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General Discussion on Filters for Deep Sky Imaging


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I was just hoping to get some other peoples thoughts on LRGB and NB filter, and in particular the Ultra NB filters.

Over the last 2 to 3 years I have built up a reasonable imaging setup and having just upgraded my camera then next upgrade probably would be my filters.
And if money was freely available to me then I am sure I would not be posting this thread and I would have a full set of Astrodons already.
But, that is not the case and when I bought my current set of 36mm filters I had other eqipment to buy as well so certainly then Astrodons were out of the question (although the price of them now I wish I had just bit the bullet ūüôā¬†) so I went middle of the road and bought all Baader and have these in LRGB and Ha 3.5Nm, OIII & SII 4.5 Nm.
And I am not saying I am not happy with them, but also not had too much imaging time over last year to really test them out, something I hope changes with semi-retirement and more time to dedicate to my imaging.
But also I have nothing to compare to, hence the thread.

So after all the rambling what would I gain spending a little over £3000 on new filters over the Baaders.
I know many have had bad experiences with halos on Baaders, mostly on the standard OIII 8.5 Nm but with the 4.5 Nm version seems okay to me.

Does anyone have images from same targets on similar conditions for both manufacturers ?

I can only assume Astrodons are worth the extra cash because as soon as they come into stock they are gone.

Also I hear about various Chinese NB filters coming onto the market also around the 3Nm bandwidth, are these better than the Baaders and are they anywhere near the Astrodons, Does anyone actually know ?

Knowing what I do now maybe 2 years or so ago, when I bought the Baader Ultra NB (which are not exacly cheap), I would have bought the Astrodons as they were a bit cheaper than they are now, even if I had to get on credit, but being fairly new I hated paying that sort of money for a piece of coloured glass.
But that bit of coloured glass is just as important as the camera or scope, probably more in the  case of NB with lots of LP.

Steve
 

Edited by teoria_del_big_bang
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Baaders are excellent.  I will tell you right now, in my experienced opinion, save your cash and stick with the Baaders and sew-up that hole in your pocket wanting to burn the money.  I also have Baaders and Astrodon.  Yes of course the Astrodon NB are a bit better.  But are they worth the difference in price, per cost of use in our country?  Absolutely not. If you were using them night after night then maybe I might give you a slightly different answer, although even then the Baaders are super.   I think Baader LRGB are just as good as the Astrodons, indeed, slightly better.  The Astrodon Blue and Lum filters are very permissive of IR whereas the Baaders block it.

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10 minutes ago, kirkster501 said:

Baaders are excellent.  I will tell you right now, in my experienced opinion, save your cash and stick with the Baaders and sew-up that hole in your pocket wanting to burn the money.  I also have Baaders and Astrodon.  Yes of course the Astrodon NB are a bit better.  But are they worth the difference in price, per cost of use in our country?  Absolutely not. If you were using them night after night then maybe I might give you a slightly different answer, although even then the Baaders are super.   I think Baader LRGB are just as good as the Astrodons, indeed, slightly better.  The Astrodon Blue and Lum filters are very permissive of IR whereas the Baaders block it.

Thanks for that, makes me feel a lot better.
As I say I have gradually built up the kit over last couple of years, knowing retirement was approaching and money would be less available then so went for Baaders thinking they were a good choice at the time. Unfortunately not had the use they should have mainly due to weather and heavy work commitments in my push towards retirement (not even managed that now as I retired for a couple of months but now back working for same company, albeit only part time for a while longer).

Then I read quire a few bad threads on various forums about issues with Baaders and so much about how good Astrodons were I must admit it did worry me a bit I had scrimped and done the wrong thing.
I guess proof of it is to get some data and see for myself.
Also maybe I am hoping for too much to overcome LP and perhaps the best thing I can add to my setup are dark skies and travel a bit now I can have a lie in the next day ūüôā¬†

Steve

Edited by teoria_del_big_bang
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Despite having numerous Astrodons in both 1.25" and 2" I'd agree with Steve.. save your money and put it towards that new ASI2600/QHY268 mono camera...  I would expect that the absence of any microlensing artefacts around bright stars will be far more noticeable than any improvement you might see from using Astrodon NB filters. 

Dave 

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1 minute ago, newbie alert said:

Best thing is to remove that thought from your mind and use what you have...

It's like wanting a Ferrari to get you to work, where a mini Cooper will do much the same job

Ha Ha yes perfectly true. 

