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Any disadvantage to Optolong L-Extreme vs L-Enhance?

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#1 canyonblue737

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 10:25 AM

Are there scenarios where the L-Enhance would be better than the brand new L-Extreme for nebula? It seems like the Extreme is basically the Enhance but minus the H beta also... just H alpha and OIII. I have an ES ED80 f/7.5 with a OSC ZWO 294MC Pro which isn’t a particularly “fast” scope at f7.5 and the information on the new extreme keep saying how it is ideal for “fast” systems, I’m assuming because of how much light it blocks in the first place. Will the L-Extreme require very long subs vs the L-Enhance and is that a negative somehow? I get good 0.75” total guiding on my AVX but my subs typically are 3 minutes or less because of light pollution in my bortle 6-7 sky even with my current Optolong L-Pro.

I definitely want a narrowband filter to expand my options beyond the L-Pro I have and with this new L-Extreme it leaves me wondering if there is a downside to the L-Enhance aside from a significantly higher price, $309 vs $229.

Thanks!

Edited by canyonblue737, 05 June 2020 - 10:56 AM.


#2 canyonblue737

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 10:19 AM

Just as a bit of further detail if you aren't aware about these filters...

 

The Optolong L-Enhance that everyone seems fond of is a dual narrowband filter that actually covers three emission nebula wavelengths of light, Ha, Hb, and OIII. The first band is 24 nm wide and covers the Hb and OIII. My understanding is the Hb is not very impactful to the end image and the wavelengths between Hb and OIII that the 24 nm band covers is the primary source of light pollution or moon glow the filter *does* allow through. Obviously everything is relative, this filter does an amazing job of preventing light pollution and letting you image in the city or heavy moonlight but what it does let through is mostly in this 24 nm band between the Hb and OIII. The Ha which is the strongest source of emission nebula light is 10 nm wide. The transmission percentage of both bands is supposed to be "greater than 90%."

 

The new Optolong L-Extreme I'm curious about is also a dual narrowband filter, but the narrowbands are even smaller. They both cover 7 nm, one covering OIII and the other Ha. Hb is eliminated but again my understanding is the impact of Hb to the end image is minimal but the smaller bands surrounding OIII and Ha mean a significant reduction in light pollution, moon glow and an increase in contrast with no reduction in the light gathered from the OIII and Ha. No real reviews out yet for the filter but they claim it is based on the process they made the L-Enhance with and that it shares the positive traits of lack of halos around stars, greater than 90% transmission etc. The cost for the new L-Extreme is $80 more than the L-Enhance in the 2" version.

 

Like I mentioned before I don't have "fast scopes" with my primary scope at f/7.5 and my SCT with reducer at f/7. I guess a downside of these filters is with really fast sub f/3 telescopes like a RASA you can get bandpass shift which means the narrow 7 nm window could "shift" away from the OIII and Ha lines hurting your image, but Optolong is claiming their new filter is resistant to this. As a user of slower scopes it seems like a 7nm/7nm vs. 24nm/10nm filter should result in a better imagine in my Bortle 6/7 sky or with a full moon correct? Hopefully I understand this as its confusing but I was on the verge of pulling the trigger on the L-Enhance but this new L-Extreme seems like it would be even better for a bit more money. I know other companies are also getting ready to release similar filters too as it seems the market for these multi-narrowband filters of OSC cameras is taking off...

Thanks!


Edited by canyonblue737, 07 June 2020 - 10:21 AM.


#3 Huangdi

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 10:30 AM

Honestly I've seen many images of the L-Enhance, and few have impressed me. That might be because many people who have the gear and skills to produce great images don't bother with this filter, or that the filter itself is so difficult to use that it's not worth it to get one.

I've processed a single image shot with an L-enhance on some Canon camera. In addition to the god-awful banding and pattern noises, the data was, quite frankly, crap.(the person shot it with a Reduced ED80, so he was shooting at F6.4. This coupled with non-sufficient exposure length of 3 minutes and only 3hr total integration led to a complete mess of data, even Ha)

The L-Extreme however does actually seem interesting, assuming the Oiii part is going to be of high quality, opposed to the issues with the standard Oiii filters by optolong.

The only disadvantage that I see, is that Noone knows how it performs. However I'd rather be shooting RGB than use an L-Enhance, it's not a LP filter and no Narrowband filter either, it's just not good.

