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Review of the new ZWO Narrowband filters - comparison to the old ZWO and Astrodon filters

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#26 Der_Pit

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 07:11 AM

I had to remount my filters last night for the very reason of shimming. When I first had my filter wheels I did not pay much attention to the fact that some filters were thinner than others. The Baader filters are 2.4 mm thick but the LPR filter I bought was only 1.2 mm. It made quite a difference in the focus positions.

 

I can only infer that the shims are offered in different thicknesses to deal with this issue- so my advice is to shim as close as possible to match the thickness of all filters.

Hmm, that one I don't understand - what you mean with 'shimming'?  Are you adding clear-glass filters to match the thickness?  I'd expect that to reduce optical quality/performance,,,

 

(and I'm *really* looking forward to your filter-flip test!)



#27 Robby9newbie

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 07:54 AM

Thanks,

 

I am still going to do the orientation test. It still nags me that I may have put the filter in the wrong orientation. Its an easy test, but sky time is precious and I am trying to complete M8 and M20 while I can still see them. But I will get this done. I want to be sure I did this right.

How do you do the orientation test? I just got the new 31mm ZWO filters and I may have some LRGB filters in backwards.

Robin



#28 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 07:59 AM

Any discernable variable having 2mm and 3mm filters in the same wheel without fine tuning the distance between? Or are you adding a shim/spacer for the 2 filter thicknesses?

I use Optolong LRGB (2mm thick) and Astrodon narrowband (3mm thick) in the same wheel.  There is a significant difference in the focus point between the two sets of filters, but I use filter offsets to compensate.  I autofocus with the LUM filter and have measured the focuser offset between the LUM and all the other filters.  So when the Astrodon Ha filter is called for, the software (SGP) moves the focuser out around 350 steps and the Ha is then in focus.



#29 cfosterstars

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 09:00 AM

How do you do the orientation test? I just got the new 31mm ZWO filters and I may have some LRGB filters in backwards.

Robin

You simply have to be very careful and use the pictures on the ZWO web site. It is not easy, but that is the best way I know of. For the new NB filters, its not that hard. The method on the ZWO website works but you really have to study the images on the web site to verify that you are doing it correctly. For my test, I am simple going to put the filter in the correct way as best I can determine from the website instructions and take some images. I will then flip the filters and repeat the imaging. then compare the images for star reflections. This should show that the "correct" orientation has the least bright-star halo artifacts.


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#30 Robby9newbie

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 10:36 AM

 CFOSTERSTARS

Thanks for the input on the orientation of the filters.  I will probably remove them one by one in the filter wheel and really study the ZWO site and the sides of the filter checking the reflection

Robin



#31 pointofview_365

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 02:26 PM

You simply have to be very careful and use the pictures on the ZWO web site. It is not easy, but that is the best way I know of. For the new NB filters, its not that hard. The method on the ZWO website works but you really have to study the images on the web site to verify that you are doing it correctly. For my test, I am simple going to put the filter in the correct way as best I can determine from the website instructions and take some images. I will then flip the filters and repeat the imaging. then compare the images for star reflections. This should show that the "correct" orientation has the least bright-star halo artifacts.


They're a pain, but the new NB are easier from the looks of things. The hardest was always the Oiii and that filter hasn't changed by the looks of it. Trial and error is definitely the only sure way. I went with the Astrodons myself, eliminated all the issues. With the 1600 camera mounted to the filter wheel, one has to use the spacers that come with the kits. I think the 2(1 thicker and 1 thinner) together add up to .64mm and aligns the sensor correctly in orientation to the wheel. With the Astrodons, one needs a baader delring kit-1mm. Back Focus on the camera is 6.5mm. Someone will correct me if that's wrong

#32 pyrasanth

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Posted 03 August 2018 - 02:13 AM

Hmm, that one I don't understand - what you mean with 'shimming'?  Are you adding clear-glass filters to match the thickness?  I'd expect that to reduce optical quality/performance,,,

 

(and I'm *really* looking forward to your filter-flip test!)