Only the Ferrari is now not needed in this "Work from Home" era ūüôā¬†

Steve

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3 minutes ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

Ha Ha yes perfectly true. 

Only the Ferrari is now not needed in this "Work from Home" era ūüôā¬†

Steve

Suppose the Ferrari would look better in the garage than the mini.. but from the outside looking in no-one would know

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If Astrodon = 95/100 then Baader = 90/100.

The Astrodon 3nm Ha is a superb filter.  If you absolutely must have that one then go for it.  However, the Baader at a quarter of the cost is 80% as good.  You have to ask yourself, in our skies, with the use that they'll get, seriously, it isn't worth it. Save that £3000 or spend it elsewhere.  The difference the Astrodons will make is infinitesimal.  Sure, if you are like Sara in southern Spain or Ollie in France where the weather is so very much better and they will get used 3 or 4 times per week then it may be worth it because you'd get so much more from the investment. 

I wish I hadn't bothered with my Astrodons with the use they are getting, a complete waste of money in the UK. That's what I meant when I said in my "experienced opinion" above.

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9 minutes ago, kirkster501 said:

If Astrodon = 95/100 then Baader = 90/100.

The Astrodon 3nm Ha is a superb filter.  If you absolutely must have that one then go for it.  However, the Baader at a quarter of the cost is 80% as good.  You have to ask yourself, in our skies, with the use that they'll get, seriously, it isn't worth it. Save that £3000 or spend it elsewhere.  The difference the Astrodons will make is infinitesimal.  Sure, if you are like Sara in southern Spain or Ollie in France where the weather is so very much better and they will get used 3 or 4 times per week then it may be worth it because you'd get so much more from the investment. 

I wish I hadn't bothered with my Astrodons with the use they are getting, a complete waste of money in the UK. That's what I meant when I said in my "experienced opinion" above.

Makes sense and many thanks for the advice, which until those lottery numbers come u I will heed ūüôā¬†

I know its great to get a new bit of astro kit but to be honest I am not sure I really need anything for a while now (oh I would like but I don't need it) so the money will probably not even go on astro gear, as such, but possibly a holiday when we can do so and get to some dark skies with my scope.
Maybe even get out to Ollies place which I promised myself I would do one day.

Steve

Edited by teoria_del_big_bang
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What interests me above all, here, is the performance of the new narrower bandpass Baader narrowbands. I have the 7nm Ha and the whatever-it-is-eightish nm OIII. The Ha is OK, quite good, but the ridiculously expensive 3nm Astrodon is simply way better. While holding down the stars it pulls out far more contrasts, in less time, than the Baader 7. However, you can work with the Baader 7 and get good results. How would I quantify the difference? If you want to make a good NB-enhanced broadband photo I'd say the Baader 7 would give 80% of the Astrodon 3. If you want an excellent all NB photo then the Baader drops to 50% of the Astrodon. And the harder you want to push the contrasts from the Baader the more extra exposure time you'll need. This seems to be a minority opinion on this thread but I can't help that and I have hundreds of hours of using both.

So now for the Baader basic 8 (point whatever) OIII.  It's junk. I have two of the wretched things and they are halo maniacs. I also have a replacement Astronomik for an original which was junk and the replacement is also junk. More halos.  I tried to order a newer, tighter bandpass Baader OIII but just kept getting emails saying it was still not available in the format I need for my FW. I lost the will to live. I can only live with my present OIII filters because 1) I'm a shameless post-processor and can bodge most things (not a virtue) and 2) because I don't do pure NB imaging, I only add NB to LRGB. This makes it easier to bodge the pestilent OIII halos I have, but I would like to offer better raw data to my guests.

So, for those who've tried them, what are the new, tighter, Baaders like? The million dollar question.

Olly

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1 hour ago, ollypenrice said:

So, for those who've tried them, what are the new, tighter, Baaders like? The million dollar question.

My word Olly like a genie mention your name and you appear ūüôā¬†

I  have the Badder so called Ultra NB (Ha 3.5Nm, OIII & SII 4.5 Nm) in 36mm and went for these as the price was not astronomical and had read about the persistent halos with the standard O!!! and Baader did promise that would not be an issue with the new range.
I was very luck and managed to get the Ha and OIII from Ian King when they were as rare as rocking horse poo, it then took me until back end of last year to get the SII.

But the reason for asking these questions is as these are the only decent filters I have had in my short 3 years in AP I just don't know how good or how bad they are and have not used them enough to really see the results myself.

