9 Best Telescope Filters of 2022; Reviews

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There is a best telescope filter for every application in astronomy, whether you want to enhance views through the eyepiece for observations of the moon and the planets or wish to bring out details during astrophotography.

The filters we use for visual astronomy reduce the amount of light that comes through the eyepiece. Filters never increase the amount of light. By reducing the level of light in one part of the light spectrum, the filter may help to bring out another part of the spectrum, which will show us details we might not have otherwise noticed.

Here is a review of the 9 best telescope filters that you should definitely look at if you’re serious about astronomy.

Comparison Table
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Best Telescope Filters - Reviews

1. Orion 05662 1.25-Inch 13 Percent Transmission Moon Filter

The Orion 05662  is one of the best telescope filters because it helps considerably in decreasing the moon glare and improving contrast so that moon’s craters and valleys can be seen in greater detail.

It improves the image quality by fitting directly to the 1.25-inch eyepiece of the telescope. It helps in blocking out almost 87 percent of light gathered by the telescope, providing a clearer view with higher contrast on the edges.

Due to this higher contrast provided by the 1.25 inch 13 percent transmission moon filter, the astronomer is able to do a detailed study of the moon. This Orion Moon filter is special because it does not alter the color while reducing overall brightness.

Irradiation is the drop in image quality at the boundary between light and dark areas, this eyepiece filter helps in reducing irradiation as well. 

The Orion neutral density eyepiece filter also helps in conserving dark-adapted vision while viewing the moon.

2. Gosky 1.25-Inch Light Pollution Filter for Telescope

The Gosky 1.25-inch is one of the best telescope filters for removing light pollution to enhance viewing of the moon and other celestial bodies. This is the filter that I will highly recommend for viewing the night sky if you live in a light-polluted area of a city.

Most people think that filters are unnecessary and a mere add-on cost for your astronomy adventure. Definitely, it is an add-on cost but a worthy investment if you want to get a cleaner crisp view and better contrast of celestial bodies.

When viewing through the eyepiece without the filter, typically what you would see is a flood of light coming from a round object. However, with a filter like this one, you would enjoy the details of the craters and the rough surface of the moon.

Moreover, this filter sharply improves looking for more dim objects by blocking most of the unwanted city glow.

3. Orion 5657 2-Inch UltraBlock Narrowband Filter

The largest challenges to viewing deep-sky objects are light pollution and atmospheric refraction.

These both easily drown out distant targets. For this reason, Orion’s UltraBlock NarrowBand filter can be a boon to your astronomy.

The UltraBlock NarrowBand filter helps remove light pollution because it only allows light with the frequency of H-Beta and OIII to pass through. As a result, you’ll see increased contrast in your telescope image. 

Many nebulae shine in these wavelengths, so only letting these frequencies of the light pass to your eye means you should see nebulae much more easily.

This is a 2″ filter and is, in our view, the best ‘all round’ filter.

If you can only afford one telescope filter, then this one is ideal. It will give you better contrast with a light pollution filter and cost less than individual OIII and H-Beta filters.

4. Orion 05514 1.25-Inch Four Color Filters

Planetary and lunar observation is almost always improved by the use of color filters. They bring out subtle details by selectively increasing the contrast among markings of different hues, and by reducing “irradiation,” the smudging of the boundaries between light and dark regions due primarily to turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Orion 05514 set of 1.25-inch color planetary telescope eyepiece filters help enhance your view of the planets and Moon, unveiling specific features and enabling you to discern more detail

The filters are made of high-grade Schott optical glass which is vat-dyed for even color coating, then anti-reflection coated for maximum light throughput.

Anodized aluminum cells are double-threaded to permit filter stacking for multiple filter use

The whole set includes #15 Deep Yellow, #25 Red, #58 Green, and #80A Medium Blue color filters.

5. Orion 5660 1.25-Inch SkyGlow Broadband Filter

This 1.25″ SkyGlow Broadband Telescope filter is an advanced multilayer “interference” filter that blocks the most common wavelengths of light pollution while passing desirable wavelengths with very little attenuation, yielding dramatically better deep-sky views.

It features improved blocking of mercury-vapor light and higher transmission at critical hydrogen-alpha and hydrogen-beta lines than competing filters. 

Bright, light-polluted skies appear much darker, and the contrast between object and sky is improved significantly.

The Orion 5660 is one of the best telescope filters for viewing deep space objects.

SkyGlow filter allows maximum transmission of the important wavelengths of hydrogen-alpha, hydrogen-beta, and doubly ionized oxygen-the ones most commonly emitted by nebulas. Views of galaxies and star clusters are also enhanced.

6. Neewer 1.25 inches Telescope Filter Set

This filter set is also one of the best telescope filters out there. The set includes a moon filter, a CPL filter, and 5 filters of different colors including red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. 

These filters help in reducing eye fatigue that usually occurs while using a telescope, by increasing contrast, reducing and, and making the view more high resolution.

The moon filter helps in enhancing the details of the view by reducing glare. It works by transmitting light in the visual spectrum only and filtering out all the remaining wavelengths. The second filter in the set is the CPL filter. This filter helps in cutting through the reflections of light normally obstructing the details of the celestial bodies.

The set also includes 5 color filters.

#12 yellow – enhances red and orange features. It is often used on Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

#21 orange – reduces blue and green, which sometimes works well on Mars to improve the contrast between light and dark areas.

#25 red – blocks blue and green, which can bring up cloud details on Jupiter.

