Nebula Filters
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I tested TeleVue's Bandmate OIII filter on M27 and was impressed by how much the planetary nebula was 'brightened'.

So far I'm very happy with the TV OIII filter and I was very surprised at how many stars were visible with the filter in place. Also, the stars are esthetically pleasing and were not artificially tinged red which I've heard happens with other filters. The filter was placed before the 2" diagonal making it a breeze when changing eyepieces.

— B.C. NY.
Owner's Comments

I have finished testing TeleVue's 2" Bandmate NebuStar BFH-0200 and 2" Bandmate OIII BFO-0200.

I used a Tele Vue 85mm refractor, an AstroPhysics 155mm refractor and an Obsession 18" Dobsonian for the comparison. All eyepieces used were either Radians or Naglers. Other filters that I used are my 8 year old OIII and a 5 year old narrow band nebula filter. I also barrowed a number of other various nebula filters for quick looks from members of the Howard Astronomical League which were helpful in confirming that my old filters were working as well as the newer ones currently on the market from a number of other competitive companies.

Objects used during the tests were well known classics: M97 (Owl Nebula), M27 (Dumbbell Nebula), M57 (Ring Nebula), M42-43 (Orion Nebula), M1 (Crab Nebula), NGC 6992-6995 (Veil Nebula), NGC 6826 (Blinking Nebula) and NGC 6543 (Cat's eye Nebula). None of these requires a nebula filter to find or enjoy but all these objects are ones which nebula filters are designed to enhance.

The short version is that both of the new Bandmate filters are superior to any of the others tested and thus if you are in the market for nebula filters then you should consider the Tele Vue brand even if they run you a bit more in cost.

At first glance I was fooled into thinking that the Bandmate filters did not measure up because the differences between the star brightness and the nebula are greater than in the traditional filters. It took me a few minutes to realize that the nebulae were being equally enhanced with the Bandmates but not at the expense of filtering out the background star field to the degree seen in competitive filters. In addition the star colors appeared, in the Bandmates, truer. How is this done? Not a clue, but the difference is more than just subtle. The resulting views through the Bandmates were to me more realistic and aesthetically more pleasing. I noticed this most on M42 and the Dumbbell where the field stars add greatly to the enjoyment of the over all view. To date the two Bandmate Nebula filters are the best that I have ever used.

Richard Orr
Columbia, MD


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