Nisi 100mm Holder for Laowa 12mm
In my first impressions article about the Laowa 12mm f2.8 lens, I also mentioned that I ordered a filter holder for it. There are actually two different ones available. There is one directly from Laowa (in two variants), and then there is this one from Nisi. I could not find many comparisons, but from those that I found, it looked like the Nisi one was the better option.
Whats great about this holder (and also the Laowa one), is that you can use this ultra wide angle lens with 100x100mm filters, and with a relatively small polarizer (86mm). Normally, if you have a 14mm lens or a wider one, you have not only to use special holders, but you need bigger filters, 150x150mm or even 180x180mm. This becomes much more pricier and of course also much harder to work with. The bigger the filter, the more chances to get it dirty, to break it and similar.
The build quality looks very nice. The metal base with the plastic holders look very well made and solid. The CPL goes in easily and rotates smoothly. Filters go in a bit harder, but I presume that’s because it’s new, and will change a bit over time.
The holder fits on the lens hood mount of the lens. I fits fine, but I think its a bit looser than it should be. When I tried to rotate the filter, I rotated the whole assembly. But I managed to fix this easily with a bit of sticky tape over the thread. Now it holds much more securely.
The filter holder is in three parts. You get the adapter ring, the filter holder and a 86mm circular polarizer. Installation is very easy. Just screw in the polarizer into the adapter, than attach it to the lens, and put the filter holder over it. You then have two small wheels on the sides to rotate the polarizer. You then use it as any other filter holder.
I tried few shots with different setups, with and without the polarizer, with and without any filters or the holder. And here are few example shots, unedited, just to show the vignetting.
You can see, that the polarizer is visible a bit in the corners. But you can also see, that the effect the polarizer does is really not great. That a problem with polarizers on ultra wide angle lenses. But with a bit of moving around, I managed it to look a bit better, but not much. It more to be used in different situations, not on a blue sky.
With the filter holder and no polarizer, you can see almost nothing in the corners. But you have to rotate the holder exactly straight or you will see it a bit in the corners. On the shot with the filter attached, you can see parts of the corners covered. This is not from the holder, but from the gasket on the filter. I don’t have any Nisi filters, so I tried this with Fiber Hittech filters, and the gasket on those is a bit smaller than one would need here.
I will be using this more, and will post a full review in few weeks, after my Dubai trip. I think I will use this one there a lot :) Same for the Laowa 12mm lens.