As increasing light pollution makes astrophotography more challenging, narrow-band filters that cut out unwanted wavelengths of light, can provide a useful workaround. Atik Cameras already manufacture a popular range of astronomy cameras and filter wheels and have complimented those items with Atik branded filter sets, both colour (LRGB) and narrow-band (SHO).
The trio of narrowband filters are comprised of a Sulphur (SII – 671.6nm), Hydrogen-alpha (Ha – 656.3nm), and Oxygen (OIII – 500.7nm) set, allowing false colour nebulae photographs, in similar style to those taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Each filter’s bandwidth is given as 7nm, with a peak transmission of at least 80 per cent.
They are available as 1.25-inch, 36mm unmounted, or 2-inch filters, and we chose the standard 2-inch version to review.
To test the filters we used an Atik monochrome camera along with an Atik filter wheel (EFW2), although the set should be compatible with any camera or wheel as the 2-inch filter rings are only 4mm deep, plus threads.
The filters themselves are nicely made, screwing into the filter wheel easily, having no loose or rattling glass, and the applied black finish did not appear to flake off during fitting and removal.
Of course, it is the results from the camera that are all important, and our initial test was to compare the Atik filter performance on a bright star, checking for unwanted reflections or haloes.
Each filter demonstrated comparable or smoother results than our usual filter brand, and we moved on to taking photographs, choosing an emission nebula that offers a decent response to all three wavelengths, namely the Pacman nebula, NGC 281.
Taking 15-minute exposures through each filter gave a pleasing result, with good responses to each emission type in turn, and demonstrated that the Atik narrow-band filter set works well together to produce high quality Hubble style images.
- Price 2-inch mounted – £696.78 (also available as: 1.25-inch mounted at £445.72 and 36mm un-mounted at £534.19)
- Size 50mm diameter X 4mm, excluding thread
- Bandwidth 7nm
- Centre of wavelength SII 671.6nm; Ha 656.3nm; OIII 500.7nm
- Weight 13g
- Supplier Atik Cameras
- Tel 01603 740397
- Website www.atik-cameras.com