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.

Build

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.

Nisi 100mm Holder for Laowa 12mm
Nisi 100mm Holder for Laowa 12mm
Nisi 100mm Holder for Laowa 12mm

Use

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.

Sample shots

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.

Nisi 100mm Holder for Laowa 12mm
Base image, no filter or holder attached.
Nisi 100mm Holder for Laowa 12mm
The polarizer attached, but rotated so it’s not visible.
Nisi 100mm Holder for Laowa 12mm
Polarizer rotated for maximum effect.
Nisi 100mm Holder for Laowa 12mm
No polarizer, but the filter holder attached.
Nisi 100mm Holder for Laowa 12mm
With 10 stop ND filter.
Nisi 100mm Holder for Laowa 12mm
With polarizer, 10 stop filter and 3 stop grad filter.

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.

Prints & downloads available in the shop

Something I have planed to do for a while, is to offer you the ability to buy prints and licences of my photos right from my blog. And starting yesterday, this is available for a selection of my photos.

It will never be all of my photos, due to me not being able to offer them (either I don’t have a property release or they are already licensed to someone else). So like this, this will be a smaller, curated selection, of what I think you would like as much as I do :) But if you want a photo, that is not there, you can still contact me under miroslav.petrasko@hdrshooter.com

Visit the shop site here.

What’s available?

When you head over to my Shop page over at my Smugmug Portfolio, chose a photo and click buy, you will see what’s available. There are three categories:

  • Paper prints – here you can find standard prints, e.g. you would like a poster of one of my photos and similar
  • Wall art – here you will find the more fancy prints, like canvas prints, metal, wood and similar
  • Download – here you can buy a personal or commercial licence of a photo

Bay Photo

All prints are done by Bay Photo in the US. I chosen this one, as I wan you to have the best quality possible, and also most of the visitors to my pages are from the US. I currently do not offer prints from photo labs in other regions, but if you would like a print, and buying it from the US is not convenient for you, you can just buy a personal use license (where you get a full resolution image) and print it anywhere you want.

Licences

The two licences available, the personal and commercial are meant for different purposes.

The personal is just for your personal use. For instance, you are creating a photo book and want a nice cover, you want a nice photo fro your personal blog and you don’t want to have watermarks on it, you want to print out something that I don’t offer and similar. The photo comes as full resolution, 100% quality JPG image every time (other versions available on request).

The commercial license is for companies that want to use a photo on their website, promotional material, magazines, books and similar. There are multiple versions available (1Mpix, 4Mpix and full resolution), with different prices based on the size.

You can see the full licence agreement when you choose a download.

And here are few mock-ups, how it could look in your home :)

Prints & downloads available in the shop
Prints & downloads available in the shop
Prints & downloads available in the shop
Prints & downloads available in the shop

Traunsee reflection – plotagraph

No new photo today, but a new plotagraph. This one is from the Traunsee in Austria, from a photo I shared about a week ago. If you want to see all the plotagraphs on the blog, just head over to the Plotagraph category. As always, you can find a drop-down menu with all the categories at the bottom of every page.

You can check out my Plotagraph Pro review here, and a guide how to create them here.

(if you use an older web browser, you may only see a static image, if you are on a mobile, please hit the play button to see the Plotagraph in motion)

How to remove lens flares

How to remove lens flaresI mentioned lens flares in my yesterdays first impressions of the Laowa 12mm lens post, and that they are also quite easy to remove. So today I have for you a short video on how to do it. If you prefer a more elaborate written explanation, head over to my How to remove lens flares tutorial here.

How to remove lens flares in Photoshop

If you want to follow along with the video, you can download the two used images from here. Also please excuse the bit worse sound quality, don’t have my microphone right now, just a webcam.

LAOWA 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens – first impressions

I mentioned few days ago that I ordered a new lens, the LAOWA 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D from Venus Optics. And since the seller was very quick on delivery, I just got it today. And of course I immediately went out to try it out, and here I will share with you some of my fist impressions and fist photos I took. You can also get a full RAW file from one of the shot at the end of this post, so you can see the results of this lens for yourself.

Specifications

The LAOWA 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens is a ultra wide angle lens with very small barrel distortion. It’s a fully metal build lens, that is completely manual. Here are the specsifications of it to be exact:

Focal length: 12mm, Aperture: 2.8 to 22, Angle of view: 121.96 degrees, Aperture Blades: 7, Weight: 609g.

A great thing, if you use filters is, that with either the Laowa or the Nisi filter holders designed for this lens, you can use standard 100x100mm square filters here. This is just great, as most of the time, you are forced with these ultra wide angle lenses to go with 150x150mm filters. Those are just less practical, and of course much pricier. My Nisi holder for this lens is already on the way, so I will revisit that soon.

LAOWA 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens - first impressions
LAOWA 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens - first impressions

Build quality

The build quality looks great. The lens is completely from metal, even the lens hood. It’s feels very solid and well build. It’s also relatively small for full frame lens. Regrettably its not weather sealed. The only plastic part is the lens cap, which is not attached the best way, but it is OK. The focus wheel and the aperture wheel feel smooth and the clicks of the apertures are easily recognizable.

Usability

This is a fully manual lens, so you have to focus and set everything yourself. Focusing was a bit stranger, as I had to rotate the focus ring much more than on other lenses, and for most of the time all is in focus anyway. It’s just how the ultra wide angle lenses are. The camera will not detect the F stop, so you will not see it on your screen or in Lightroom. I will have to get used to this over time.

My Canon 5D mark IV was able to detect exposure, but in the few test, it usually was around 1 stop brighter than I would think the correct exposure is. Still, if one compensates, this is not a problem.

How wide is 12mm?

You may wonder how wide is 12mm. So did I. So here is a comparison, with the camera on the same spot, with the same settings. All photos have the exact same RAW edits done in Lightroom, with also the same white balance. The 16,24 and 35mm shots were done with Canon 16-35mm f2.8 lens.

LAOWA 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens - first impressions
LAOWA 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens - first impressions
LAOWA 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens - first impressions
LAOWA 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens - first impressions

Picture quality

First impression is that is really good. The photos look sharp (its a bit misty and humid today, so I’m not making any final verdict from today’s photos), with very little distortion. There is some vignetting visible and even when that is removed, the corners feel a bit bluer than they should be. I will have to look into this more, but either way, it’s not so hard to remove.

The lens catches flares quite easily, but that is no surprise with such a wide lens. Again, with few simple techniques (check my guide here) they are easy to remove. I did so in the attached sample images.

RAW file

If you want to have a look, here is a RAW file from the 12mm shot shown in focal length comparison. You can have a look at the vignetting, chromatic aberrations and sharpness. But again, take into account the foggy weather (and that I used this lens only for few hours, should be better over time :)).

You can download the RAW file from here. If you cant open the CR2 file from the 5D mark IV, you can try this DNG conversion, that you can download from here.

Sample images

Here are few images to show how much you can get with this lens. The weather was not the best today, so they are not so great, but don’t worry, there will be more from this lens in the future :)

You can also see, this is really not the best for far away scenery. The city is just so tiny in the shot. Being close to big object is the complete opposite, you just get so much into one photo.

LAOWA 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens - first impressions
LAOWA 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens - first impressions
LAOWA 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens - first impressions
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