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What would be a poor man's Baader M&S filter ?

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#1 DropsOfJupiter

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 08:13 PM

After some research, reading including the fabled thread of the filter shootout I decided on the Baader Moon & Sky Glow filter, only to be stopped in my tracks by the price. Its about $100 street price. My budget is less than half of it. Between all the dso/pollution (uhc) , moon and planet filters I don't want the total filter budget to go out of hand. So what is the next best filter under $50 for enhancing views of Jupiter and Saturn ? and possibly the moon.

 

I will be exploring each of these similar spectrum filters from this post but would be great to have your suggestions as well.

https://www.cloudyni...out/?p=10412520

 

Thanks!

--

 



#2 Jethro7

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 09:01 PM

Hello DropsOfjupiter,

Personally I have never found any light pollution / Skyglow filters that actually makes much of a difference except to make the views too dark. I live under Bortle 7/8 skies and the Moon and the planets look far better without filters. Light pollution does not effect the views of the Moon or bright planets like it does for DSO's  So I say dont waste your money.

 

HAPPY SKIES TO YOU AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


Edited by Jethro7, 18 October 2021 - 09:13 PM.

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#3 SeattleScott

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 09:05 PM

I think SVBONY has one. Never tried it.

#4 vtornado

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 09:29 PM

I have had some success in using an 82A light blue filter on Jupiter and Mars, but subtle.

No improvement on Saturn.  Saturn is so small and dim I want all the photons flowing into my eye.

 

I have a knock off Neodium filter (vite) I think it has a similar band pass as the Baader M&S.

I have not looked through it for a long time, nor the blue 82A.  

I will try them next time I am out.

 

Beware though we are dealing with peoples vision here and what enhances or detracts

in my eyes may have no effect or the opposite in yours.

 

The vite is much bluer than the 82.  Unfortunately I don't have a spectrograph to analyze.

 

You can put an ad in the classified and maybe pick up one for $60.00.

If you don't like it, you can resell and only be out the shipping.

 

Someone here needs to have both the Baader and knock off so they know

if the knock offs (a.k.a svbony, vite, astromainia,  et. al.) are not just pretty blue glass.

It would be nice if they followed the 80/20 rule, I don't expect a $100 filter for $20.00

 

In general what I have observered is that filtering planets makes some features stand out a bit better,

but other features are diminished.  So if you are looking for barges or oval in Jupiters cloud bands,

one filter may make them easier to see, but at the same time it may diminish the non equitorial

bands.

 

Since you have a relatively fast achro refractor, you can try a yellow #8 to remove some

of the red/green blur across the planet. The baader fringe killer is better in this regard but again much more expensive.


Edited by vtornado, 18 October 2021 - 09:48 PM.

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#5 vdog

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 09:37 PM

There are all sorts of knockoff Moon and Skyglow filters you can get on eBay for next to nothing.  But you probably can't expect great quality from a $10 filter.

 

And the difference even the Baader one makes is subtle, worth it if you can afford it but nothing to stretch budgets for.  If I couldn't afford a new one, I'd wait for one to show up in the classifieds. 


Edited by vdog, 18 October 2021 - 09:39 PM.

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#6 Napp

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 09:45 PM

Are you a member of your local astronomy club?  Has the club resumed observing sessions?  If so there is probably a member who would let you check the view with and without the filter.  Especially if the cost is going to stretch your budget you should try before you buy if possible.  I have one.  I use it for Jupiter and Mars.  It's the best I have found for them BUT the results are subtle.  You need to find out if it makes enough difference to you to be worth the money.  FYI, I bought a lot of my filters used through the Cloudy Nights Classifieds.