IF you get a narrowband filter, get a Reducer for your scope. At least 0.8x, better even 0.65x. I've had 13 hour integrations with my unreduced ED80, and it was still a mess when stretched to reveal the faint.

To sum it up, I'd go ahead and buy it if you don't want to spend more money and time on separate filters. If reviews are good, I will sell my baader filters and buy an L-Extreme. However I doubt that they will provide similar levels of sharpness and contrast without errors, but I would be happy to be proven wrong.

Edited by Huangdi, 07 June 2020 - 10:33 AM.


#4 Cfreerksen

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 10:41 AM

Honestly I've seen many images of the L-Enhance, and few have impressed me. That might be because many people who have the gear and skills to produce great images don't bother with this filter, or that the filter itself is so difficult to use that it's not worth it to get one.

I've processed a single image shot with an L-enhance on some Canon camera. In addition to the god-awful banding and pattern noises, the data was, quite frankly, crap.(the person shot it with a Reduced ED80, so he was shooting at F6.4. This coupled with non-sufficient exposure length of 3 minutes and only 3hr total integration led to a complete mess of data, even Ha)

The L-Extreme however does actually seem interesting, assuming the Oiii part is going to be of high quality, opposed to the issues with the standard Oiii filters by optolong.

The only disadvantage that I see, is that Noone knows how it performs. However I'd rather be shooting RGB than use an L-Enhance, it's not a LP filter and no Narrowband filter either, it's just not good.

IF you get a narrowband filter, get a Reducer for your scope. At least 0.8x, better even 0.65x. I've had 13 hour integrations with my unreduced ED80, and it was still a mess when stretched to reveal the faint.

To sum it up, I'd go ahead and buy it if you don't want to spend more money and time on separate filters. If reviews are good, I will sell my baader filters and buy an L-Extreme. However I doubt that they will provide similar levels of sharpness and contrast without errors, but I would be happy to be proven wrong.

I think your Canon camera issue is the built in IR filter of the camera removes the Ha signal that the filter is made for. I also have had terrible results with a Canon RP but good results with a dedicated AP camera. Here is a result with the L-enhance and an ASI183MC, I threw away the data with the RP because it wasn't even salvageable.

 

Chris

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Edited by Cfreerksen, 07 June 2020 - 10:42 AM.

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#5 Huangdi

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 10:46 AM

I think your Canon camera issue is the built in IR filter of the camera removes the Ha signal that the filter is made for. I also have had terrible results with a Canon RP but good results with a dedicated AP camera. Here is a result with the L-enhance and an ASI183MC, I threw away the data with the RP because it wasn't even salvageable.

Chris


Oh it wasn't mine, I'd never buy a Canon :D it was modded though.

That is a nice image, however replicating this with an uncooled DSLR will be a different story.

I think that one point, that I forgot to mention, is the fact that Narrowband filters and Light Pollution Filters are mostly used in Light polluted areas. And with a bandwidth as wide as the L-enhance has, you don't really gain that much in my opinion. Is it better than unfiltered shooting for emission nebulae? Of course. But is it worth the money? I don't think so.

#6 Cfreerksen

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 11:01 AM

Oh it wasn't mine, I'd never buy a Canon laugh.gif it was modded though.

That is a nice image, however replicating this with an uncooled DSLR will be a different story.

I think that one point, that I forgot to mention, is the fact that Narrowband filters and Light Pollution Filters are mostly used in Light polluted areas. And with a bandwidth as wide as the L-enhance has, you don't really gain that much in my opinion. Is it better than unfiltered shooting for emission nebulae? Of course. But is it worth the money? I don't think so.

I have fairly dark skies. I use it for clear nights when the moon is out. It's a shame to waste clear skies and have a full moon keep you from getting good data in a single night. The photo above was taken at full moon.

Dates:Nov. 13, 2019

Frames: 25x240"

Integration: 1.7 hours

Avg. Moon age: 15.64 days

Avg. Moon phase: 99.13%

https://www.astrobin...w3b4dm/?nc=user

 

So for the money I find it a good deal. I don't see much for information on the L-extreme. Link?

 

Chris


Edited by Cfreerksen, 07 June 2020 - 11:03 AM.


#7 canyonblue737

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 01:24 PM

So for the money I find it a good deal. I don't see much for information on the L-extreme. Link?

