With the release of the new Nisi V6 Filter Holder I though it was time to give my thoughts.
Disclaimer, I am a Nisi Ambassador so my thoughts are of course biased, but I will make this as honest as possible.
I have been using the V6 for some time now, after being sent one a month ahead of the release date for evaluation. There are some things that are new and greatly improved, although the basic system remains unchanged, that of the CPL/Lens Adapter concept.
Nisi were the first to introduce this idea, re-engineering the lens ring required by all filter systems. By allowing the lens ring to accept the polariser it gave huge benefits, firstly being able to use it independently of the filter holder, and second making it completely light sealed. No more mounting a filter holder just to use a CPL, and no more light bouncing back into the lens from the rear of the CPL. It was a game changer and has been adopted by many other brands too. I was also such a simple idea, like many ground-breaking ideas.
So what’s new? Lets have a look at the changes….
Drag to view the V5 Pro holder and V6 holder size comparison. Note there is actually quite a difference despite first impressions.
The shape has completely changed, with the corners being chamfered. This was not a whim, Nisi do listen to feedback. One criticism of the previous design was how awkward ND filters were to remove because of the shape, which was dictated by the length of the rails. Now, the new updated shape means ND filters are easier to remove by being able to get hold of the corners.
As a consequence, the holder actually feels much more compact and a little lighter. The difference is deceptive, seen overlaid it is actually quite significant.
As mentioned above rails have been redesigned. Making them shorter was necessary to change the shape of the holder, but now a thin guide has been included between the slots making filters easy to insert and without compromising the grip.
A new lock pin has been included and was a feature request by users. Nisi designed a new pin independent of the mounting/unmounting pin, which I admit I was dubious about at first. I have never found the need to lock filters on an angle although I can see it being useful, but not something essential per se.
“I am converted now after using it so much”
I am converted now after using it so much out in the field, essentially because I am a lazy photographer. I look after my gear, but I am not so cautious I find the need to put all my gear away each time I move locations. I am quite happy walking and even climbing (not mountaineering, I’m not that good or silly) with the camera over my shoulder tripod mounted. Here’s where the lock pin is a good feature, it’s reassuring knowing it is firmly locked into place.
New Cap and Adapter Ring Revision
We all know how tight the old grey cap was. It was tight, and sometimes hard to remove because the coin slot was so small. Now the new cap is still a hard shell front but with a softer rubberised rim, making it easier to remove. The Adapter ring has been revised, raising the CPL slightly more to make the CPL easier to remove, and providing a new lip for the cap to clip to.
If you struggle with the grey cap, get a knife and whittle out the slot on all sides so a coin will fit. You will find it releases the pressure and makes it easy to remove by hand. But please seek adult supervision…
Also worth a mention is the new case. I don’t use the case at all, I am quite happy with the filter holder in my kit bag as it is, being aluminium it isn’t going to damage. When I do need to store the CPL I use a spare wallet that came with one of my filters. Using a large F-Stop backpack which is full space is at a premium, but it is good to see a new case which is far better then the previous design. It is modern looking, softer so it’s easier to get into a bag and has a tripod strap I know a lot of people use. It is premium quality and it feels it.
All in all this is a welcome new release. Nisi had the sense not just to change the shape, but to listen to their users and incorporate a multitude of changes which add real improvements. And that is one of the reasons I stick with Nisi, I know they do listen and I know they are always looking at how to get better and better and give photographers what they really want.
Real World Experiences
So those are my honest thoughts, let’s have a look at real world experiences. I have been to many stunning locations since receiving the V6 Landscape Edition holder, below are just a few.
Glencoe has become an annual pilgrimage and for good reason, it is a truly beautiful area with many locations to shoot. This year alas was a short one in February and instead of the usual trip to Glencoe and then Skye I cut it short just to Glencoe because the Photography Show was looming. Too much work, not enough time.
