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Should I keep this H Beta filter?

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#1 Daveatvt01

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 11:47 PM

So I got a discount Orion H Beta filter from an online retailer that has warehouse deals. It was listed as "very good" with no other description of it's condition. It turns out it has a couple of pinholes in the coating (no big deal) but it also has a small chip of coating missing (about 9 o'clock in the photo, enlarged on the right). It also looks like someone had sent it in for testing because it came with a test sheet (on left) printed last summer in addition to the little paper from Orion. 

 

Is the flaking coating a problem?

Does everything look ok on the test chart? It is skewed a bit to the right but I don't know how much it matters. 

Any opinions if I should keep it or not? I have 29 days to return it if I want to.

 

h_beta01.jpg

h_beta_chart.jpg



#2 Ian Robinson

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 12:02 AM

NO. I'd send it back and demand a full refund (not fit for use).

I'm pretty sure they don't individually test every filter , just one from a batch (production run) so the test results are indicative only of a perfect new filter in THAT production run, so really somewhat misleading IMO.
Also pretty sure they don't even give every filter an inspector's glance either.
The dodgey filters are likely not spotted until a customer receives it or someone in the shop (staff or a walkin customers) spots there is an issue (at which point it's likely set aside as they are not returnable to the manufacturer even if they get a replacement added to their order).

Edited by Ian Robinson, 24 April 2019 - 12:10 AM.

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#3 gnowellsct

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 12:07 AM

If you're talking about h-beta for Horsehead and California nebula etc. none of this is going to matter.  The rim where you see the square of missing coating is not going to be in the light path.  Usually edges like this have fairly inferior optical quality.  What counts is the field at the center of the filter.  That has to be pristine and working.  

 

If it is sold at a discount with a clear description of these issues then I'd just put it into service.  But there are longer term considerations.  Some filters get corrosion which works its way in.  Poor quality control on this filter may be pointing to other issues.  But it's not going to hurt you to look at the California Nebula with this filter, and the visual performance is probably going to be fine.  

 

There's also an argument to be made that we need to send the bad stuff back in order to encourage the producers in China to produce stuff that doesn't need to be returned.

 

Greg N


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#4 Ian Robinson

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 12:15 AM

There's also an argument to be made that we need to send the bad stuff back in order to encourage the producers in China to produce stuff that doesn't need to be returned.
 
Greg N

That's definitely a consideration, your keeping it lets both Orion USA & their Chinese manufacturer off the hook. There has to be a cost to them for selling substandard products , the only cost they care about is the effect on their bottom line.
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#5 Jim Waters

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 12:22 AM

Send it back and demand a replacement or a full refund.  Additional problems may turn up later.  Don't let these manufactures get away with selling defective parts.


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#6 CrazyPanda

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 01:00 AM

Just want to echo others' suggestions to send it back. If a market tolerates defective products, then that is what the market shall receive. Consumerism is a joint effort that requires all participants to wholly reject bad products and services.



#7 gnowellsct

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 01:10 AM

I buy Baader because I associate them we its good quality control. But I no longer know what to expect from Orion.
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#8 havasman

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 01:24 AM

Return for refund, not replacement. Too cheap to be good is not good no matter how many of them they send you.

 

Junk and fine goods can come from any country.


Edited by havasman, 24 April 2019 - 06:41 PM.

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#9 ngc7319_20

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 02:20 AM

You didn't say how much the discount was.  In my view this flaw at the edge will have no practical effect on anything.  Neither will the few pinholes.  I would keep it if the discount was more than say 10% or 20%.  You could get a tiny drop of black paint on a toothpick and (using a lab microscope) cover the gap on the edge.  This would also help to seal it against future moisture intrusion into the layers.  But it probably doesn't make any difference.

 

The slight shift to the right doesn't make any difference.  Maybe lose a couple percent on the transmission.  Also real filters in real telescopes are shifted to the blue from these spectrophotometer print outs.  It's because the light beam is converging in a telescope, whereas spectrophotometers use parallel light beams.  The angle at which light hits the filter affects the center wavelength.

 

Some people stated it should go back to encourage makers to turn out the best quality stuff.  But you did buy it at a discount.  And it was advertised as "very good" rather than "mint" or "perfect."   I've got no problem with makers selling their seconds at a discount, so long you know you are not getting top-of-the line stuff.

 

But ultimately you need to be happy with it.  I can tell you it makes no difference, but if every time you have trouble seeing the Horse Head nebula you wonder it the problem is that little spot, then you should send it back for refund.  And instead buy the best H-beta filter you can find.


