Disclaimer: It is beyond the scope of this review to give a scientific account of the pros and cons of the Nisi filters – the review is based on my experiences with the aforementioned filters. Several sample images are included in the review.
The filters are manufactured in China using high end and cutting edge machines and technology. Glass is from AGC in Japan and Schott in Germany. From Nisi’s web site: “Double side, anti-reflection, multi-coating, water&stain&scratch resistant, high level of parallelism on the surface, NiSi filter can assure top level of transmittance and ultra low reflectivity.”
The filters are delivered delicately wrapped in soft paper and enclosed in leather bags which are perfect for storing the filters when for instance hiking:
The filters can also be stored in this very practical leather case with room for six filters:
The filter holder itself is 82mm and the system comes with the following step-down rings: 77, 72 and 67mm. The system is simple yet brilliant owing to the fact that a polarizer can be inserted into the filter holder and that adds a new dimension to the Nisi system – also because this solution yields no vignetting even at 16mm. The image shows the cpl inserted into the 82mm adapter ring, plus the filter holder itself.
Three filters can be inserted into the filter holder. The adapter ring and filter holder are all made from aluminium and seem sturdy and very solid. Two wheels on the outer rim of the 82mm adapter ring make it possible to adjust the cpl even when filters are inserted – a nothing short of brilliant solution.
The filters I have been given to test are the ND 64 (6 stops) and the ND 1000 (10 stops) – the Lee equivalents are the Lee Little Stopper and Lee Big Stopper.
The filters are easy to use, that is, inserting into the filter holder – and with foam on their backside any light leaking is cancelled out.
The two following images are shot with the Nisi ND 1000 and the Lee Big Stopper, respectively:
Whereas the Nisi filter yields no color changes the Lee filter produces a blue cast, and the Lee filter also produced some light corner vignetting when inserted into the Nisi filter holder. Both images are around 60 secs with the cpl inserted. Very light editing is applied to both images and I haven’t touched the white balance.
The following two images are from a sunrise – one is with the cpl + the ND 64 (6 stops), the other is without any filters. Both images are edited in Lightroom, that is, I first edited the Nisi version and then synced the no-nisi version so that both images have the same settings applied.
Nisi – 30 secs:
No filters – 0.7 secs:
I personally by far prefer the Nisi version due to the mood and the colors.
The last two images are also from a sunrise – shot straight into the sun. The first with cpl and the Nd 1000 – the second with only the cpl inserted. It is interesting to note that even though the 10 stop filter does produce some flare it isn’t beyond repair – it won’t be a huge problem to clone out that flare in Photoshop. I am actually not little surprised that the ND 1000 filter produced so little flare when shooting straight into the sun. Both images are edited a little in Lightroom.
Nisi – 122 secs:
With the cpl only – ⅛ sec:
Conclusion: Without any reservations I wholeheartedly can recommend the filters – they have more than lived up to my expectations. Solid made holder, quality glass with various coatings, easy to use, no-compromise manufacturing and they perform great in the field. The cpl does what is supposed to do; enhance colors and reflections and reduce glare.