Within the NiSi product range there are two different types of glass being used for our 100mm square neutral density filters – the optical glass range of filters – and the B270 tempered glass range of Explorer Collection neutral density filters. Both types of neutral density filters allow you to produce extremely high quality images thanks to the manufacturing process ensuring the highest possible levels of light transmittance and colour reproduction available for each of these glass types.
But when it comes to durability, the NiSi Explorer Collection filters are stronger thanks to the special glass hardening process that makes them double the strength of typical glass filter. For photographers shooting in more adventurous situations and harsher landscapes, the Explorer Collection filters may be the better choice when compared to our optical glass filters as they offer increased durability, shatter and drop resistance that may provide a better investment over time.
The Explorer Collection neutral density filter are compatible and interchangeable with any 100mm NiSi Neutral density filter holders such as the V5 Pro or the newer V6 filter holder. They are the same thickness and physical size, and can be used in combination with the 100mm optical glass range of neutral density filters.
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of using the NiSi Explorer collection of neutral density filters rather than the optical glass range of neutral density filters within our NiSi ND filter product range.
Increased durability with the NiSi Explorer Collection filters
Neutral density filters are reasonably large pieces of expensive precision glass that are prone to breakages and damage through mishandling, dropping and even from everyday wear and tear through prolonged use. Our NiSi Explorer Collection filters are made from B270 tempered hardened glass which is rated to be twice as strong as typical optical glass neutral density filters making them perfect for the most adventurous and active photographers.
Tempered glass of varying types and grades are well known for their increased strength and durability, and are quite often used in situations where safety is of primary concern, such as in car windshields and side or rear windows, microwave ovens, skylights and more. The increase in durability means less chance of the B270 tempered glass used in the Explorer Collection filters shattering when dropped either on their corners, or flat on the face of the filter. This does not mean they are unbreakable through. Due to the use of tempered glass, in situations where the Explorer Collection filters do break they are far less likely to shatter into smaller sharp shards of glass, and will be more likely to break into less potentially harmful pieces.
Just like our optical glass filters, the NiSI Explorer Collection neutral density filters are coated with our proprietary NiSi IR-Nano coating which allows filters to be cleaned and maintained easier. Water and other liquid will tend to “bead” rather than spreading and smearing across the filters. Our coating also adds a protective layer to help add an additional layer of scratch resistance to maximise the life of your filters.
Thanks to the increased strength of the B270 tempered glass used in combination with the NiSi Nano Coating, the Explorer Collection series of neutral density filters have increased durability when compared to the optical glass range of NiSi neutral density filters.
No visible loss of image quality using the NiSi Explorer Collection filters
Neutral density filters need to be made of the highest quality glass, using the highest quality manufacturing standards to ensure the most accurate and highest level of light transmittance is possible. To produce the sharpest possible images with highest levels of colour reproduction, neutral density filters need to let through as much available light as possible, not shift the lens focal plane, and not introduce any forms of aberration.
Both the NiSi Explorer Collection series of filters, and the optical glass filters in the NiSi product range have a uniform density across the entire filter, ensuring light transmission is consistent throughout the entire glass filter element. This ensures that no vignetting can occur, colour reproduction is at its best, and that corner to corner sharpness is maximised and not impacted on as light passes through the filter, the lens and onto the sensor.
When using the NiSi Explorer Collection filter range, there is no visible loss of image quality when compared to our optical glass range of filters. Our proprietary manufacturing methods ensure there will be no impact on visible image quality when using the tempered glass within the NiSi Explorer Collection series of filters. Unless you use a highly specific piece of scientific equipment to measure light transmittance you will not be able to differentiate images captured using the NiSi Explorer Collection filters against our optical glass range of neutral density filters.
This ensures you are able to produce images that are of the same quality as our optical glass filters when using the NiSi Explorer Collection range of neutral density filters.
NiSi Optical Glass Filter
NiSi Explorer Hardened Glass Filter
Cheaper purchase price when choosing the NiSi Explorer Collection filters
Optical glass is expensive to manufacture and process into neutral density filters. The B270 tempered glass used in the NiSi Explorer Collection of neutral density filters is slightly cheaper to manufacture, allowing us to price this series of filters lower than our optical glass range of ND filters. Not only do you get an increase in durability, drop resistance and no visible loss of image quality with choosing the Explorer Collection, the initial purchase price is cheaper potentially giving you a great long term investment and piece of mind in knowing that your filters have less chance of breaking through mishandling.