"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 the 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 vicinity 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.
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 vicinity 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 the 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 altogether 84 new filters. However, after much hardship, 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
- Evermore 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 a 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 the 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 world 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
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/