Best Nebula Filter

Best Nebula Filter: A Guide On Viewing The Stars

Introduction

“Aw shucks! We still can’t see the stars properly”. Chances are you’ve said this to yourself at least once if you’re into telescopes.

Viewing the milky way especially in these low light conditions can be quite the feat. Plus there are tons of background noise and light which blot out the light from the nebula.

The solution to this is the use of a filter. A nebula filter darkens the background and contrasts the nebula’s light, for it to be observable.

So you might be asking yourself “where do I get one”? That’s where we come in. More precisely our post on the best nebula filter.

Something tells us that the reason you stumbled on this post is because you’re in dire need of some direction.

We’ve provided you with an ultimate guide on picking the top-of-the-line nebula filters on the market. We’ve even added a buying guide for your convenience. This is so that you have the added knowledge to pick what’s best for you.

With that said, let’s begin-

Comparison Table

Products Weight (Ounces) Barrel Diameter (Inches)
SVBONY UHC Telescope Filter 1.44 1.25
Solomark UHC Telescope Filter  1.60 1.25
Celestron Narrowband 93623 Oxygen III Filter 0.16 1.25
Astromania UHC Filter  0.30 1.25
Gosky UHC Narrow Bandpass Filter  0.81 1.25

SVBONY UHC Telescope Filter

Product Overview

First is the list we have the SVBONY’s UHC Telescope filter. This filter is the number one pick on our list. So why does the crown rest on its head?

For starters, it’s one of the most renowned filters that are used by telescope enthusiasts and even would-be astrophotographers. This is due to its exceptional filtering ability.

It’s particularly effective against canceling out noise-light. This is essentially the artificial light present in our day-to-day lives. Filtering this light out causes the details of a nebula to come out.

This makes it a perfect tool to use in urban environments.

Moreover, the filter comes with a protective case. There is a foam pad in the case which allows the SVBONY to be protected against accidental impacts. That said, portability won’t be an issue, in any regards. 

Pros

  • Excellent Image Contrast.
  • Very good at filtering unwanted light.
  • Easy to carry around.
  • The filter can be used for telescopes and photography.
  • Relatively inexpensive.

Cons

  • Forms a Halo around the filter. 

Solomark UHC Telescope Filter 

Product Overview

In second place we have Solomark’s UHC Telescope Filter. Solomark has made tons of reliable filters since its inception, and this one is not so different. So let’s look at some of its features that earned the second place-

The Solomark UHC is mindbogglingly good at producing very clear images. This is no feat since Nebulas are inherently very faint and hard to detect. Using this filter will make you feel like having superman’s vision.

Moreover, this is excellent for any environment, be it in pitch black darkness or a bright-lighted city.

As the number one pick, it can be used for both photography and telescopes. This gives a testament to how versatile it is.

However, it is also the heaviest of the filters on the list. This is one of the reasons why we had to bump it down into second place.

Pros

  • Produce extremely clear images
  • Excellent for all light conditions
  • Can be used for versatile applications
  • Good filtering performance

Cons

  • It’s a bit heavy and bulky to carry around

Celestron Narrowband 93623 Oxygen III Filter

Product Overview

The Celestron 93623 filter takes third place on our list, officially ending the top 3 race on filters. Celestron is a pretty well-known brand in the world of nebula filters, and rightly so.

This is an O-III filter band meaning it can filter unwanted lights efficiently, letting only the lights emitted by the nebulae through.

It’s also the lightest and the easiest to carry around out of the five filters. Moreover, its ultra-hard vacuum-deposited layer prevents a halo from forming around the filter. This is a common problem for most O-III filters.

It’s also very durable since it’s made of solid plane parallel glass. This makes it one of the fan favorites.

Pros 

  • Excellent durability
  • Compact and very easy to carry around
  • Great filtering performance

Cons

  • Relatively Expensive

Astromania UHC Filter

Product Overview

Next up, we have the Astromania UHC filter. This is an interesting nebula filter and we could not resist putting it on the list because of its features. Let’s take a closer at those features, shall we?

Let’s begin by mentioning the amount of work put in to make each of this filter. Each Astromania filter is personally hand-checked and put under the strictest of quality checks. So you know the quality of its filtration process is sublime.

The Astromania has excellent contrasting powers. This is due to the Astromania having two doubly ionized oxygen lines and the H-Beta line of wavelength filters. These allow the 496, 501, and 486nm wavelengths to pass through with ease.

This is important because most nebulae emit light of these wavelengths. This makes even the dimmest nebulae appear bright in the night sky.

Moreover, the Astromania is compatible with every 1.25 diameter Telescopes, regardless of its make. This is an incredible feature as you can just fit it on any type of telescope and watch the stars.

Pros

  • Excellent contrasting performance
  • Has standard durability
  • Easy to fit into telescopes
  • Probability of you getting a defective filter is low, because of quality control

Cons

  • Cannot be used in photographic lenses

Gosky UHC Narrow Bandpass Filter

Product Overview

Last but not least, we have the Gosky UHC Bandpass ending the top five list. Now, don’t underestimate this filter because it came in last. It did beat a lot of other noteworthy competitors to take the last spot.

