Telescope Filters

Visual and photographic filters play a big role in how we see or capture the objects in the night sky and there is a filter to enhance every situation.  Photographic color filters are an essential accessory to the astrophotographer, while visual color filters help to bring out amazing detail to the human eye.  There are broadband filters for boosting contrast or reducing the effects of light pollution and narrowband filters for concentrating on very specific wavelengths of light, including those only our cameras can see.  There is also a wide range of sizes available.  The size you'll need is usually determined either by the size of your eyepiece barrel (typically 1.25" or 2") or the size required by your filter wheel, carousel, or slider.  There are also specialized filters sizes that are made to clip into the body of your DSLR or attach directly to the back of your SCT!  OPT has divided these filters among several categories by type and other search options to make them easier for you to find exactly what you need.

Solar Filters:

Solar Filters are a great way to view the sun without investing too much in a specialized telescope; you can simply find the correct solar filter for the telescope you already have, and keep using that scope you're comfortable with to view the sun. Solar Filters come in a number of varieties, each type resulting in a different solar astronomy experience. Solar filters also come in the same varieties as other filters; imaging and visual.

Imaging Filters:

Many filters are specialized for imaging use, which ranges from narrowband filters meant for specific image types to LRGB filter sets for turning a monochrome image into a full color one. There is a very wide variety of different sizes and specialties among imaging specialized filters, ranging from various colors to high level research filters to simple light pollution negating filters. The choice is yours.

Visual Filters:

Some filters are meant purely for enhancing your visual astronomy experience, whether the goal is to minimize light pollution for a clearer view, or to add a color to your view. These are great for observers who want to see new and interesting things in the night sky, or who want to enhance their clarity by piercing light pollution. Just like imaging filters, there are a wide range of options.

FAQs

Which telescope filters should I use to shoot galaxies?


Color camera: No filter is best for color cameras, since you want to maximize as much light gathering as possible. Since galaxies emit across the visible spectrum, any filters used will block out light that the galaxy would emit. The best way to image a galaxy is traveling to a dark sky location.

Monochrome camera: To shoot galaxies with a monochrome camera, you need two things: LRGB filters, and a dark sky. Since galaxies emit across the visible spectrum, any other filters (such as light pollution filters) used will block out light that the galaxy would emit.

What is the best light pollution filter for astrophotography?

Light pollution is a growing problem for astrophotographers and astronomers. While most filters do not function as a substitute for dark skies, the Radian Triad Ultra is a quad-band narrowband filter that is the best light pollution filter for astrophotography; particularly for emission nebulae.

The Radian Triad Ultra Quad-Band Light Pollution Filter comes in a variety of sizes: 1.25" round2" round52mm round65mm square.

For those who only have to deal with a small amount of light pollution, the Radian Triad Tri-band filter is a great solution. Other solutions include the Optolong L-Pro and Optolong L-eNhance filters.

Radian Triad Tri-Band Light Pollution Filter

Radian 1.25" Triad Tri-Band Light Pollution Filter (for crop sensor)
Radian 2" Triad Tri-Band Light Pollution Filter (for full-frame sensor)

Everything you need to know about the Radian Triad Filter

Which solar filter do I need?

To determine which size solar filter is needed for your telescope, measure the outside diameter (O.D.) of your telescope, as the filter will be placed on top of the front of your telescope. Use this measurement to select the correct solar filter size. Still need help? Get in touch with our telescope techs so we can help you by reaching us at internetsales@optcorp.com.

Which telescope filters should I use to shoot nebulae?

Color camera: There are a few ways you can incorporate filters when shooting nebulae with a color camera. For fighting light pollution, the Radian Triad Ultra is the best solution for imaging emission nebulae. Other filters that help reduce light pollution include the L-Pro and L-eNhance filters from Optolong. If light pollution is not a problem, there are filters you can use filters to enhance your nebulae shots. We recommend using UHC (Ultra High Contrast) imaging filters to help increase the contrast on emission nebulae.