Edited by ngc7319_20, 24 April 2019 - 03:43 AM.


#10 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 02:23 AM

Dave:

 

Looking at the scan, it looks like the half maximum bandwidth is about 14mm and the center wavelength is somewhere near 487nm, the peak transmission is over 90%.  The uncoated bit could be blackened. I think it would do a good job.

 

One buys seconds to save money.  Without knowing how much you paid and what your budget is, it's hard to know what to say.. 

 

Jon


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#11 TOMDEY

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 03:25 AM

If you are interested in using and enjoying the filter, it's Perfectly Fine as-is. The spectral trace is what it should be, which is 99% of what matters. Those miniscule cosmetic flaws are just that... what we call ~beauty~ related. That little fleck is 0.02% of the filter area. There is no way one could ever tell the difference between this filter and a perfect one, in-use. Pinholes, same comment.

 

If the coating was crazing or other overall degradation, that would be different. Some (typically very old and abused) filters actually have their spectra poop-out... most commonly severe leakage off-band. This shows none of that, looks clear in transmission (not scattering, even close to the specular vector aka small-angle scatter). It's a keeper.

 

If cosmetics matter to you, buy only new filters from the source. That should cost around $100, in the 1.25 size = a real bargain!

 

PS: I used to make my own filters, nearly fifty years ago. They are still good!  >>>  Tom

Attached Thumbnails

  • 59 Toms Home-Made Astronomy Filters Bausch and Lomb.jpg

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#12 Ian Robinson

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 03:34 AM

Return for refund, not replacement. Too cheap to be good is not good no matter how many of them they send you.
 
Junk and fine goods can come from anywhere.


I agree , stick with Lumicon, Baader and Astronomics filters , you are paying extra for them c/- the cheap junk sold under Orion USA brand but can be sure you are getting a quality filter that will do what it's supposed to do.

#13 Simon B

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 08:04 AM

Unfortunately the included scan is not the true performance of that filter - independent testing has revealed that the graphs that come with Orion's filters are spurious, who knows where they come from.

 

Your filter's performance is unknown, you can basically ignore the filter graph. As to the coating flaking off, I can't imagine it would affect the view at all, but I'm not certain. The seller should have included pictures/info about the true condition of the item in the item description, I see no problem with selling a filter with such defects as long as the buyer is aware of it beforehand

 

You can get it tested for free if you're curious about the filter's real performance - Oggie aka Lunarfox will kindly test it for free, and add it to his filter database:

 

https://searchlight....9d-153d7e7c0eb8



#14 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 08:39 AM

Unfortunately the included scan is not the true performance of that filter - independent testing has revealed that the graphs that come with Orion's filters are spurious, who knows where they come from.

 

 

I think the assumption is that the scan to right is the Orion scan, the scan to the left, an individual scan.

 

Are you thinking they are both Orion scans?

 

Jon



#15 Simon B

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 09:31 AM

I think the assumption is that the scan to right is the Orion scan, the scan to the left, an individual scan.

 

Are you thinking they are both Orion scans?

 

Jon

 

Both are included with Orion's filters, the one on the right is just part of a general description of what H-Beta filters do, and how they perform

 

The one on the left is what appears to be a scan of the actual filter, but these included scans don't seem to match with independent tests


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#16 TOMDEY

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 11:03 AM

I think the assumption is that the scan to right is the Orion scan, the scan to the left, an individual scan.

 

Are you thinking they are both Orion scans?

 

Jon

Yeah, that's the way I interpret it. The one on the left has a recent date, etc. Hard to imaging they would go thru all that effort, only to stuff a bogus trace of different filter in there.  Good filter at a good price... Keep it and enjoy it! There's more to life than languishing ad nauseam over the miniscule performance hit of a $50 filter with microscopic cosmetic nit... sitting in a box!  Tom


Edited by TOMDEY, 24 April 2019 - 11:04 AM.


#17 Starman1

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 12:16 PM

Unless you get a TeleVue or Astronomik H-ß filter, you won't know what you have.

I had my Orion H-ß tested and it was excellent, but I couldn't guarantee yours is the same.

You can send it off for free testing at Lumicon or by Oggie Golub (LunarFox here on CN) to see how good it really is.

The cosmetic blems don't matter.

 

P.S. My Orion H-ß filter came with an individual scan, and it bore no resemblance to the actual filter test.

Caveat emptor.


Edited by Starman1, 24 April 2019 - 12:16 PM.