But I haven't really noticed any major issues with halos but there again maybe not been near any very bright stars.. Not sure if it helps but a couple of crops from single 300S raw frames of Monkeys Head below.

                                                                                OIII                                                                                                                                                                                          Ha

image.png.d2a1f4b1376ab148ba48458ffd25b346.png          image.png.044c1e51c2bf664479cdaf808cc3b0cf.png

Steve

 

Edited by teoria_del_big_bang
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7 hours ago, newbie alert said:

 

It's like wanting a Ferrari to get you to work, where a mini Cooper will do much the same job

ūü§£¬†Ahem, a Mini Cooper is front wheel drive. The purpose of¬† a proper car is to allow the enthusiastic driver to come out of corners in ego-boosting, power-on opposite lock slides. Front wheel drive cars are for going to Sainsbury's and for letting schoolboys perform what they call 'lift-off oversteer.'¬† AKA oversteer for nancies.¬†ūüĎĻūüėĄ

Olly

I am, of course, joking. Sort of...

Edited by ollypenrice
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11 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

ūü§£¬†Ahem, a Mini Cooper is front wheel drive. The purpose of¬† a proper car is to allow the enthusiastic driver to come out of corners in ego-boosting, power-on opposite lock slides. Front wheel drive cars are for going to Sainsbury's and for letting schoolboys perform what they call 'lift-off oversteer.'¬† AKA oversteer for nancies.¬†ūüĎĻūüėĄ

Olly

I am, of course, joking. Sort of...

You go carefull Olly, I've heard it's kind of hilly where you live..

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!! My first car was a '69 Austin Cooper.. I completely rebuilt & got rid of that hydrolastic suspension rubbish.. don't listen to @ollypenrice¬†... ¬†understeer is a sheer "thrill" as that wall approaches.. ¬†ūü§£

Anyway, back on track.. I have.. ohh must be at least 3 sets of Baaders LRGB,Ha, SII,OIII..why do I say "at least" 'cos I can't remember as I've only used one set of filters..  Baader LRGB and Astrodon Ha,SII, OIII for.. err years?  When I got my QSI683 I filled it with BaaderLRGB and Astrodon NB's, wow what a difference for NB !!

Under UK skies.. these days.. I mostly just bother with NB. aside from LP..( OK I use IDAS always in the chain) shooting through thin /thicker cloud.. well.. cloud also seems to benefit the narrower band NB's. I got a 2" Baader 3.5 Ha when they first came out & was quite impressed but that's been put aside.  I setup with ACP running the Obsy with the QSI & Astrodons & I've not really used anything else for years. I just let it go and grab subs when it's dry!!..  UK skies are getting worse.. just shoot away and weed out the rubbish.. there's a lot!!. I was going to get a set of larger Chromers to try, in anticipation of the larger sensor CMOS but after the ridiculous price increases I'm thinking of going OSC CMOS and a 2 or 3 band filter. Right now it'a cheaper to buy a OSC CMOS and filter than a set of 3 NB's!!.. anyway here's a single sub from NGC2174 (Monkey).. (the best of 3 hours of OIII subs so far trying on this target for 2 months!!) from the QSI on an Esprit 150 with FR .77 and Astrodon 3nm OIII so you can compare.. all I've done is a STF (stretch) in Pixinsight.  

Edit: its a 900s Sub BTW

NGC2174 E150-OIII-900-Bin1-Temp-10-W-20201222@024357.jpg

Edited by Sp@ce_d
Add exposure time for sub
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19 minutes ago, Sp@ce_d said:

anyway here's a single sub from NGC2174 (Monkey).. (the best of 3 hours of OIII subs so far trying on this target for 2 months!!) from the QSI on an Esprit 150 with FR .77 and Astrodon 3nm OIII so you can compare.. all I've done is a STF (stretch) in Pixinsight.  

Edit: its a 900s Sub BTW

Nice sub and compared to mine it miles ahead,.

But real hard to do any real comparison when LP will be different, sky conditions may not compare, it was a bit hazy with around 60% moon with mine and mine was 300S.

Yours is really more like what I would like to get from the OIII and clear skies permitting if the target is still in my line of sight then I could try a longer sub hopefully on a better conditions and then see how it compares.

Steve

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9 minutes ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

Nice sub and compared to mine it miles ahead,.

