What size NiSi neutral density filter system do I need?

Andrew Code

The products in our NiSi Filters range come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit a very wide selection of cameras and lenses. From compact cameras to smaller bodied mirrorless or micro four-thirds and crop sensors, to full-frame DSLR and medium format, we have most major manufacturers and popular lens choices covered. We offer a comprehensive range of circular filters in sizes from 39mm to 95mm, and square filters in 75mm, 100mm, 150mm and 180mm sizes. The system you require will be primarily dependent on your camera body and lens choices.

Most lenses on the market have a standard lens thread adaptor on the front of them. Other lenses have no thread, and will possibly have a bulbous or protruding glass front element and lens hood built-in. Wide-angle lenses up to 16mm wide with a standard thread will require a different sized filter system to ultra-wide angle lenses with a built-in lens hood and no thread. Generally the smaller the camera body and lens combination, the smaller the filter system that is required.

The possibility of vignetting at either the widest focal length or the longest focal length plays a major role in which filter size you require. The wider or longer the lens, the more likely it is that you will see vignetting if the filter system does not suit your lens. Vignetting is the darkening of the corners and edges of the image, and this is caused by the frame of the filter system being too small for the widest focal length of the lens. The filters and holder being used should be slightly larger than the lenses, especially when you need to stack filters together. Circular filters are well known for causing vignetting when stacked.

When we discuss focal lengths below we are referring to full-frame cameras (35mm sensors). If you are using a crop sensor camera multiply the focal lengths mentioned below by 1.6 for your lenses. If you are using a micro four-thirds camera multiple the focal length by 2. And for medium format cameras, multiply the focal lengths by 0.62.

Specific lenses may have specific adaptors to suit the shape of the body of the lens. Not all lenses are shaped the same, and many lenses require specific adaptors to suit them if they do not have standard screw threads. It is very important to get the correct adaptor to suit your lens otherwise it is very likely your expensive neutral density filters will not stay attached.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at each of the major systems of filters we offer to see what size NiSi Filter system you need for your current camera setup.

Circular Neutral Density Filters

Circular neutral density filters are designed to be used on lenses that have a standard screw thread on the front. Within the NiSi product range we offer circular UV filters, polarisers, neutral density filters, graduated neutral density filters, variable ND filters, multi-function filters and Natural Night Filters.

What size Filters do I need

Each of the types of circular filters listed above are available in filter thread sizes from 40.5mm through to 95mm. Compact cameras, APS-C and smaller bodies mirrorless cameras in the micro four-thirds format generally require thread sizes somewhere between 40.5mm to 67mm. Some APS-C DSLR cameras such as those produced by Canon and Nikon tend to use filter thread sizes from 55mm to 72mm on their lenses. Full frame and medium format cameras typically have lens thread sizes from 67mm up to 95mm. On most lenses, the thread size will be printed on the inside of the front edge of the lens, and can also be found on most lens caps.

When you are purchasing circular filters, it is a good idea to purchase filters in the largest size you require, and use step-down adaptor rings to match them to your other lenses unless you intend to purchase filters for every lens. You cannot adapt smaller circular filters to suit larger lens threads. You can only adapt larger filters to suit smaller lens threads.

75mm NiSi Filter System

The 75mm neutral density filter system is designed for smaller compact and mirrorless APS-C cameras with standard lens thread sizes from 39mm up to 67mm. Examples of these cameras are the Canon EOS M50, Sony A6500 and Fuji XT2. The 75mm filter system is extremely compact and lightweight and is perfect for those traveling and using compact and some APS-C cameras.

The full range of neutral density filters in densities like 3 stop, 6 stop, 10 stop, 15 stop, and also soft graduated, medium graduated and hard graduated filters are available in the NiSi 75mm square filter system.

