Cokin Clear sky filter. Before and after sample images.

The Cokin Clear sky filter

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WOW! Just when I thought the market was already saturated with astrophotography filters, here comes the Cokin Clearsky filter. Many of you already know that I’ve been a big supporter of the Hoya Intensifier for astophotograpy, and the Clearsky serves a similar function in suppressing the yellow-orange tones that sodium vapor lights produce.

This yellow glow is a drawback as it is one of the biggest causes of light pollution in a photo. While there are cases where this glow can be enhanced for artistic effect, chances are the airglow will be a problem in post processing and prevent capturing a clear, dark sky.

A split shot taken at a near by cove close to the hustle and bustle of Laguna Beach, California using the Cokin Clearsky filter. Before on the left / after on the right.

A split shot taken at a near by cove close to the hustle and bustle of Laguna Beach, California using the Cokin Clearsky filter. Before on the left / after on the right.

The Hoya Intensifier was created to enhance the colors of fall foliage, but also serves as a fantastic filter for suppressing unwanted light pollution. The engineers at Cokin designed this Clearsky filter specifically with the astro community in mind. Cokin is calling this filter a high resolution NeoDymium Phosphate laser glass.

It was engineered to target the yellow-orange color spike created by low pressure sodium vapor and mercury vapor street lights as seen in gray below. It has anti-reflective multi coatings on both sides of the glass for a glare-free shooting experience. It also uses a premium top coat that is waterproof, oil proof and scratch resistant.

Preparing for a night of shooting in Death Valley national park with the Cokin Clearsky filter.

Preparing for a night of shooting in Death Valley national park with the Cokin Clearsky filter.

The coatings make it extremely easy to clean. I can certainly vouch for this after putting this filter through its paces over the last month. From testing it out locally in highly light polluted Laguna Beach to Death Valley national park (a location holding some of the darkest skies in Southern California} this filter proved time and time again to be a true contender, beating out the other filters I’ve used in the past to remove light pollution.

A filter focused to eliminate nearly 100% yellow-orange mercury vapor and sodium vapor lamps from 580 590nm.

A filter focused to eliminate nearly 100% yellow-orange mercury vapor and sodium vapor lamps from 580 590nm.

I do have to make it clear that this filter can drastically drop your exposure from 1/3rd to possibly a full 2 stop in exposure. The reason for this is due to the amount of light pollution in the night sky at any given time and location. The Clearsky is like a heat seeking missile and its one objective is to wipe out any existence of that yellow-orange glow from 580 - 590nm.

This is a quick fix especially with how great camera sensors are made these days. You can either can increase your ISO, exposure speed or shoot at a wider open aperture to compensate for the drop in exposure.

Installation of the Cokin Clearsky drop in filter.

Installation of the Cokin Clearsky drop in filter.

All in all, after a few weeks of testing, I have to give the Cokin Clearsky filter two thumbs up! If you ever catch me in the field or at one of my monthly astro workshops, you can best that I will have a Cokin Clearsky filter attach to the front of my lens. I’m also happy to announce that the Cokin Clearsky filter will also come as a screw on filter as well as the drop in. Some of you might be asking if I will still use the Hoya Intensifier. The answer is YES! Now I have two filters to help combat light pollution.

As always, if you are considering purchasing the Cokin Clearsky filter, please do so here by clicking on one of the links and DON’T forget to punch in the promo code “MONIZ15” to receive 15% off at check out. This certainly helps me keep bringing you up to date news on products that I personally believe will enhance and better you photo and video experience.

Until then, I hope you find these before and after photos useful. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below or feel free to email me. Till next time everyone. Happy shooting!