parent company of DGM, who make the highly regarded NPB and OIII filters. As Omega Optical, they also manufacture filters for other famous astro brands. Because they have the manufacturing facilities to produce not just astro filters and other precision filters, they are also in a position to experiment with producing hybrid filters. Their OIII/Hbeta filter is one such filter.

    I've got their OIII/Hbeta hybrid, their Hbeta filter, and their DGM NPB filter. A couple of years back I tried all three filters on the Horsehead Nebula - one of the toughest nebulae to spot. I also had a strictly OIII filter as the control filter. All of the first three filters showed the Horsehead. The filter that didn't was the exclusively OIII filter, as would be expected. The ease of seeing the Horsehead was best with the Hbeta and the NPB, and softest with the hybrid, but it was still there.

    On objects that require an OIII filter, this hybrid also performs very well.

    This OIII/Hbeta hybrid I feel is a brilliant compromise filter if you really can only purchase just the one filter. My hybrid filter is the one that gets most used, only grabbing the OIII and NPB filters when I feel I need to push things along a bit more. This hybrid filter has a wider spectrum transmission than strictly OIII and UHC type filters, but it is a matter of compromise between either one of the narrow bands filters, or a hybrid that will gallantly offer both. It's also cheaper than the narrow band filters Omega Optical produces.

    Here's a link to the 1.25" filter:
    Omega Optical OIII - H beta hybrid filter, 1.25"

    Here's a link to the 2" filter:
    Omega Optical OIII - H Beta hybrid filter, 2"

    Also worth looking at the other astro filters that Omega Optical. Being the manufacturer, they are in a great position to try out different thing that are out of the orthodoxy, which I think is blooming brilliant! They will also MAKE custom filters too!

    The DGM line of filters are also available through ebay.

    One filter I wouldn't recommend getting is an exclusively H beta filter. There are just a handful of objects that benefit from such a filter, and it is not a filter that gets used otherwise. Knowing what I know now, and having the NPB filter, I wouldn't have purchased the Hbeta filter for visual use. Hbeta filters are best left for those really hardcore visual folks who have more patience than me to exploit such a specialised filter.

    WORD OF CAUTION: Not all filters are actually what the label says it is. Sadly, the terms OIII, UHC (ultra high contrast), LPF (light pollution filter) are terms that are used only as a "gentleman's agreement". There may be a strict set of criteria which defines the transmission spectra for each, but there is no all encompassing convention saying that what the label describes is what you are getting. And there are some scumbag brands out there that do the latter. Only adding to the confusion is the distinction between photo and visual applications. Look for known to be good brands, read lots, and only then open your wallet. An irresistibly cheap priced filter of unknown pedigree should raise your suspicion. But like I also said, there is one very well know high profile brand out there that also is loose with its terms.

    Alex.
    Last edited by bladekeeper; 08-31-2016 at 01:04 AM. Reason: edit per request of the author

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    Default Re: Advice on nebula filters for XT8

    Thanks Alex for the discussion and especially, for your wordsof caution.

    The best sources for the quality filters are manufacturers specialized in the filters making, and among these those ones, which are designung and manufaturing the filters for the astrophotography and for modding the DSLR cameras, as they have the top technologies as OEM, or they have an access to the top technologies like the swiss Leybold.

    The nebula visual filters have as a rule no IR cut (not necessary for visual), but they often have side pass-bands transmitting unwanted light. An exception is the Baader visual OIII 10nm filter with the well suppressed side pass-bands.

    The nebula filters for the astrophotography have the IR cut, and well suppressed side pass-bands. So, whenever these filters have a high transmittance (higher than 90%), then they are very well suited also for visual.

    The best way is to read the reports of people systematically using the nebula filters. There are also filter shootouts in other forums, like in the CN, and in the hobby astronomy magazines, but I have not found these shootouts really helpful.

    Best,

    JG
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  6. The Following User Says Thank You to j.gardavsky For This Useful Post:

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    Default Re: Advice on nebula filters for XT8

    I love my Orion Ultra Block. Give one a try.
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