Best light pollution filters for astrophotography 2024

Buying one of the best light pollution filters is a must for your camera — even if it isn't the most exciting purchase you can make. But if you're into astrophotography or other types of night shooting, being able to filter out urban skyglow can be a real gamechanger.

You see, urban light pollution is a major problem in towns and cities: in fact, approximately 80% of Americans are unable to see the Milky Way from their homes. But buy yourself one of the best light pollution filters for your camera and you can combat that.

Skyglow in particular is the bane of astrophotographers, causing an orange glow in-over populated areas that can ruin a good skyscape. Even with one of the best cameras for astrophotography by your side, a light pollution filter can be the difference between the perfect shot and one ruined by skyglow. Light pollution filters work by blocking specific wavelengths of visible light associated with skyglow, allowing you to better capture specific subjects in the night sky. 

Two types of filters are available: broadband and narrowband. They work in slightly different ways and offer different results depending on your needs. Narrowband filters allow light from nebulas to shine through in your images, creating more contrast. Broadband filters, on the other hand, are the best choice if you want to reduce light pollution in astrophotography (from galaxies and comets to Milky Way panoramas and all-sky images of meteor showers). 

In this guide, we've included both types of the best light pollution filters, and so no matter what type of photography you're looking to shoot after dark, you should find a product to sure. And if you're not sure what type of filter will be best for you, be sure to check out our light pollution filter FAQs at the bottom of the page.

In the meantime, you might want to invest in one of the Best cameras for photos and videos or get the Best tripod or Best travel tripod to truly take your night photography and astrophotography to the next level.

The quick list

Jamie Carter
Jamie Carter

Jamie is an experienced science, technology and travel journalist and stargazer who writes about exploring the night sky, solar and lunar eclipses, moon-gazing, astro-travel, astronomy and space exploration. He is the editor of WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com and author of A Stargazing Program For Beginnersand is a senior contributor at Forbes. His special skill is turning tech-babble into plain English.

Best light pollution filters we recommend in 2024

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Best for urban skies

Optolong L-eXtreme light pollution filter on a white background

The Optolong L-eXtreme is best suited for deep sky imaging of nebulas. (Image credit: Amazon)

Optolong L-eXtreme light pollution filter

An ultra-narrowband filter for deep sky imaging of nebulas above urban skies

Specifications

Available circular filter sizes: N/A
Filter insert sizes available: N/A
Clip-in sizes available: Canon EOS-C (compatible with all Canon EOS APS-C cameras except APS-S lenses)
Astro camera sizes available: 1.25-inch and 2-inch
Drone filter sizes available: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Dual-narrowband design
+
More contrast, less light pollution

Reasons to avoid

-
Darker resulting image
-
Clip-ins only available for Canon cameras

The Optolong L-eXtreme is one of the best ultra-narrowband light pollution filters if you use a CMOS or CCD camera and spend your time photographing the deep night sky, particularly nebulas. There's a good chance you've heard of its predecessor, the Optolong L-Enhance.

If you're an astrophotographer based in an urban area, the Optolong L-eXtreme is a great choice if you're looking for better contrast in your images. It works by separating out two wavelengths of light: H-alpha (Ha) and Oxygen III (OIII) at seven nanometers. As a result, it can maximize light that reaches the camera, eliminating the amount of unwanted light from skyglow. If you're shooting nebulas, it's a must-have.

You should bear in mind, however, that the way the Optolong L-eXtreme works may make it harder to focus and frame your shot: your images will naturally be darker. Change up your settings beforehand, however, and you should be ready to capture beautiful nightscapes.

Best for wider lenses

Hoya starscape light pollution filter on a white background

The Hoya Starscape is a broadband filter for cutting city light pollution, even when used with wider lenses. (Image credit: Hoya)

Hoya Starscape light pollution filter

A slim filter that even works with wider lenses and attenuates yellow skyglow

Specifications

Available circular filter sizes: 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm and 100mm
Filter insert sizes available: 100mm
Clip-in sizes available: N/A
Astro camera sizes available: N/A
Drone filter sizes available: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Reduces yellow skyglow 
+
Boosts contrast and clarity
+
Relatively inexpensive

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't come in 150mm
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Darkens image by 0.5 stops

Don't let the name of the Hoya Starscape fool you: while it's great for shooting the night sky, it performs excellently in just about all types of nighttime photography. It's even useful in daylight: it's great at adding more realistic color and contrast to photographs, particularly cityscape and landscape photography.

We do recommend it most for photographers who like to shoot at night, however. The Hoya Starscape does a valiant job at filtering out the murky greens, yellows and browns that you might get in your images from streetlights and other sources of urban skyglow. Using this light pollution filter will give you images with natural color tones and a vibrant contrast.

Japanese brand Hoya is a name synonymous with filters, so you know you're buying quality here. Coming in a range of different sizes, you'll likely be able to get your hands on a Hoya Starscape light pollution filter no matter what camera or lens you're shooting on. It's also more recently become available in a 100x100mm size for filter holders, too.

Best choice of design

Kase Wolverine Nautral Night Light Pollution Filter

Kase's 'Neutral Night' is a good all-rounder light pollution filter. (Image credit: Kase)

Kase Wolverine Neutral Night light pollution filter

A broadband filter that successfully subdues skyglow

Specifications

Available circular filter sizes: 77mm, 82mm, 95mm, 100mm, 150mm
Filter insert sizes available: 100mm for filter holders
Clip-in sizes available: Canon R5/R6, Nikon Z7/Z6/Z5 Camera and Sony Alpha A7/A74/A73/A9
Astro camera sizes available: N/A
Drone filter sizes available: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Shockproof
+
Reduces orange sodium glow

Reasons to avoid

-
Won't eliminate LED light pollution
-
Fairly expensive, but still good value

This light pollution filter is a great choice whether you're looking for something for astrophotography or other types of nighttime photography, like cityscapes. The Kase Wolverine Neutral Night filter reduces the orange glow from older streetlights, instead allowing more of the reddish light from nebulas to appear in your photographs.

