Earlier this year, I was given the newest NiSi 100mm holder. The long-awaited NiSi V6 to test out before its release. I was really excited about the new holder and have been putting it through its paces for the past few weeks. I’ve included my first impressions of the filter holder below while also comparing it with the older V5 Pro holder. For those that may have been living under a rock the past few years or perhaps haven’t heard about NiSi. They are a camera filter company who have become well known for their quality filters and innovative designs, quickly becoming one of the leaders in the photographic industry when it comes to filters.
Full disclosure, I am an ambassador for NiSi Filters and have worked with them since 2016. However, everything I say in this review is my honest thoughts and I will try to remain as unbiased as possible.
At the time of the product launch, you can purchase the NiSi V6 filter holder for $319 AUD, which is only $20 more than the V5 Pro holder. For first-timers looking to purchase their first filter kit, I think the NiSi V6 is a great choice as you can get the latest generation filter holder that’s much improved with extra features for just $20 extra.
What comes in the box?
- 100mm V6 Filter Holder – this is the part that holds your ND and grad filters. It has three filter slots and two small pins on the side. One for removing and attaching the holder to the system and the second to lock the holder in position.
- Enhanced Landscape CPL Filter – ultra slim polarising filter that screws into the main adaptor ring and sits behind your square filters.
- 82mm main adaptor ring – this is what the filter holder attaches onto. The adaptor ring can be screwed directly onto your lens if it’s an 82mm thread or you can use one of the step up rings (below) to attach your lens. Its also where the CPL filter screws onto with two small dials on the sides the adjust the amount of polarisation.
- Step up rings – for attachment to the main 82mm adaptor ring for your different sized lenses. Comes with three step up rings the 77mm, 72mm and 67mm adaptor rings. Other sized step-up rings are sold separately and support lenses with filter threads ranging from 49mm to 95mm.
- NiSi protection lens cap – protection for the circular polariser if you want to keep the 82mm adaptor ring and polariser on your lens.
- Soft case with tripod mount – to hold and protect your filter holder, adaptor rings and CPL whenever not in use.
V5 Pro vs V6
The main differences between the V5 Pro and the V6 are the changes in design making it easier to slide the filters into place and you are also now able to access the corners of filters to quickly change them out. There is also an added second pin on the side for locking the holder into position. Finally, they have gone another step further once again and have raised the CPL even further to make it much easier to line up the CPL with the thread on the main adaptor ring.
The material for the new holder remains the same as in the past. It’s made from black powder coated Aviation-grade billet aluminium. Honestly, I’m not the most technical person and I have no idea what that means but I do know that it is super durable, built to last while also being lightweight. I’ve used a few filter holders from different brands early on when I first started out in photography with the majority made up of plastic and let’s just say they didn’t last very long in my camera bag. I have dropped my older NiSi V5 and V5 Pro filter holders down cliffs and on rocks in the past and they still hardly have a scratch or dent on them. I don’t always treat my gear well so it’s good to know that I can rely on my gear performing whenever I need it.
Things I like
- Build quality and ease of use.
- The redesigned clip makes it much easier to insert filters. When sliding the filters in with the V5 Pro it would sometimes either get caught or not align properly down the correct slot but with the new V6 holder I haven’t had any issues with it whatsoever.
- Having the new soft case with a tripod mount makes shooting on location a whole lot easier as I found that I could put extra things such as cleaning cloths, spare batteries and even filters in it for ease of access so I wouldn’t have to reach for my bag as much. When you’re not shooting you can use the soft case to protect and hold the filter holder, adaptor rings and circular polariser. Previously, I always used to chuck the filter holder and CPL filter in my bag with minimal protection making the CPL much more prone to scratches. I never used the hard case that came with the V5 Pro as I found it was too bulky and took up too much room in my bag but the new soft case takes up way less room while also offering protection of all the things inside.
- The raised CPL design makes it effortless to screw and unscrew the filter into the adaptor ring without getting your fingerprints on the filter. With the V5 Pro, I still found it to be tricky at times to line up especially in situations where you need to do it quickly when the light is changing fast. However, with the V6 it completely solves that issue and you won’t be fiddling around with the filters nearly as much while missing out on that shot.
- No vignetting, even at 16mm.
- Comes with a NiSi protection lens cap.
Things I dislike
- At first, I wasn’t really a fan of the second screw lock as I didn’t really see a use for this and it mostly got in the way for me. Myself being one of the few left-handed people out there I actually find myself using the holder upside down a lot of the time (pins to the left) so when I go to try and remove the filter holder from the adaptor ring, the screw locking pin was the first one I would naturally reach for which I found a little bit annoying at times. I was coming from the V5 Pro holder where I was so used to the single pin design. Now, this isn’t a huge downside and most likely won’t be a problem for the majority. For the lefties out there like myself, it’s something to consider and might just take some time to get used to the new design of the holder.
To be honest, at first I wasn’t sure why NiSi decided to upgrade the filter holder with what seems to be minor changes in terms of specs but now after using it for the past month, I can see why. The improvements that have been made to the V6 make it much more user-friendly, something I do appreciate and it has made life a lot easier when shooting on location. If you’re looking for a new high-quality filter system or even upgrading from the V5 or V5 Pro then you can’t go wrong with the new V6 holder. Also, if you’ve got any questions about the new NiSi V6 holder, leave them in the comments below.
Special thanks to the team at NiSi Filters Australia for allowing me to get my hands on a V6 holder to test out before the launch. If you want a new NiSi V6 holder for yourself you can get one by clicking the link below.