But real hard to do any real comparison when LP will be different, sky conditions may not compare, it was a bit hazy with around 60% moon with mine and mine was 300S.

Yours is really more like what I would like to get from the OIII and clear skies permitting if the target is still in my line of sight then I could try a longer sub hopefully on a better conditions and then see how it compares.

Steve

Steve, I'm soo lucky to have been able to build¬†an Obsy so I can¬†shoot when its dry &¬†clear enough to see stars! My skies used to be Bortle 3/4 when I moved here.. now its 5 with all the¬†building¬†going on, on what used to be farmland!! I'm also not that far really.. as the crow flies.. ¬†from Edinburgh.. but on higher ground. So lots of LP,¬†it¬†still¬†throws out a lot of glow. I¬†used to use IDAS p2's on my trains but this one is with the newer D2 in the train, as they recently replaced some of the street lamps here with LED. Having just tried to do a quick LRGB process of some early data on M81/82, the first LRGB I've worked on for quite ¬†a while, I can say with the LP & weather we¬†are subject to these days, it makes a difference. Aside from weather,¬†NB is the only thing left for us near any civilisation! I still think Astrodon &¬†Chroma¬†filters¬†are the way to go for NB but prices now are taking the P1sh. Antlia filters look promising but yet to be proven. Aside¬†from all this is clearish¬†sky time.. and I for one can only justify the cost by running an automated Obsy, in the UK.¬†Once I retire & that could be tomorrow if contracts/work is cut short! Then I won't be able to play catchup and will be making do with what I have. So, in hindsight, if I had to choose between an Obsy that was automated to make use of every clear night when I'm asleep and expensive NB filters. I'd pick automated Obsy and wider band NB filters over expensive NB filters. To summarise I think if you have unlimited sky time then 40 hours of Baader 7nm is just as good as 20 hours of 3nm Astrodons.. well in the UK anyway? Depends on your value of life expectancy I guess .. why I chose Astrodons BTW.. lifes too short, can't take it with me.. kids will waste it.. ( sort of joking)¬†ūüėĄ

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22 minutes ago, Sp@ce_d said:

kids will waste it.. ( sort of joking)¬†ūüėĄ

Or maybe not Ha Ha.
I certainly agree with the life's too short and can't take it with you. But my filters are in the 3.5Nm to 4.5 Nm range so I will see how I get on with them and  the obsy is probably a better thing to spend the money towards and is what I intend to do.
Only thing stopping me making a start is that we are probably going to downsize in next year or two and dontt really want to spend 2 years getting the obsy just right to then move and pack it all up, or that was my reasoning but there again the 2 years could turn into 3, or 4 and who knows ?

Steve

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I started off with a Baader 7 nm Ha and then bought a Baader 3.5 nm Ha and the improvement was clear (when used on an Esprit 100 with ASI1600MM as I remember it) with tighter stars and more contrast, just like what @ollypenrice says about his Astrodon 3nm. So when comparing the 7 nm Baader with a 3 nm Astrodon there is a clear winner. It may be that a 3 nm Astrodon is better than a 3.5 nm Baader but I have not seen any comparisons made. It could be that the difference is quite small.

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I think that you'll find that perceived difference between Baader 7nm and Astrodon 3nm depends on where you compare them.

If you compare them in relatively high light pollution then you'll notice that they are more alike than different - they both successfully remove a lot of light pollution - making drastic difference between using and not using them. This makes their relative difference appear small.

On the other hand if you compare them in relatively low light pollution - then their difference becomes obvious. In low light pollution you are able to go deeper in a given amount of time compared to high LP and deeper you go - difference becomes more obvious between two filters.

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3 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

Here's a link to 24x15 minutes of Ha from a :D rear wheel drive Astrodon 3nm filter, Atik 11000 and Tak FSQ106N, all Mesu 200 mounted. See what you think.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3pdjgw6il2dqihm/Ha3NM 24X15.tif?dl=0

Olly

Now I am just jealous. 

image.png.6ded57acdf640a07dd2947cd8e184aa6.png

Just fantastic, what can I say.

But, how much of the success of that Ha image is down to filters, and how much to scope, camera, viewing conditions & dark skies ?
I imagine the filters do play a big part but the biggest plus must be the dark skies and lack of LP (in my novice mind anyway) and as @vlaiv says the 3nm filter coupled with lack of LP is what pulls all that detail out.

