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Filter question (UHC vs UHC-S for visual vs photography)

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#1 Viktorious

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 11:04 AM

I am looking to get a decent nebula filter (UHC) and am a bit torn at the moment, due to the photography aspect. I only do some casual smartphone astrophotography. 

 

After various reading I am considering either the Astronomik UHC or the Baader UHC-S (which is technically a broadband filter). Since the Astronomik is a true narrowband UHC I have gathered that that would be the better alternative for visual use.

 

However, what about for photography? Since the Baader is broadband I would expect a little bit better colors in the stars with that. Add to that the fact that the Baader filters IR as well and the Baader sounds like a better option for "casual" photography (in my head).

 

So, does anyone with experience with these filters care to share? Any comments on how the Astronomik works for imaging or the Baader for visual?

 

Thanks!

 

*Would be nice to get both but with buying other things as well I'll have to stick with one for a while (months up to a year) at least.



#2 Viktorious

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 11:32 AM

Tend to answer my own posts after a while, writing it down and posting it seems to help me think to the next step. 

 

Most logical would probably be to get the proper UHC first, enjoy it visually and try it for photography.

Then the next buy could be a decision between the Baader UHC-S or M&SG, where the latter would be useful mainly for moon and planetary but perhaps also for photography of DSOs with natural looking stars.

 

Still want any comments people have on all these filters. I know many comments/reviews can be found on the site already but you never know, maybe someone new will chime in as well smile.gif



#3 Starman1

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 11:36 AM

Baader's UHC-S could function as a photographic filter since it passes the H-α part of the spectrum.

But I would think that having only a 62nm bandwidth in the blue green might not be as good as, say, the Astronomik CLS, with a 90nm bandwidth

if it comes to good color balancing or the length of the exposure.

 

Admittedly, the wider CLS filter would admit more light pollution, so it would depend a lot on how dark the environment was for imaging.

Probably more important for imaging is how deep into the orange the cutoff lies.  You want the red, but as little orange as possible.

The Baader UHC-S reaches a 50% transmission at 638nm, and the Astronomik reaches the 50% point at 643nm, so they are approximately the same in that regard.

So it's really more about the violet-blue end of the spectrum, where the CLS is a lot broader.

 

Visually, the Baader UHC-S yields much improved contrast over the Astronomik CLS.

 

The Astronomik UHC also passes the H-α line, so don't rule it out for imaging.


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#4 havasman

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 11:40 AM

I found the Baader UHC-S worthless for my observing, tried to sell it for $20 but found no takers and ended up throwing it in the bin where it belonged. Alternately a good narrowband UHC filter like the Astronomik (I use a Lumicon) isi an essential part of a complete observing kit.

Years ago I did a comparison of 4 UHC and UHC-type filters. I looked for increased apparent contrast of nebular objects against the field. All the losers were widebands. The winners were the Lumicon first and the DGM NPB second. The test was in 5 to 16" apertures from bright city and dark rural skies.

Why hamstring your observing maybe improved for cellphone pics?


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#5 Starman1

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 03:11 PM

I find the UHC-S is valuable when:

--I want to use a much higher power than the narrowbands work well at.

--I want to improve contrast a notch without dimming the star field

--I'm observing a large hydrogen nebula at a Bortle 1 site and only need a trace of contrast enhancement.

a good example of this is M42/43, which is spectacularly detailed and large (over a degree) without a filter, but where many interior

details are brought out by a broadband without killing the stars in the field.

 

Paradoxically, broadband filters have their greatest utility at dark sites, not in a light-polluted sky.

 

I have one (the DGM GCE) that is SO gentle an enhancement, I can virtually leave it in all the time if I choose.

 

I don't necessarily disagree with Dick, however.  A broadband, even a good one like the Baader UHC-S would be 4th or 5th on my list of filters to buy, after:

1.UHC without red

2.UHC with red

3.O-III 2-line filter

4.H-ß filter


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#6 Viktorious

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 05:26 PM

Thanks for the comments, shows my logical thinking worked properly.

 

It's been a case of "I have to find the one *object* that works for all situations", that's why I started thinking I could use benefits in both worlds with the UHC-S. In the end I would probably get a proper narrowband and some other filter for other uses anyway. Perhaps the UHC-S would end up not being used (e.g Dick's case).

 

Have read enough posts on Astro-forums to know that it doesn't work like this and I should go for the good thing that will always serve a purpose. Will go for the Astronomik UHC and be happy and set as I see it as remaining in one's filter collection forever, always having a purpose.