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#7 PJBilotta

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 11:55 PM

I found the Optolong Moon & Skyglow to be very comparable to the Baader at $30 for the 1.25", and $50 for the 2". It doesn't do much for moon or sky glow, but it is a nice planetary filter on Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars. https://agenaastro.c...low-filter.html
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#8 jimandlaura26

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 01:14 AM

Lots of good advice here for visual use of filters. Both subjective perceptions (human vision) and objective realities (physics and math) surround this topic. Agree that broad band filters effects are at best subtle, but at low aperture (and 102 mm qualifies here) excessive dimming and mushy images provided by typical Wratten inexpensive colored filters and other low price bargains can become frustrating. Unfortunately, solid manufacturing practices and high quality costs good money. In my experience, it's better to bite the bullet once, instead of suffering through successive disappointments that come with trial and error combined with pure chance. The same is true for this hobby for equipment in general. In my case, I use extensively the Baader Moon and Sky Glow Filter to improve DSO-to-light-polluted-sky-contrast; as well as the UHC-S filter for emission nebula. The Moon and Skyglow filters are installed on the front end of my diagonals for both my 80 mm and 102 mm refractors - pretty much permanently. They are expensive, but high quality filters with outstanding transmission and imperceptible distortion, that mitigate light pollution effects of my Bortle 7-ish skies. Addtionally, I do possess and regularly use an array of neutral density filters, Wratten Very Light Blue (82A), Medium Blue (80A), O-III and Orion UHC narrow band filters for specific applications as typically recommended, Anecdotally, the Baader Semi-Apo filter is not only recommended for achromatic refractors, but is a great Mars filter as well - without excessive light loss or color shift. Like many, I started with an array of inexpensive filters that went unused after a short time - just dimmed and scatter light otherwise needed to discern subtle features in small aperture scopes. Good luck!  


Edited by jimandlaura26, 19 October 2021 - 01:31 AM.

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#9 sanbai

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 12:02 PM

I have the Baader MSG, SemiApo and Contrast Booster. I won't part with them anytime soon (*), but won't sweat if they suddenly decompose into neutrinos.

I would rather save the money for a good 2" UHC filter (latest generations of lumicon, Televue, DGM NPB). As for planetary use, a neutral density may be an option if you find the views to bright (or don't get dark adapted at all...)

(*) It's nice to play with them, it feels you busy at work. Also, I'm guessing part of the job in planetary views is just reducing excessive brightness for detailed views. For deep sky, I've still too see a *meaningful* improvement worth the effort.
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#10 DropsOfJupiter

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 12:21 PM

I did consider a high transmission ND as an alternative. If I dont find a good M&SG then that would be plan c.

 

That thread I linked to in my original post had links to some pdf and articles from where I gathered that for planets M&SG or CB or ND were better than just regular color filters.



#11 DropsOfJupiter

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 12:26 PM

I found the Optolong Moon & Skyglow to be very comparable to the Baader at $30 for the 1.25", and $50 for the 2". It doesn't do much for moon or sky glow, but it is a nice planetary filter on Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars. https://agenaastro.c...low-filter.html

Thanks. The spectrum chart for this and actually the Svbony m&s also is quite similar, at least in the visible light range, to the Baader m&s -

 

https://optolong.com...ail/id/104.html



#12 GGK

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 01:46 PM

Thanks. The spectrum chart for this and actually the Svbony m&s also is quite similar, at least in the visible light range, to the Baader m&s -

 

https://optolong.com...ail/id/104.html

 

 

I probably know less that others about filters, but I'll tell you what I'm doing any maybe it will help you.

 

With respect to M&SG filters, in my opinion, the only real difference between brands is the percent of light transmission in wavelengths not intended to be blocked.  When viewing the moon or planets, the small difference in transmission makes no difference to me (but it might to a real critical observer), so if I was buying today, I'd buy a lower priced good brand name.

 

The challenge is determining whether or not the M&SG will do anything at all.  It blocks the primary sodium light wavelengths, but many towns and parking lots have modernized to full spectrum LEDs which renders the M&SG filter pretty much useless.  I own a Baader M&SG, but use it very little anymore, although years ago I wouldn't consider viewing without it.

 

If I use filters on the moon or Jupiter today, it's usually a #82A to tone down the red light a bit, or a #82A in combination with a Baader Constrast Booster (similar to M&SG, but cuts off the violet.  Moon brightness, sky brightness, and telescope type will influence which combination provides the most image contrast.  I know some people who use the #8 yellow instead of the #82A light blue, but that doesn't work too good for me.

 

This chart shows the Baader M&SG and Contrast Booster. Green bars are sodium light wavelengths:

 

 MSG CB.JPG

 

I've also started playing with a StarGuy UHC to see how it does as a general light pollution filter.  I bought it cheap knowing that the pass-through is too wide for a good UHC filter.  The StarGuy UHC vs. Contrast Booster chart ---

 

UHC CB.JPG

 

The StarGuy UHC filter definitely darkens the whole image, which is OK on the moon, but I need more viewing time under different conditions to decide if it's any improvement at all.

