The NiSi filter’s possibilities

Kazuya SEKI(Photographer)



NiSi, a Chinese filter manufacturing company attracting international attention, was originally an optical R&D laboratory in 2005 located in the province of Zhuhai. It has been gaining momentum ever since, introducing 10-20 products annually. They now have international patents in over 20 countries worldwide.
NiSi’s products incorporate feedback from professionals, indicating that they have the innovative capacity to respond to their customers’ high expectations. Communication with their users have paved the way to improved product quality, and it is not just the value of their analytics but also how their products reflect the artists’ aesthetics that’s worth keeping an eye on. The most remarkable point for me is the resolution of the ND and the C-PL filter.

Multi-colored still filters

Clever Cleaner for square filters (compact storage; efficiently cleans fingerprints, greasy marks, and water droplets)

S5 Holder can be easily removed

Fitted with S5 Landscape CPL (Tamron adapter) and Half-Gradation Nano

Fitted with Polarizer Filter Ti Enhanced CPL and UV Filter Ti Pro Nani UV Cut-395 Titanium Frame

Fitted with UV Filter Ti Pro Nano UV Cut-395 Titanium Frame and Polarizer Filter Ti Enhanced CPL

There are round and square filters. The round filters can’t be attached to fisheye lenses, and when you want to make adjustments with a gradation ND, then you will need a square filter. When using a square filter, you will need to use an adapter specifically made for fisheye lenses.
The Nisi S5 system uses adapters as an intermediary with other lenses. The adapter has two V5 Pro holder slots and the C-PL round filter is sold separately, which makes it universally operational. It has a superior design, and even while the lens is mounted on the camera, you can remove the adapter.
The square filters include filters with gradation, and there are 7 types.
– IRND (both sides have nano coating and use high-resolution optical glass. It is possible to achieve colorful images whose multiple hues are a true rendering when using long exposures.)
– Medium GND filter (a rectangular filter that gives you control over a bright sky or specific areas of light.)
– Soft GND filter (it creates a soft transition between a specific area of light and its surroundings.)
– Hard GND filter (it results in a sharp transition between light and dark boundaries.)
– Reverse GND filter (excellent for sunrises and sunsets, and scenes where the light on the horizon is intense.)
– Natural night (for beautiful night scenes; it cuts lights with long wavelengths that cause light pollution, like mercury and sodium lighting. It leads to stunning night sky shoots.)
– High-resolution PL filter (it reduces unnecessary light reflections, allowing you to capture vivid colors. It uses high-resolution optical glass coated with Nitto Denko’s polarizing film.)

Superior resolution, intensity and usability

Among the NiSi filters, of particular interest is the resolution of the ND filters and CPL filters. I have used all kinds of filters from numerous companies. The first time I used the Variable ND, which did not have a long history then, I found it convenient to use but I struggled with the resolution and color overlay. In 2015, when NiSi entered the Japanese market, I began using the Variable ND, and I can still remember the shock I experienced even to this day. There was no loss in resolution, and I was impressed by the color too.

Another filter that’s impressed me of late has been the round Polarized Filter Ti Enhanced CPL. Depending on how you use it, the polarizing feature will reduce excess reflection and glare. It polarizes the sun’s rays and eliminates the resulting haze, creating a clear mage. The frame of the filter is made using a titanium alloy used in the aerospace industry. It is lightweight and durable, anti-corrosive and heat-resistant. The titanium density is 4.54 g/cm3, about half the density of the same weight in steel, and it is double the strength of aluminum. It exhibits good performance even in high and low temperature ranges. The matte black inside the frame uses an electroplating process, which prevents reflected light. A characteristic of the NiSi Polarized Filter Ti Enhanced CPL is that it produces more vivid colors than a standard CPL.

There is an effective way to use the CPL filter. All CPL filters are most effective when they are positioned at a right angle to the light source. When in use, rotate the lens until you get the angle where you achieve the result you are seeking. When using any kind of CPL filter, there are some things you will need to keep in mind. When shooting a cloudless sky, you might get a dark line that is difficult to eliminate in post, so in that case you should remove the CPL filter to avoid an unnatural-looking sky.

Recently I’ve been using the CPL a lot for portraits. The reason is simple: you can bring out or tone down the shine in the subject’s hair, and it enhances the overall quality of the work.

NiSi filters have so many extremely appealing products. Personally I like the look of the titanium filters, and I’ve been satisfied with the usability and results. I highly recommend NiSi’s ND filter, the ND-VARIO Pro Nano 1.5-5 stops Enhanced Variable ND, for SLR video, so please try it out and see for yourself what it can do!

Square filters for cinema use

NiSi’s cinema filters are currently being tested on location shoots all over the world. Though still in the testing phase and not officially released yet, their price is competitive relative to other companies, and they have already accumulated experience with their still lens filters. It is clear they have a bright future in the cinema industry.

Go to the NiSi’s website: Click here

Canon EOS R / SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art F1.8 1/500 ISO200 
NiSi Circular Polarizer Filter Ti Enhanced CPL  
Model: minori

Canon EOS R / Canon EF85mm F1.4L IS USM F1.4 1/1250 ISO100 
NiSi Circular Polarizer Filter Ti Enhanced CPL
Model: Mari SHIMIZU

Canon EOS R / Canon RF28-70mm F2L USM F2.0 1/1600 ISO400 
NiSi Circular Polarizer Filter Ti Enhanced CPL