 

Then I got my birthday coming up in a few months, before the planet oppositions in the summer. So perhaps then I can wish for e.g the Baader M&SG as a planet filter (and notch filter for imaging). smile.gif

Or the UHC has transformed me by then and I'll wish for line filters (Triad ultra maybe grin.gif


Edited by Viktorious, 24 January 2020 - 05:32 PM.


#7 j.gardavsky

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 07:43 AM

I have all three in my filter box for the observing sessions: Astronomik UHC as a pair for the binoculars, and single UHC-S and CLS.

Anyone of them enhances the color contrast in the star fields and on some bright open clusters.

The astronomik UHC has been working fine on the Triangulum Galaxy M33, pulling out one or another HII star birth region, and enhancing the contrast of the spiral arms.

 

Best,

JG


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#8 Allan Wade

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 08:33 AM

I don't necessarily disagree with Dick, however.  A broadband, even a good one like the Baader UHC-S would be 4th or 5th on my list of filters to buy, after:

1.UHC without red

2.UHC with red

3.O-III 2-line filter

4.H-ß filter

That’s a concept I settled on a while back, but this is the first time I’ve seen someone list it like you have, with the UHC filters classed as without red and with red. I decided to re buy the DGM NPB for the different way it performs because of its red band compared to my Lumicon UHC.

 

I have 6 filters in my case which includes the 4 types you list, plus the 5th option being my Baader UHC-S which is a fine broadband filter. The 6th one being a Baader Moon and SkyGlow.


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#9 Starman1

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:11 AM

That’s a concept I settled on a while back, but this is the first time I’ve seen someone list it like you have, with the UHC filters classed as without red and with red. I decided to re buy the DGM NPB for the different way it performs because of its red band compared to my Lumicon UHC.

 

I have 6 filters in my case which includes the 4 types you list, plus the 5th option being my Baader UHC-S which is a fine broadband filter. The 6th one being a Baader Moon and SkyGlow.

Now if I could just take the 2-4 filters I have in each category and pin it down to just one.


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#10 j.gardavsky

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:36 AM

That’s a concept I settled on a while back, but this is the first time I’ve seen someone list it like you have, with the UHC filters classed as without red and with red. I decided to re buy the DGM NPB for the different way it performs because of its red band compared to my Lumicon UHC.

 

I have 6 filters in my case which includes the 4 types you list, plus the 5th option being my Baader UHC-S which is a fine broadband filter. The 6th one being a Baader Moon and SkyGlow.

When there is a mix of nebulae listed for the observing session, then I mount the

Astrodon, Astronomik, Baader, Balzers, Lumicon, did I forget something?

on my 2 ATIK filter wheels,

and swap the filter wheels on the zenith diagonal.

 

In the meantime, I have put maybe the most comprehensive list on how the ENs work with the filters.

 

Best,

JG
 



#11 Starman1

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:52 AM

What I currently have in my case:

UHC with red: Astronomik, DGM NPB

UHC w/o red: TeleVue BM-II Nebustar, Lumicon Gen 3, Lumicon (2009-2010 period)

O-III: Astronomik Visual, TeleVue BM-II, Lumicon Gen 3

H-ß: Orion, Astronomik, TeleVue BM-II, Lumicon (from 2009-2010 period)

Broadband: DGM GCE, Baader UHC-S, Lumicon Deep Sky

Planetary: Baader Contrast Booster (Mars only)

 

And I've found specific nebulae that display best with every one of them.

One of these days I'll whittle it down.  That's assuming we ever get a cloudless night again....... (the winter lamentation)


Edited by Starman1, 25 January 2020 - 10:52 AM.

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#12 j.gardavsky

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 11:14 AM

What I currently have in my case:

UHC with red: Astronomik, DGM NPB

UHC w/o red: TeleVue BM-II Nebustar, Lumicon Gen 3, Lumicon (2009-2010 period)

O-III: Astronomik Visual, TeleVue BM-II, Lumicon Gen 3

H-ß: Orion, Astronomik, TeleVue BM-II, Lumicon (from 2009-2010 period)

Broadband: DGM GCE, Baader UHC-S, Lumicon Deep Sky

Planetary: Baader Contrast Booster (Mars only)

 

And I've found specific nebulae that display best with every one of them.

One of these days I'll whittle it down.  That's assuming we ever get a cloudless night again....... (the winter lamentation)

There are quite a few such nebulae, and even more interesting is, when they reveal different details through the different filters,

JG
 



#13 Viktorious

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 02:18 PM

Ordering the Astronomik UHC while writing this :).

 

I have 6 filters in my case which includes the 4 types you list, plus the 5th option being my Baader UHC-S which is a fine broadband filter. The 6th one being a Baader Moon and SkyGlow.

