Products

Tru-Balance I-Series

 

TRU-BALANCE FILTERS
SIMPLIFY YOUR IMAGING

Great Filters Just Got Better - Generation 2 Now Shipping!

Astrodon Tru-Balance RGB filters have revolutionized CCD imaging. Their popularity is due to ease-of-use, high optical throughput and great resulting color for galaxies, star clusters and nebulae.  There are two varieties of Tru-Balance filters - E-Series and I-Series.

I-Series filters are designed to approximately equalize the flux of Kodak's Interline CCD detectors, including compensation for the solar photon flux. This means that your RGB color combine weights will be approximately 1:1:1 within perhaps 10%.  This can never be perfect, but it does allow you to take equal time exposures for your RGB data and also just one corresponding dark exposure time.

Introducing Generation 2 True-Balance filters (LRGB2) in April, 2008 in all sizes. This is the first change in Astrodon filter design and fabrication since their inception.  We listened to your requests. 

  • 1.25" mounted and 49.7 mm diameter
  • ~1:1:1 color combine weights for G2V white-point for Kodak Interline detectors
  • Equal RGB exposures and one dark time
  • Better color separation (spectra)
  • Better color rendition of galaxies based upon color theory
  • Significant reflection and star halo reduction (see Alnitak image)
  • Small spectral "gap" to minimize effect of light pollution
  • Highest efficiency blue filter with less UV
  • Correct "teal" OIII color for planetary nebula
  • More parfocal  - thickness 3+/-0.025 mm*
  • Parfocal with Astrodon's high-performance narrowband filters  
  • Striae-free 1/4 wave fused silica substrates
  • 30 arcsec parallelism
  • Ultra-hard and durable sputtered coatings
  • Proudly made in the U.S.A.

 

QSI 31 mm LRGB Inserts

Astrodon is also providing its latest Generation 2 I-Series 1.25" filters mounted in 31 mm inserts specifically for the popular QSI CCD interline cameras, such as the QSI620 and QSI640.  The inserts are also 3 mm tall, matching the filter thickness.  Because these filters are so close to the detector without the tall walls of conventional 1.25" filter holders, there is almost no vignetting, even at f/3.  In fact, tests have shown that there is only about 10% vignetting at f/2, which can be compensated for with flat frames.  You can order the 31 mm LRGB E-Series at the lower right. In stock.

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE 31 mm CFW FROM QSI THAT COMES WITH SMALL CAP SCREWS AND WASHERS, AND THIN SPACERS THAT FIT UNDER THE FILTERS. THIS ENSURES THAT 31 mm FILTERS STICK UP SLIGHTLY ABOVE THE SURFACE OF THE CAROUSEL SO THAT THE WASHERS MAKE CONTACT WITH THE FILTER.  YOU WILL NEED TO CONTACT QSI IF YOU ONLY HAVE THEIR 1.25" CFW AND WILL NEED TO PURCHASE THE 31 mm KIT OF SCREWS AND SPACERS.

 

 

Astrodon filters are known for being parfocal on most systems.  The new thickness tolerance of +/-0.025mm (25 microns) for Generation 2 LRGB fitlers is a factor of 2 better than Gerneration 1 filters, and should be parfocal for systems down to f/3.5, IF your optical system is well color corrected. Please see the article on Parfocal and the Critical Focus Zone. We have reduced the UV contribution in the lumincance and blue filters for this reason to reduce star bloat  The Clear (no near-IR blocking) may produce bloated stars if your optical system has poor near-IR focus.   Use the near-IR-blocked Luminance filter in this case. The Clear filter is likely a better choice for reflectors, such as Ritchey-Cretiens, rather than refractors or camera lenses.

Halo elimination results from a pioneering design that places both the bandpass layer and the blocking layer on one side of the 1/4-wave substrate and a high performance anti-reflective coating on the other side.  As a result there is virtually no internal reflection between these surfaces that can cause halos around bright stars in other filter brands.  M45 is one of the most demanding of targets that often leads to halos around bright stars.  Tony Hallas' image of M45 had NO touch-up or processing out of halos on those super bright stars. Not necessary with Generation 2 filters. There were NO halos to start with!

Generation 2 LRGB E-Series Testimonial from Tony Hallas (note - the I-Series uses the same high efficiency blue and luminance filters as the E-Series) :

M45 (no halos)
(Click on image to enlarge)

M33 (HII definition)
(Click on image to enlarge)

 

"I would like to take a minute to comment on the 50mm Gen II filters that I have installed in my Apogee 16803 camera.

These filters set a new bar for performance ... they have a huge color gamut and best of all, there isn't a trace of reflection even when shooting 15 minute subs at the Pleiades.
 
The total color response can be seen in the M33 sample ... note the abundant HII regions, the strong blue response, and the brilliant yellow of the star. The superior color response isn't subtle ... it's obvious ... and all this with LRGB ... no narrow band needed!
 
These filters are a joy to work with,     Major kudos,"
 
    Tony Hallas

 

 Generation 2 LRGB Testimonial from R. Jay GaBany:

 

M106 (click for hi-res)

  
"For several years I happily used a set of common filters under the assumption that there was nothing unique about other filters on the market.  I was wrong!  Since switching over to Astrodon filters, the color fidelity of my pictures has improved dramatically!  Not only do they reduce or eliminate the need for color balancing during post-processing, their precision bandwidth cut-offs result in more vivid colors and the H-alpha filter has helped me surface structures my previous filters simply did not allow my camera to capture. Astrodon filters are essential tools for serious astrophotography."
 
            R. Jay GaBany
 

 

 

Spectra LRGB

G2V Tutorial for Measuring Color Combine Weights

G2V Database for TheSky6

Parfocal and the Critical Focus Zone

Taking Apart 1.25" Filter Cells, Cleaning Filters and Solution to Fitting into SBIG Filter Wheel

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1.25" Mounted LRGB
(LRGB2-I27R)

$475

31 mm Mounted LRGB for QSI
(LRGB2-I31R)

$525

1.25" Mounted CRGB
(CRGB2-I27R)
 

$525

LRGB 36 mm dia. unmounted
for SBIG Interline CCD
(LRGB2-I36R)

$675

50mm dia. unmounted LRGB
(LRGB2-I50R)  

$950

50mm dia. unmounted CRGB
(CRGB2-I50R) 

$950

1.25" mounted Clear (C2_27)
UV-blocked for less star bloat
No NIR blocking

$150

50mm dia. unmounted Clear (C2_50R) 
UV-blocked for less star bloat
No NIR blocking

$270

1.25" mounted Luminance (L2_27R) 
Same colorless filter in LRGB sets.  UV/NIR cut filter for E- or I-Series

$175