Review of the NISI magnification filter. Beer and Photography, what's not to love.

May 05, 2024  •  1 Comment

Todays post will be about my experience with magnification filters for use with Macro Photography.

Over the years, I have tried a few options and had my share of struggles capturing decent macro compositions. I have used extension tubes, played around with reverse adapters, and have tried other magnification lenses. It lead to me buying a dedicated macro lens and my first go around was with a 100mm Tokina. It was not a bad lens, but I had some struggles when it came to focus. With any macro lens you always have a shallow depth of field, and to obtain depth you had to focus stack, which meant capturing several images and blending them in photoshop or another program made to align and stack the images with the focus points being the center of attention. The term fill the frame was a sticking point for me and the Tokina was not meeting expectations. I obtained a Sigma 150mm dedicated macro and noted right away, that this was the goal I was after. The problem however was obtaining nice focus and clarity throughout the image. I have seen photographers focus on a point and slowly move the camera closer or father away to obtain a stack. I am not able to do this. My hats off to those who can, because I am not steady enough to achieve such great results via a handheld method. That's not to say, I can't capture a one and done frame, and although these can be beautiful images, my personal style would be to simply achieve tack sharp compositions across the entire image. 

Thus enter a trip pod and focus rail. When I compose an image at home, like the image here. I simply used an off camera flash, had my camera on a tripod, and changed the focal point. The image itself was a 31 frame composition from stem to flower. 

Dewly KissedDewly KissedFine Art Macro Composition in full color

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What's amazing about this. I did not use a macro lens. I shot this using a 70 to 200mm F2.8 lens, at F-8 and incorporated the NISI 77mm magnification filter to obtain a 1:1 ratio. Honestly, in my opinion, this is a game changer in the world of Macro Photography. Having the ability to obtain Macro quality images with a standard zoom lens opens a whole world of new possibilities. Let me be clear. I do not want to discount the value of a great macro lens, but with the ability to achieve results like this from a zoom lens it offers a great deal of options when you are in the field. 

This really had me thinking. I wonder what results I would get if I used a dedicated Macro lens with the filter. 

You can see my adventure here. 

Some images from the day

Purple FlowerA macro image of a purple hyacinth SingularitySingularityA vibrant splash of color in an ocean of green SeedsSeedsThe cycle of life continues WeatheredWeatheredVibrant dandelion as it prepares to seed

In summary, The NISI is a game changer and I have no regrets getting it. Initial tests are indicating that this device works very well on a dedicated macro lens, although I had to do some manual focus to obtain focus during part of the stacking. I will continue to experiment, but based on my findings I noted a better field of view with the macro lens while using the NISI magnifier, bus as stated focusing had some struggles. 

If you are looking for something to improve yur macro photography, this is really the best of both worlds. I achieved amazing results with a 70 to 200 mm lens, and the final evaluation is still out on the dedicated macro. I am hopeful that the faults I find im my images are simply due to me doing something  new here. 

Thanks for the read, and reach out with any questions

MY BEST, 

Sarg


Comments

Carson(non-registered)
Dude, I came across your site and did some reading. You are exceptionally talented and I am so impressed with so many of your images.
Are you going to be doing more fine art images in the near future and would you be willing to travel to do some specialized work?
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