NiSi is probably best known for its filter systems, but it’s also branching into camera optics, as shown by this newly-announced 9mm f/2.8 prime lens. We don’t know too much about it yet, but NiSi has posted a video that shows the 9mm f/2.8 in action.
From what we’ve seen so far, this lens will be available in a number of mounts, including Sony E and (from the video) Fujifilm X. We believe there will also be an MFT version, though the smaller MFT sensor size means there are probably better ‘native’ ultra-wide lenses for these cameras.
The new NiSi lens is clearly larger than the competing Laowa 9mm f/2.8, a lens we rate very highly, but going for the same level of edge to edge sharpness and distortion correction. If this new lens can improve on the pretty heavy vignetting of the Laowa lens, that would be a bonus.
The ASPH. in the name suggest this lens uses aspherical elements for higher-quality images and aberration correction. It has a manual aperture ring, with settings from f/2.8 to f/16, and a manual focus ring marked in both feet and meters.
There are also depth of field markings for apertures from f/4 to f/16, which will be ideal for fans of hyperfocal and zone focusing.
The front element is moderately convex but not to the point where you can’t fit filters. The filter size is 67mm, which is quite wide for a compact prime lens but common amongst zoom lenses – many users may have filters in this size already.
NiSi’s video also shows the 9mm f/2.8 ASPH. covered in water droplets, which suggests it has a weather-sealed construction, and it is shown focusing down to a distance of just 0.2m.
We look forward to checking out this new lens’s optical performance, especially against the Laowa 9mm f/2.8. With an equivalent focal length of 13.5mm in full frame terms, this could prove a really useful lens for travel, architecture and astrophotography.