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#18 Daveatvt01

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 02:47 PM

Thanks for the feedback everyone! I think I will keep it. I intend to use it for visual and I'm not so picky about condition, as long as it works. It was only $43 so I certainly can't complain about the price.

 

It was actually an amazon warehouse purchase, so it was likely an item someone else bought at full price and already returned. I doubt Orion will ever know if it gets returned another time or two before it finds a home.


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#19 Simon B

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 08:32 PM

Nice, $43 is a very good price!

 

The bandwidth of Orion H-Betas seem to be good, as long as it passes at least ~80% at 486, it'll do well

 

Here's mine:

 

Orion H-Beta.png

 

 

Remember that the above test was free (except P&P ofcourse); so to anyone interested I recommend getting your filter tested : )  After all, most of us are paying $100-$200+ for a single filter, why not get a free test report, it's good to know if your money was worth it.


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#20 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 09:23 AM

Yeah, that's the way I interpret it. The one on the left has a recent date, etc. Hard to imaging they would go thru all that effort, only to stuff a bogus trace of different filter in there.  Good filter at a good price... Keep it and enjoy it! There's more to life than languishing ad nauseam over the miniscule performance hit of a $50 filter with microscopic cosmetic nit... sitting in a box!  Tom

I think I was wrong.
 

I trust Simon and Don.. Orion doesn't include a scan of the individual filter.  That's just a generic scan Orion includes.

Jon


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#21 Chuck Hards

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 09:36 AM

The H-beta visual filter is literally the last narrowband filter I acquired after nearly 50 years of observing.  I would never pay top-dollar for a filter good for only a small handful of objects, mine was purchased used and works very well.  Most of my equipment was purchased used.  Retailers couldn't stay in business if most folks were bottom-feeders like me.



#22 turtle86

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 09:48 AM

Thanks for the feedback everyone! I think I will keep it. I intend to use it for visual and I'm not so picky about condition, as long as it works. It was only $43 so I certainly can't complain about the price.

 

It was actually an amazon warehouse purchase, so it was likely an item someone else bought at full price and already returned. I doubt Orion will ever know if it gets returned another time or two before it finds a home.

 

At $200 I would've sent it back, but at $43 it's a bargain. If you wind up getting some nice views of the Horsehead and California nebulas, you will have gotten your money's worth.


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#23 TOMDEY

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 10:42 AM

I think I was wrong.

I trust Simon and Don.. Orion doesn't include a scan of the individual filter.  That's just a generic scan Orion includes.
Jon

PREFERRED:

Only one way to find out, personally-run a trace. When I worked in the optics labs, I would just take a box of filters in and scan them all, at lunch-time. That would generate tables and graphs. Could even do T, R and see how tilting them would shift the spectra. Few examples >>>

 

ALTERNATIVE:

But there are ways to casually cull-through filters, separating the probably good from the probably bad:

What you do is put all the H-alphas, H-Betas, nebular, narrow-band, etc. in piles by type and brand.

Ostensible identicals should look the same, in both T and R, under the same room-lighting.

Out in the production areas (20,000 fancy dielectric filters/day).

The coater operator would just unload the trays onto a white bench.

If they look the same, he grabs a few and does spectrophotometry on them.

And those are the traces that go with the that run, clearly marked ~samples from run~

If each and every filter demanded a trace, that would goose the cost from $2/filter to $5/filter!

 

Here are some traces that I ran on filters from my "random" tub >>>

Attached Thumbnails

  • 90.1 Toms Personal Filter.jpg
  • 90.2 Toms Personal Filter.jpg
  • 90.5 Toms Personal Filter.jpg


#24 AxelB

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 11:17 AM

I would not even buy a brand new Orion h-beta in "perfect condition".

Edit: here’s my reason. Many h-beta targets are difficult visually. Some can only be seen in winter when I rarely have the chance to observe those. When I finally have a chance (clear dark sky with a place to observe from during canadian winter), I dont want to waste it wondering if a "no show" is caused by a bad filter. I need to completely trust my filter.

The cost per observation made will remain very high for my premium h-beta but I don’t care. My rare and precious dark sky observing sessions are worth more to me than the 200 us$ I paid for my 2" Televue h-beta.

Of course now that you already have this filter and only paid 45$, you may as well try it. Maybe you’ll be lucky.

Edited by AxelB, 26 April 2019 - 11:43 AM.

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#25 Starman1

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 11:57 AM

It might be excellent.

Here is the trace from my own Orion H-ß:

 

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  • Orion H-Beta.jpg

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