 

Chris

 

Here are the details: https://optolong.com...ail/id/119.html

and here is a little post about the "why" of the filter: https://optolong.com...ail/id/123.html



#8 canyonblue737

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 01:28 PM

Honestly I've seen many images of the L-Enhance, and few have impressed me. That might be because many people who have the gear and skills to produce great images don't bother with this filter, or that the filter itself is so difficult to use that it's not worth it to get one.

The L-Extreme however does actually seem interesting, assuming the Oiii part is going to be of high quality, opposed to the issues with the standard Oiii filters by optolong.

 

Fair enough. Clearly a mono cooled camera with specific narrowband filters will produce a better image, but like you said perhaps I don't want to have the gear (mono + a filter wheel) or use the time to shoot the channels individually. Right now I am just having fun with a auto guided ED80 on an AVX controlled by an ASIAir Pro. For me I think I can get good results in the suburbs of Chicago with just two filters, an L-Pro and a L-Extreme (or L-Enhance). Perhaps like many I'll out grow it sometime and move on but I think I can get results that satisfy me with this combo.


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#9 Huangdi

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 01:35 PM

Fair enough. Clearly a mono cooled camera with specific narrowband filters will produce a better image, but like you said perhaps I don't want to have the gear (mono + a filter wheel) or use the time to shoot the channels individually. Right now I am just having fun with a auto guided ED80 on an AVX controlled by an ASIAir Pro. For me I think I can get good results in the suburbs of Chicago with just two filters, an L-Pro and a L-Extreme (or L-Enhance). Perhaps like many I'll out grow it sometime and move on but I think I can get results that satisfy me with this combo.


I'm sure you will! You just have to set your expectations right. The L-Extreme sounds very promising and if you end up buying it, I'll be looking forward to your images with it!

#10 canyonblue737

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 02:35 PM

I'm sure you will! You just have to set your expectations right. The L-Extreme sounds very promising and if you end up buying it, I'll be looking forward to your images with it!

to be honest i already know the gear i want next and it isn't a mono camera or a filter wheel... i got started in the hobby with an 8 inch SCT on an alt/az and I like planetary and my favorite DSO stuff is galaxies. i want to craig's list (or whatever is best for telescope gear) the 8 inch SCT, the alt/azm mount, and the AVX and then get an 8 inch Edge HD SCT *and* an iOptron CEM60 ("the last mount i'll ever need") as a galaxy and planetary rig. Someday...



#11 Jrpavlock

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 08:46 PM

Im in a city too. Just getting into AP.
Considering a ZWO294MC with the L Extreme filter as an alternative to mono/narrowband to start out.
Did you get the L Extreme filter! How have you found your pictures in suburban Chicago? I'm a Bortle 9!

Edited by Jrpavlock, 06 July 2020 - 08:49 PM.


#12 sn2006gy

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 09:17 PM

This is my latest with the L-Enhance. I'm trying to source an L-Extreme to compare.

 

elephant Ha Oii

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#13 Ben Diss

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 09:21 PM

This is my latest with the L-Enhance. I'm trying to source an L-Extreme to compare.

 

Would you mind sharing your exposure settings for this pic?



#14 sn2006gy

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 09:25 PM

Would you mind sharing your exposure settings for this pic?

Asi533mc Pro Camera - Cooled to -5c - Texas heat won't let me get any cooler :)

100x 180second Subs

Unity Gain (101)

 

Frames were calibrated with flats, flat darks and lights.

 

I posted another on my astrobin - one where i pulled out more red. This one i wanted to get more of the OIII and I think it came out nice.  https://www.astrobin...xecj/B/?nc=user


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#15 sn2006gy

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 09:48 PM

I have some more post processing i need to figure out... some stars with a bit too much red are hard to dial with and others tend to blow out with a mask not quite big enough - learned binarize to help make that better so i'll release another update.

 

Anxious to try for more nebulas and see what O3 i can get elsewhere



#16 Umasscrew39

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 04:05 AM

I haven't really seen any disadvantage to the L-eNhance filter other than the obvious that its usefulness is limited (intentionally) to DSOs with a strong Ha and/or some OIII component. A few examples here. Of course, what is pleasing to me may not be pleasing to you. Strictly a personal preference but in my Bortle 6 hot, humid skies, this has been a big help. Used on both the ASI2600 and ASI533. I have not tried the L-Extreme.

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#17 mewmartigan

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 05:25 AM

I have an order for an L-eXtreme from Agena. They emailed saying they are getting some in a day or two. Hope to have mine soon for use with my asi2600.

