One for the photographers this time around. The only filters I use are neutral density, both full and graduated to control and balance the amount of light reaching the lens, and occasionally a circular polariser where appropriate. The choice of filters has long been dominated by a small number of companies offering very similar products of similar quality (both optical and build) and at a not insignificant price. Refreshing then to find a new brand coming to the UK market offering not only more choice but also something a little bit different from the established competition.
I have taken delivery of a selection of products from Chinese manufacturer, NiSi. Anybody stuck in the 70s and still thinking that only products from the UK or the United States can possibly be of any merit had better think again. This is high end optical equipment with a really innovative design approach.
I'll be testing the NiSi V5 filter holder and circular polariser, ND1000, ND8 graduated, and ND8 reverse graduated filters.
I have used resin based filters for years and have discovered all too easily how vulnerable they are to scratching. They are also prone to attract dust due to static build up. The NiSi filters however, are made from high quality optical lens glass. What is described as a 'nano coating' is applied to both surfaces providing resistance to water and oil. Living and working in a coastal location, I'm particularly interested in this feature.
I've long been perplexed as to how some manufacturers supply their expensive filters in what is essentially a tin or plastic box. Once again, with the NiSi products an attention to detail shines through and each filter is supplied in a soft lined leather storage pouch with a magnetic closure. An information card on the outside clearly identifies the contents.
One of the claims from NiSi is that their filters have a neutral colour cast. I'm looking forward to putting that to the test as I apply them 'in the field'. I'll be reporting back with my impressions of the equipment in use and providing more information on the actual filters in coming weeks.
We had a few days of extremely cold weather in the 'Far North' a week or so ago directly from the Arctic. Snow, hail and high winds but beautiful sunshine in between. The light has been too good to miss so out I went with camera and thermos, the two essentials of any photography trip.
I have a need at the moment to shoot moving water, and there's plenty of that around at the moment. I'm also frequently drawn to the Achfary area. The River Laxford flowing well followed by lochs, birch, and not so distant snow capped mountains, Stack and Arkle as always in their splendour.
I first drove to Kinloch Brae where a group of stags looked on as I negotiated the boggy ground. The stream I had in mind just didn't work out, too fast flowing with lots of white water and without the vantage point I was hoping for. A sudden hail storm confirmed that it was time to move on.
With time to spare on the return journey, I stopped off to see what I might make of the many fishing boats moored up along the route.
Moving on to Loch Stack, I discovered an interesting viewpoint of the River Laxford ebbing and flowing with Ben Stack in the backdrop. I managed to capture this just before the heavens opened . . . again
As April comes to a close, I noticed on the drive home that the colours in the landscape were starting to change, the hillside of Beinne Spionnaidh showing the first signs of greening up. A whole new palette to work with.