Much of that I am not going to get from my patio and having to travel more on clear nights I know is probably the best upgrade I can have, we do have some relatively good dark skies in the Dales so I need to use them, and then maybe the difference between the Baader 4.5nm and Astrodon 3nm is still there but not so obvious. 
And my aims are continual improvement of the final image, so there are lots of other stuff I can do to achieve that before paying a few K for new filters and also still a lot to learn on the processing side yet as well.

The better filters may come one day, not sure but I think this thread has made me realize I need to use what I have for now and get the best out of them I can.

On the bright side if AP was easy then I probably would have got bored by now and given up ūüôā¬†

Steve 

Edited by teoria_del_big_bang
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For further comparison here is another Rosette shot last Saturday night from Bortle4/5 in the UK and with the Moons at 76% and near the Hyades..    20x 1200s , Astrodon 5nm, Esprit100, SX46 (Kaf16200 ccd) Mesu...    luckily the Rosette is bright.

Somewhat lower SNR than Olly's but still pretty good..  If the Baader really is 4.5nm then it ought to be pretty close to the Astrodons..  With your Oiii and Sii filters if you do get halos there are processing methods to mitigate them including of course StarNet., there are plenty of excellent SHO images around that weren't taken with Astrodons or Chromas.   Also you might find, like I have that you much prefer imaging in "natural colour" ..  

Dave

Rosette_Ha_Final25Jan21_crop.thumb.jpg.3e5cba0bf14d5f011bcb6f8dcc0c0944.jpg

 

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2 minutes ago, Laurin Dave said:

For further comparison here is another Rosette shot last Saturday night from Bortle4/5 in the UK and with the Moons at 76% and near the Hyades..    20x 1200s , Astrodon 5nm, Esprit100, SX46 (Kaf16200 ccd) Mesu...    luckily the Rosette is bright.

Somewhat lower SNR than Olly's but still pretty good..  If the Baader really is 4.5nm then it ought to be pretty close to the Astrodons..  With your Oiii and Sii filters if you do get halos there are processing methods to mitigate them including of course StarNet., there are plenty of excellent SHO images around that weren't taken with Astrodons or Chromas.   Also you might find, like I have that you much prefer imaging in "natural colour" ..  

Dave

 

 

Nice ūüôā¬†

Similar LP to my patio probably and funnily  enough it seems to be a quirk in my part of the UK that clear nights only happen when moon is more than 70% so that should be achievable for me.

To be honest I have had very little use out of my LRGB filters so far due to the moon always being so bright on the clear nights (I wasn't joking ūüôā¬†) but would like to get more use out of them.

Steve

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1 hour ago, vlaiv said:

I think that you'll find that perceived difference between Baader 7nm and Astrodon 3nm depends on where you compare them.

If you compare them in relatively high light pollution then you'll notice that they are more alike than different - they both successfully remove a lot of light pollution - making drastic difference between using and not using them. This makes their relative difference appear small.

On the other hand if you compare them in relatively low light pollution - then their difference becomes obvious. In low light pollution you are able to go deeper in a given amount of time compared to high LP and deeper you go - difference becomes more obvious between two filters.

I'm not sure about this. I would have expected it to be the other way round, though I haven't done a comparison. What is widely agreed upon, however, is that the 3nm is significantly more moon-proof than the 7nm. I certainly find that, as do many others.

1 hour ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

 

Just fantastic, what can I say.

But, how much of the success of that Ha image is down to filters, and how much to scope, camera, viewing conditions & dark skies ?
 

Steve 

A lot of that data's strong points do come from the filter. I don't have earlier Baader Rosette data stored any longer but I remember how it was. There was less contrast in the nebula and the stars were much bigger. I'm also convinced that the Astrodon is faster in reaching a good S/N level. Another comparison comes to mind. When I was working on this image  https://www.astrobin.com/full/243808/0/ I was using the Tak 106/Atik 11000 for the widefield and adding 'regions of interest' at longer FL from the TEC140 and another Atik 11 meg. Normally the TEC blows the Takahashi out of the water on resolution. Finer detail, more stars, smaller stars. There is a big difference. However, 7nm Ha from the TEC really did nothing to enhance 3nm data from the Tak. The data sets looked very similar, so the 3nm was tightening up the Tak's results in a remarkable way. I was very surprised by this but so it was.  However, I've also used the 5nm Astrodon and, again to my surprise, I found it closer to the Nnm Baader than to the 3nm Astrodon. The 3 is a killer filter but difficult to focus since the stars are so restrained.

Olly

 

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