NiSi Natural Night Filter Tests
The first part of this gallery, photos 1-26, consist of image pairs that demonstrate the effectiveness of the NiSi Natural Night Filter (NNF). The first of each pair is the shot taken with the NNF filter, the second is the unfiltered version. To avoid ambiguity, any photo taken with the NiSi has NNF as a filename suffix after the number. Each set of image pairs was processed through Adobe Lightroom with indentical settings, the exception being photos 15 and 16, the ones with the WB suffix. Those photos are duplicates of the previous two shots (13 & 14), but with different processing, each having a custom white balance taken from the same spot on the side of one of the concrete buildings. So, unlike the other image pairs, the white-balance settings in Lightroom were different for those, in order to neutralize the colour cast of each shot independently. This serves to demonstrate that just a simple white-balance correction cannot achieve what the NiSi NNF filter provides out-of-camera.
With the aurora photo pair (23 & 24), you can see more easily see the subtle blues and purples with the NNF version. Also note the snow on the distant peaks has a slight orange cast on the unfiltered version, residual light pollution from the nearby city most likely. So, subtracting the slight bit of orange sky-glow coming from the city has improved the aurora shot a little as well, helping to bring out the faint subtleties in the colours. The next two shots after the aurora pair (25 & 26) are a tracked two minute time exposure comparison of the North America Nebula region in Cygnus, showing how much light pollution sky-glow can be reduced. I really cranked the contrast and vibrance in that shot, in order to show the faint red emission nebulae, so the orange sky-glow is greatly exaggerated on the non-filtered shot, which was processed with the same settings through Lightroom as the filterered one.
The remaining images in the gallery were all taken with the NiSi filter, no more comparisons. The last few fun crazy light-painted shots were taken by having my colleague Nicole run through the time exposures, painting light with a long, colour changing LED light-bar. Note that you can use the left/right curser keys on your keyboard to switch between images, allowing for smooth comparisons.
For the easiest image-pair comparisons, make sure your browser window is big enough to accommodate four images across. Also, once you click on an image to open the lightbox, you can jog back and forth between images with your left/right curser keys for even better comparisons.
– Mike Mander
Copyright © Mike Mander / Beau Photo Supplies Inc., 2017