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One of the main advan­tages of cam­eras over smart­phone cam­eras is the abil­i­ty to use polar­iz­ers and grad­u­at­ed ND fil­ters.

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The big fil­ter man­u­fac­tur­ers sim­ply did­n’t make them—until some time. Recent­ly, how­ev­er, NiSi has released a com­pact NiSi P1 fil­ter kit for smart­phones.

The kit includes a fil­ter hold­er, phone clip, cir­cu­lar polar­iz­er, medi­um qual­i­ty 3‑stop fil­ter and soft stor­age pouch. The fil­ters are 40 mm wide and 1.5 mm thick.

The fil­ter can be used on both the front and rear cam­eras. It attach­es to the phone with a spring-loaded clip that won’t scratch the phone thanks to the rub­ber pad. It can also be rotat­ed 360 degrees to switch from hor­i­zon­tal to ver­ti­cal ori­en­ta­tion and vice ver­sa.

Work restric­tions

The clip restricts the abil­i­ty to work with some phones. Take, for exam­ple, three dif­fer­ent smart­phones: Sony Xpe­ria 1 Mk III, Sony Xpe­ria Pro I and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

If your smart­phone’s cam­eras are locat­ed near the side or top edge, then the clip sys­tem can be placed so that the cen­ter hole is direct­ly above one of the lens­es. Giv­en this, the fil­ter is easy to use with the Sony Xpe­ria 1 Mk III and iPhone 13 Pro Max, but not with the Xpe­ria Pro I, which has cam­eras clos­er to the cen­ter.

Let’s hope NiSi releas­es suit­able fil­ters soon.

Graduated ND Filter

The NiSi kit includes a 3‑stage grad­u­at­ed medi­um class neu­tral den­si­ty fil­ter. It is dark­est at the top and grad­u­al­ly becomes lighter towards the mid­dle of the fil­ter. It is suit­able for scenes where the sky is much brighter than the fore­ground. This will min­i­mize the dif­fer­ence in expo­sure between the top and bot­tom of the land­scape and reduce the over­all dynam­ic range of the scene.

Smart­phone sen­sors are tiny com­pared to sen­sors on cam­eras and have a lim­it­ed abil­i­ty to cap­ture a wide range of expo­sure changes (dynam­ic range). Using a grad­u­at­ed ND fil­ter helps mit­i­gate this prob­lem.

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Neutral Density Filter

In addi­tion to the fil­ters includ­ed in the kit, you can pur­chase a 6‑stop ND fil­ter. It pro­vides a 6‑stop expo­sure reduc­tion, allow­ing you to take pho­tographs at slow­er shut­ter speeds than you would nor­mal­ly need. By increas­ing the expo­sure time, you can cap­ture move­ment in your images, such as the flow of water or the move­ment of clouds.

Like oth­er NiSi fil­ters, this one is made of high qual­i­ty nano-coat­ed opti­cal glass to pre­vent loss of detail.

Image quality

Even when using fil­ters, the col­ors of the images remain neu­tral and the details are sharp; there is no notice­able loss of con­trast or sat­u­ra­tion. Now you can cap­ture smooth water­falls and well-exposed sun­set shots with your smart­phone just like you would with a cam­era.

In a direct com­par­i­son of sharp­ness, col­or accu­ra­cy and con­trast, there is no dif­fer­ence between fil­tered and unfil­tered images.

Conclusion

The NiSi P1 fil­ter sys­tem for smart­phones is a great acces­so­ry for mobile pho­tog­ra­phers. The kit offers a good selec­tion of fil­ters to work with. It’s quite small and portable, which also means that the indi­vid­ual fil­ters are a bit cheap­er than their larg­er for­mat cam­era coun­ter­parts.

The build qual­i­ty of the sys­tem is reli­able, the opti­cal qual­i­ty of the glass fil­ters is also pleas­ing. If you have a smart­phone and want to improve your pho­tog­ra­phy skills, the NiSi P1 com­pact fil­ter kit for smart­phones is here to help.


Read also:

How to choose a light fil­ter: analy­sis of man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies

Light fil­ters for pho­tog­ra­phy. A rel­ic of the past or a pro­fes­sion­al acces­so­ry?

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