Astrophotography is a tricky business, even if you happen to live in the Namib desert. However, if you don't live in such a remote location, you'll likely have struggled with light pollution. In recent years, we have seen a number of filters designed to help with this problem. But do they work?
There are worse places for me to live as somebody interested in astrophotography, but not by a great deal. I live a stone's throw from London and to the north of me, Cambridge. Between those two cities are a while host of towns of varying sizes and all the light pollution that goes with that. I have spent time combing over light pollution maps to find the darkest places near me and have driven several hours to get to the pockets of darkness fairly near me in England. Nevertheless, unless I drive to Scotland, the skies aren't great for astrophotography, particularly if you want to capture the Milky Way as I do.
Light pollution is irritating for several reasons, but two are particularly troublesome. The first is the orange glow, which makes your images look ugly to my eye, but are easily fixed in post (and even in-camera in some circumstances) with white balance tweaks. The second is far more damning, however: a lack of contrast. For the stars and celestial bodies to be easily visible in your photographs, you need contrast, which is to say, a dark sky for the stars to "pop". A night sky filter is said to help resolve both of these issues. While it undoubtedly fixes the first, the second is open to some debate.
Do you use dark sky filters? Do you think they're worth it?