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Light pollution filters

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The more I read the more confused I become! I live in a relatively llight polluted town outside London. I'm looking for a filter that will improve views of the likes of M42 and Andromeda. Can one filter do both, and why the huge price differences? - from £20 to £120 from what I can see.

Does anyone have personal recommendation of a reasonably-priced filter(or two?) that will improve my visual observing experience?


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I'm in epsom, so pretty similar for LP!

I've found that Seben LP filter works wonders. Seben don't have a great reputation for astronomical gear but their filters (and refractors) are pretty good and, for the price, worth the expenditure.

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For nebulae (including M42 of course) UHC and / or OIII filters do enhance contrast - albeit at the expense of some dimming of background stars. As other items in astronomy you pay more for more optical quality although the lower cost ones (eg: the Skywatcher UHC) do work as well.

For galaxies the only way to enhance the views is to find darker skies I'm afraid.

My own personal choice is an Astronomik 2" OIII filter. Not cheap but I find it very effective on nebulae, and especially planetary nebulae. I've tried quote a lot of others as well and most worked to varying degrees. The Orion Ultrablock is another that generally gets good reviews.

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Nice part of the world. We nearly moved to Epsom before finally settling in Biggin Hill. Ok I'll check the Seben one out. is it a 'narrowband' filter that I've seen mentioned?

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There are basic light pollution filters, then enhanced coatings like the Baader Neodynium which supposedly also enhance nebula slightly.

For nebula you really then move up to UHC or OIII filters which have even more aggressive light cut off.

2" filters seem to cost way more than 1.25" filters

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