Nisi Optics Makes Long Exposure Easy

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Long Exposure Photography Is Fun and Nisi Makes It Easy

How long exposure photography works

Long exposure photography creates beautiful water and clouds in our landscape images. Through the use of high quality filters, we can slow down the amount of light hitting our sensors, and take longer exposures without over exposing our images. Instead of taking a short 1/125 of a second image, we might be able to take a 30 second image or longer (depending on available light and your filters) thereby allowing water to flow and clouds to stretch out in the exposures. This creates soft water and silky clouds. When combined with sharp details the images can be stunning. You can see some of my long exposure images HERE.

How does Nisi make it easy? 

Nisi Optics USA has a robust system of filters and filter holders adaptable to a very large variety of cameras and lenses. I use the Tamron 15-30 which is extra wide and Nisi has a great 150 mm holder for it. Nisi also has a terrific app for your phone that makes calculating exposure time a breeze. Once you know your regular exposure time without a filter (if you don't know how, shoot in auto and see what time it gives you) then on the app. Dial in the regular exposure time, scroll down to add the filter you are using (2 stops, 10 stops, etc). Then the time will automatically be calculated for you.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that if the exposure is over 30 seconds, a timer pops up and you can use the timer on your phone to help you know when to start and stop your exposures. 

I am impressed with the "little things" Nisi thought of in their system!

1) High quality glass - the glass is thick, well made, and does not have a color cast. Some filter systems add unwanted brown casts to your images, not Nisi.

2) The filter holder does not require removing the lens for installation. My go to wide angle is the Tamron SP 15-30 and now I use Nisi's 150 mm filter holder. Before Nisi, the only filter system available for the 15-30 required removal of the lens from the camera to put a holder on the back of the lens, slide it to the front, and then re-attach the lens to the camera. What a hassle that was! I shoot in the elements and I don't want sand, dust or salt water going into my camera. I was always afraid of dropping the lens or finding a good place to put it down while getting filters. No more. Their filter slides on the front, and can hold up to three pieces of glass, in case you want to add a graduated filter at sunset and a 10 stop and 3 stop ND for a very long exposure at sunset over water (my favorite).

3) Nisi has a filter holder that attaches to your tripod. This is a little thing but it is BRILLIANT. If you have ever tried to hold and balance lenses, a camera and multiple filters at once, you will appreciate having a filter holder that attaches with velcro to your tripod. When switching filters you can carefully put them in the holder, protecting them from the elements or an inadvertent drop.

4) The Nisi App - As mentioned above, this app is really great. See the screen shot on the left. Go to your app store and download it it. It's dead simple to use but very helpful. If I have the time to experiment with exposure times, I don't mind. Sometimes, I might be in a hurry, or need to get multiple angles before the sun goes down or weather changes. In that scenario, having an app to get you in the ball park the first time is REALLY helpful.

Full disclosure, I became a Nisi reseller after trying their products and loving them. Don't take my word for it, try their gear and make your own decision. If you don't like it for some reason, I want to hear about it. Let me know. I'm betting you'll love it like I do. You can see the full line of Nisi products at


My next Long Exposure workshop is Sat. February 29th at Silvio's Photoworks in Torrance. Part I is in the class room from 2:00-3:30, part II is at the Hermosa Pier from 5:30-630. Please join me. You can bring and use any filters you prefer. A rep from Nisi will be on present so you can try out their system. Sign up on Eventbrite or in person at Silvio's Photoworks in Torrance, CA. 

You can see my long exposure images HERE.

You can read more about my workshops and learn what people say about them HERE.

Text "photosbykag" to 22828 to join my mailing list. You can send an email to me:

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