 

I didn't read enough of your linked discussion to know if this website was identified, so here's a link to the website than creates these filter spectra charts:

 

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

 

This is a link to an article that provides the transmission charts of the colored filters:

 

https://agenaastro.c...ary-filter.html

 

If you find the magic combination, please let us know.

 

Gary



#13 f74265a

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 01:48 PM

I don’t think filters are needed at all for Jupiter and Saturn. Perhaps a quality ND filter for the moon.

#14 SteveG

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 01:53 PM

While it is touted as a great planetary filter for Jupiter and Mars, it’s not worth the price IMO.



#15 Napp

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 02:27 PM

You can spend lots of money chasing various filters down the rabbit hole.  Also, you can see from this thread that the use of filters is a very personal opinion and choice.  Before you buy you really need a personal understanding and appreciation  of just what difference a particular filter can and cannot actually make and then determine whether that difference is worth you spending your money.  If you have no or minimal experience with filters I strongly recommend finding an opportunity to try a particular filter.  The difference a filter provides is subtle.  It is not a case of suddenly having a much improved view of an object.  It is a case of improved contrast of features of an object.  For example I spent a lot of time observing Mars at the last opposition in 2020.  I tried a variety of filters.  I liked the Baader Moon and Skyglow best followed by the Baader Contrast Booster.  For Jupiter I like the Baader Contrast Booster best.  Note that both are Neodymium filters and the differences between them are very subtle.  Reality is that each filter increases contrast for certain features.  You don't look through the eyepiece and see all the differences at once.  Planetary observing requires a lot of time at the eyepiece waiting for micro areas of earth's atmosphere to steady enough for features in different areas of the target planet to show more clearly.  If you are just starting with planetary observing I would recommend getting some experience first without filters building your observing skills.  While doing this look for and take advantage of chances to try different filters that others have.  Then you will be in a position to make a knowledgeable decision about whether a given filter is worth your money.


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#16 Starman1

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 02:28 PM

I probably know less that others about filters, but I'll tell you what I'm doing any maybe it will help you.

 

With respect to M&SG filters, in my opinion, the only real difference between brands is the percent of light transmission in wavelengths not intended to be blocked.  When viewing the moon or planets, the small difference in transmission makes no difference to me (but it might to a real critical observer), so if I was buying today, I'd buy a lower priced good brand name.

 

The challenge is determining whether or not the M&SG will do anything at all.  It blocks the primary sodium light wavelengths, but many towns and parking lots have modernized to full spectrum LEDs which renders the M&SG filter pretty much useless.  I own a Baader M&SG, but use it very little anymore, although years ago I wouldn't consider viewing without it.

 

If I use filters on the moon or Jupiter today, it's usually a #82A to tone down the red light a bit, or a #82A in combination with a Baader Constrast Booster (similar to M&SG, but cuts off the violet.  Moon brightness, sky brightness, and telescope type will influence which combination provides the most image contrast.  I know some people who use the #8 yellow instead of the #82A light blue, but that doesn't work too good for me.

 

This chart shows the Baader M&SG and Contrast Booster. Green bars are sodium light wavelengths:

 

 attachicon.gifMSG CB.JPG

 

I've also started playing with a StarGuy UHC to see how it does as a general light pollution filter.  I bought it cheap knowing that the pass-through is too wide for a good UHC filter.  The StarGuy UHC vs. Contrast Booster chart ---

 

attachicon.gifUHC CB.JPG

 

The StarGuy UHC filter definitely darkens the whole image, which is OK on the moon, but I need more viewing time under different conditions to decide if it's any improvement at all.

 

I didn't read enough of your linked discussion to know if this website was identified, so here's a link to the website than creates these filter spectra charts:

 

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

 

This is a link to an article that provides the transmission charts of the colored filters:

 

https://agenaastro.c...ary-filter.html

 

If you find the magic combination, please let us know.

 

Gary

There was a StarGuy Moon & Sky Glow filter, too.

StarGuy filters are made by Yulong, i.e. Optolong.



