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

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 Natural Pro Nano 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 Variable NDs are actually two paired 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 to know the world of square filters better.

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.

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