Nisi 15mm f/4
NiSi 15mm f/4 Sunstar Review
Let me introduce you to the NiSi 15mm F/4 mm Sunstar lens, a manual focus wide-angle lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras. It is the first NiSi optics product that I’m and very excited to put in my hand and give you my thoughts about. As a landscape photographer, this lens is ideally for likes me. Manual focus and encompasses a wide 112° angle ultra-wide focal length with Sunstar effect is exactly what I needed for my work. Also, I love to create a panorama so a 15mm focal length sounds even more exciting. Over the last few weeks, I have done several tests of that lens, and here are my thoughts.
The built quality is outstanding, the lens comes with a metal chassis and it’s small, compact (see the pic below) robust, and definitely will fit in any camera bag. Focus and aperture rings operate nicely and smoothly as expected. The lens focuses slightly behind infinity which is normal for modern design lenses because of mount tolerances. The weight is just 470g. The NiSi uses hard surface coating technology which should improve the toughness and waterproofing of glass elements. The lens has a 72mm front filter which allows you easily to use filters as the hood is fully removable (compare to other similar brands, where the hood is built-in, and the use of filters is limited). The lens is available in full-frame mounts for this particular model, Canon RF mount fit. The lens offers a whopping 112 degree of field of view for full-frame cameras, which equals a 14,5mm focal length. Simple a perfect focal length for a landscape photographer like me. The focus ring turns ~100° from the minimum focus distance (20 cm) to infinity and a clickless aperture ring with equidistant stops rotates ~90° from aperture f/4.0 – f/22.
The main future and selling point of that Lens is the ability to photograph Sunstar on even fully wide-open aperture f/4.The diaphragm has been designed with 10 straight blades to obtain the star effect on points of light at any aperture, as well as maximizing sharpness over the entire frame and aperture range (not only usually 11-16 f stop). The effect is excellent for me, the Sunstar is defining very well with 10-star blades, it looks so original almost like the signature of that lens. If you want to learn more about full lens specification – https://nisioptics.co.uk/product/nisi-15mm-f-4-asph-wideangle-lens
One of the most important questions for me was, how sharp is that lens compared to the other big price tag guys!. The lens is very sharp in the middle of the frame as expected and is fairly close to the other wide-angle lenses I used(Canon 16-35, Canon 14mm, etc). Nisi also promises that the lens delivers excellent corner-to-corner sharpness and gains excellent results here as well. The lens has been tested on CANON EOS R5 and Canon EOS RP, both cameras are supported with focus picking. The edges of subjects in focus can be displayed in colour to make focusing easier. You can set the outline colour and adjust the sensitivity level of edge detection. This set of images examples below seem to confirm that.
With the vignetting on a fully wide-open aperture, you get roughly 2 EV light falloff in the corners as you would be expected on the ultra-wide-angle lenses from other brands. Once you step down the aperture, there is a lot of improvement. I normally shoot between f9-16 so if you look at the grid below you can see that is absolutely fine and acceptable. The test is done on Canon EOS RP full-frame sensor.
Distortion is handled very well for NiSi 15mF/4.There is a very small wavy distortion that can be corrected in any editing software, or perhaps a lens profile can help to reduce that small issue. There is absolutely no problem using this lens for any type of photography.
The aberration is handled very well. I have to admit that NiSi has scored very high here. Most of the wide-angle lenses with minimal lateral CA which can be adjusted easily right in the camera when shooting JPGs or RAW files can be corrected just with one click in Lightroom, etc.
In my experience with most lenses, there is one position when you will notice sometimes a big and obvious veiling flare creating an unwonted loss of contrast and sharpness of the image, but simply little reframing will eliminate that issue, either day time or night. Personally, I do not shoot directly to the sun, as I have a different vision and style so flare and glare are not an issue here for me. See the sample photos below.
The results from the lens are excellent for me and didn’t disappoint me at any stage during the test. I’m sure that lens will be a very popular choice for many photographers, besides being a reasonably priced ultra-wide lens for Canon RF mount cameras. There’s the Sunstar feature as a bonus, especially when the lens produces that effect throughout the entire aperture range. The diaphragm has been designed with 10 straight blades to obtain the star effect on points of light at any aperture, as well as maximising sharpness over the entire frame and aperture range. Focus picking helping you to get your shots pin-sharp, not to mention easy compatibility of filters and super 14 mm with IBIS/IS option off. The very first product of NiSi Opticks 15mmF/4 stands above (Samyang14mm, Laowa 14mm, Voiotlander15mm) which are in the same segment. The only drawback I have is that you won’t have any Exif data available as there is no electronic pin connection with the camera, but that doesn’t affect the quality of my images which is the most important thing for me.
If you like to purchase your own lens, please use this link- Buy your NiSi 15mm f/4 lens here.!!!