Best circular filters: Polariser CPL, ND, UV, Vario ND and more

Circular filters are a must for all photographers, when trying to rotate a Polariser (or CPL) filter for the first time it seems a kind of a magic, while taking a long exposure photo with an ND filter creates an effect that is very addictive. While many photographers decide to use the square system, in its various formats, others decide to continue using circular filters driven by their necessities. If you still have to choose on which system to buy, we recommend this article on choosing the best NiSi system for your equipment.

In this article we will guide you through the range of NiSi circular filters, innovation leader for more than 15 years, the best in quality, assistance and reliability. Let’s start with the main features that characterise our circular filters.

Main circular filters characteristics

Circular filters are screwed-in directly on the lens without the need for other adapters to the front thread of your lens, if your lens does not have this possibility we advise you to read this article and contact us for advice. Check your lens (or on the manual) on the barrel or front, where you will find the diameter of the front thread, usually between 49 and 82mm, then buy a filter with a diameter corresponding to that of the front thread of your lens.

Best circular filters: Polariser CPL, ND, UV, Vario ND and more

What matters to take in consideration

Photography is a fantastic hobby, which gives you unforgettable moments to capture and, in the case of landscape photography, brings you into full contact with nature. Both a compact mirrorless and a DSLR have in common lenses that use optical glass and the best technologies to make your shots as defined as possible. For this reason it is essential to use photographic filters of at least the same quality of your lens, and with NiS filters, you can be sure that the filter will be equal to or higher definition than the lens you are using.

We are talking about the optical quality of the glass, which is important is not B270 or similar, but rather a true optical glass for precision applications such as NiSi glass. We do not even mention resin glass, which have no reason to be used.

The treatment on the glass is of a fundamental importance, it makes the filter water-repellent, resistant to flare and drastically reduces the inconveniences of reflections. Furthermore, a high quality treatment does not introduce strong dominants.

Obviously, in addition to the product, the service, the guarantee and the general quality of the brand are very important. With NiSi, you have the confidence of the market leader chosen by hundreds of thousands of photographers around the world.
Find out why to choose NiSi.

Circular Polariser filters (CPL)

The Polariser filter (CPL) is one of the most used in photography. Thanks to the ability to reduce reflected light that passes through it, it allows you to control the reflections on the scene (from non-metallic surfaces). There are various applications, from removing reflections on glass, water bodies or increasing the saturation of the sky, foliage and so on.

In the NiSi catalog you will find the CPL filter that’s right for you. The Multi Coated PRO Nano HUC C-PL filter, the Enhance (Landscape) Ti-Frame Polariser (Titanium Structure) CPL and the True Color CPL Polariser.
Find more information on the article dedicated to our polarisers here.

Attention: for the polariser filter, one must be able to “tame” it, meaning that with very wide-angle lenses and / or with clear skies, darker areas may appear and look like halos. This is perfectly normal, indeed, this effect means that the CPL is of high quality, (due to the greater polarisation),to fix this, simply rotate the CPL to find the right position, or in that kind of situation do not use it, you will have many other uses other times.
Read this article to understand better the use of the CPL.

Circular Neutral Density filters (ND)

Together with the polariser, the ND filter is definitely the main tool in the photographer’s bag. Thanks to the neutral density coating, these filters absorb a certain percentage of light allowing to extend the exposure time or to use wide f/stops even in broad daylight. They are therefore useful both in photography (landscape, street, portrait, events, etc.) and for video shooting where the shutter speed must generally be kept low (e.g. 1/50 at 24 fps, 1/120 at 60 fps, etc).

Circular ND filters are available with fixed light absorption, and they are the most accurate and quality ones.
Learn more about ND filters here.

There are also versions of ND that are variable, which allow you to vary the light absorption between a range of values. In this case it is essential to choose a lower value, as the True Color Variable NDs are actually two paired Linear Polarisers and even the best NiSi Vario NDs cannot physically achieve the performance and accuracy of a fixed ND.
Learn more about variable ND filters here.