Monochrome camera: If light pollution is no issue, a standard LRGB filter set will work perfect to image nebulae. One of the more popular ways to image nebulae is to use narrowband filters, which help achieve colorful Hubble-like images (using the ""Hubble"" pallet). For this, you need to use H-alpha (Ha), Sulfer II (SII), and Oxygen III (OIII) imaging filters. Many astrophotographers use the Radian Triad or Triad Ultra filter to enhance their images by using the Triad as a ""Luminance"" filter, similar to the ""L"" filter in the LRGB filter sets.

Which telescope filters should I use to shoot the moon?

While no filters are required to shoot the Moon, if you're looking to get the most out of your Moon photography, we recommend a Red filter like the ASTRONOMIK PRO PLANET 742 IR FILTER, or the Astronomik ProPlanet 807 IR-pass Filter, or the TPO Red filter. Shorter wavelengths like blue and green are more affected by the seeing and the atmosphere, so can get a better image by using a Red filter, which cuts out those wavelengths.

Which telescope filters should I use to shoot planets?

Filter choices depend on the planet you are imaging. If you are using a color camera, here are our recommendations:

Jupiter: How to take photos of the red spot on Jupiter. Jupiter is best imaged with a large-range IR filter and a large aperture telescope (10""+). The Baader 685 in (1.25" filter for crop sensors, 2" filter for full-frame sensors) or Astronomik 742 (available in 36mm round, 50mm round, 1.25" round, and 2" round) are good choices since these filters eliminate higher levels of gas that lower contrast. Methane filters are also available for a unique imaging experience.

Check out our blog on how to image Jupiter.

Saturn: How to take photos of Saturn's rings. Using a large aperture telescope (10"+), Astronomik BP642, IR807,and Baader IR685 are good choices. Methane filters are also available for a unique imaging experience.

Mars: Using an IR filter on Mars lets the surface become more visible, especially when it's at a close distance to Earth. The Baader 685 or Astronomik 807 filters are great choices for larger telescopes.

Venus: Accessible IR details on that planet are of very low contrast and will be better revealed by the Astronomik 742 or Astronomik 807 filters (if you are using less than 10"" aperture, or larger than 10"" aperture). Various Venus filters are also available.

Uranus and Neptune: While small, dim, and difficult to image, using a large aperture telescope can yield some results when using a Red and Infrared combo filter, such as the Baader 685 filter.

Visual and photographic filters play a big role in how we see or capture the objects in the night sky and there is a filter to enhance every situation.  Photographic color filters are an essential accessory to the astrophotographer, while visual color filters help to bring out amazing detail to the human eye.  There are broadband filters for boosting contrast or reducing the effects of light pollution and narrowband filters for concentrating on very specific wavelengths of light, including those only our cameras can see.  There is also a wide range of sizes available.  The size you'll need is usually determined either by the size of your eyepiece barrel (typically 1.25" or 2") or the size required by your filter wheel, carousel, or slider.  There are also specialized filters sizes that are made to clip into the body of your DSLR or attach directly to the back of your SCT!  OPT has divided these filters among several categories by type and other search options to make them easier for you to find exactly what you need.

Solar Filters:

Solar Filters are a great way to view the sun without investing too much in a specialized telescope; you can simply find the correct solar filter for the telescope you already have, and keep using that scope you're comfortable with to view the sun. Solar Filters come in a number of varieties, each type resulting in a different solar astronomy experience. Solar filters also come in the same varieties as other filters; imaging and visual.

Imaging Filters:

Many filters are specialized for imaging use, which ranges from narrowband filters meant for specific image types to LRGB filter sets for turning a monochrome image into a full color one. There is a very wide variety of different sizes and specialties among imaging specialized filters, ranging from various colors to high level research filters to simple light pollution negating filters. The choice is yours.

Visual Filters:

Some filters are meant purely for enhancing your visual astronomy experience, whether the goal is to minimize light pollution for a clearer view, or to add a color to your view. These are great for observers who want to see new and interesting things in the night sky, or who want to enhance their clarity by piercing light pollution. Just like imaging filters, there are a wide range of options.

FAQs

Which telescope filters should I use to shoot galaxies?


Color camera: No filter is best for color cameras, since you want to maximize as much light gathering as possible. Since galaxies emit across the visible spectrum, any filters used will block out light that the galaxy would emit. The best way to image a galaxy is traveling to a dark sky location.

