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Date: NA
Price: $32.00 (Normally $60.00 - 70.00)
Design: Light pollution reduction filter for all types of telescopes
Description: 1.25-inch filter with common threads.  Designed to block certain types of light pollution and to increase contrast in a light polluted sky.

Review

I must admit in the past I have been quite skeptical of the benefits offered by light pollution reduction filters.  I have seen the ads and heard the claims – they just all seemed too good to be true.  However, at the same time I normally observe under mag. 3.0 skies and I have been curious as to much any filter could possibly improve my view.

Well I got my chance.  One day at the local mall I stopped by the Natural Wonders store to check out their going out of business sale.  I knew that Natural Wonders carried telescopes but I had never known that they actually carried accessories.  When I found them I was amazed at the prices, Plossls at $30.00, VSP Pads at $14.00, and lastly a LPR filter for $30.00 – more than half off.  How could I resist.

The Filter

The first thing I noticed about the filter was its very high quality construction.  It looks like a simple Orion filter but the whole thing is just feels a little nicer.  It comes with the standard plastic filter case that almost every filter includes, and surprisingly this one actually works.  There is also foam in the bottom, almost too much.

The actual filter itself has some extremely intense coatings.  When viewed at various angles the glass turns from silver to pink to green.  It should also be mentioned that they seem to be applied very effectively and there was no evidence of any flaws on either the coatings or glass.

The Test

As I stated in the introduction, I have always been skeptical of what these filters can do.  So in this spirit I was looking forward to seeing what my new $30.00 investment could do.

By matter of chance I was observing in the vicinity of Ursa Major when I decided to search out the Owl Nebula (M97).  At mag. 11.2 this planetary was previously not visible in my 120mm refractor.  Just to make sure I double checked the charts and tried to find it again without the filter.  After about ten minutes of looking and switching EPs I could still not find it.  OK now here was the big test.  After placing the filter in my 25mm Plossl EP I looked at the exact same spot – the place I thought the nebula would be.  There it was right in the middle of the field, it was so obvious that I wondered how I had missed it with my 25mm Plossl, 10mm Plossl, and 7.5mm Ultrascopic without the filter, I was looking right at it.

Sadly since this breathtaking discovery I have had very little time to observe due to the rainiest May in history here.  I am hoping to get out more in June to look at some of my favorite fuzzies like the Dumbell and the Ring.  I can’t wait to see how much this new filter can improve these already breathtaking objects.

Negatives

Quite simple – there are none.  Even if I had paid full price for this filter I would still feel that it was a good deal.

Conclusion

I have been converted, I may soon be posting on various different types of filters – well maybe not.  With the improvements this one is offering it looks like I will be busy for quite some time looking for all of the objects I have given up on in the past few years.  It almost feels like I have a larger telescope or half of my city decided to turn the lights out for me.  Highly recommended for those of us who must suffer through light pollution.  This filter gets a 8 out of 10 for doing its job as advertised and 1 bonus points just for impressing me.

Submitted by Curt Irwin - irwincur@excite.com - Grand Rapids, MI

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