Any experiences with the Nisi 77mm close-up filter?

Have questions about the equipment used for macro- or micro- photography? Post those questions in this forum.

Moderators: Pau, rjlittlefield, ChrisR, Chris S.

Beatsy
Posts: 1651
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:10 am
Location: Malvern, UK

Any experiences with the Nisi 77mm close-up filter?

Post by Beatsy »

I've been waiting years for a "Minolta AF 200mm f4.0 Tele Macro APO G Lens" to turn up at a reasonable price, and nothing happened yet. I've had some success doing low-mag field macro with long lenses and cropping, but I'd like a true macro option with more working distance really. Hence the wait. But I've been waiting too long now...

I came across the Nisi close up lens (again) the other day. Same principle as Raynox DCR250 but a much larger lens/aperture. It gives 1:1 reproduction ratio when put on a 200mm lens. I have a 70-200mm, f/2.8 GM that has been languishing somewhat for a year (since I gave up shooting weddings and events), so given I wouldn't use a 200mm macro exclusively, or even use it much compared to my other handheld options, I'm thinking a Nisi filter on the front of that might be a better option after all. Saves big money (over a grand) and gives me something now-ish...

I accept there will be some image degradation (from what the 70-200GM delivers now), but the few reviews I found all claim there's none. I don't believe that, but it makes it sound promising all the same. I can easily accept some loss of sharpness/resolution with the high-res cameras (42mp and 61mp) as nearly everything I shoot will be downsampled quite a lot for display anyway. If it *is* an issue for big prints, then I'd just use a different lens and different approach.

In summary, I'm tempted to give up the Minolta idea and order a Nisi filter later this week. In fact, I almost certainly will. But in the meantime, what have I forgotten about close-up lenses in general, or this one in particular, that stopped me from buying one long before now? For instance, what happens to DoF on this setup (on a 200/2.8 tele lens) compared to a theoretical 200mm f/2.8 macro at 1:1? Thanks in advance for any and all info...

Ichthyophthirius
Posts: 1100
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:24 am

Re: Any experiences with the Nisi 77mm close-up filter?

Post by Ichthyophthirius »

I don't want to divert the discussion but is there no love for the Sigma 180 mm Apo 1:3,5 as an affordable alternative to the Minolta?

rjlittlefield
Site Admin
Posts: 21134
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:34 am
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA
Contact:

Re: Any experiences with the Nisi 77mm close-up filter?

Post by rjlittlefield »

Beatsy wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:17 am
For instance, what happens to DoF on this setup (on a 200/2.8 tele lens) compared to a theoretical 200mm f/2.8 macro at 1:1?
When you add a close-up lens, you get more magnification but no change in Feff, the effective aperture as seen by the sensor.

This is because the effective aperture is determined by how the sensor sees the aperture (exit pupil), and optics placed in front of the physical aperture cannot change that.

Using standard theoretical formulas, a comparison might be that the ordinary macro would give DOF = 2*C*N*(m+1)/(m*m), where the close-up combo would give 2*C*N/(m*m).

That is, with the normal macro lens it might be that Feff = N*(m+1), while with the combo Feff = N.

The reason I say "might be" is that some cameras and lenses do not match those formulas very well. For example with modern Nikon systems, the setting that you make on the camera is for Feff, including whatever adjustments for magnification are needed. In that situation you would see no difference in DOF or exposure time or diffraction blur between the two sets of optics, because the aperture size would be automatically adjusted to make them equivalent.

--Rik

dickb
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:54 am

Re: Any experiences with the Nisi 77mm close-up filter?

Post by dickb »

I don't have any experience with this specific close up lens (not filter). One thing I really don't like about it is its marketing, they make dubious claims like "Close-Up Macro NiSi lens: unique on the market. Close-up lenses on the market hardly use optical glass, let alone precision glass which is exclusive to NiSi. Moreover, only the best (and very expensive) close-up lenses use apochromatic lenses." and they make it hard to find its strength, or diopter. That makes it impossible to directly compare it to all the other known close up lenses {/edit I found it, "between 3 and 4 diopter"} .

Anyway, apart from inflated claims it may well be a good close up lens. Any decent multi element close up lens will be fairly expensive in such a large diameter.

I came across a comparison video with this NISI and a Raynox DCR250:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bt1tnDtULBU


This may not be the most useful comparison as they are quite different in strength, Raynox 250 is 8 diopter, the NISI somewhere between 3 and 4. But there are a number of other 2 element or multi element close up lenses

There is a long list here:

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/ ... 29&t=11532

There is a Raynox DCR-5320 Pro consisting of a 2 and a 3 diopter lens combining to a 5 diopter one in 72mm filter size. Marumi also makes more affordable large diameter achromats.