Let’s take a look at those features that earned it the last spot.

For starters, it is a very user-friendly telescope filter. It’s kind of like the all-rounder of the group. The Astronomia can be used to view many different nebulae, including the Orion, Lagoon and Swan nebulae.

As the name suggests, it has a ultra high contrasting ability that sets it apart from most filters in the market. This makes it contrast even the faintest of nebulae in the darkness.

This also comes with a plastic case for an easy carry-around. Although you don’t have to worry about it being damaged since it’s made of a metal frame and optical glass.

Pros

  • Can be used to see various nebulae
  • Has a decent durability
  • Comes with a decent image quality

Cons

  • Difficult to set into telescopes at times

Buying Guide

This is the section for the Astrophotographer fanatics since we go a bit in-depth here. Here, we talk about each of the filters needed for specific planetary bodies. Having a better understanding of each type of filter will help you view them easily.

Color Filters: The Basic Of Optical Filtration

First up, we the Colored Filters for Nebulas. This is the most basic sort of filter that is available on the market. 

A colored piece of dyed glass that blocks out a specific color and increases contrast that way. This sort of filter uses a basic form of color filtration to view the image.

All lights we observe have color due to their wavelength. For example, when we see a green curtain, all the colors except green are being absorbed. The only color being reflected is green, so we see green.

Similarly, a colored lens will enhance some colors and contrast them. For example, a blue filter will enhance orange and reddish hues.

Since color filters are the most basic, they are also the least pricey.

Broadband Filters: Dimming The Night Sky

Color filters work only for the brightest nebulae. Most nebulae are extremely dim and very hard to distinguish, which is why more advanced filters were made. Broadband filters are one type.

They are more commonly known as LPF (Light Pollution Filters) or interference filters. There’s even microscopic thinner coatings that are multiple in number. These fit inside as the interference filters and will pass particular wavelengths. 

Planetary nebulae & nebulae produce light solely at certain wavelengths, whereas stars have continuous emission spectra. Broadband filters feature large passbands in the red sections of the spectrum and in the blue/blue-green spectrums. 

They allow the astronomically significant emission lines to pass through with little or no attenuation. 

Broadband filters are designed to block areas of the spectrum lower than approximately 445 nm and between about 540 nm and 640 nm since those are the emission lines of major light pollution sources.

However, broadbands only work in dark areas. In urban areas where there is a lot of light pollution, it becomes less effective.

Narrowband Filters: Broadband Filter’s Upgrade?

Narrowband filters have virtually negligible transmission outside of the crucial wavelengths of 486 nm (H-) and 496/501 nm (O-III). 

The background sky is considerably darkened when using a narrowband filter. Because the filter blocks particular regions of the spectrum. This allows you to see more of the celestial body’s extent because dimmer areas of it that would normally be veiled by natural or artificial skyglow. 

Because narrowband filters have such narrow passbands, they darken any continuous-spectrum light source, such as stars, galaxies, and reflection nebulae, substantially.

These essentially, are the true light pollution filter as they work in highly light-polluted areas.

Line Filters: Juiced-Up Narrowband

Narrowband filters on steroids are what line filters are. A line filter may have a passband of only 8 nm or less, whereas a normal broadband filter has a 100 nm passband and a typical narrowband filter has a 25 nm passband. 

Line filters isolate a single line (or a group of lines) by transmitting nearly all light of that wavelength while blocking all other light. As a result, seeing through a line filter produces a very dim image.

The two most common line bands are Oxygen-III filters and Hydorge-Beta filters.

The O-III filter is the most common filter used to see planetary nebulae. This is because they’re for selective wavebands which emit 496 nm and 506nm wavelengths. 

Hydrogen-Beta is a more extreme version of the O-III because these are used to view very specific nebulae such as the Horsehead nebula.

FAQs

Question: Is it wise to use UV filters for astrophotography?

Answer: This is a very common question that people have. Let us be clear, never use a UV filter for astrophotography. They do more harm than good during the night and should be avoided at all costs. They don’t provide ample protection for your lens. Furthermore, they increase the visual artifacts and are more prone to cause lens flares due to the extra thick glass they have.

Question: Which filter should I use for viewing planets only?

Answer: It is important to understand that there are specific filters needed for viewing specific planetary objects. This is because specific planetary bodies emit specific wavelengths of light. The wavelengths not needed are omitted. This is why for planets you should use blue filters 

Question: What’s the magnification needed to observe the Orion Nebula?

Answer: The Orion nebula is one of the easiest celestial bodies to see. This is because it is the brightest nebula we can observe in our sky. This nebula is situated in Orion’s belt, more precisely the sword constellation on the belt. This is even sometimes visible to the naked eye. But the Nebula can be best observed at a magnification of 75x-100x.

Conclusion

Well, that’s all from us on the best nebula filter on the market today. We hope that you found our post on this optic filter to be an eye-opener. We suggest that you pick our top recommended filter for this particular conundrum.

Anyways, we’ve helped in your quest to stargaze and wonder. We leave the rest of the journey in your capable hands. We’re sure that you’ll make the correct choice as you know a lot about nebula filters now.

Till then, stay safe and take care!

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