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Spectrum 43 mm Threaded Optical Solar Film Filter - ST-43MM

To ensure that the solar filter you buy will fit properly, make sure your camera lens will accept 43mm threaded filters. Thanks.

Spectrum 43 mm Threaded Optical Solar Film Filter

Designed for 43 mm camera lenses, this Spectrum full aperture thread-on Solar Filter features a supreme quality, long-lasting black plastic polymer film with a mere .002" thickness in the aperture of the filter. As long as the instructions that come with this filter regarding proper care and use are strictly followed, you'll be able to enjoy its benefits for many years to come. This filter boasts a one layer composition with filtering material that is permeable and dispersed throughout the entire substrate. The Spectrum ST-43MM is an ND 5 filter and is therefore entirely safe for direct solar viewing and solar photography as it obstructs 99.999% of incoming sunrays.

With its full aperture, the Spectrum ST-43MM Solar Filter enables reduced atmospheric turbulence for improved daytime seeing. Hand picked clear aperture has been carefully inspected to provide the market with only the highest possible quality product. When using this filter with a camera attached to a telescope for viewing or taking pictures, the Sun will be displayed in its organic yellowish-orange state. To prevent possible shipping and handling damage, this solar filter is placed in a box lined with foam which is in turn set in a plastic box. Between uses, this filter box provides a favorable storage option.

What About Your Finderscope?

Adding this solar filter to your telescope will adequately filter the light coming through your focuser, but have you considered what you’ll do about your finder scope?

Here are some suggestions for dealing with your finder that will assure you do not damage your eyes (or anyone else’s) by looking at the Sun through your telescope’s unfiltered finder:

  • Remove Your Finder. Ditching your finderscope when solar viewing will remove the possibility of someone accidentally looking through it to spot the Sun. Of course, not having a finder makes centering the Sun in your eyepiece more difficult, but with practice, it can be done. Set the mount down so the telescope is pointing in the direction of the Sun. Put the main solar filter on so you can check your progress, and then move the telescope around until it casts a shadow that produces a nice, sharp silhouette of the scope. The OTA will look circular. Now move your telescope up or down with your hand controller, slow-motion controls, or very carefully by hand if required while looking through the eyepiece. You will not get a warning when you are close, but you should be able to align with the Sun using this method. Practice ahead of time before any big event, like an eclipse, to make sure you’ve got the process down.
  • Filter Your Optical Finder. This solution is not recommended for a reflex or red dot finder since it is too easy to accidentally look around the window. If you have one of these finders we recommend you either remove it or replace it with a dedicated solar finder (see below).

    To make your optical finderscope safe for solar viewing you’ll need to buy a piece of Baader Solar Film for Visual Use. This film comes in different size sheets and cuts easily with scissors, allowing you to make your own filter. You can go super low-tech and use a rubber band to hold a piece of the film firmly around the finder or you can get fancy and build your own slip-on solar filter. However you attach the solar film, you need to make sure there are no light leaks at all and that it doesn’t accidentally fall off when you move your telescope around. Any unused film can store flat between two pieces of cardboard and will keep for years. It is nice to have around, just in case of a solar emergency :-)

  • Buy a Dedicated Solar Finder. Check out the Tele Vue Sol-Searcher Solar Finder. This special finder can only be used when observing the Sun, but it works very well. The Sol-Searcher is reasonably priced and can be attached to your telescope with Velcro or with #10-32 screws (user supplied).