NiSi might be a relatively new brand to the filter world but has already made its mark as a manufacturer to watch. The quality of the variable ND’s I looked at last year was instantly apparent, and now, with the arrival of the V6 holder, NiSi looks set to take on the best.
The new Nisi V6 Holder with Landscape CPL arrives in a high-quality fabric filter case containing the filter and three adapter rings.
As with other filter holders, it utilises the front lens thread to mount, and attaches with ease to the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8. As with other recent filter holders, there’s an ultra slimline CPL included with the holder. At first, you could be mistaken that the CPL is built-in, but it is in fact easily removed.
Out in the field, the ease of use of the holder with the CPL and 100mm filters proves that the V6 is a formidable choice for any landscape photographer.
CPL rotations dials could be a little larger
What is NiSi Holder with Landscape CPL?
The NiSi V6 Holder with Landscape CPL is part of a growing movement that’s seeing the traditional filter holder system evolve.
The new V6 holder enables you to slot in standard size 100mm filters, those from NiSi or other manufacturers with filters of a 2mm thickness.
While the holder at first looks pretty standard it has a few tricks that help to make it stand out in an ever-increasingly crowded field.
Firstly there’s the CPL that comes with the holder. At first, the CPL looks like it’s built-in due to its ultra-slim profile. However, it is possible to remove easily it if you need to.
The CPL can be adjusted with a small wheel, and there’s one on either side of the unit; this wheel makes a huge difference to the user making it incredibly intuitive to use.
Beyond the CPL, there are three 100mm slots for the filters, these filter slots have been carefully designed and make the insertion and adjustment of filters exceptionally easy.
The initial impression of the NiSi V6 filter holder is excellent, but it’s only when out in the field that I’ll get to see if everything actually works as well as the design seems to suggest.
Materials: CNC Aluminium
Filter slots: 3
Max adapter size: 82mm
Adapters included: 77, 72, 67mm
Filter thickness: 2mm
Build and Handling
Lifting the NiSi V6 holder from the expensive feeling soft case and you instantly get an impression of quality.
The metal holder itself along with the small knobs and dials are all excellent quality. But, then compare this build quality with the Benro, Hoya or H & Y premium holders, and the quality of each is matched throughout.
This new generation of filter manufacturers takes things seriously, with a high level of precision for their holders and filters. As other premium manufacturers such as LEE FILTERS has turned to high tech composite materials for their holders, these new manufacturers have turned to CNC’d metal.
The V6 holder feels exceptionally well finished and compares well against the competition.
One increasingly popular feature is to have a CPL mounted into the holder, almost as a permanent feature. If you want to remove it, then this is, of course, possible, although it does take a few moments to figure out how to extract it from the 82mm adapter ring.
The design of the NiSi filter holder and filters shows new growth and innovation in the filter world, and must be putting pressure on those manufacturers who have in the past dominated this area.
However, while there are a good amount of new and emerging filter manufacturers, NiSi stands out due to their quality of design.
The first stage with any filter system is to attach the filter to the front of the lens. In times past, this means screwing in an adapter and then clipping the holder in place.
I’m using a Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 with an 82mm diameter filter thread, so the adapter and holder attach directly. As with previous systems, the adapter ring can be unclipped from the holder for easier handling when attaching to the lens.
Pulling the upper knob on the holder releases the adapter and CPL, and it’s easily removed.
If you need to step down the adapter to 77, 72 or 67mm them one of the adapter rings can be screwed into place.
Likewise, if you want to remove the CPL then this can be removed at this point with ease.
Once you have the correct adapter in place it can then be screwed onto the lens. When tightened the holder can then be clipped back onto the adapter, rotated so that it is level and the second knob is then tightened locking the rotation of the holder.
This lock is a great feature and stops the holder from accidentally moving when you’re taking shots.
As both the lens and adapter ring are high quality, the fit is precise, and screws in easily to the front.
The effect of this CPL used in isolation is minimal, enough to give a slight boost to cloud and tree detail but not enough to be overbearing. For this reason, I found it easier and better around just to leave it in place.
Its addition makes perfect sense, and adding a grad or ND to the front boosts the overall effect.
The CPL can be adjusted with the small wheel on the side; this wheel is mirrored on both sides, so good for left and right-handed.
The overall feel of the holder is solid and well machined, and as there’s the option to stack three filters along with the CPL, there’s plenty of creative choices.
Out in the field, the filters are easy to use; they slip in and out of the holder with relative ease, yet still, retain enough resistance to stop them from dropping out. A result all filter users want to avoid.
The shape of the V6 holder’s three slots have been well designed, and the angled tops enable the easy insertion of the filters. Most holders, including the older V5 design from NiSi, feature a flatter insert, making the insertion and removing filters a little more tricky; however, here, that process is smooth and easy.
The plastic shims that help keep the filters in place are exceptionally well designed, and having used countless filter systems over the years; I can safely say this is one of the most solid and useable options out there.
I’m told that there were a few corrosion issues with the screws in the previous versions; this has now been rectified with new material used for all affected parts.
As filter holders, I’m impressed with the mechanical quality, ease of use and design.
While this review is just looking at the filter holder and not the NiSi filters themselves, it’s worth just covering the three filters I’ve been using.
After the shoot and checking through the images on a calibrated monitor and I’m impressed with the IR ND64(1.8) and the IR GND4 (0.6). Firstly the clarity of the shots with the CPL and Grad loaded show no signs of aberration or vignette.
Popping on the ND64 and again the results are impressive with a slight but not overbearing cast that can be easily corrected. Again there’s little to no sign of chromatic aberration.
The results are exactly what you would expect from a top of range optics.
The NiSi filters have quickly become my go-to set for both ease of use and optical quality.
I’ll cover the filters individually in a further review.
When I looked at the NiSi variable NDs last year, I was impressed by the optical quality. The filters themselves were slimline and elegant in use, and again here with the filter holder, NiSi has refined a design for the better.
The holder is exceptionally well thought out with the mounted CPL into the 82mm adapter that can be adjusted with the two side wheels in use in the field.
The holder lock is an inspired addition and gives an added level of reassurance in use.
But for me, what stands out above all else, is the ease of inserting and removing the stacked filters. NiSi has refined the holder slots and this makes them easy to use and control.
In almost every way, the NiSi Holder V6 has pushed filter holder design and gives you something beautifully finished and functional that will help you to capture better shots.
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