The filter wheel I use is the Optec IFW3. It is a monster of a filter wheel- 250 mm square & very solid. It can take filters up-to 65 mm square. The wheel has a very unique feature which was the primary reason for the purchase. The filter wheels can be changed with no system tear down. A center screw is loosened and a trap door on the side opened to remove the wheel. I really hate filter wheels where you have to remove a dozen tiny screws like the Atik EFW2 as an example.

 

The wheels are expensive, $345 each & the 50x50 mm square takes 6 filters, but are beautifully engineered.

 

Each filter wheel is supplied with a set of plastic shims which range from 0.8-1.6 mm in thickness. These are placed on the bed of the filter wheel holder and thus combinations of these plastic shims will increase or decrease the distance between the camera and filter. They simply fit around the outer edge of the filter in the mounting hole.


Edited by pyrasanth, 03 August 2018 - 02:22 AM.

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#33 Der_Pit

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Posted 03 August 2018 - 07:05 AM

The filter wheel I use is the Optec IFW3. 

......

Each filter wheel is supplied with a set of plastic shims which range from 0.8-1.6 mm in thickness. These are placed on the bed of the filter wheel holder and thus combinations of these plastic shims will increase or decrease the distance between the camera and filter. They simply fit around the outer edge of the filter in the mounting hole.

Ah, thanks for that explanation.  I thought that shimming was supposed to do something against the focus difference (which it won't)...



#34 Jon2070

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 07:46 AM

You simply have to be very careful and use the pictures on the ZWO web site. It is not easy, but that is the best way I know of. For the new NB filters, its not that hard. The method on the ZWO website works but you really have to study the images on the web site to verify that you are doing it correctly. For my test, I am simple going to put the filter in the correct way as best I can determine from the website instructions and take some images. I will then flip the filters and repeat the imaging. then compare the images for star reflections. This should show that the "correct" orientation has the least bright-star halo artifacts.

Where is this exactly on the ZWO site please?

 

I just recently got my filters and stipulated with the dealer that they should be the 2nd gen ones, but how do you know whether they are or not? On my LRGB filters it just says ZWO (*)-CCD 36mm (* being L/R/G/B), on the NB filters there are what appear to be serial numbers, for example the Ha one is B-2017070231 which looks like a date, July 2017.



#35 cfosterstars

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 08:28 AM

Where is this exactly on the ZWO site please?

 

I just recently got my filters and stipulated with the dealer that they should be the 2nd gen ones, but how do you know whether they are or not? On my LRGB filters it just says ZWO (*)-CCD 36mm (* being L/R/G/B), on the NB filters there are what appear to be serial numbers, for example the Ha one is B-2017070231 which looks like a date, July 2017.

Its under each filter set or type on their web site. Here is for the 31mm NB: you have to scroll down.

 

https://astronomy-im...and-31mm-filter


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#36 Jon2070

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 08:39 AM

Its under each filter set or type on their web site. Here is for the 31mm NB: you have to scroll down.

 

https://astronomy-im...and-31mm-filter

Thank you!



#37 suvowner

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 10:05 AM

ok, thanks for this

 

 

so I actually like the zwo final image better than the astrodons......does that mean I would be satisfied with the "new" zwo filters ??

 

I don't really notice the halo from the OIII filter in the final image.....



#38 cfosterstars

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 02:27 PM

ok, thanks for this

 

 

so I actually like the zwo final image better than the astrodons......does that mean I would be satisfied with the "new" zwo filters ??

 

I don't really notice the halo from the OIII filter in the final image.....

I have said many times that this is art and not science. If you like the image, that should be all that matters. There have been so many who have stated that "that is not the way that should look". Well that is never correct. Our images look nothing like what these object "really look like". Our eyes can barely see Ha light. Look at the NA nebula visually and it is not very impressive since you can barely see most of the light it emits. Hubble palette images are completely false color - they look nothing like the real object - but they are always acceptable as "nice" images. If you look at actual Hubble images and images from many professional observatories of objects around bight stars, you will often see halos. Are these image wrong? 

