• Andrew JK Tan

Nikon D850 - NiSi S5/Filter System Combo at Bromo National Park


It has been a while since I took my NiSi S5 holder & NiSi filters for a spin with my Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8 ultra wide angle zoom lens. DSLR used was of course my current workhorse the exceptional D850.

Unlike photographing cityscapes in Singapore , photographing dawn scenes in Bromo National Park can be a real challenge due to the wide dynamic range. Normally as dawn approaches the sky will be much brighter (at least 3 to 4 stops) then the ground / foreground portion of the scene as there are no artificial lights present to help reduce the dynamic range.

One of the best ways then to overcome this dynamic range challenge would be to use a suitable filter to balance the exposure between the two halves of the scene.

Hardware Setup

1. Nikon D850

2. Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8

3. NiSi S5 holder system for the Nikkor

4. NiSi Medium nano IR GND8(0.9) which is a 3 stops medium GND (150 x 170mm)

5. Gitzo tripod setup

In the iPhone captured images of the setup , you can see how the NiSi S5 Filter holder system fits onto the Nikkor 14-24mm ultra wide angle zoom.

It was extremely easy and fast to install (in seconds) and easily tightened onto the integrated hood of the 14-24. The S5 fits perfectly all the time.

These iPhone captures now show the how the 150x170mm 3 stops GND (Graduated Neutral Density) filter) was held in place.

The NiSi Medium nano IR GND8 is a large piece of High Definition / Ultra Low reflection optical glass which slides easily yet fits snugly into the S5 filter slots.

Results with the NiSi filter system

Both images shown below show the BEFORE & AFTER the NiSi 3 stops medium GND was used with NO post production work.

Both shots were captured with the same settings: ISO400 , f8.0 , 1/15s @14mm focal length.

The BEFORE filter shot. You can see that the exposure balance between the sky and ground was not good.

Sky colors & tones captured were muted & faded due to the overexposure which was needed to capture the details of the volcano's and ground.

The above AFTER (using 3 stops GND NiSi filter) shot showed a much better balance with so much more sky colors & tones captured. The overall color richness & tones were also better captured. Again this shot was straight out of camera with no post processing.

The colors & tones captured were rich & natural looking without any unwanted color cast.

Advantages & Summary

The most important point I wanted to covey was that by using the appropriate filter in place during the capture process , the better exposure balance obtained results in so much more critical information (colors , tonal range) being captured. This amount of information captured was key to producing the final interpretation of the scene.

Without the use of the 3 stops GND filter , I would have had a much tougher time presenting the sky in the manner that I wanted. The complete tonal information captured due to the filter balancing the sky exposure was key.

The other strong point was that there was no unwanted color cast captured. This also made my post production work so much easier.

Hope you enjoyed this little sharing and how using the right filters can help in photography.

Till my next blog.

#Bromo #TravelPhotography #Dawn #Volcano #NiSifilter #NiSiS5 #MediumGND