Unlike what NiSi claims there is a choice of good quality dioptres.

My experience with these is that you normally can get away with smaller size close up lenses than the filter size of your lens. Within reason, a 49mm diameter Raynox 250 will likely vignette on a 77mm front lens, but a 62mm may not.

Anyway, close up filters may not be the perfect solution for what you want to achieve. With a close up filter you don't lose any light, but you do lose focal length. The working distance (distance between the front of your lens and your subject) when focussed to say 1:1 when using a diopter is shorter than when you use extension rings to achieve the same. With extension rings you lose some light, but no focal length.

So depending on your needs/wants a more versatile set of close up lenses like the Raynox DCR-5320 or extension tubes or a dedicated telephoto macro lens ( I like my Sigma 150/2.8 ) may suit you better.

Macro_Cosmos
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:23 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Any experiences with the Nisi 77mm close-up filter?

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

Well, I wasn't going to respond since my assessments can be very negative (and will seem unfair to many), but here's what I have to say.

Nisi is one of those companies that are very heavy in marketing. Back in a few years, they were some nobodies.
There was a leaked pricing sheet:
濾鏡.jpg
First column is the threading size, following by the filter's use, then the price suppliers buy it for, following by the minimum selling price and finally the pricing online.
A 160 yuan UV filter, selling for 1280 yuan online. That's a filter of $22 selling for 180+ USD. This is the pricing for suppliers, who knows how much it actually costs to make. $10?

The company started off marketing themselves as a Japanese brand back in 2012, with prices that rival B+W/Schneider optics. After their marketing made it big, they started sponsoring photographers in the western world to use their filters.

Quality might as well be alright, but I really won't trust their marketing claims at all.

They even recently tried to take a shot at the macrography business with this thing:
https://en.nisioptics.com/nisi-macro-focusing-rail

Which is a whitelabel of this:
https://www.leofoto.com/products.php?cateid=77

Leofoto does a lot of manufacturing for other brands, they are a vertically integrated company that do provide reskins.
Such as this:
https://store.genesisgear.eu/en/quick-r ... 16813.html
Why am I 100% sure? Because I have the Leofoto unit, with both the Leofoto logo and the "Genesis Base" logo on it. Apparently they messed up a batch.
Forget about using it from any serious focus stacking by the way, the wobble is visible even at 1x. It's well made and what-not, but the devil's in the details.

And this:
https://ubphotovideo.com/product-catego ... c98ba2045f
Made in Hungary, it is not. The tripod is made by Leofoto, the ballhead is made by them as well.

So yeah... I personally recommend the raynox that dickb listed. It sometimes show up on ebay for $150, which is definitely worth it. I personally like to stay away from brands that are extremely heavy with their marketing, let it be NiSi, NordVPN, or others.

Beatsy
Posts: 1651
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:10 am
Location: Malvern, UK

Re: Any experiences with the Nisi 77mm close-up filter?

Post by Beatsy »

Thanks for your comments, everyone. Some useful and interesting info. just a couple of points to followup, if that's OK...

I'm aware of the marketing-led mark-ups. Few moan louder than I do about it - and the cost of our kit in the UK in general. But - it ain't expensive if you can't get it cheaper somewhere else. So sometimes I hold my nose and buy, but always based on my judgement and user opinions - not marketeers waffle. The examples given are ludicrous, I agree. Blood-boilingly-ludicrous. But the Nisi close-up lens is similarly priced to a Raynox, so not quite the same league really.

I have used and probably still own most macro options. I've had some success with faux-macro using a tele lens and crop (Sony 400GM+1.4x TC) and want to try it out at true macro scales without cropping for magnification. I find it a good format for catching and shooting insect behaviour (or just observing it in the viewfinder) which is why I want to add the "format" to my toolkit. Partly for learning how to better pose insects "properly" in a studio setting too. I have DCR-250 and DCR-150. OK as tube lenses, but the setup ends up being too long for convenience as a permanent thing for me, so they are rarely used now. I wouldn't part with them, they have good uses experimentally, but I don't like them as close-up lenses/filters at all. Too small an aperture for the lenses I can (or would) use them on and it shows in the images. Doesn't do anything good for bokeh, that's for sure, and I live for bokeh in handheld macros! Which is a good job, 'cos that's 90% what you get whether you love it or not! :D

As threatened, I've ordered one. Should be here by early next week. I'm not going to do any controlled comparison with other lenses or anything. I want this for a handheld, almost-arty shooting style with live insects, so that's what I'll test for and report back.

Macro_Cosmos
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:23 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Any experiences with the Nisi 77mm close-up filter?

