Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Baader-U Venus filter versus OPTOLONG Venus-U filter

Today about a new (to me) UV transmitting filter for reflected ultraviolet (UV) photography: the 2" OPTOLONG VENUS-U filter. This filter I have compared here with my work-horse UV filter, the 2" Baader-U Venus filter.

First it is about the resulting images and of course if there might be any IR leakage. The latter is quite important, as in early morning or late evening sunlight, where IR is predominant or when shooting against the sun or when reflective elements are present in an image,  IR leakage may lead to loss of contrast, or even obscuring the wanted UV details.

Now on to my tests which have been done using as a target an Oncostele orchid which has quite some prominent UV marks. Lens used was an UV-Nikkor 105mm, camera a modified Panasonic GH4, light a modified for high UV output Xenon studio flash. All shots were one at f8.

[click on image to see a larger one]

Baader-U filter (left) vs Optolong Venus filter (right:

Baader-U filter (left) vs Optolong Venus filter (right) - whitebalanced against gray BG:

It gets quite obvious that there is something going on here in terms of leakage, as the image shot with the Optolong Venus filter shows some blueish hint visible all over the orchid and also there is some central flare visible, wheras the Baader-U Venusfilter delivers a tack sharp and high contrast image. After whitebalacing against the gray background, which obviously was not possible with the Optolong filter, the result gets even worse, a rather muddy looking image results from the Optolong filter. In terms of exposure, the Baader U filter also has a slight 0.3 stop advantage over the Optolong filter.

Once I will have done some spectrometric transmission measuerements, I will certainly post those here later.

So please draw your own conclusions from this, if you would consider this a valuable filter for reflected UV photography. I will certainly continue to use my "work-horse" UV filter, the Baader-U.

I have written about IR leakage in filters for reflected UV photography HERE

Stay tuned, more will follow on that fascinating subject...

More info on this very interesting field may be found on my site http://www.pbase.com/kds315/uv_photos