Testing the NiSi Master kit
on the Ricoh GR III
On an overcast day in May 2020, I teamed up with fellow photographer and Ricoh GR ambassador Niels Kemp for a very interesting night along the coastline of Scheveningen. Niels made a great video from our session on the beach and this article contains some additional thoughts after I had the chance to look at the RAW files we produced.
I’m choosing the English language for this blog post as our movie was done in English as well. Of course you will be able to find the link to our movie at the end of this post.
The Nisi Master Kit
As some of you might know, I’m using the NiSi filters on my own camera’s as well. The 100mm system on my full-frame camera’s and the 150mm system on my more exotic lenses as the Pentax 15-30mm.
The colour accuracy of the NiSi filters and their ability to retain sharpness are unsurpassed. On top of that their build quality and their continuous drive to improve is exemplary. Needless to say, I set the bar high for this test with their new addition to the filter line-up.
The contents of this Master kit all fit into a nice pouch that should fit inside any coat pocket.
Contents of the full kit:
- Dedicated for Ricoh GR III
- Ability to holds up to 2 square filters
- 360 degree rotating
- Aluminium-alloy construction filter holder and optical glass filters; Easy to install and remove
1 x Filter holder that allows you to retract the lens when powered off!
1x Lens adapter
1 x Medium GND8 (0.9) 3 Stops Graduated Density Filter
1 x HD Polariser
1 x IR ND8 (0.9) 3 Stops Neutral Density Filter
1 x IR ND64 (1.8) 6 Stops Neutral Density Filter
1 x Medium (0.9) 3 stops Graduated Neutral Density Filter
1 x Soft (0.9) 3 stops Graduated Neutral Density Filter
1 x Pouch
The Ricoh GR III
The Ricoh GR III is the latest in a long line of cameras that started in the analog area with the Ricoh GR 1 in 1996. It’s small size combined with an exquisite build quality and amazing optics made the camera an instant hit with photographers worldwide.
In 2005, the first digital GR was launched boasting a small 0.5″ sensor. This introduction hooked a completely new generation of digital shooters to it’s concept. The first APS-C model was introduced in 2013, this model was further improved with the release of the GR II in 2015. The current flagship is the ultimate evolution of the GR line backed by 19 years of experience creating the finest point and shoot cameras on the market.
The Ricoh GR3 boasts a ton of cool features including:
- Brand new 24MP APS-C sensor.
- Newly designed 18.3mm (28mm equivalent) F2.8 lens.
- Hybrid AF with both phase and contrast detection.
- 3 Axis IBIS for 4 stops of shake reduction.
- Ultrasonic sensor cleaning.
- Highlight-weighted AE.
- 3″ touch sensitive LCD for framing and viewing images.
It’s a camera used widely for street sessions and quick point and shoot styled gigs. But seldom it’s paired with tedious landscape work, let alone in combination with filters! Niels and yours truly put this to the test for you….
Being used to the larger equivalents like the full frame Pentax K-1 and the medium format Pentax 645Z, the Ricoh GR III feels really tiny and compact. It’s well build though and it feels very sturdy in my hands. It’s menu structure is well thought out and within minutes I’m able to start working with it.
Mouting the NiSi Master Kit is equally easy once you place the adapterring in the right position. It has a small dot that tells you how to alingn it to the camera.
The master holder differs from the professional holder as it uses this adapter to attach to the body itself. The professional holder slides over the lens, creating the risk that it falls of from the lens when it retracts into the body. If you can choose……go for the NiSi master kit!
Using the combination
During the start of our session we started with overcast conditions where you have the risk that your images come out a bit dull. Adding a 6 stops neutral density filter made sure we added some dynamics and thus more visual impact in the photos.
Adding and removing the filters was very easy and because I had the filters in the pocket of my jacket I noticed that I was swapping more than I normally do. It really is no hassle with this compact kit.
The RAW files
When I opened the raw files from the Ricoh GR III, I instantly noticed that they were awesome! My initial reservation for this tiny camera instantly vanished. Great dynamic range and excellent sharpness.
That sharpness was kept intact because of the optical quality of the NiSi filters. If you place inferior glass (or even worse resin “glass”) in front of a good lens and sensor, you are heading for disaster. The optical glass that NiSi uses makes sure no sharpness is lost.
The colour accuracy was also spot on (why am I not surprised). True to live colours and no noticeable colour cast. Without being biased, it’s a dream combination for the landscape photographer who wishes to travel light!
The Ricoh GR III is often used as a street photography tool. Are the filters usefull there? More than usefull I would say. Think about the possibility to reduces reflections in windows, on cars, etc. Or the ability to control the clouds above a city scape. A fountain that gets some extra dynamics because of the slow shutter speed…..
I’m sure Niels will provide you with some more ideas!
The video as featured on the Youtube channel of Niels Kemp Creative, let us know what you think!