It’s been ages since I saw perfect blue night sky in a City. Light pollution has its effect everywhere. With so much of orange glow from the sodium vapour street lights, its been very difficult to photograph Cityscapes in the night. Not too long ago when I heard about the new filter NiSi launched to counter such glow emerging from city lights, I was little curious and excited to have a look at it. So, I got one for myself and went out to capture Perfect Blue Night Sky with NiSi Natural Night filter.
My first impression after opening the packet was not so great. I thought it is just a blue piece of glass which will counter balance the orange glow. Which can also be corrected in post processing.
However NiSi had some other technical reasoning for creating this filter. Between mercury vapour, sodium and Low CRI streetlights, there are many undesirable wavelengths of light that pollute the night sky. The glow from these can keep your camera from seeing the sky properly and effect your night images. Because of this, NiSi has created the Natural Night Filter to block the most common wavelengths of light pollution. Like the rest of the NiSi line, this filter is made of high quality, precision annealed, optical glass. Its surface is finely ground and polished to ensure sharpness for today’s ultra-high megapixel cameras. The reasoning sounded quite impressive, however I wanted to test it and feel the real outcome. So my hunt for Perfect Blue Night Sky with NiSi Natural Night filter started.
Some people suggested to adjust the white balance lower than 3200 Kelvin. However that will push the blue channel quite heavily. It is like adding blueness to take out orange. Hence white balance under the sodium lights does not work so very well.
Lets look at some images with and without NiSi Natural Night filter.
All I could notice straight in the camera is that NiSi Natural Night filter has a significant impact in all the images taken with it. The filter cut downs unwanted colour tones created by the city light pollution. Some may argue that this can also be achieved with post processing (which I am not very sure though), images with NiSi Natural Night filter gives you a very good starting point to work on your images.
Lets see one more example.
Its been a while since I am using this filter. Apart from the fact that it reduces the light little more then half stop, there is no other issue to complain about. Like any other filters manufactured by NiSi, this contains very high-quality glass. Therefore, any degradation on the quality of images could not be noticed.