To learn more about the current generation 75mm M75 filter holder system visit this page – https://nisiopticsusa.com/nisi-75mm-filter-holder-m75/

m75 Square NiSi Filter System

100mm NiSi Filter System

The 100mm square neutral density filter systems such as the V6 and previously the V5 and V5 Pro are designed for larger-bodied crop sensor and mirrorless, full-frame and medium format cameras with lens threads from 49mm to 82mm, and focal widths typically up as wide as 16mm through to 200mm (and even up to 300mm). Generally, most common focal length ranges such as 16-35mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses in full frame variations will be suited to the 100mm filter system.

There are adaptors to suit specialty lenses like the Loawa 12mm f/2.8L Zero-D that go as wide as 12mm. You can also purchase screw-on adaptors as small as 49mm if you do wish to adapt the 100mm system to smaller lenses on compact and mirrorless APS-C cameras.

NiSi V6 100mm Square Filter System

No vignetting will be produced on lenses such as the Canon 16-35mm f2.8L III or the Nikon 16-35mm f/2.8, and will be very limited on long telephoto focal lengths such as 70-200mm found throughout most manufacturers lens ranges when using the 100mm filter system.

The 100mm square filter system is our most popular and suits the majority of popular cameras and lens combinations on the market. If your lens has a standard screw thread, and a focal length between 16mm and 300mm this is most likely the system for you. A full range of neutral density filters graduated neutral density filters and Natural Night Filter are available in the 100mm NiSi filter system.

To learn more about the latest generation 100mm V6 filter holder system check out this page – https://nisiopticsusa.com/nisi-100mm-filter-holder-v6/

150mm NiSi Filter System

The 150mm square NiSi Filter systems are designed for ultra-wide lenses up to 12mm wide, and for lenses that have no thread, have a bulbous or protruding front glass element and for those with built in lens hoods. Some examples of these lenses are the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8, Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 and many others. Rather than having adaptors that screw onto the front of a lens, our 150mm holders have sleeves that slide onto the lens, and a collar system to tighten the sleeve to keep it attached.

NiSi S5 150mm Square Filter System

It is possible to adapt the 150mm S5 system to suit lenses that have a screw thread on them such as the above-mentioned Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L, Nikon 16-35mm f/2.8 and many more. So if your lens collection includes lenses like those mentioned in the paragraph above, and you are also using lenses with standard screw threads as well, you may be better off investing in a 150mm filter system and using adaptors to suit standard lenses rather than a 100mm filter system.

We offer full range of neutral density, graduated neutral density, circular polarizers and Natural Night Filters in the 150mm NiSi system, and adaptors to suit many different lenses.

To learn more about the current generation 150m S5 Filter holder system check out this page – https://nisiopticsusa.com/nisi-s5-kit-150mm-filter-holder-with-cpl/

180mm NiSi Filter System

The 180mm square NiSi Filters holders available in our product range are currently designed to suit a select few ultra-wide angle lenses that do not have a standard filter thread. These are the Canon 11-24mm f/4L, Irix 11mm f/4 and Zeiss Zistagon T* 15mm f/2.8. Unless you are using one of these lenses or a similar lens with a third-party adaptor to suit 180mm filters, you will not likely require a 180mm filter system.

We offer a full range of neutral density filters up to 10 stops of density, soft graduated, medium graduated, hard graduated, reverse graduated and Natural Night Filter within the 180mm range of NiSi filters.

To learn more about our current generation 180mm filter holder system please visit this page – https://nisiopticsusa.com/nisi-180mm-filter-holders/

4 thoughts on “What size NiSi neutral density filter system do I need?”

  1. After doing tons of research I believe I’m ready to make a purchase with your company, but I need some help. Here’s what I know. I have a Nikon D500. The screw thread on my lenses ranges from 52mm -95mm. What would you recommend? Thanks, Jason.

    • Hi Jason. Our 100mm system will support all those filter threads and be the best fit. We have adaptors from 49mm to 95mm. With any adaptors above 82mm (86 and 95mm) this does replace the main adaptor that holds the CPL. So note you will not be able to use the CPL with the 95mm adaptor.


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