#17 Starman1

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 02:36 PM

I've tried lots of colored filters on the planets, as well as the Baader Moon & Sky Glow and Baader Contrast Booster.

Best filter for Mars: Baader Contrast Booster.  a distant 2nd place, the #30 Magenta.  Both are better than no filter.  Most effective color filters dim the image too much.

Best filter on Saturn: On the disc, the Baader Moon & Sky Glow, a close 2nd the Baader Contrast Booster.

                                  On the rings, a #12 yellow filter, with the Contrast Booster a close second.  Both accent any contrast differences in the rings.

Best filter on Jupiter: Tie: Baader Moon & Sky Glow and Baader Contrast Booster.  Each brings out slightly different details and adds a very light tinting.

                                    Distant 2nd choice: #82A light Blue filter.

 

Now, if you have a 5 filter filter slide, you could use separate color filters and switch to see particular details, but the Baader filters make it easy.


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#18 Mark9473

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 04:09 PM

I find the Baader Neodymium Moon & Skyglow filter gives a nice contrast boost on the planets without giving an ugly colour cast. This filter plus a binoviewer make my Mewlon 210 give "refractor-like" views.
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#19 vtornado

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 09:42 AM

I was out last night with a good view of Jupiter.

 

I used a 4 inch f/9 ed scope.  I tried a 8mm , 6 and 4mm eyepiece to see how magnification/exit pupil play into things.

IMHO 6mm rendered the best view.  .67 exit pupil 150x, so I did spend my most time here. 

 

I then compared no filter, 82A, vite moon and sky glow. 

With the 82A I did not see any enhancement.

 

With the vite M&S.

I did see some enhancement of equitorial banding and the space between the banding (equitorial zone).  I may have seen an oval with the filter that was not without it.  The bands seemed to be   darkened more than the white so it made the swirling detail a tiny bit easier to see. 

 

The M&S slightly dims the view (which may mean more aperture should be applied) and it adds a slightly

blueish tint.

 

Ramblings.

this vite filter is not a baader.  I have compared some other classes of baader filters with no name products

And found the baader to be slightly better in what it is supposed to do but not a quantum leap.

So I assume the vite M&S is likewise 80-90% of the baader.

 

I assume this vite filter is made in the same or similar factory as other rebadged astro products, like

svony astromania, et. al.  I checked ebay and I don't see vite products anymore, perhaps the morphed int

svbony?

 

As far as value for MY money.   I will keep the vite that I bought for $20.00 or so.  If I had spent $100 on the

baader and money was tight, I would be looking to trade it for something more utilitarian.  LIke a better 4mm 60 degree eyepiece.  Mine seems a bit soft.

 

Now the caveat to these findings is these are my, eyes, my scope and my sky.   The observations

can be drastically altered if I had perfect seeing like our friends in Florida.  Eagle eye peepers, or a different

scope.  Next time I am out I will try with a larger scope to see if a higher mag / larger exit pupil yields

different results.


Edited by vtornado, 20 October 2021 - 09:49 AM.

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#20 Frisky

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 03:09 PM

Except for viewing Venus, I'm in the no filter camp. Jupiter can be slightly improved, with my scope, using a #82A light blue filter. Saturn can be slightly improved with the #8 light yellow. An aperture mask and/or a ND filter help Venus a lot. I use an orange #21 on the moon, especially a full moon, and let kids look at it, calling it a pumpkin moon, lol! The orange does enhance lunar detail, if you can get over the moon looking like a pumpkin. I might add, the moon does often look like a pumpkin, when it's on the horizon. 

 

Joe


Edited by Frisky, 21 October 2021 - 03:11 PM.

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#21 CowTipton

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 03:30 PM

I have the Baader Contrast Booster.

It's pretty nice but really not necessary for solar system viewing.

Sometimes it seems like it helps a little, sometimes I see no difference.

 

My advice is to save up and get a good narrowband UHC for nebulae.

Those make a huge difference.


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#22 DeWynter

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 04:07 PM

I second to Optolong Moon & Sky Glow if you want an M&SG filter. However for Moon and planets I'd highly recommend Baader Contrast Booster instead of any M&SG filter. It works much better.

 

For deep sky M&SG and Baader CB are pretty much useless so you need a good narrowband UHC (Lumicon, Astronomik, DGM NPB) for nebulae.


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