Using the good old 150/750 tube, with a ND3.8 film in front, I obtained the following frames.
For reference, a Lunt CaK image, colorized and mono
With my usual setup, the EQ3-mod, mountpusher, Baader Astrosolar ND3.8 Film, TS-Optics 76/342 TS76EDPH, ?filters?, ASI 178MM (cooled), I though what if I got creative. I put in the IRpass 850 filter from ZWO, and added an additional ND1.3 filter, because the ND5 front filter was a bit out of reach. Afterthought: I don’t know the transmittance curve of the ND filter, so maybe what I photographed is actually undefined-ish.
With the above in mind, the transmittance curve of the ZWO IR pass filter, along with the response curve of the camera, gives us a gentle hill around the magic 850 nanometer region, which is where the Calcium II triplet resides, and should draw the active regions in a similar way the CaK does. No matter what filters I used, these active regions show up in all of them, from UV, through CaK, deep blue, even in oxygen III, solar continuum, and 7nm Hα.
Digging out the details did take a good while, since the granulation (I guess it is that) on the surface of the Sun causes a sort of pixel noise to appear that doesn’t fare well with my emphasizing solutions. This „pixelnoise” is also present in my CaK images, and looks exactly the same on the DSO resources I checked at 160 and 170 nanometers.
ND1.3 and telescope glass aside, this is the wavelength-intensity area that should be in the photo. Telluric absorption is not that interesting in this region, and is uniform across the solar disk anyway.
As you know, due to various reasons, lately I’ve been doing solar imaging almost exclusively, focusing on full disk observations. Of the many filters I have turned towards the Sun — some dedicated solar filters, some more in a hacker spirit –, the Calcium K wavelength is one of my favorites, obviously. Now that Baader started selling its generation ii CaK filter, I figured I’d test it against itself, the first generation, and against Lunt’s Calcium module.
As you also know, I record images as a hobby, without any specific scientific goal, I just like the rigor and if some aesthetics can arise from it, in the form of nice solar disk images in this case.
TLDR0: not much difference, but still.
TLDR1: if doing full disk, if you have the old CaK and like it — keep it and your setup the way it is, the new filter is nice, the profile is standard, but overall, doesn’t show anything new nor better than the old one. Both are that good. Obviously not as good as Lunt’s CaK, but they are a fair competition, given the price range.
TLDR2: if you have the Venus U filter, do use it. It’s not as good for the Sun’s active regions as the CaK, but still pretty good. Also, give the dark blue a chance. Or basically any filter you own.
TLDR3: for Venus, the new filter may yield better images, due to it letting through about two times more light (half the expo time). I like very much the CaK images I obtained of Venus, in the 2020 epic season.