The Nisi S6 system is designed for landscape photographers who would like to have a filter system for ultra-wide-angle lenses. Specifically for those without a regular filter thread. The system comes with a rotating CPL (circular polarizer), and it allows the use of two more filters. The S6 is a new iteration of a (similarly named) S5, and it features a few improvements.
Let’s first have a look at the improvements and then discuss the handling and use of the S6 system. We will also have a look at a few sample images.
The front holder now has an octagonal design which makes it easier to insert and remove filters. The S5 had a more curvey design.
To avoid ghosting, the S6 system uses a flocking material in the main adaptor. Between the bulging lens and the filter width, large amounts of light enter the optical path. The bulb head can produce ghosting, hence the flocking material.
The ring which locks the filter holder to the lens now comes in oxidized silver.
The front filter holder has a locking system to keep it from rotating. Nisi re-designed the system to incorporate an integrated wheel.
The S6 kit also includes a waterproof filter pouch and a lens cap.
All the technical details aside, how is the system to use out in the field?
A 150mm filter system is much larger and heavier than a regular 100mm system. It looks like you are “only” adding 5 centimeters on each side, but the resulting filter is 2.25 times heavier. This isn’t a system you would like to carry on long and strenuous treks.
The filter holder is easy to mount onto the lens. A small locking screw keeps it from falling.
I had no problems inserting filters into the filter holder. They ran smoothly and easily into place. It was even possible to insert a 6 or 10 stop filter closest to the lens after I had inserted a filter in the outer slot. The 6 and 10 stop filters have to be closest to the lens in order to avoid light leaks.
Let us have a look at a few example images. I only adjusted shadows, highlights and exposure in lightroom, so the images are more or less straight out of the camera.
No filters on the left, S6 + CPL + Nisi Medium on the right
No filters on the left, S6 + CPL + Nisi Medium + Nisi 10 stop on the right (120 seconds exposure)
I had set the CPL so that it enhanced contrast in the sky and enhanced the reflections. Notice how the CPL enhances the colors. It was fun to again shoot a few long exposures while testing the S6 system. When I started out with photography I completely fell in love with long exposures and barely did anything else. I had no issues with light leaks when running long exposures on the S6 system. I am fascinated by the fact that it is possible to rotate the CPL after the filters have been inserted into their respective slots. It’s a similar mechanism to the S5 – I loved it then and I love it now.
At last, let us have a look at three river images. I had no idea that a river with a rain forest quality existed only a half-hour drive away until I visited it this July.
No filters on the left, S6 + CPL on the right
No filters on the left, S6 + cpl + Nisi 6 stop on the right
Nisi says they will design several versions of the S6 system so that it will be available for the most popular ultra wide-angle lenses with no standard filter thread.