Optolong L-Quad Enhance Filter (L-QEF)

The Optolong L-Quad Enhance Filter, also known as L-QEF, is a recent innovation that is especially designed for the astrophotography community. This filter stands out for its ability to substantially suppress light pollution while maintaining good colours, which is particularly beneficial for astronomers and astrophotographers operating in light-polluted environments. The L-QEF is engineered to filter out light pollution caused by mercury and sodium lamps, which are common sources of artificial lighting in urban areas. Through this feature, it creates a cleaner and clearer broadband image with minimal color distortion, making it an effective tool for capturing star clusters, dark and reflection nebulae, and galaxies against light-polluted skies.

Image of IC 1805 taken with the Optolong L-Quad Enhance Filter

One of the key characteristics of the L-QEF is its quad bandpass light pollution suppression technology. This technology efficiently negates the transmission of light pollution wavelengths, enhancing the contrast and details of celestial bodies in the process. It’s designed to significantly improve the clarity and three-dimensionality of the images captured, making celestial objects appear more distinct and stereoscopic. The filter is versatile, suitable for a wide range of astrophotography activities including capturing both wide field astrophotographic targets such as the Milky Way and deep sky objects like nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters. Through its design, the L-QEF allows photographers to save considerable time during the shooting process while simultaneously achieving better results. This quad bandpass design also maximizes the color balance of nebulae, galaxies, and other broadband spectral targets, ensuring that images retain a natural color balance while resisting light pollution interference​​.

Furthermore, the L-QEF features a near-infrared cutoff to 1000nm, reducing the effects of infrared noise, and boasts a high transmittance of more than 90% of the nebula emission lines at H-Beta/OIII/H-Alpha/SII, with a cutoff depth ranging from OD2 to OD4. This translates to a notable increase in resistance to light pollution, making the filter effective for night sky observations from Bortel 1 to Bortel 7 levels. However, it’s advisable to opt for other narrow-band filters by Optolong for environments rated Bortel 8 and 9. The filter is well-suited for a wide range of deep sky targets, covering most nebulae, galaxies, star clusters, reflected and emitted line signals astronomical objects, while maintaining excellent color balance and providing higher contrast and rich details in the images captured​​.

The L-QEF is available in a 2″ (M48×0.75) size, which can be a convenient fit for many telescope setups. The design of the filter effectively reduces the impact of light pollution and suppresses the background light of astronomical objects, thus enhancing the contrast and details of celestial bodies and saving a lot of time during the shooting process, yet yielding incredible results​​.

More images taken by Shawn Nielsen using the Optolong L-Quad Enhance Filter…

The Optolong L-Quad Enhance Filter (L-QEF) operates within a blocking range of 300nm to 1000nm. This is particularly useful for filtering out unwanted light pollution while capturing astronomical images​​​​. Moreover, the filter has specific transmission lines that allow certain wavelengths to pass through, improving the visibility and clarity of particular celestial objects. These transmission lines are as follows:

H-beta: 486.1nm
OIII: 501nm
H-alpha: 656nm​​.

These transmission lines are pivotal in astrophotography as they correspond to the emission lines of certain elements found in celestial objects. For instance, the H-beta line corresponds to the emission line of hydrogen, OIII corresponds to doubly ionized oxygen, and H-alpha also corresponds to hydrogen. By allowing these specific wavelengths to pass through, the L-QEF filter enhances the visibility and contrast of astronomical objects that emit light at these wavelengths, while blocking other wavelengths associated with light pollution.

For more information and to purchase the Optolong L-Quad Enhance Fitler, please visit one of these retailers below…

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Ontario Telescope (Canada)

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