Monochrome camera: To shoot galaxies with a monochrome camera, you need two things: LRGB filters, and a dark sky. Since galaxies emit across the visible spectrum, any other filters (such as light pollution filters) used will block out light that the galaxy would emit.

What is the best light pollution filter for astrophotography?

Light pollution is a growing problem for astrophotographers and astronomers. While most filters do not function as a substitute for dark skies, the Radian Triad Ultra is a quad-band narrowband filter that is the best light pollution filter for astrophotography; particularly for emission nebulae.

The Radian Triad Ultra Quad-Band Light Pollution Filter comes in a variety of sizes: 1.25" round2" round52mm round65mm square.

For those who only have to deal with a small amount of light pollution, the Radian Triad Tri-band filter is a great solution. Other solutions include the Optolong L-Pro and Optolong L-eNhance filters.

Radian Triad Tri-Band Light Pollution Filter

Radian 1.25" Triad Tri-Band Light Pollution Filter (for crop sensor)
Radian 2" Triad Tri-Band Light Pollution Filter (for full-frame sensor)

Everything you need to know about the Radian Triad Filter

Which solar filter do I need?

To determine which size solar filter is needed for your telescope, measure the outside diameter (O.D.) of your telescope, as the filter will be placed on top of the front of your telescope. Use this measurement to select the correct solar filter size. Still need help? Get in touch with our telescope techs so we can help you by reaching us at internetsales@optcorp.com.

Which telescope filters should I use to shoot nebulae?

Color camera: There are a few ways you can incorporate filters when shooting nebulae with a color camera. For fighting light pollution, the Radian Triad Ultra is the best solution for imaging emission nebulae. Other filters that help reduce light pollution include the L-Pro and L-eNhance filters from Optolong. If light pollution is not a problem, there are filters you can use filters to enhance your nebulae shots. We recommend using UHC (Ultra High Contrast) imaging filters to help increase the contrast on emission nebulae.

Monochrome camera: If light pollution is no issue, a standard LRGB filter set will work perfect to image nebulae. One of the more popular ways to image nebulae is to use narrowband filters, which help achieve colorful Hubble-like images (using the ""Hubble"" pallet). For this, you need to use H-alpha (Ha), Sulfer II (SII), and Oxygen III (OIII) imaging filters. Many astrophotographers use the Radian Triad or Triad Ultra filter to enhance their images by using the Triad as a ""Luminance"" filter, similar to the ""L"" filter in the LRGB filter sets.

Which telescope filters should I use to shoot the moon?

While no filters are required to shoot the Moon, if you're looking to get the most out of your Moon photography, we recommend a Red filter like the ASTRONOMIK PRO PLANET 742 IR FILTER, or the Astronomik ProPlanet 807 IR-pass Filter, or the TPO Red filter. Shorter wavelengths like blue and green are more affected by the seeing and the atmosphere, so can get a better image by using a Red filter, which cuts out those wavelengths.

Which telescope filters should I use to shoot planets?

Filter choices depend on the planet you are imaging. If you are using a color camera, here are our recommendations:

Jupiter: How to take photos of the red spot on Jupiter. Jupiter is best imaged with a large-range IR filter and a large aperture telescope (10""+). The Baader 685 in (1.25" filter for crop sensors, 2" filter for full-frame sensors) or Astronomik 742 (available in 36mm round, 50mm round, 1.25" round, and 2" round) are good choices since these filters eliminate higher levels of gas that lower contrast. Methane filters are also available for a unique imaging experience.

Check out our blog on how to image Jupiter.

Saturn: How to take photos of Saturn's rings. Using a large aperture telescope (10"+), Astronomik BP642, IR807,and Baader IR685 are good choices. Methane filters are also available for a unique imaging experience.

Mars: Using an IR filter on Mars lets the surface become more visible, especially when it's at a close distance to Earth. The Baader 685 or Astronomik 807 filters are great choices for larger telescopes.

Venus: Accessible IR details on that planet are of very low contrast and will be better revealed by the Astronomik 742 or Astronomik 807 filters (if you are using less than 10"" aperture, or larger than 10"" aperture). Various Venus filters are also available.

Uranus and Neptune: While small, dim, and difficult to image, using a large aperture telescope can yield some results when using a Red and Infrared combo filter, such as the Baader 685 filter.

Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/bold-common.liquid