#18 vballrican

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 06:08 PM

My 2 cents... hello all, I personally think they created this filter to satisfy the few that complained about the l-enhanced.  I love this filter... Been using it since i bought it and some of my best pictures have been with it..I also own the L-pro... here's an example of why i love it. Thanks. 

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#19 b36lbx

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 02:01 PM

I'd be interested to hear what solution you use to fit the 2'' filter in the optical path, I'm trying to figure something out for my EdgeHD 8.

I haven't really seen any disadvantage to the L-eNhance filter other than the obvious that its usefulness is limited (intentionally) to DSOs with a strong Ha and/or some OIII component. A few examples here. Of course, what is pleasing to me may not be pleasing to you. Strictly a personal preference but in my Bortle 6 hot, humid skies, this has been a big help. Used on both the ASI2600 and ASI533. I have not tried the L-Extreme.

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#20 mewmartigan

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 04:39 PM



I'd be interested to hear what solution you use to fit the 2'' filter in the optical path, I'm trying to figure something out for my EdgeHD 8.

If you have a ZWO camera this filter slide works as a replacement for the 21mm spacer if you are using it.....

 

https://agenaastro.c...ers-fd-m42.html

 

Here is my first light with the L-eXtreme. I really like it.  I am bortle 5 with a nearby street lamp throwing light in all directions.

 

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Edited by mewmartigan, 08 August 2020 - 04:42 PM.

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#21 tonyt

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 07:15 PM

The L-enhance and L-extreme are great filters for my casual imaging preferences. I tried out some new gear under 90% moonlight recently including the L-extreme filter. This is 3 hours of exposures through an Evostar 150ED at f/6. Obviously more time, faster f ratio or less moon would help, but the filter seems to do a good job.

 

helix010820_ABE42%.jpg

 


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#22 tjones84

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 10:53 AM

Hi everyone. I know there are a lot of varying opinions about the Optolong L-eXtreme filter, and dual-bandpass narrowband filters in general.

 

I personally find them to be an amazing option for deep-sky astrophotography in the city. If your clear sky time is limited like mine is, capturing an impressive image in a 2 hour window can be a lot of fun.

 

Here is my latest result using the Optolong L-eXtreme filter from a Bortle class 7 backyard with the QHY268C color camera:

 

eastern-veil-nebula-optolong-l-extreme.j

 

This is 14 x 5-minutes under hot, high-cloud skies. The images were shot at a gain of 100, and stacked in DeepSkyStacker using dark frames (no flats). 

 

The 7nm bandpasses in OIII and Ha deliver CLEAN results in the RGB channels, especially on a target like this.

 

I haven't been this excited about a camera/filter combination in a long time! I hope you found this useful.

 

Clear skies,

Trevor


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#23 Choncho

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 09:58 PM

Trevor amazing shot! Have you used this on the 8” RASA? I’m curious how it handles the speed!
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#24 ImNewHere

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 10:49 PM

Here's one with my modded Pentax K5 that isn't cooled and shot on a relatively warm (70ish degree) night with the l-enhance. I like it! Used an ES 127 fcd100 cf and .7 reducer. 40x 180s from my front yard. Moon was pretty bright too.

 

NGC6995-RGB-session_1-St-1600x1083.jpg

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#25 17.5Dob

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 11:20 PM

Hi everyone. I know there are a lot of varying opinions about the Optolong L-eXtreme filter, and dual-bandpass narrowband filters in general.

 

I personally find them to be an amazing option for deep-sky astrophotography in the city. If your clear sky time is limited like mine is, capturing an impressive image in a 2 hour window can be a lot of fun.

 

Here is my latest result using the Optolong L-eXtreme filter from a Bortle class 7 backyard with the QHY268C color camera:

 

This is 14 x 5-minutes under hot, high-cloud skies. The images were shot at a gain of 100, and stacked in DeepSkyStacker using dark frames (no flats). 

 

The 7nm bandpasses in OIII and Ha deliver CLEAN results in the RGB channels, especially on a target like this.

 

I haven't been this excited about a camera/filter combination in a long time! I hope you found this useful.

 

Clear skies,

Trevor

I have long written these off until I tried one last weekend.....

I was dumbfounded how much of a difference they make, compared to a standard "broadband filter"...and take back any negative comments I've made about them in the past...


Edited by 17.5Dob, 14 August 2020 - 11:25 PM.

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