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Antlia 685nm Filter Unboxing. New Premium Player?

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#1 Eddgie

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 01:51 PM

This is just an unboxing but no sky report, though I am eager to see how these work.

 

I had not previously heard of the Antlia brand but I bought two of  Antlia 685nm IR pass filters from Agena hoping to improve my dark nebula performance from my Red zone skies.

 

If packaging is any indicator of intention, I would say that their intention is to make a name for themselves and perhaps be around for a while.  There are a lot of offshore filters under brands that disappear just about the same moment that you buy them, but Antlia does have it's own web site and it looks like they want to be a player in the astronomy space. 

 

 http://www.antliafilter.com

 

 

 

When I opened this, I felt like I was opening a Rolex Watch (which were not packaged quite as elegantly 40 years ago as they are today). The filter case is packaged in a red box with a simple logo and the filter case is inside a zip bag along with a chart that shows the filter cut profile.

 

XQE_00821.JPG

 

When you remove the filter case from the box, it comes out with another plastic bag around it so basically it is double bagged.. The filter case itself is interesting in that it is not your typical thin, cheap hinged plastic case. It is more like a jewelry box and the lid is held on by four magnets, one in each corner.  The magnets are not super strong, but strong enough to make a secure closure. The filter itself is in a waxed type sleeve with a very official looking holographic seal so three levels of dust protection. I have no idea what he seal says but it makes me feel special to be able to open it.. LOL. 

 

XQE_00851.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 



#2 Eddgie

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 01:57 PM

The filter itself is finished in what appears to be a red anodized metal banded cell. I do not know if it is metal or foil inset, but it is very beautifully executed and the coatings look fantastic.  Holding it to the light, you can tell that it is a very deep cut.

 

XQE_00861.JPG

 

I tried it in my super secret test facility and it appeared to have excellent transmission because the view was bright but again, in a daylight test, the appearance of the light coming through the filter is a deep blood red. 

 

I do like that the cell itself is short because this will mean less vignetting when used with the 3x magnifiers on the binocular. 

 

These were $41 each.  Initially impressions are that it is a very high quality filter for the money and possibly by any measure.  I will follow up with an observing report tonight using them against my generic 650nm filters.

 

XQE_00871.JPG

 

Their web pages shows a 3.5nm and I am kind of eager to try one out.  

 

So, an interesting new(?) player.  


Edited by Eddgie, 20 August 2020 - 02:05 PM.

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#3 Eddgie

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 02:00 PM

The transmission profile....

 

XQE_00881.JPG

 

And yes, I am feeling special right now..  It is the filter I deserve.  That could go both ways.. LOL.


Edited by Eddgie, 20 August 2020 - 02:20 PM.

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#4 shohin

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 06:50 PM

You are the NV whisperer.  Not half a day since the post and they are already out of stock.  Lol.


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#5 Eddgie

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 07:33 PM

You are the NV whisperer.  Not half a day since the post and they are already out of stock.  Lol.

Oh no, that is just because they only had two left when I ordered.  Not hording them. I have a full Mod 3 binocular so I need two of everything.. It is both a curse and a blessing.


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#6 Eddgie

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Posted 21 August 2020 - 08:09 AM

Ok, the above chart seems about right to me.  Last night I tried both of the new filters with the binoculars and with a monocular using a 60mm CCD Guide scope.

 

I did not shoot and SQM reading but the sky was pretty much Bortle 8.

 

I would say that these probably similar to the Baader 685.  Baader says the 685 still allows enough light through at 670nm to allow for visual focus and their published info shows a spectrum chart that suggests a bit later ramp so probably the Baader is a little tighter.

 

The graph shows that the cut starts to come in at 650nm and sure enough, a very very small amount of H-a made it through.  In the generic 650s I could see the tiny little swan nebula pretty easily and while the shape was clearly dimmer in the Antlia, I cold still see the shape of the swan itself in the Antlia and a small amount of the brightest parts of the Lagoon.

 

The first thing I noticed is that running the Antlia on one side and the generic 650 on the other, I had to turn the gain down on the 650nm to make the view as bright as on the Antlia side.  In fact, with the gain up on both sides using the two generics, I usually have to turn the gain down or the Milky Way more or less washes out.   With both Antlia's, even with full gain, the MW still showed good structure, so clearly the Antlia is doing a bit better overall. Maybe less leakage in the non near IR. 

 

Overall though, I would say that the Milky Way looked more pronounced using the Antlia filters and in particular, the Pipe Nebula was a bit more obvious in the Antlia filters.  

 

There is some wave like darkening on the rift off of Albiero and while visible in the generic 650s (which seem to be very similar to the Lumicon 650) but I did not notice it the first pass up the rift.   When I put on the Antlias and scanned up, I saw them fairly easily and when I went back to the generics I could see them this time though they were more subtle so that is why I missed them the first time.

