Photography & Filming

Is This the Perfect Accessory for Your Fujifilm X100V?

If you’re looking to add a hint of cinematic flair to your Fujifilm X100V images, I have the perfect accessory for you. 

Earlier this year, I tested out the NiSi Black Mist 1/4 Filter for Fujifilm X100 Series. The filter is designed specifically for the X100 series, from the original X100 right up to the current X100V model.  

Not having used a black mist filter before, I was keen to see the effect it would have on my low-light images. I took a series of before and after shots with the filter on a trip to Sydney and then a few days later around my hometown of Brisbane. 

Was I impressed with the look that this low-cost accessory gave my photos? Very much so. 

The Black Mist Effect

If you’ve never used one before, you might be wondering what a black mist filter is and what effect they have on your photos. 

Black mist filters are made by many optical accessory manufacturers. The filters have a fine layer of black specs that are barely noticeable to the naked eye. These black specs diffuse light, soften highlights, and reduce contrast. The filter adds what could be described as an “ethereal glow” around light sources in images. 

Typically, black mist filters are round and are sold by filter thread size: the larger the filter, the more expensive it is. Just buy a filter for the size of the lens you want to use it with, and away you go. If you plan on using a black mist filter with lenses that have different filter thread sizes, you can buy one for the bigger filter thread size and use a step-down ring for the smaller lens. 

The filters are also sold in rectangular shapes and in the case of the NiSi offerings for Fujifilm and Ricoh, custom sizes for specific cameras such as the X100 and GR III series cameras.  

Black Mist Filter Strengths

Black Mist filters come in different strengths. Typically, this is noted on the box or filter as a fraction. 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2 strengths are common. The smaller the second number, the stronger effect it will have. So, a 1/2 filter will have a more noticeable effect than a 1/4 filter, which has more of an effect than the 1/8 filter. 

Introducing the Black Mist filter for X100 series cameras 

NiSi has manufactured an impressive range of photographic filters and accessories since 2005. Their filters are known for offering true-to-life color reproduction, and the company has an excellent reputation among landscape and cityscape photographers. 

NiSi make black mist filters for the Fujifilm X100 series and also the Ricoh GR III series. The Nisi Black Mist for the Fujifilm X100 series I used was 1/4 strength. 

The filter costs around $70 for the X100 series version. I bought mine in a Christmas sale, so it was a little cheaper, around the $60 mark. The filter comes in both black frame and silver frame versions. I chose the latter to match my silver X100V. 

Build Quality and Installation

As you’d expect from a company like NiSi, the build quality of the filter is excellent. The packaging looks and feels high quality, as does the filter. The filter is super easy to install. First, you take off the front ring of your X100 camera. Make sure you put it somewhere safe; sadly, I have misplaced mine somewhere.  

Next up, screw the NiSi filter on to the thread, and that’s it, you’re all set up. The filter fits the X100V perfectly and is easy to screw on and screw off. 

Before and After Photos

If you’re keen to see the effect of the black mist filter, check out the photos below. You can move the slider from left to right to see the effect the filter has. I will warn you that most of the photos are not aligned perfectly. I did have to unscrew the filter between shots, so they’re not quite the same view, but close.  

Luna Park, Sydney

I took the first shot at Sydney’s famous Luna Park. I had to take this photo from outside the park, as it is closed the night we went. I love the glow of the Ferris Wheel lights in the shot with the filter. Straight away, you can see the black mist effect!

Image Copyright © Matt Murray 

Sydney Harbour Bridge

The effect of the black mist filter is a little more subtle here. I suspect that’s because the lights on the bridge were a significant distance from where I was. 

Image Copyright © Matt Murray 

Car Park SIgn

This is my favorite image from Sydney using the filter. Our hotel had an underground car park, and as soon as I saw this sign, I knew I had to take a photo of it for this comparison. 

Image Copyright © Matt Murray 

Eat Street Markets, Brisbane

A few days after Sydney I was back in my hometown Brisbane. I took my X100V and the NiSi Black Mist filter to Eat Street Markets, a popular food and entertainment destination on the Brisbane River. The reason I took my kit here, other than the delicious food and free live bands, was the abundance of neon signs at this location. Below is the entrance to Eat Street. You can see the diffused, softer look that the filter gives this image. 

Image Copyright © Matt Murray 

My Beautiful Daughter

Next up is a shot of my beautiful daughter. As any parent knows, trying to get your teenager to pose for a photo is a tricky task! I managed to get a shot with and without the filter before she ran off looking for more food. I really love both of these photos. Perhaps more than any other, they show the distinct effect that a black mist filter can have in the right conditions.  

Image Copyright © Matt Murray 

Pineapple Neon Sign

Queensland is famous for its pineapples, so how could I resist taking a photo of this neon sign? There are lots of cool bars and drink places at Eat Street, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and I love this one with the pineapple. The effect here of the filter is a little more subtle than some of the other photos, but there is a glow around the pineapple in the shot taken with the filter. 

Image Copyright © Matt Murray 

To see a few more examples of the before and after companion, make sure you check out my video above.

Tip for Side-by-side Comparison Photos  

If you want to take a series of before and after photos like I did, I would advise that you do one thing first. Check the menu settings of your X100 series camera and make sure that twisting the control ring on the lens does not engage the digital teleconverter. 

If you don’t do this, every time you screw the filter off, the teleconverter will zoom in, and the next time you look through the viewfinder, you’ll get a bit of a shock and wonder what’s going on.  

Is This the Perfect Accessory for Your X100V? 

There’s a whole range of accessories for the Fujifilm X100V. Whether it’s the official Fujifilm weather-resistant kit, or third-party camera straps and soft shutter release buttons, there are a lot of ways you can trick out your camera. 

If you’re looking for a relatively low-cost accessory that gives you a lot of bang for your buck, you’d be hard pressed to find better value for money accessory than the NiSi Black Mist filter for Fujifilm X100 series. The filter is light, well built, and provides excellent image quality and clarity. If you fancy adding some cinematic flair to your X100V images, this is a must-have accessory for your kit bag. 

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