Last week, I contacted Phil Norton Photography and made arrangements to collect a comprehensive range of Nisi filters from him and having taken delivery of them since, I thought that I would write a quick blog about it and my decision to leave LEE filters.
I have been using LEE filters for a number of years now and until recently, was very happy to do so. The quality I felt was excellent, the way the system went together and the range of filters on offer ideal for my needs, however, they are quite an expensive addition to your camera bag. I visited the LEE factory back in November and thoroughly enjoyed the experience too and was made to feel very welcome. However, a recent brief spell using Haida filters from China had me think again about using LEE filters. Fast forward to the present day and after taking delivery of a full set of Nisi filters, I have to confess to having fallen in love with the quality of them and the brand itself.
Now I know that filters are a hot topic for landscape photographers and one of my most successful workshops that I offer are the long exposure ones, confirming the high degree of interest shown from my clients. One of the most common questions that I am asked relates to the use of filters and the brand that I use.
So why did I drop LEE filters in favour of Nisi? There are several reasons really.
- The first reason is that I prefer the way the Nisi system works and the way everything goes together. I like the fact that the neat and petite 82mm polariser screws directly onto the main adaptor ring rather than onto the front of the filter holder. This allows it to be smaller, lighter and definitely cheaper than the LEE system but it is very effective in how it works. I also love how you are able to rotate the polariser by turning the small cogs on the side of the main adaptor ring despite whatever filters you happen to have fitted in front of the polariser (see video below for full details).
- The other thing that I love about Nisi filters is that their range of graduated filters are made from high-quality 2mm optical glass which to my mind, offers me the opportunity to capture a slightly sharper image when in use but more importantly, the graduated filters are nano coated which not only cuts down the possibility of scratching the glass but it also reduces the chances of catching reflections and flare in your images. They are also much easier to keep clean and dry when compared to resin filters. Now for someone who loves shooting seascapes on the coastline of the UK and Iceland, the benefits of being able to spend less time cleaning the filter of water and sea spray is huge.
- Nisi’s 10 stop filter gives absolutely no colour cast whatsoever which I find extremely helpful especially when using it in a teaching capacity as my clients will not have to correct the colour balance in post-processing. Nisi also make a 15 stop filter.
- I also appreciate Nisi having a full compliment of graduated filters available, from 0.6 to 1.5 (2 stops to five stops) in the soft grad and 0.6 – 0.9 (2 stops to three stops) in the hard grad with a new medium transition coming to market in the coming weeks. Nisi have even developed a four stop soft edge reverse graduated filter which for me when shooting sunsets on the horizon is very useful indeed (LEE do not make a reverse graduated filter as of yet). For those not familiar with reverse grads, they are basically a graduated filter that has a darker strip in the centre of the filter (to cover the sun on the horizon) whilst the dark section fades away towards the top of the filter. Nisi are one of the very few manufacturers to produce them.
- I also photograph cities at night when I consider them to look at their best. One of the very latest products that Nisi has just introduced is a 100mm x 100mm Natural Night filter which helps to remove light pollution whilst correcting the white balance. I am really looking forward to trying one of these filters out in the near future.
WATCH MY BRIEF NISI FILTERS DEMONSTRATION VIDEO BELOW
So that’s it really. A very quick explanation as to why I have swapped filter brands from LEE to Nisi. If you would like to look at the range of Nisi filters or perhaps even purchase some, please visit Phil Norton Photography at www.philnortonphotography.co.uk
If you have any questions that you think I can answer or help you with, please contact me either by leaving a message on this blog, via Facebook or email me at email@example.com
Thank you for reading
MY NISI FILTER KIT IN DETAIL
This is a full list of the Nisi filters I own and use. You can click on any of the products below to be taken directly to the website page on Phil Norton Photography‘s website.
Nisi V5 PRO 100mm Filter Holder System:
V5 System filter holder
V5 System adapter ring with polariser mechanism
V5 System multi-coated polariser filter
Three steps rings for 67, 72 and 77mm lenses
Strong Leather Storage Case