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01-31-2018, 09:06 AM   #1
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NiSi V5 Pro compare Breakthrough compare...

I'm in the process of swapping over to a NiCi holder and 100mm GND's from my previous Cokin P series grads. (I use round ND's)
The NiCi is a bit fiddly but not so bad after a couple times using it and I very much like the polarizer mount and adjusting wheel as it simplifies things. Simple is good.

One concern is that when the holder is securely in place it still doesn't really FEEL like it's firmly in place even if I know it is. Hard to explain exactly, but with really thin fragile glass filters it's making me nervous...

So is anyone here using the Breakthrough holder which I only last evening read about for the first time? It looks much more solid and secure, and the pin is definitely larger so should be easier in use. Do most or all of the better 100mm holders work equally well and securely with all 100mm filters no matter the source? Light leakage isn't going to be a concern, I'll only be using GND's with it.

I had considered the Lee but read using a polarizer with it isn't as straightforward nor convenient as with the NiCi which is why I made the initial choice I did. Well that and the clarity of their filters. One perhaps not very important downside of the Nici Medium grad besides being fragile is finding the color accuracy unexpectedly off a (very teeny) bit which I hadn't seen mentioned in reviews. That's what put the Breakthrough grads on my radar last night after searching for user comments about it, and finding they had their own holder and filters. Did not know that. I'm already a user and fan of their round ND's. Big plus too is that while their 100mm grads are also Schott glass they're tempered and supposedly capable of surviving a drop which I'm absolutely certain I'm going to do as I have with a Cokin (on grass luckily), out in the middle of nowhere with no one along to help hold/stow them. Shocked I haven't dropped a lens yet while doing my balancing act, knock on wood. Anyway I did buy a gently used soft 2-stop GND X4 at a big discount last night so will be giving one a tryout.

Are any of the holders better for mix/matching Lee and/or Breakthrough filters, and easier than others for field use with a couple of different lenses? I'm not against picking up a carefully used set of Lee's instead of Breakthrough's. I just don't think I'll get any more of the NiCi's since after using them I'm not comfortable with that thin glass, but not against continuing to use the V5 Pro holder if they're all pretty much equal anyway and I do like the way the polarizer integrates.

I'll like to continue to use the NiCi 3 stop I already bought until I can't unless that's not advisable, ex. compatibility problems? Lee resins or Breakthrough filters more than likely from now on unless some of the more experienced folks chime in with votes for Haida or "other", but in any event would prefer to stick with one of them going forward. I think I'd be good with a general 3 filter set of soft GND's and maybe a 3 stop reverse and 3 stop hard so not planning for a lot of 'em. No interest in adding solid ND's to the mix as I've already committed there.

Any and all advice appreciated as I only want to invest one time if I'm going to change up. Separating the marketing and honesty in online reviews is tough when so much gear is being given away. I trust you folks here who use this stuff regularly a whole lot more. You're not trying to sell me anything.
Trying very hard to put GAS behind me.


Last edited by gatorguy; 01-31-2018 at 10:23 AM.
01-31-2018, 09:49 AM   #2
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I have the Breakthrough Photography 100mm holder on order. I'll let you know when it arrives.
01-31-2018, 12:04 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I have the Breakthrough Photography 100mm holder on order. I'll let you know when it arrives.
Thanks!

And to be clear I'm not asking for filter recommendations as much as inquiring about holders, usability, and compatibility with non-native filters. I'm comfortable with color-correcting Lee's if necessary, tho if the Breakthroughs generally don't need it and the price is comparable I'd not miss doing it. Just not as sold on the NiSi's as I thought I would be. Maybe I got a bad one and shouldn't judge all of their GND's on it. They can't change 'em being thin glass tho, and I didn't appreciate just how fragile they might be till I got one. Makes sense why Lee's are resin and apparently the go-to for landscape work.
01-31-2018, 12:19 PM   #4
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I have two of the Breakthrough 100x150mm GNDs. Unfortunately the holder is on back order at the moment. Per my contact there they have made a change to the original design of the holder that they think will improve it so I am held up until the new batch ships. They claim the holder will be the 'best in the industry'. We will see when it arrives.

The filters themselves feel good and come packed in a very nice case. But I cannot comment on them until I get the holder and have a chance to use them.

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