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

Good luck! Hopefully it's a good product despite their marketing "efforts".
How much did you pay for it? Nisi offers the Pro II close-up attachment, 77mm for $112 USD, on Chinese websites. The 82mm one is actually cheaper at $105.

Additionally, that reskin rail I showed is $86, Chinese websites of course. I heard the pre-order price was $119 or something, sounds about right with customs and stuff.

dickb
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:54 am

Re: Any experiences with the Nisi 77mm close-up filter?

Post by dickb »

Beatsy wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:34 am
Thanks for your comments, everyone. Some useful and interesting info. just a couple of points to followup, if that's OK...

I'm aware of the marketing-led mark-ups. Few moan louder than I do about it - and the cost of our kit in the UK in general. But - it ain't expensive if you can't get it cheaper somewhere else. So sometimes I hold my nose and buy, but always based on my judgement and user opinions - not marketeers waffle. The examples given are ludicrous, I agree. Blood-boilingly-ludicrous. But the Nisi close-up lens is similarly priced to a Raynox, so not quite the same league really.
Similar to a Raynox 150 or a Raynox 5320? I would expect to pay far less for a Raynox 150/250 or a bit more for a Raynox 5320. I thoroughly dislike companies giving dubious information but at least you are aware of their waffle.
Beatsy wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:34 am
I have used and probably still own most macro options. I've had some success with faux-macro using a tele lens and crop (Sony 400GM+1.4x TC) and want to try it out at true macro scales without cropping for magnification. I find it a good format for catching and shooting insect behaviour (or just observing it in the viewfinder) which is why I want to add the "format" to my toolkit. Partly for learning how to better pose insects "properly" in a studio setting too. I have DCR-250 and DCR-150. OK as tube lenses, but the setup ends up being too long for convenience as a permanent thing for me, so they are rarely used now. I wouldn't part with them, they have good uses experimentally, but I don't like them as close-up lenses/filters at all. Too small an aperture for the lenses I can (or would) use them on and it shows in the images. Doesn't do anything good for bokeh, that's for sure, and I live for bokeh in handheld macros! Which is a good job, 'cos that's 90% what you get whether you love it or not! :D


I like my bokeh as well, hope this combination works out for you. I'm thinking the working distance may be a limiting factor with this combination though for your stated goal, an extension tube may be more practical in that regard. Anyway, perhaps the Nisi can be used as a tube lens as well, so it may serve multiple purposes.
Beatsy wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:34 am
As threatened, I've ordered one. Should be here by early next week. I'm not going to do any controlled comparison with other lenses or anything. I want this for a handheld, almost-arty shooting style with live insects, so that's what I'll test for and report back.
Looking forward to see some real world results.

Lou Jost
Posts: 4644
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:03 am
Location: Ecuador
Contact:

Re: Any experiences with the Nisi 77mm close-up filter?

Post by Lou Jost »

I'm a little late on this one, but I did a test of several close-up lenses on a macro lens, and found that the Century Optics close-up filter was the best. This had been recommended as a tube lens by Robert.

Beatsy
Posts: 1651
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:10 am
Location: Malvern, UK

Re: Any experiences with the Nisi 77mm close-up filter?

Post by Beatsy »

Ichthyophthirius wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:47 am
I don't want to divert the discussion but is there no love for the Sigma 180 mm Apo 1:3,5 as an affordable alternative to the Minolta?
Sorry Icthy, I missed your post. No, I have no love for the Sigma. I had my heart set on the Minolta from many years ago. I was a bit of a sucker for high-end manual-focus primes then. Zeiss Otuses, the old Sonnar 135/2 things like that. Partly because I like the "ridiculously diminishing returns" image quality of such top glass - and partly resale value always holds should I find one becomes an ornament - like the hateful Canon 50/1.2 did (I bought new and got all my money back when I sold it 2nd hand a year later). Well, MF primes *used* to hold their value - and that's what changed. Over the years, and after switching to Sony, I found the newer Sony GM lenses were matching and even exceeding my best MF primes for sharpness, resolution, CA and quality to the corners. With autofocus and blindingly clever tracking etc on Sony bodies too! I guessed this would eventually impact resale prices of the top MF primes, and I was happily using AF versions as a preference now. So I decided there was no point accepting the lower hit-rate of manual focus any longer because I wasn't getting any IQ benefit to offset the "slow thoughtful" approach required. I sold all my manual lenses (except MP-E65), and filled a couple of opened gaps with AF prime. I did lose more than I expected, but prices have dropped a *lot* more since I sold mine - so my timing wasn't bad, for a change. I still use MF a lot, especially in macro, and fly-by-wire MF is (surprisingly) good enough to keep me happy with no regrets - even if the tactile feedback *is* still leagues away from a lovely mechanical focus mech on a Zeiss.

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic