Landscape photography with the NiSi Professional Kit Filter Box.
So far, I have only had a 77mm B+W Circular Polarizer, but I was eager to improve my sunrise and sunset shots. After some research on the internet, most sites recommended Lee-filters and NiSi-filters. Hence recently I acquired the NiSi-filters in 100mm format. I had the opportunity to get the Professional Kit at a good price.
This post has four sections:
- Preparation for usage
- Field test
- Conclusion – Cons and Pros
Most images are shown as thumbnails. Click on then to see them in large format.
The Professional Kit has four grayfilters; 3 stop, 6 stop, 10 stop and 16 stop(*), three graduated filters; Hard(*), Soft and Reversed. In addition, a high quality landscape Polarizer Filter(*) is included as well as the filter holder V5 Pro taking three filters. The (*)-marked items are additional items compared to the Advanced Kit. The V5 Pro Filter holder, the adapter rings and all seven filters fit nicely into the ‘All-in-One’ box. When the box is unpacked, all filters are neatly wrapped in thin paper for protection.
In addition to the All-in-One Box, the kit contains a strap, a special lens cap, an air blower – a good one with vents and soft nose – a filter square cleaner and a filter cloth.
Prepare for use
I decided to test the NiSi-filters with my X-T2 and the XF50-140mmf2.8 lens. I had spotted a good place for a November sunrise, and I wanted to be able to zoom in on the background. The xf50-144 lens has a 72mm filter ring, so I needed to screw the 72mm to 82mm filter ring on the adaptor plate. I tried to put the Polarizer on the adaptor as well. That was a bit tricky, since the filter ring on the adaptor rotates freely. I had to use a finger to fix the filter ring, before I was able to mount the polarizer. Polarizers and sunrises doesn´t match, so I unmounted the polarizer afterwards.
The filter holder can be mounted on the adapter by pulling the little knob on the side of the holder. With a little practice, you can do that with one hand. If you tilt your lens to upright position, it is very easy – and safe.
After initial testing, I removed the filter holder. Unfortunately, the filter holder cannot be stored in the All-in-One box with a graduated filter in one of the slots. Not a big problem, but I would prefer to be able to store the filter holder with the filter of choice, so I don’t have to spend time on location with the equipment.
Before packing the gear away, I put on the NiSi lens cap on the outside of the adaptor. The original Fujifilm lens cap and lens hood was not usable, so they was left at home.
My first task was to find an easy way to carry the All-in-One box. With the camera and lens in my PeakDesign Event Messenger bag, I did not want to use the shoulder strap for the All-in-One Box. The box gives you two other options; attach the box to the belt or attach the box with a hook. I found a buckle on the shoulder strap on the messenger bag, and used the hook. The All-In-One box is not small, but carrying it on the chest is ok.
In the field, I don´t want to spend time boxing around with my gear. It should be functional, intuitive and easy to use. And preferably, I should be able to operate it with one hand. The All-in-One box is well designed, and the lid is closed by a magnetic latch, so It is easy to open and close with one hand. The hook is NOT easy to mount and dismount with neither one or two hands. But with a little bit of practice, you learn to cope. As mentioned, the filter holder can be put on the camera with one hand.
In addition to the All-in-One filter box, you need a storage place for the filter cleaner and the air blower. Also the NiSi Filter cap need a safe place, when it is not in use. In principle, you can put the cap in the box after you have put the filter holder on the adapter, but you cannot dismount the cap, take the filter holder, fixate the holder on the adapter and put the cap in the box with one hand only…
On location, with the tripod leveled, you can attach the All-in-One box to the tripod with the hook. Then all the filters are right at hand if needed. The hook is on the same side as the latch, so when you open the lid, the lid remains open until you close it again. So it is easy to dismount filters, store them away in the box and pick new ones. Good design!
The filter holder takes up to three filters. The filters sit firmly in the slots, and you need two hands to operate the graduated filters. Otherwise operation is smooth and easy; when the camera is tilted, it is easy to align the filter holder by simply rotating it 90 degrees.
The only quirky issue, was the graduated grey filters. The white balance in my camera (the Fujifilm X-T2) gave the images a yellow colorcast. It can easily be corrected in post (or the camera), if you know, that sunrises are at 3200K (Thanks to Ricky from Zenfoto for the tip), but the scene in the EVF is a bit strange to look at. Normally, the white balance is very good at guessing the right setting.
During the sunrise, I moved around along the shore. Suddenly I had spider web on my filter. Here the cloth was handy, and in no time, I was ready to shoot again.
At the end, it was easy to dismount the filters, putting the filter and afterwards the filter holder in the All-in-One box and finally putting the big lens cap on the adaptor. Again, the hook was a bit tricky to open, but not a big issue.
So all in all, the field test was successful, and I found the NiSi filter kit very functional.
- Additional storage place needed (the not so All-in-One box). I miss a place for the lens cap and square filter cleaner.
- Not possible to Store Filter holder with Graduated filter mounted.
- Graduated filters tends to get a yellow color cast with auto-white balance (more a camera issue). ND-filters do not rise this issue.
- Slight image degradation for Graduated Filters when pixel peeping.
- More filter flare due to more glas, when lens and filter is pointing towards the sun.
- High quality materials. Adapter, filter holder and filter glass is made very well
- Easy to mount and dismount filter holder from adapter with one hand
- Square grey (neutral density) filters are excellent, and the backside has soft foam to prevent light leaks.
- The All-in-One box is well made. The hook, magnetic lock and overall design is very user-friendly.