If you want to use multiple filters together, such as ND, GND and Polariser especially in landscape photography, we highly recommend getting the V7 holder with True Color CPL for the 100mm system.

NiSi Swift System

Through a collaboration with many professional photographers around the world, NiSi has developed the Swift System. This new system allows you to quickly assemble a number of filters: True Color Variable ND Filter 1-5 Stops, Black Mist ¼, Black Mist ⅛ , ND16 4 stops , UV IR Cut.
Thanks to this system, you will be able to combine your True Color ND Variable 1-5 Stops with a ND16 Stops filter to transform it into a Variable ND 5-9 stops!
Increase your creativity by also combining it with the Black Mist ¼ filter. You can reach up to 15 assembling combinations that will expand your creativity in a way that has never been possible before.

Learn more about the Swift System here.

Circular Natural Night filter

Photographing at night has a great charm, but often the colours are not what you expect, even when correcting the tint and the white balance, we find ourselves with disappointing photos. NiSi invented and patented the Natural Night filter, of which little successful imitations have been created over time, and allows you to enjoy night photography in a different way.

Find out more about the Natural Night NiSi filter:

Circular Black / White Mist filters

“Diffusion filters” are considered essential in many productions films to create specific effects or simply to soften the light or reduce the appearance of spots in the model’s skin, particularly useful in close-up works where modern technology can produce a very sharp images. There are “black” and “white” diffusion mist filters, with different effects on the image available lights, see the examples and find out more about these filters here.

Circular Allure Streak filter

A filter widely used to simulate the “anamorphic stripe” on videos and photos. Thanks to the naturalness of the effect, which cannot be reproduced in post-production, you can give your videos and photos a unique effect. Find out more about the Allure Streak filter.

Circular UV Filters

NiSi produces three ranges of UV filters to meet the needs of all photographers, professionals and amateurs.
Available in many sizes up to 105mm, NiSi screw UV filters are made of the highest quality, lens grade optical glass, so as not to miss even the smallest detail in your images.
The NiSi UV Filters are unique in the way they are built, the coating and the transmission of visible light.

UV filters are used to prevent UV light from reaching the sensor and to protect the lens from shocks, scratches and bad weather. Wavelengths of light below 395nm, can cause a slight bluish cast in daytime shots with strong light and so a good UV filter is essential to balance this out. Let’s see the main features to keep in mind when buying a UV filter:

  • Optical Glass: At NiSi there are no compromises, so we use the same high-quality optical glass in our filters as we do in the rest of our range, it makes no sense to reduce the quality of the lens to protect it. The NiSi UV filters have a visible light transmission of 99.2% (UV filter HT HUC MC) and 99.4% (UV filter Ti Pro Nano Cut-395).
  • Structure: the filter frame is very important because it affects several factors. The weight may seem negligible, but it must be taken into consideration for its handling and in the event of a fall. Furthermore, the resistance to high or low temperatures of the material is essential to allow practical use in all situations and easy fitting and removal.  NiSi UV filters are made of brass (HT HUC MC UV filter) or Titanium (Ti Pro Nano Cut-395 UV filter).
  • Break Resistance: AS UV filters are also used to protect your precious lenses, it is essential that the glass is hardened and more resistant than a normal photographic filter. The UV filter could still break if the lens unfortunately falls, but is still more durable than an untreated filter and may still save your lens – a worthwhile and cost-effective sacrifice. 
  • Treatments (coating): All NiSi UV filters have anti-reflective treatments to avoid unpleasant effects such as flare or ghosting. They also all have a UV treatment to absorb wavelength of light below 395nm which can cause a bluish cast on particularly sunny days and high sun. The HT HUC MC UV filter also has a water-repellent and oleophobic base treatment, while the Ti Pro Nano Cut-395 UV filter has several treatments including NiSi’s Nano Coating.

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