THE PRINCIPLE OF using filters might be nearly as old as photography itself, but the technology behind NiSi’s stunning new V7 system is very much state-of-theart, and it’s with a degree of pride that it’s marketed by the company as the most advanced filter holder on the market for 2mm thick, 100mm square filters.
The filters themselves are so slim that the potential is there to use three of them in tandem along with a circular polarising filter without the danger of creating vignetting with wide angle lenses up to 16mm on full frame cameras. Meanwhile the holder itself oozes outstanding craftsmanship, being constructed from aeronautical aluminium, which is coated with a matte black protective coating to minimise unwanted reflections. The holder is compatible with lens threads from 49 to 95mm, while 67mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm rings are also included in the kit.
Compatible with the V7 filter holder are ND, GND and CPL filters, ensuring that the photographer has a fine selection of professional tools at their disposal, ready for a multitude of situations.
USING ND FILTERS
NiSi’s range of ND filters are designed to cut down on the amount of light reaching the sensor without affecting the colour of a scene, and this delivers the ability to extend shutter speeds and enables the use of wider apertures. This in turn allows the photographer to work with shallow depth of field, to exert greater control over video sequences and time-lapse sequences, to set extended exposures so that water becomes super smooth, to remove people who are moving from a scene and to give the impression of motion in clouds.
Meanwhile NiSi’s Graduated Neutral Density filters allow photographers to balance the brightness between the light and dark areas of the scene, cutting the contrast and ensuring the camera’s sensor is able to preserve all the detail of the dark areas of the scene without blowing out the highlights in the brighter areas.
The NiSi GND filter range is available in different densities from one to five stops (for some transitions) of reduction, ensuring the photographer can always select the right filter for every situation.
WHICH GND FILTER?
There is a variety of NiSi GND filters available to the photographer, between them covering a wide range of situations.
SOFT: this type is often used in mountainous and hilly landscapes where the separation between light and dark areas of the scene is not clearly defined. They are produced in several densities and the smart photographer will travel with both lower (2 or 3 stops) and higher (4 or 5 stops) densities packed in their kit.
MEDIUM: these filters have narrower transition areas and sit between soft and hard-edge grads. This is a very useful filter to have when a soft-edge grad would not do the job, but the area of light and dark in your scene is not clearly defined enough to warrant using a hard-edge grad.
HARD: this variety is characterised by a clearly defined transition (but always with a slight softness) between the light and dark part of the filter, and they are suitable for scenes where there is a clear separation between light and dark areas.
REVERSE: this variety comes with a hard transition between the dark and transparent areas of the filter, but with the ND effect gradually dissolving from the centre of the filter towards the top. These are suitable for landscape shots where the highest luminance is in the centre of the shot, such as sun-rise or sunsets.
USING CIRCULAR POLARISING FILTERS
It’s not surprising to find that the CPL is one of the most heavily used filters in photography. Thanks to its ability to lower the amount of reflected light reaching the sensor, it enables the photographer to exert control over the reflections coming back from non-metallic surfaces. There are various applications that are tied into this, such as removing reflections on glass and bodies of water through to the ability to increase the saturation of elements within the scene, such as the sky and foliage.
In the NiSi catalogue you can choose from the Multi Coated PRO Nano HUC C-PL, the Enhance (Landscape) Ti-Frame Polariser (Titanium Structure) CPL and the Natural Pro Nano CPL Polariser.
More information: nisioptics.co.uk
Filters for Motion
OF COURSE, FILTERS aren’t just the domain of the still photographer, and those working with motion will similarly benefit from their use. NiSi produces square and circular Cinema varieties and it’s better to achieve the effect you want in-camera rather than to try to get to that stage through post-processing.
IR ND 6K CINEMA ND FILTERS
The NiSi 6K Cinematic IR ND filters are available in densities of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 stops. Thanks to the incredible quality of the IR and Nano treatments of NiSi cinema filters, the filmmaker will always be able to achieve the highest possible colour rendition using these products.
The NiSi Cine filters are made using exclusive high quality lens-grade optical glass, so as not to lose even the smallest detail and to make them extra durable. The glass is treated with the latest techniques for multi-coating and a special anti-scratch coating is also added. Meanwhile the term ‘IR’ indicates the presence of a coating to block infrared light, which results in a better chromatic correspondence.
Thanks to the absence of colour casts, Cinema filters are in the standard 4mm thickness, and can be used with cinema matte boxes built to this standard. There’s a comprehensive choice available for the industry standard of 4×5.65″, while NiSi also provides an extensive range for 4×4″ and 6.6×6.6″ sizes.
NISI CINEMA ALLURE MIST WHITE/BLACK FILTERS
NiSi Allure Mist Diffusion Cinema filters reduce the contrast that can lead to excessive sharpness with modern cinema, DSLR and mirrorless camera lenses, softening light and reducing the appearance of blemishes in the actor’s skin, particularly useful in close-up work.
There are three primary types on offer, all available in 4×5.65″, 6.6×6.6″ and Circular sizes. Allure Mist White is an evenly coated filter that causes light to ‘bloom’ and create hazy/lifted shadows, so this filter would be used where an atmospheric shot might be required. Also available is a Soft Diffusion Circular filter (67, 72, 77, 82mm).
Allure Black Mist filters are created through the addition of small black flecks, so will still enable halation around points of light and soften skin, but the light will be controlled differently, leaving shadows unaffected.
Both White and Black Mist come in strengths ranging from 1/8 to 1 stop, with 1 stop being the strongest effect. For those who have not used mist filters before, a good starting point would be 1/4.
Watch the Nisi Cinema Filter Test here
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