 

In the 60mm CCD Guide Scope, I thought that dark mottling and lanes were a slight but meanigfully amount darker than the generics (which again, are pretty similer to the Lumincon).

 

I have not owned the Baader and now I want to try it.  I had a generic 690 for a while but thought it was overly dark and this was before I started observing dark nebula so now I am kind of looking to get more visible red (which is auto tail light pollution and it is far worse than people realize) cut from the view so I plan on spending the money for a Baader for comparison when I get back from Colorado.

 

Verdict?  Well, I think it is better than the Lumicon 650 and generics in general, still allowing a tiny bit of bright H-a to squeak by but overall darkening things and making dark nebula better.  Not hugely so, but enough so that these will replace the generic 650s on my binocualars as my standard city filters.

 

And at $41 apiece, I would say that they are absolutely worth every penny and would probably recommend these over 650nm for semi-urban observing conditions. 

 

I plan on getting the Baader when I return from my trip.  It would probably go into my filter wheel on the 6" f/2.8. 


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#7 joelin

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Posted 22 August 2020 - 04:11 PM

Interesting, I look forward to hearing more about your experience with filters. They all seem a bit different, so it would be great to hear which ones are ideal and why/why not.



#8 joelin

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Posted 05 September 2020 - 09:46 AM

Ok, the above chart seems about right to me.  Last night I tried both of the new filters with the binoculars and with a monocular using a 60mm CCD Guide scope.

 

I did not shoot and SQM reading but the sky was pretty much Bortle 8.

 

I would say that these probably similar to the Baader 685.  Baader says the 685 still allows enough light through at 670nm to allow for visual focus and their published info shows a spectrum chart that suggests a bit later ramp so probably the Baader is a little tighter.

 

The graph shows that the cut starts to come in at 650nm and sure enough, a very very small amount of H-a made it through.  In the generic 650s I could see the tiny little swan nebula pretty easily and while the shape was clearly dimmer in the Antlia, I cold still see the shape of the swan itself in the Antlia and a small amount of the brightest parts of the Lagoon.

 

The first thing I noticed is that running the Antlia on one side and the generic 650 on the other, I had to turn the gain down on the 650nm to make the view as bright as on the Antlia side.  In fact, with the gain up on both sides using the two generics, I usually have to turn the gain down or the Milky Way more or less washes out.   With both Antlia's, even with full gain, the MW still showed good structure, so clearly the Antlia is doing a bit better overall. Maybe less leakage in the non near IR. 

 

Overall though, I would say that the Milky Way looked more pronounced using the Antlia filters and in particular, the Pipe Nebula was a bit more obvious in the Antlia filters.  

 

There is some wave like darkening on the rift off of Albiero and while visible in the generic 650s (which seem to be very similar to the Lumicon 650) but I did not notice it the first pass up the rift.   When I put on the Antlias and scanned up, I saw them fairly easily and when I went back to the generics I could see them this time though they were more subtle so that is why I missed them the first time.

 

In the 60mm CCD Guide Scope, I thought that dark mottling and lanes were a slight but meanigfully amount darker than the generics (which again, are pretty similer to the Lumincon).

 

I have not owned the Baader and now I want to try it.  I had a generic 690 for a while but thought it was overly dark and this was before I started observing dark nebula so now I am kind of looking to get more visible red (which is auto tail light pollution and it is far worse than people realize) cut from the view so I plan on spending the money for a Baader for comparison when I get back from Colorado.

 

Verdict?  Well, I think it is better than the Lumicon 650 and generics in general, still allowing a tiny bit of bright H-a to squeak by but overall darkening things and making dark nebula better.  Not hugely so, but enough so that these will replace the generic 650s on my binocualars as my standard city filters.

 

And at $41 apiece, I would say that they are absolutely worth every penny and would probably recommend these over 650nm for semi-urban observing conditions. 

 

I plan on getting the Baader when I return from my trip.  It would probably go into my filter wheel on the 6" f/2.8. 

I'm curious if you ever had the chance to compare with the Baader 685nm.

 

Comparing the Antlia spectrum with the Baader 685 it seems the Antlia cuts more light off, reaching only 83% transmittance at 700nm, while the Baader is at 93%. Not sure what is preferable. You said here a 690 cutoff is overly dark so letting in more light might be better. 

 

I think I read in another thread that beyond 650nm cutoff theres no additional gain in limiting magnitude. 



#9 GOLGO13

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Posted 05 September 2020 - 10:48 AM

The 3.5nm seems quite good so far with my testing. Reasonable price also. I have the 1.25 version.

#10 PEterW

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Posted 06 September 2020 - 04:56 PM

Be interesting how they fare against the Astronomik 642 which some people rate for Milky Way observing.

Peter


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