This review is based on my use of 100x100mm and 100x150mm filters along with V5 Pro holder system which I’m using it since last 3 months.
One of the most critical parts of landscape photography is light and when it comes to early morning or evening light, sometimes we need to block or control certain type of light to create effects or control light to correct right exposure. That’s where the camera can’t to see or control light the way photographer wants.
Most landscape photographers, it is must to have a good set of filters. And there are two variations of filters first is screw-on filters, which attaches directly to your lens filter threads and second is square filter systems, where you have a holder attached with lens filter threads and sliding into a holder on the end of your lens and easy to replace to filters depends on your photography needs.
It’s always good to have filters system which is easy to use and you have the wider range of selections in terms of filter type (ND, GND, CPL and much more). It must be easy to change and usability must be there to handle your different type of lenses. That’s where square filters system comes into the picture. They are versatile and flexible with all most all type of lenses with their step up and step-down adaptor rings without worrying lens thread size.
So far, I have used the couple of filters systems such as Cokin, Lee, Haida and Hoya (Circular filters) and recently I moved to square filter system from NiSi. Here I would like to give some reviews why I did that. I would like to put review such as Build Quality, Assembly, Step-Up Ring, Adapter Ring, Filter Holder, Circular Polarizing Filter, Ease of Use, Optical quality and filter carry case.
NiSi Build Quality:
If you are using other filter systems, first you will notice about NiSi filter system quality. I found it is really nice, well-built and solid though it looks delicate, holder system looks really nice and easy to use.
If you have bought ND filters along with it, you will notice filters are made of high-quality glass rather made of resin which easily invites scratches more and that does not mean one should use rough really.
Some companies make high-quality glass filters but those come with extra costs.
Recently I was travelling in high Himalayan winter and temperature was dropping really cold and it was really easy to setup rather stuck it, which generally happens with other metal rings.
Filter Carry Case.
Filter carry case which comes along with V5 Pro and for filters. individual filter comes along with lather care case which is ok to carry around but one has to be careful of damage.
If you are buying few square filters (100x100mm or 100x150mm) you should have good carry case system from NiSi which can hold six filters. Holder system can carry 100×100 and 100x150mm filters easily. But I found an issue with the closing system as it feels open all the time.
Filter Holder V5 Pro comes with the leather carry case which can hold holders, assembly, CPL and step-up/down adaptors very well. I found no issues at all.
I found filter assembly really easy, most unique part is to get fix your Polarizing Filter with V5 Pro holder system to avoid extra thread usage on the lens and that makes difficult to use of CPL with holder system. On V5 Pro system comes with thin CPL which is unique part and there is a small wheel system which allows you to turn your CPL very easy though you have few more filters are layered up on top of it.
It is easy to put up CPL, as you don’t need to do multiple layers on lens thread. Way easy to fix on V5 Pro system and this helps to avoid unnecessary vignetting when you have more than one filters attached to your lens. When installed the CPL (comes with V5 Pro Full System) filters need to screw anticlockwise and then install with clockwise.
Step-Up/Down Adaptor Rings:
The NiSi System comes with three step-up rings as 67mm to 82mm, 72mm to 82mm and 77mm to 82mm. If any of your lenses have a different filter thread size then this, you probably need to buy your own step-up rings.
The step-up/down rings, along with the NiSi filter holder can be all stored in a larger leather case easily without worries of size.
Last is not least is the filter holder itself, (V5 Pro). There isn’t much to explain here, as it is pretty much exactly like other filter systems. The filter holder has a small knob on the side, which you pull out as you’re placing the filter holder onto the adapter ring. Let go of the knob, and your filter holder stays in place. At the time, you layered 3 filters and CPL is part of the main filter holder. It is easy to use with multiple combinations as you need.
Circular Polarizing Filter:
One must wonder why CPL (Circular Polarizing Filter) is added here spectrally. There is a reason and I found it really interesting and useful from NiSi filter user. Yes, this is the interesting part, the design itself speaks, NiSi’s adapter ring has a built-in way to attach a slim circular polarizing filter. This fixes one of the main problems of adding multiple filters over lens threads which might create vignetting or extra colour casts in the image, the easy use of polarizers filter is really unique and easy, which is must for a landscape photographer.
A very good quality CPL can be fixed easily from NiSi on V5 Pro system which comes along with holder system, which can be rotated easily with the wheel on the body.
As all of us know high-quality glass filters definitely outperform their resin counterparts. NiSi’s glass filters and they turned out to be nice compared to resin filters, without an added additional colour cast or vignetting to your images.
Being high-quality optical glass uses in filters, I don’t see any sharpness issue with images, unlike resin filter.
I found gradation is nice, mostly as per my kind of photography, which I like the most. The filter gradation starts transitioning in the centre and gets progressively darker towards the top edge. There does not seem to be a set any boundary or a threshold to this gradation in the middle and I can take care of the little issue with my post-processing.
Ease of Use:
- I found it easy to use compared to many filter systems available in the market.
- Easy to set up with a step up/down rings with your lens need.
- Circular Polarizing Filter on V5 Pro holder makes your life easy.
- If you are using this system for the first time, it takes little time to understand and later it’s easy to handle as you practice more.
- Filter Foam Gasket makes your life easy and helps to light leakage in an image.
- It’s already the most-smallest and light product I ever used.
- I found leather pouch carry system for filters and adaptor is little bulky, can’t withstand pressure if you are planning to crunch up your bag pack really hard.
- Leather cover for single filter does not sound easy to carry and always a concern of damage.
- Lather cover system for multiple fitters does not close really well.
- CPL first time screw in on V5 Pro requires more time to understand.
- CPL screw out it not easy job special you are in cold weather and having your fingers are covered with gloves.
It is excellent filter system and I recommend this product to any landscape photographer ranging from beginner to pro.
Sample Images created with Filters