Allan, how do you fare the Baaders in comparison to each other? Do you use the SkyGlow mainly for planetary and if so how do you rate it there (maybe even had the chance to compare to other planetary filters)? I've read good things about it, especially on Jupiter.

  

What I currently have in my case:

UHC with red: Astronomik, DGM NPB

UHC w/o red: TeleVue BM-II Nebustar, Lumicon Gen 3, Lumicon (2009-2010 period)

O-III: Astronomik Visual, TeleVue BM-II, Lumicon Gen 3

H-ß: Orion, Astronomik, TeleVue BM-II, Lumicon (from 2009-2010 period)

Broadband: DGM GCE, Baader UHC-S, Lumicon Deep Sky

Planetary: Baader Contrast Booster (Mars only)

 

And I've found specific nebulae that display best with every one of them.

One of these days I'll whittle it down.  That's assuming we ever get a cloudless night again....... (the winter lamentation)

Don, one of the topics I've read is the one where you test nebula filters for 2 years. Nice to get a glimpse of what you kept and that the ones I'm thinking about are on there :). In relation to the question above to Allan, and have read the topic where you mention the Contrast Booster for Mars, have you had a chance to try the SkyGlow for planets and gotten a comparison to the Contrast Booster?



#14 Starman1

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 02:36 PM

The Moon & Sky Glow filter works OK on Jupiter, but it scatters a bit of light due to its transmission characteristics, so I prefer Jupiter at higher power without the filter.

The Contrast Booster also works on Jupiter, but the color is a bit more "unnatural", IMO.  It is the best Mars filter I've found though, even beating the #30 magenta.  

The M&SG doesn't help Mars, at least as far as I can see.

 

As for every other solar system object, I prefer 'no filter' to any filter, though:

--a yellow filter enhances dark markings on Mercury, shadows on the Moon, dust storms on Mars, and details in Saturn's rings.  I preferred a #15 to a #12 or #8.

--a dark blue filter sharpens Venus (#38A)

--a medium blue filter enhances dark bands on Jupiter and Saturn, but not the light bands, and clouds and ice caps on Mars (#80A)

--a red-orange filter enhances dark markings on Mars (#23)

I usually recommend the color filters to people who cannot use high powers due to seeing, or have small scopes where the resolution isn't sufficient to show small details.

I used and found effective many color filters when I owned and used 4" to 6" scopes, for example.

But Jupiter at 400-500x in good seeing trumps the use of filters of any kind.


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#15 Allan Wade

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 06:02 PM

What I currently have in my case:

UHC with red: Astronomik, DGM NPB

UHC w/o red: TeleVue BM-II Nebustar, Lumicon Gen 3, Lumicon (2009-2010 period)

O-III: Astronomik Visual, TeleVue BM-II, Lumicon Gen 3

H-ß: Orion, Astronomik, TeleVue BM-II, Lumicon (from 2009-2010 period)

Broadband: DGM GCE, Baader UHC-S, Lumicon Deep Sky

Planetary: Baader Contrast Booster (Mars only)

 

And I've found specific nebulae that display best with every one of them.

One of these days I'll whittle it down.  That's assuming we ever get a cloudless night again....... (the winter lamentation)

That’s a nice set of filters. I think we are in a golden age of choices. I managed to whittle my filter lineup down to one of those filters you list in each category. 



#16 Allan Wade

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 06:11 PM

Ordering the Astronomik UHC while writing this smile.gif.

 

Allan, how do you fare the Baaders in comparison to each other? Do you use the SkyGlow mainly for planetary and if so how do you rate it there (maybe even had the chance to compare to other planetary filters)? I've read good things about it, especially on Jupiter.

I don’t use my Baader filters nearly as much as my other four. I do like the Baader UHC-S for the slight nebula enhancement while keeping the star fields intact, especially in my smaller refractors. The Moon and SkyGlow I tested quite a bit on deep sky and determined it offers nothing there for me. I use it on Jupiter a bit and Mars and lunar as well. But I generally prefer the unfiltered view of planets, so personally I wouldn’t rush out to buy this filter. As explained by Don, I would have the other 4 or 5 filters in my kit before worrying about the Moon and SkyGlow.


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#17 Viktorious

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 08:24 AM

Thanks for all the comments. I'm eager for the UHC to arrive and the sky to clear. Instead of looking at other filters for now I'll save the money for gas and perhaps wish for a proper case.

 

In the long run I'm dreaming of getting a refractor for wide field photography. Perhaps once I'm there I'll look into the broadband filters again! 




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