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  • Andrew JK Tan

NiSi Filters used in Alajuela , Costa Rica

I brought my NiSi filters & NiSi S5 Filter holder system whle I was on a short holiday to Costa Rica. This is of course for use with my Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8 ultra wide angle lens.

Costa Rica is an exremely beautiful country with many exotic wildlife and lots of natural wonders like towering waterfalls.

In this blog , I will be sharing how the NiSi fliters performed when capturing one of the beautiful waterfalls at La Paz Waterfall Gardens.


1. Nikon D500

2. Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8

3. NiSi S5 filter holder system

4. NiSi Nano ND1000 (3.0) - 10 stops Neutral Density

5. NiSi Medium Nano IR GND8 (0.9) - 3 stops Graduated Neutral Density

6. Small Sirui Travel Tripod

Overall view of Waterfalls - La Paz Waterfall Gardens , Costa Rica

I decided to climb the rock formations on the left (as seen in the image) and place my camera setup there to get closer to the main waterfall. As you can imagine , the rocks were not completely dry , so care needed to be taken and the uneven space that I had on the rocks were not that great for tripod placement. Still I managed to setup as best I can.

As I was alone and there was hardly a soul around , I decided NOT to venture into the river and risk falling into the fast flowing waters but rather take the lesser risk (to me) of setting up on the rocks instead.

I definitely would have had a better Point Of View (POV) if I had done that but one of my principles in photography is the following :

"Our goal as photographers are not only to capture the scene as best we can but to also bring the captured images back home safely without fail"


ISO50 f18.0 1/500s NO Filters used As Captured - NO Post processing

ISO50 f14.0 10seconds Filters used As Captured - NO post processing

Filters used for the capture

1. NiSi Nano ND1000 (3.0) - 10 stops Neutral Density

2. NiSi Medium Nano IR GND8 (0.9) - 3 stops Graduated Neutral Density

The main 10 stops ND filter was to cut off light sufficiently so that I could use a nice 10 seconds of exposure to get the silky smooth water flow effects.

The additional 3 stops GND was placed to cut out a little more light from the upper portion of the scene to minimize occurence of flare and also to reduce the haziness (due to the very strong misting from the main waterfall) & get a little more saturated fauna colors

KEY Observations

NO unwanted color casting at all from the 13 stops of filters used which was great.

Colors remained neutral & natural even with the filters and the colors were really close to the original reference shot without filters.

This important filter characteristic of not having any color shifts or casts allows the photographer to photograph with confidence even with very long exposures.

Focus on Sharpness with the filters in place

Zoomed in view of the NO Filters reference shot NO post processing

Zoomed in view of the capture WITH Filters shot NO post processing

KEY Observations

Sharpness was NOT impacted at all even by stacking two (2mm thickness each filter) thick filters. This was another excellent piece of news !

Closing Commentary

The extremely high quality glass filters from NiSi :

- were extremely neutral and did not add any unwanted color casting

- did NOT impact the overall sharpness of the elements in the scene

It was definitely great news and totally justified my selection & use of NiSi filters.

In addition, the S5 150mm filter holder system was extremely easy to use (on & off my 14-24mm in seconds). The build quality of the holder was also superb.

The S5 holder slots easily held the filters in place firmly yet they were not difficult to insert or remove.

To all photographers considering an investment into a filters system. NiSi filters definitely must be in your consideration list !

My closing tip :

"Do not stinge on that extra piece of filter that you want to place in front of the expensive piece of lens that you have invested in"

Till the next NiSi blog. Happy experimenting in your photography journey.



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