 

If you like the image that is all that counts. If you are into this hobby for the sake of getting likes on astrobin or likes of you image in CN, then the halos may matter. But for me, I am into this hobby to get images that please me. Do I like to get 'likes" on CN or AB, yes I do, but that is not the reason I do this.

 

So to answer your question - yes, the new ZWOs will probably work for you. I like my ADs better, but not that much better. 


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#39 JayS_CT

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 11:01 AM

I have said many times that this is art and not science. If you like the image, that should be all that matters. There have been so many who have stated that "that is not the way that should look". Well that is never correct. Our images look nothing like what these object "really look like". Our eyes can barely see Ha light. Look at the NA nebula visually and it is not very impressive since you can barely see most of the light it emits. Hubble palette images are completely false color - they look nothing like the real object - but they are always acceptable as "nice" images. If you look at actual Hubble images and images from many professional observatories of objects around bight stars, you will often see halos. Are these image wrong? 

 

If you like the image that is all that counts. If you are into this hobby for the sake of getting likes on astrobin or likes of you image in CN, then the halos may matter. But for me, I am into this hobby to get images that please me. Do I like to get 'likes" on CN or AB, yes I do, but that is not the reason I do this.

 

So to answer your question - yes, the new ZWOs will probably work for you. I like my ADs better, but not that much better. 

I know this is an older post, but very relevant as I'm making the move from DSLR to ZWO camera/Filter Wheel/Filter.  Starting with 1.25 and currently own the ZWO 1600 LRGB set.  Focus is part of the discussion here, but I can clearly see the O III Astrodon as a better filter over the ZWO O III.  The Halo is there in the O III standalone image as well as the integrated final. So the question is, Would a ZWO Ha/SII and AD O III work (or another competitor) in concert with the rest of the ZWO filters??  Thinking focus here and not using autofocus.  Great job on the comparison.  I also understood there to be three generations of ZWO filters.  An original set (which I've read elsewhere here on CN were good), then the set introduced in 2016(?), and then the newest set in the spring of 2018.  I wonder how the older older ZWO would do..

Jay S.



#40 cfosterstars

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 12:50 AM

I know this is an older post, but very relevant as I'm making the move from DSLR to ZWO camera/Filter Wheel/Filter.  Starting with 1.25 and currently own the ZWO 1600 LRGB set.  Focus is part of the discussion here, but I can clearly see the O III Astrodon as a better filter over the ZWO O III.  The Halo is there in the O III standalone image as well as the integrated final. So the question is, Would a ZWO Ha/SII and AD O III work (or another competitor) in concert with the rest of the ZWO filters??  Thinking focus here and not using autofocus.  Great job on the comparison.  I also understood there to be three generations of ZWO filters.  An original set (which I've read elsewhere here on CN were good), then the set introduced in 2016(?), and then the newest set in the spring of 2018.  I wonder how the older older ZWO would do..

Jay S.

I was only aware of two generations of NB filters. I  also reviewed the previous generation of NB filters in another post:

 

https://www.cloudyni...ontrolled-test/

 

The newest Ha/SII are much better than the previous generation and the OIII was actually unchanged from the previous generation.

 

You could use an Astrodon OIII filter with these, but they would likely have significant differences in focus and would require refocusing between filters. That would be a pain if you are doing it manually.


Edited by cfosterstars, 27 January 2019 - 12:51 AM.


#41 Bill Shaheen

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Posted 01 February 2019 - 11:09 AM

I recently picked up the ZWO EFW for my ASI1600MM Pro and was looking at the gamut of NB filters available.

I just have to say what a great discussion this has been and how much I appreciate all the work that went into this article.


