New Baader CMOS-optimized (Ultra-)Narrowband and Highspeed Filters

Various Baader Planetarium Print Advertisements from 1966 and later years

"Finding the way" has a long tradition at Baader Planetarium. The slogan got created by our companies founder Claus Baader – in 1966, when "the Baader Planetarium-Orrery" was announced to the world. And within those many years we always tried to find ways for our technical solutions – and the domes – to stand the test of time. The Baader Planetarium Orrery btw. might have the longest product existence in modern industry – we still produce it here in house – unchanged since 1966 (if you like, check a tiny bit of the print material published at that time).

Today we have a similar situation – we worked hard for two years and the "feeling" here is just like way back then. For our new filters:

WE FOUND THE WAY

... to finally and cost-effectively tackle the problem of filters being accused of creating unbearable halos when put into close vincinity of correcting lenses – in conjunction with latest generation CMOS-chips. Hence we introduce our four new families of Baader filters:

  • 6,5 nm Narrowband Filters, CMOS-optimized – for f/10 to f/3.5
  • 6,5 nm f/2 Highspeed Filters, CMOS-optimized – for f/3.4 to f/1.8
  • 3,5 / 4 nm Ultra-Narrowband Filters, CMOS-optimized – for f/10 to f/3.5
  • 3,5 / 4 nm f/2 Ultra-Highspeed Filters, CMOS-optimized – for f/3.4 to f/1.8

All 84 new filters are designated as CMOS-optimized, with the same high quality and engineering you expect from the Baader family of products.

New CMOS-optimized Baader filters

This very problem had almost got us "over the edge". For more than a decade, during the reign of CCD-cameras, our Baader Narrowband-filters had served somewhat as an industry-standard in astro-filter technology. And "all of a sudden", with always newer and revolutionary CMOS-chips hitting the market, people started to complain about halos, whenever a coma-corrector, field-flattener or reducer-corrector would be placed in close vincinity to one of our filters. We studied far and wide and for some time took some soothing from the fact that amateur forums around the world had similar reports for our much higher priced competitors. However, some solution to this just had to be found – but without just have filter prices skyrocketing as was the case everywhere. As a consequence we looked into latest advanced coating technologies and how to use it in ways to address this most severe problem, since nowadays almost any telescope would use such auxillary-optics closely in front of the chip-plane.

Eventually, with significant investment in R&D, we ran from one prototype run into the next for almost all of the years from 2019 until now (middle of 2021). Countless nights were spent under the stars to evaluate so many different coating systems on all four new filter families, consisting of alltogether 84 new filters. However, after much heartship we are absolutely convinced that our new Reflex-Blocker coating systems are addressing this severe problem in a very satisfying fashion, with just a moderate increase in price. You will be the judge.

This new generation of Baader CMOS-filters features:

  • Increased contrast
  • Ever more narrow passbands
  • Reflex-Blocker coatings, for largest ever freedom from halos, even under most adverse conditions concerning aux-optics
  • FWHM on each filter category carefully designed to allow for 1:1:1 exposures, matched for typical CMOS quantum efficiency and s/n ratio
  • Identical filter thickness to existing standards, with utmost care for parfocality
  • Blackened edges all around, with filter-lead-side-indicator in the form of a black frontside outer rim, to additionally eliminate any reflection due to light falling onto the edge of a filter
  • Each filter coated individually, with sealed coating edge (NOT cut out of a larger plate with coatings left exposed, read more)
  • Life-Coat™: evermore hard coatings to enable a non-aging coating for life – even in a most adverse environment





Don´t be misled.

These all new CMOS-optimized filters work magnificently with all existing digital camera technologies, be it CMOS or CCD. However – an owner of CCD-camera-technology will still find our previous, extremely affordable, narrowband filter technology to be fully apt for excellent imaging. But: "the Better always is enemy to the Good".

We are most confident, anyone using latest CMOS-technology will see the improvement right away – for his/her lifetime! This new CMOS-optimized filter generation is meant to stay and become the new standard in the amateur-word of imagers.

In the future...

Similarly designed Photometric Filters (featuring identical standard thickness alike all our filters as well as all standard sizes) are under preparation for the science world in the form of SLOAN/SDSS and modern BVR (Bessel-conform) filters – likewise using our Reflex-Blocker coating technology, to be fully suitable for 24/7 operation.

Images results and test reviews

Andreas Bringmann

One of our first testers is Andreas Bringmann, owner of a 2.6m Baader Classic Dome and renowned Astro-Photographer – see his images on www.astrobin.com/users/equinoxx/. The all new f/2 Ultra-Highspeed Filters not only lead to amazing images but even enabled the photographic proof of the newly discovered planetary nebula StDr13, check out the detailed test review.

I would like to emphasize, that the opportunity you have given me to test the new CMOS-optimized filters has been for me, an astro-amateur, like winning the lottery!
Andreas Bringmann, www.astrobin.com/equinoxx/



NEW DISCOVERY - Strottner-Drechsler 13, taken with Baader H-alpha Highspeed Filter
© Andreas Bringmann

Sh2-232 & friends, taken with Baader H-alpha, S-II and O-III ULTRA-Highspeed Filters
© Andreas Bringmann

Ou4 an Sh2.129, taken with Baader H-alpha and O-III ULTRA-Highspeed Filter
© Andreas Bringmann

Sh2-308, taken with Baader H-alpha and O-III ULTRA-Highspeed Filters
© Andreas Bringmann


