Unmounted Filters – which side should face the telescope?

For our CMOS-optimized filters we have created the following images showing which side of the filter should face the telescope.


LEGACY FAQ for older unmounted CCD-Filters without black outer rim

Question in Detail:

I just bought LRGB 36mm unmounted filters. I have question: which side of filter should be placed towards telescope? Is it better way of distinguish than "more shiny surface towards telescope"?


unmounted-filters-arrowAlways put the more reflective side towards the telescope side. To guide you we already put a small arrow on the filter rim, on those filters were the position matters. This arrow indicates which face of the filter should be directed towards the sky (telescope-sided). All cell-mounted filters are already oriented in a way that the most appropriate filter face is facing the sky when the filter would be mounted directly onto the front end of the nosepiece of a camera.
If you mount your filter the other way, any reflected light would have a short way to the camera sensor, resulting in a higher risk of getting some kind of back-reflections inside the camera field. Many sensors have highly reflective areas near to the light sensitive area, also the area with the bonding contacts is sometimes highly reflective.

But: this is true only for instruments without optical elements near to the focal plane. If you have f.e. a coma corrector, field flattener, focal reducer, focal extender (to a lower degree due to concave surface), or in extreme cases a whole lens group for more complex field corrections a few centimeters in front of the filter it could be useful to flip the filter against the rule from above (thus having the arrow pointing away from the telescope). Cause in such cases the likelihood of reflections from the sensor could be lesser then fort- and back- reflections from such glass-surfaces. If in doubt, it helps to make some test images from a star field with bright stars, using the filter in both ways for comparison.

Should you really have some reflections with both positions it can be more effective to add a spacer between filter and camera, eventually shifting the reflection out of the image field. With focal correctors having curved surfaces changing the filter-lens distance could help also.