Edited by Bill Shaheen, 01 February 2019 - 11:09 AM.

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#42 Mote

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 02:29 AM

Just a note of thanks for all your work on this cfosterstars,

 

After deciding to take the plunge into mono, I have been agonizing over the cost of filters and the cost v quality trade off. 

 

Your review helped a lot.


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#43 suvowner

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 03:10 PM

just so you know baader has a new ultra narrowband filter set 4.5nm, and the OIII they claim has no halos and is a bit cheaper than the astrodon, esp if bought from first light optics. still likely not par focal with the zwo, but another option to consider. depending on your setup and imaging f ratio probably a good idea to refocus between filters anyway. 

 

based on this review i went ahead and got the zwo filter set as well, and will wait and see if the OIII halos are tolerable in the final result, if not I plan to replace just the OIII with probably the 4.5nm badder.


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#44 cfosterstars

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 07:05 PM

Just a note of thanks for all your work on this cfosterstars,

 

After deciding to take the plunge into mono, I have been agonizing over the cost of filters and the cost v quality trade off. 

 

Your review helped a lot.

You are so welcome. I am glad that this work was helpful.

 

just so you know baader has a new ultra narrowband filter set 4.5nm, and the OIII they claim has no halos and is a bit cheaper than the astrodon, esp if bought from first light optics. still likely not par focal with the zwo, but another option to consider. depending on your setup and imaging f ratio probably a good idea to refocus between filters anyway. 

 

based on this review i went ahead and got the zwo filter set as well, and will wait and see if the OIII halos are tolerable in the final result, if not I plan to replace just the OIII with probably the 4.5nm badder.

The new ZWO OIII is not really improved. I have a set of Baader LRGB and Astronomiks NB that I am also about to start testing. The ZWO Ha and SII are actually not bad and a good deal for the price and the same for the LRGB.


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#45 NuclearRoy

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 05:00 PM

Thanks for the great review!

 

Looking at the ASI1600 Pro kits and this info helps a lot.



#46 cfosterstars

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 04:46 PM

Thanks for the great review!

 

Looking at the ASI1600 Pro kits and this info helps a lot.

Your welcome.



#47 Kaydubbed

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 10:49 AM

Where are these Baader 4.5nm filters? Most Baader NB filters are hard to find in the size I need [1.25"] at 3nm. I'd like to buy a NB set from one dealer and not have to hunt them all down from different dealers, with different lead times. Summer is coming to an end and Vega is already at Zenith by full darkness : *( 



#48 cfosterstars

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 04:52 PM

I now have a set of 36mm Astronomiks LRGB and NB that I am putting through their paces and they seen quite good. I have never had or mentioned Baader Nb. I have a set of Baader LRGB that I pulled out so that my Astronomiks set would be complete and more parafocal for the OAG. All my NB filters are either 5nm (Astrodon) or 6mm (Astronomiks).



#49 suvowner

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 05:33 PM

Where are these Baader 4.5nm filters? Most Baader NB filters are hard to find in the size I need [1.25"] at 3nm. I'd like to buy a NB set from one dealer and not have to hunt them all down from different dealers, with different lead times. Summer is coming to an end and Vega is already at Zenith by full darkness : *( 

https://www.firstlig...filters/page/2/

 

i have had good experience with this dealer. much cheaper than us dealer, but prob not such a good deal after brexit goes through.



#50 terry59

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 06:14 AM

Where are these Baader 4.5nm filters? Most Baader NB filters are hard to find in the size I need [1.25"] at 3nm. I'd like to buy a NB set from one dealer and not have to hunt them all down from different dealers, with different lead times. Summer is coming to an end and Vega is already at Zenith by full darkness : *( 

I recently purchased a 1.25" Baader 3.5nm Ha filter. The SII was available also but the 4.5nm OIII shows as unavailable until 10-1-19 on the Baader website


Edited by terry59, 08 August 2019 - 06:15 AM.



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