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Nisi Switch

A couple op weeks ago Nisi came to the market with the all new Nisi Switch.
It enables you to use 2 gradient filters which you can separately turn in any direction. This will give you a lot of opportunities to control the light and to get creative with the light in-camera.

But do we need this option? Or when would this be needed? With these 2 questions in mind I went out and took the Nisi Switch with me into the field.

Features of the Nisi Switch

As said the Nisi switch enables the photographer to use 2 separate gradient ND filters. The holder is compatible with the V5, V5 pro and the new V6 100mm filter systems.
The filter holder is ( just like the other systems) made from an aluminium alloy construction making it durable and light. Combined with the 82mm adapter you are still able to use a CPL (polariser) filter or you have the possibility to use one of the new circular ND filters which fit into the main 82mm adapter.

The new circular ND filters are available in 3, 6, 10 and 15 stops.

Just like the new V6 100mm filter holder , the Nisi Switch also features the new locking knob which helps you to secure the holder to the main adapter.

Do we need such a system?

This was the first thing that I thought of when Nisi announced the new Switch holder and the answer to this question is 2 fold.
Yes you could absolutely use this in some difficult light situations and when you have photographed in certain situations you will know this. On the other hand people who are not experiencing these conditions won’t need it.

It’s an open door you say? True! But understand one thing, like a horizon filter this is also made for those special situations. And sometimes people will talk negatively about these specialised equipment because they have no clue about the challenges and solutions to these challenges we encounter during our photography.
I am sure that there is a group of landscape photographers, especially those who are photographing in the woods or mountains would love the new Nisi Switch.

In which situations would you use the Nisi Switch

There are multiple situations in which this system could be useful for you and I personally have 2. So let’s talk about 2 situations where having 2 gradient filters will help you to get the right exposure.

First up is a cityscape shot where you are using a 2 point perspective. Let’s take the canals of Amsterdam as an example. When we are facing a corner of the canals and the rows of houses are diverging to the left and to the right, with the sunset behind us, a single gradient filter will also darken the houses in the center of the frame. Now when we can rotate 2 separate gradient filters and align them both to the top of the houses, we control the luminosity of the sky in the most effective way without darkening too much of the houses themselves.

In a situation like this we could definitely use the Nisi Switch. I’d rather place my filters like I’ve indicated in red, instead of using one medium GND and have to lighten up the buildings in the center again in post production.

A second example is when you are photographing landscapes or in the mountains. The light from one side is too bright due to the foliage or the rising sun. On the other hand you have a small part of the sky visible above the waterfall which you also need to darken. Now by turning 2 gradient filters you can control both.

I can even make up more examples of where this could really work well, but if you have encountered these kind of situations you will know.The best thing is that is isn’t breaking the bank for € 99,-

An other thing worth mentioning is that personally I think the ideal usage is with a 3 stop medium gradient filter combined with a soft gradient filter. This will eliminate the possibility of a darker triangle in the top of your frame.

One of the situations where you could use 2 gradient filters with different angles.

Drawbacks

Like with any specialised equipment there are always drawbacks. My main concern is that you have only 2 slots available. Yes you can use 2 gradient filters, which is great, but you can then either use a CPL in your 82mm adapter or a circular ND filter.
I’d rather see a 3 slotted version in which I’m still able to use both a CPL and at least one square ND filter.

Conclusion

The new Nisi Switch is made for a few difficult light conditions where it will enable you to control the light in the most efficient way. It is durable, light weight and it turns very smooth. The good thing is that you can use is with either your V5/pro or V6 main adapters.

If you encounter light situations where the Switch might help you it’s a great piece of equipment to have in your bag. And for € 99 it won’t break the bank.

Is this something for everyone? No certainly not. But I’m sure a lot of people will definitely benefit from being able to turn 2 gradient filters separately from each other and help them creating the best images possible.

Hoge Venen sunset
Martijn.Kort

Martijn.Kort

Fine art photographer focusing on architecture and cityscapes as well as capturing unique moments from the cockpit. Writing about photography techniques and sharing reviews. Ambassador for both ZEISS Netherlands and Nisi Filters.If you like my work, consider following me on Instagram!

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