Shooting in various locations around Glencoe gave me the chance to really test the V6 landscape holder. And I really did notice the difference with the new shape. It is genuinely more compact, and the ease of how ND’s are to remove is a big improvement.
The majority of the images below were taken with a graduated ND to control the exposure of the sky, and either a 3 or a 6 stop ND to give a longer shutter speed. Most times it’s fairly easy to decide which to use from experience, but being able to quickly swap ND instead of having to remove the graduated filter first was helpful.
“walking up river with the holder firmly locked is reassuring”
Whilst most locations are fairly close to lay-bys or small car parks, there can be walks over rough moorland, such as the river shots. Walking over rough ground, climbing up and down embankments, and walking up river with the holder firmly locked is reassuring.
Locations around Glencoe – Nisi V6 landscape Edition, various Nisi ND and Graduated.
Wyming Brook, Peak District
Those who know me will have seen many images I’ve taken from this location, it’s so enigmatic. It feels to me like a Fairy Glen, with a long downhill river and many secluded waterfalls. I try to shoot it to give a feeling of mystery and wonder, because that’s how it makes me feel. Usually I shoot it quite dark, with rich colour, and I exclude what there is of the sky to create more intimacy.
And here again is where the lock pin can be useful, I sometimes use a soft grad on the upper section if light is flooding through, and also one upside down to prevent water getting too bright. It balances exposure and opens the middle of the scene more. Being able to lock the holder and prevent any movement fitting filters both ways was a little easier.
Most shots here I just use a Polariser and don’t feel the need for an ND, unless I really want a long exposure. The V6 “Landscape” refers to the polariser, which is multi-coated the same as all Nisi filters whereas the Standard CPL isn’t. The Nano coatings make it easier to clean which for me is important here because water is always splashing onto the camera and I frequently have to wipe it if just using the CPL. It also has better contrast and gives a little more ‘punch’.
Wyming Brook – Nisi V6 Landscape CPL, 2 stop Soft and Medium Grads
Wyming Brook – Nisi V6 Landscape CPL, 3 stop Soft Grad
Perch Rock Lighthouse
A trip to Perch Rock, New Brighton, on the coast near Liverpool. It was a uninspiring flat light, but I always think where there is a will, there is a way to get a shot.
Setting up in the sea on an incoming tide it didn’t take long for the waves to come in with surges created by passing ships. I wanted to suggested the movement but also retain texture. Having a low viewpoint and locking the V6 holder gave me the chance to quickly swap between a 3 stop and 6 stop ND, 6 being far too much.
And yes I know the image is very blue, it was a conscious decision to keep the cool tones created by the Auto White Balance, not a colour cast as with some other ND filters.
Dull light whist deciding on a composition.
Nisi v6 landscape, 3 Stop ND, 2 Stop Medium Graduated ND, 0.6s
A recent trip to the North Norfolk coast with a strong theme…boats.
Arriving there after a 5 hour drive it was straight out for a sunset with some beautiful soft colours, and a chance to do some long exposure shots. A Nisi 10 stop was the filter of choice and was an obvious one.
In the BTS mobile phone shot the ND is visible, and that is one of the biggest advantages of the new shape of the Nisi V6 holder, being able to get at the corners of ND filters. Now it is very easy to insert, check position and remove again, without having to completely remove the graduated filter.
And yes I know there is a funny blue label on my graduated filter. I label them so I know which is which in low light without having to mess about with glasses.
“yes I know there’s a funny blue label”
BTS phone shot
Brancaster, Norfolk – Nisi V6, 10 Stop ND, 3 Stop Medium Graduated, 104s Exposure
So is the Nisi v6 a big improvement over the V5Pro? Yes I honestly think so, even though I am biased. There isn’t just a slight change, many things have been improved to make it a worthy successor to the innovations Nisi first introduced.
Thanks for looking and hope you found it useful, please feel free to leave a comment and please look me up on my Social Media links…