We love the durability of this filter: thanks to its Pro HD optical glass it's tough and scratch-resistant, making it withstand wear-and-tear and the odd knock here and there. The included filter pouch makes it easy to store and travel with, too.

The Kase Wolverine light pollution filter comes in multiple formats, from screw-on filters for various lens sizes to a square plate (to fit Lee, Haida & Hitech, Cokin Z and NiSi 100mm filter holders). You can also get it as a clip-in style filter for mirrorless cameras from Canon, Nikon and Sony. If you're unsure what type you need, go read our light pollution filter FAQ where we aim to answer all common questions. 

Best for drones

NiSi Natural Night Filter in a case on a white background

The NiSi Natural Night filter blocks the wavelengths in artificial lights.  (Image credit: NiSi)

NiSi Circular Natural Night Filter

An excellent circular broadband filter for cameras and even drones

Specifications

Available circular filter sizes: 40.5mm, 46mm, 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm and 95mm
Filter insert sizes available: 75x80mm, 100mm, 150mm, 100mm for filter holders
Clip-in sizes available: Canon R5/R6, Nikon Z7/Z6/Z5 Camera and Sony Alpha
Astro camera sizes available: N/A
Drone filter sizes available: DJI Phantom 4 Pro, DJI Mavic Pro

Reasons to buy

+
Suppresses light pollution
+
Available for DJI drones

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive compared to other brands
-
Very thin glass

Nisi's Natural Night was one of the first artificial light reduction filters available on the market. Designed especially for photographers who shoot at night, it's still a great choice today if you want to reduce light pollution from your images. It works by blocking the yellow glow found in sodium street lights, resulting in naturally-colored images. 

This circular version of the Natural Night filter is unique in that it's available for the DJI Phantom 4 Pro alongside other advanced DJI Mavic Pro drones. As a result, it's more useful for filming nighttime cityscapes rather than starscapes, but its results are excellent thanks to how much light pollution it can block.

If you're thinking of picking this up, however, bear in mind this is a very thin and fragile filter: the glass is only 0.07 inches/2mm thick. We'd highly recommend a hard-sided case to store it in when it's not being used.

Best for eco conscious consumers

Urth Neutral Night Plus light pollution filter with its box against a white background

A decent balance between quality and budget, the Urth brand advertise as an environmentally-conscious outfit. (Image credit: Urth)

Urth Neutral Night Plus light pollution filter

A light pollution filter for the environmentally conscious photographer

Specifications

Available circular filter sizes: 37mm, 39mm, 40.5mm, 43mm, 46mm, 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm, 86mm, 95mm
Filter insert sizes available: 75mm, 100mm
Clip-in sizes available: N/A
Astro camera sizes available: N/A
Drone filter sizes available: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Strike a good balance between affordability and quality
+
Environmentally conscious brand
+
Cuts out yellow light

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the cheapest
-
Comes in a tin which could be cumbersome to take traveling

Urth (formerly GOBE) rebranded back in 2020 and since then has launched some exciting new products, including this Neutral Night Plus+ filter — one of the best light pollution filters you can buy for your camera. 

It has a 20-layer Neodymium coating to cut light pollution’s warm color cast to capture truer colors and elevate your night photography. On top of that, Urth claims that their glass is the best in the world (although we're pretty sure every one of these brands will want to say that). The nano-layers within the filter also provide a higher maximum light transmission and a more consistent transmission curve for sharper images, better colors and greater depth.

As good as the product is, though, it's Urth as a brand that really stands out: we love this brand's ethics and its attitude towards conservation. In particular, Urth believes that photography plays a critical role in the global conservation movement and as a result, they're continuously working on improving their products to minimize their impact as much as possible. So far, that means their packaging is sustainable, made from recycled materials and fully recyclable. Moreover, their impact reports can be found on their website and they plant five trees for every product sold — so far, they've planted just under 7 million trees in areas affected by deforestation. That's some good going.

Best for removing orange glow

K&F Concept Natural Night light pollution filter next to its box on a white background

K&F's Natural Night removes yellow and orange wavelengths to improve the color in your shots.  (Image credit: K&F Concept)

K&F Concept Natural Night light pollution filter

A mild filter for removing the worst effects of skyglow

Specifications

Available circular filter sizes: 52mm, 58mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm
Filter insert sizes available: 100mm
Clip-in sizes available: N/A
Astro camera sizes available: N/A
Drone filter sizes available: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Cuts out unwanted light
+
Scratch and water resistant

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited sizes
-
Only blocks yellow and orange wavelengths

The K&F Concept Natural Night light pollution filter isn't a great choice for deep sky astrophotography, but if you're looking for one of the best light pollution filters for general nighttime shooting, this is a piece of equipment well worth adding to your bag. It's very affordable to boot, too.

The K&F Concept Natural Night filter effectively blocks out yellow and orange wavelengths from entering the lens, making it great for combating skyglow from sodium street lighting. It can't eliminate the effects of broad-spectrum LED streetlighting, however — but that's true of many of the night filters we've featured.

Since it blocks out warmer light wavelengths, manufacturers advise photographers to use manual white balance and choose a color temperature between 700K and 1,500K to maintain accurate colors.