#58A green – blocks of red and blue, which can be useful on Jupiter and Saturn and may bring up some details in the clouds of Venus.

#80A blue – often marketed as a Jupiter filter, it helps with Jupiter’s cloud bands and can bring up details in the Great Red Spot.

7. Orion 05598 1.25-Inch 25% Transmission Moon Filter

This is a specialty Moon filter especially useful for increasing contrast during the waning and waxing crescent phases as it is a 25% transmission filter that allows more light in.

For telescopes with smaller apertures, a higher transmission rate can be better. Larger aperture telescopes allow more light in so they need more light filtered out when looking at bright objects, but if the telescope has a much smaller aperture and doesn’t allow as much light in, then, it doesn’t need as much filtered out. 

Some of the 13% filters would make the views too dim with the size of their light gathering capability.

That is where this model comes in to bridge that gap. On smaller telescopes, this 25% transmission filter will give a similar view to the 13% filter on a larger telescope. Or get both and create your variable lens with two different levels of transmission.

8. Celestron 94107 Variable Polarizing 1.25” Filter

This filter is perfect for a selectively customized view that reduces the brightness of celestial objects like the Moon and Venus. 

With this filter, unlike conventional Moon and Neutral Density filters, brightness can be reduced to as little as 1%, or increased to as high as 40%. 

A simple twist of the filter’s lower ring allows you to make brightness adjustments.

This filter does not alter the color of the object you are observing, making it a great choice for astrophotography, especially when imaging the surface of the Moon. 

By reducing the brightness, lunar details become more pronounced and defined. The 1.25″ Variable Polarizer can also be used to darken the blue-sky background when hunting for planets like Venus or Jupiter in the daylight, making the planet stand out from the background.

This filter is extremely easy to use as it screws on tight and then allows for the transmission level to be adjusted by simply twisting the ring. 

There is no fussing or changing different lens caps or anything like that. It is all done by turning the filter.

9. Celestron 94243 6” Solar Filter

Someone starting out in observational astronomy, probably want to look at the sun at some point. Like when there is talk of sunspots, flares, or an eclipse coming. But looking directly at the sun through a telescope can cause irreversible damage to your eyes.

This is where solar filters such as the Celestron 94243 come in.

With this solar filter, you can instantly convert your Celestron 6″ Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope into an instrument for white light solar viewing.

For enhanced safety, the filter comes with two touch-fastener straps and four tabs that adhere to the filter and OTA to make sure the filter doesn’t accidentally come off.

This one of the best telescope solar filters features Solar Safe filter technology that provides the ultimate protection from harmful solar radiation, including both IR and UV light, and filters 99.999% of intense visible light. 

Celestron Solar Safe filter technology is completely safe for direct solar observation and has been independently tested by SAI Global Assurance Services.

Why do you need to use a filter with your telescope?

Viewing a more vivid and detailed image of any celestial body is a typical challenge for any astronomer, may it be an amateur or professional. This scenario makes telescope filters a necessity rather than a mere accessory for any telescope.

In general, they filter out unwanted or enhance weak colors in the spectrum to allow a better view.

Telescope filters are the same size as your eyepiece (1.25” / 2”) and screw onto it. Their job is to stop light that makes an object look worse from reaching your eye. 

All that’s left is the light from the object itself. This improves the object’s contrast, making it ‘ping’ out of the eyepiece. In turn, your stargazing experience is drastically improved.

Types of Telescope Filters

1. Light Pollution Filters

Light pollution is a very common issue to deal with when doing astrophotography, especially from home. Fortunately, light pollution filters can help you cut through the glow of city lights and enjoy the night sky.

Light pollution filters, which are sophisticated glass optical filters with dozens of layers of carefully deposited dielectric coatings, can reduce the effects of some types of urban lighting for visual observation of some deep-sky objects, especially those such as nebulae that emit light at discrete wavelengths that are distinct from those of many forms of light pollution. 

2. Narrowband Filters

These kinds of filters are best used for deep-space observation and the viewing of nebulae. 

Narrowband filters are more discerning; only allowing a few wavelengths of light through.

The light from nebulae comes from the gases that form them. So, if you filter out the light of all other wavelengths, you’re left with just the nebulae. This gives phenomenal contrast and improves the view.

Some of the specific celestial objects better viewed using this filter include the Swan Nebula, Lagoon Nebula, and the Orion Nebula.

Narrowband filters work by only allowing Oxygen III and Hydrogen Beta spectral emissions to pass through. 

Likewise, in order to improve contrast for celestial objects that are faint objects, this filter dims the background or blackens the sky without jeopardizing the image quality of the object.

3. Line Filters

Line filters are even more precise, blocking out all but one or two wavelengths of light. 

Most typical are filters for OIII, H-Alpha, and H-Beta (oxygen 3, hydrogen alpha, and hydrogen beta).

The most popular of these groups is the Oxygen III (OIII) filters, which reflect all but 496 and 501nm lines, associated with planetary and emission nebulae. Such extreme filtration provides a clean, black background for observation.

Conclusion

So these were the best telescope filters available in the marketplace right now. The moon filters reviewed in this article are perfect for any beginner astronomer who wants to get a better look at the moon and practice their craft.

If you are more inclined towards viewing the planets, get the colored filter that works best to enhance the details of your favorite plane. 

Or if you want to observe the sun, then it is absolutely necessary and important to get a solar filter to be able to observe different phases of the eclipse.