Christoph Kaltseis

Our QHY- and filter expert Christoph Kaltseis held a lecture on our new CMOS-optimized Baader (Ultra-)Narrowband and Highspeed Filters at the ATT DIGITAL show on Saturday, May 8th 2021. The lecture was held in german language only, we apologize. Also the presentation material exists only in German (at least so far). In case you're still interested, you can find the PDF to the right.

after almost 1.5 years of constant tests of always new prototype runs of Baader filters in four different filter categories, I do conclude that the outcome superseeds my expectations, especially considering the prices.
Christoph Kaltseis, www.cedic.at

IC1396, taken with Baader H-alpha, O-III and S-II ULTRA Highspeed Filters
© Christoph Kaltseis

IC1318, taken with Baader H-alpha, O-III and S-II ULTRA Highspeed Filters
© Christoph Kaltseis

M31 (SuW Astro-Poster with full story), taken with Baader H-alpha and O-III ULTRA Highspeed Filters
© Christoph Kaltseis

NGC7000, taken with Baader H-alpha and O-III ULTRA Highspeed Filters
© Christoph Kaltseis


Julian Shroff

NGC7000 with RASA 8, taken with Baader O-III and H-alpha ULTRA-Highspeed Filters
© Julian Shroff

After initial testing, I was pleased to find that the new CMOS-optimized Baader filters with reflex blocker coating work great. With the much narrower passages, there is hardly any light pollution, but plenty of signal and contrast. There are also no halos or reflections, even with very bright stars, which I have never seen before on f/2.
I used the freshly arrived highspeed filters for a quick snapshot of NGC7000 with my RASA 8. The image consists of 5x120s O III and 15x120s Ha, so a 40 minutes bicolor image. This definitely shows what can be done with a fast system and good filters. I don't like to expose less than 10h, but with such bright nebulae I would be done after 4-5h.
Julian Shroff, Instagram, Youtube

Also a quick first test with the highspeed H-alpha filter on Deneb with 30s, as well as 60s shots shows the difference clearly in my eyes. There is much less unwanted light coming through and also the slight halo, which is present with other filters I have used so far, has completely disappeared even with an extreme stretch.

Deneb at 30s, taken with Baader H-alpha ULTRA-Narrowband Filter
© Julian Shroff

Deneb at 60s, taken with Baader H-alpha ULTRA-Narrowband Filter
© Julian Shroff


Last night (03.May 2021) it was clear for a short time. I have now also made a few 30s and 60s exposures of Deneb with the O III filter. On the 30s images the image looks perfect, on the 60s there is a very faint halo - at maximum stretch. Considering that with other O III filters I used to have halos on virtually every even remotely bright star, I find this very satisfying.

Deneb at 30s, taken with Baader O-III ULTRA-Narrowband Filter
© Julian Shroff

Deneb at 60s, taken with Baader O-III ULTRA-Narrowband Filter
© Julian Shroff


Ian Aiken

Our british customer has been testing our new CMOS-optimized filters in combination with a QHY 268M camera (read more about that here).

I'm very impressed with the Baader UNBs and managed to get some H-alpha data under Bortle 7 skies with my new CMOS camera. Having used previous Baader high speed filters on my RASA 11, I can confirm that these are a step forward in conjunction with the RASA optical configuration, that is putting so many lenses very near in front of the filter. These new UNBs definitely are improving contrast with the RASA and helping me to keep stars under much tighter control. The UNB-OIII filter likewise has improved considerably with the Frontside Reflex-Blocker technology, with no halos recorded in this images data (unfortunately due to the weather the data is incomplete to make a pretty bi-colour picture).
Ian Aiken

IC405, taken with Baader H-alpha Ultra-Highspeed Filter
© Ian Aiken

O-III stack from the same FoV, taken with Baader O-III Ultra-Highspeed Filter © Ian Aiken

Crop of IC405, with stars removed
© Ian Aiken

7 thoughts on “New Baader CMOS-optimized (Ultra-)Narrowband and Highspeed Filters”

  • Steve Thornton
    Steve Thornton May 9, 2021 at 11:08 am

    Very interesting, just wish they had been released before I bought the current Ultra NB's.
    When will they be available in UK and what will be the price for the 36 mm unmounted and the 2" ?
    Steve

    Reply
    • Team Baader Planetarium
      Team Baader Planetarium May 12, 2021 at 3:49 pm

      Thank you kindly for your interest in our upcoming new CMOS-optimized filter family.
      We plan to announce availability and prices of these filters by beginning of June. Preorders are not (yet) possible.
      Please sign up for our newsletter to be among the first to get informed about these new filters:
      www.baader-planetarium.com/en/newsletter

      Reply
  • Jack Schow

    This is great news! When do you expect these new filters to be available?

    Reply
    • Team Baader Planetarium
      Team Baader Planetarium May 12, 2021 at 3:49 pm

      Thank you kindly for your interest in our upcoming new CMOS-optimized filter family.
      We plan to announce availability and prices of these filters by beginning of June. Preorders are not (yet) possible.
      Please sign up for our newsletter to be among the first to get informed about these new filters:
      www.baader-planetarium.com/en/newsletter

      Reply
  • Neil Corke

    The images posted by Andreas Bringmann on Astrobin are some of the best on there. I was about to order a set of Chroma 3nm filters but will now wait for these to be released.

    Reply
  • Daniel Martinez
    Daniel Martinez June 2, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    I am extremely excited!!! Any news on the ship date and price?

    Reply
    • Team Baader Planetarium
      Team Baader Planetarium June 2, 2021 at 4:24 pm

      We will announce prices and shipping dates of the new CMOS-optimized Baader filters on next friday, June 11th.
      Believe us, we are excited too :)

      Reply
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