A few days ago, we shared the launch of a new graduated filter designed to reduce light pollution in nighttime starscape photos. As impressive as that filter design was, there’s now a whole new way to block out light pollution that doesn’t involve a fragile piece of glass in front of your lens.
Created by Cyclops Optics, this little device is a small filter made to be mounted inside Nikon full-frame cameras, directly in front of the sensor. If it seems a bit scary to be placing a foreign object so close to a camera’s sensor … it is. But just because it’s scary doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.
According to Cyclops Optics, placing the filter directly in front of the sensor removes the problem of color shift that can occur at the edge of images when using traditional lens-based filters.
The specially designed clip that holds the filter in place is made of A2 stainless steel, chosen specifically because it’s less fragile in lower temperatures and “virtually nonmagnetic.” The glass inside the clip is Schott B270 optical glass that’s covered with a specialized coating made to reduce the orange glow of mercury and sodium vapor street lights.
Only a few cameras are compatible with the filter, including Nikon’s D4, D4s, D800, D800E, D810, D810A, D750, D600, and D610 DSLRs. Cyclops Optics also suggests using lenses with at least a 30mm focal length and to avoid taking photos right next to strong artificial lights, as they can cause flares.
You can purchase the STC Astro-Multispectra Clip Filter for approximately $210 through Cyclops Optics online store.