Filter Holder for multiple lens diameters. : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I own two very diferent sized lenses. One is a older Schneider Xenar, and the other is a more modern Rodenstock Geronar. I need to get a filter holder and outfit for them, and would like to get one I could use with both lenses, and others I might get in the future. The fellow in the camera store suggested step-up/down rings, but these seem impractical for such a large diference in sizes. I do only landscape photography, and use only a polarizer and warming filter, but use them a good deal, especially the polarizer. On page 28 of STEVE SIMMONS book; USING THE VIEW CAMERA there is a picture of what I think I am looking for. It is a wonderful looking item, and I would like to know where in the San Francisco Bay Area, this item could be found?? Also, can this be used with a polarizing filter? If not, has anyone a suggestion on what kind of polarizer might be employed for diferent size lenses.

Thanks, Bill

-- Bill Lindley (, June 13, 1998



I use the Sinar filter system. The filters are made from a resin, and are 100 mm x 100 mm and about 1 mm thick. You get one holder, and then one adapter for each lens. The holder will hold 3 filters. Because the adapters are expensive, compared to step-up rings, I purchased two adapters and the appropriate step-up rings to get to my other lens diameters. The reasoon for two instead of one is that my 90 f5.6 has an 85(82?) mm filter for which I could find no step-up rings.

Other companies make comparable systems. For instance Lee (sold by Calumet and B&H, and which I would choose if I were to do it all over again), Hi-Tech, and Cokin are widely available.

The thing that I like about the Lee system is its flexibility. You can use many different brands of filters because they sell several different holders. Lee's own filters are too thick to work in the Sinar system. This is an issue for me because I like the Sing-Ray filters (yet another brand), which will fit the Lee system but not the Sinar system. FYI, Sing-Ray makes a wide range of graduated filters and will customize the gradation to your specifications. They don't make holders.

One caution - if you decide to use polyester filters, you will need to mount them behind your polarizing filter. Resin filters can be mounted in front.

None of this stuff is cheap, nor have I seen much of it as used equipment. Handle the different products before you buy.

Best of luck, Bruce

-- Bruce M. Herman (, June 14, 1998.

Bruce, Thank you for asking at least half of a question I have been asking various people for years. I too have the 100mm Sinar system and I have been trying to find out is the Sinar filters fit the Lee holder and/or vice versa. That half is now answered. But what about the Hightech filters. I believe they are 1.5mm thick so it sounds like they won't fit the Sinar holder, but what about the Lee holder? Or the sinar filters in the Hightech holder? And what about the ARCa-Swiss compendium?

-- Ellis Vener (, June 14, 1998.


I'm not personally familiar with the Hi-tech system, nor with the Arca system. All I know about them is what I've read. So I can't comment on compatibility issues.

But here's what I've done to use Sing-Ray filters in the Sinar system. I have a friend who is a gun smith, and who has a complete machine shop. The tool of interest in this case is a milling machine. He can reduce the edge thickness of any filter that I purchase to the thickness of a Sinar filter.

I suspect that you may be able to find a similar person in the community in which you live. The person, or company, need not be a gun smith. Anyone who has a milling machine would be fine. You should provide them with an ample supply of lens tissue. They'll need it when they clamp the filter on to the machine's working area.

One thing that I plan to investigate in the near future is whether I can attach a set of Lee holders, the two plastic pieces with the channels for the filters, to a Sinar plate. If someone has already succeeded in this, I'd like to know.

Best wishes,


-- Bruce M. Herman (, June 15, 1998.

I use the Lee system on my 4x5 camera with lenses having filter diameters of 67mm, 72mm, and 82mm. As someone else mentioned, with the Lee system you buy an adapter for each different lens diameter, fit the adapter into the lens hood, and then screw the adapter and hood onto the lens. It's pretty convenient - not much more time and effort than screwing on a glass filter. I am reasonably pleased with the system. Its principal disadvantages for me have been difficulty in determining the extension point for the hood at which vignetting will occur (this presumably would be a problem with any hood so perhaps I shouldn't call it a Lee problem) and the high cost of the Lee polarizer filter (about $140 as I recall). Like you, I consider a polarizer to be essential and I couldn't find any other 4x4 polarizer that would fit so I bit the bullet and bought the Lee polarizer. The price of the lens hood (around $100 as I recall)is very good compared to the price of some compendium lens hoods (e.g. the Linhof hood is around $500 if my memory is right). The adapters are about $30. They can be carried around inside the hood so they don't take up much space (at least three of them don't). Some of the Cokin filters can be used with the Lee system and they are somewhat less expensive than the Lee filters but Cokin doesn't (or didn't back when I bought my polarizer) make a 4x4 polarizer. All in all I'm pleased but not thrilled with the system.

-- Brian Ellis (, June 25, 1998.

I should have mentioned one other thing. You didn't give the filter diameter of your two lenses. Before you buy the Lee system you should check to make sure they sell adaptors that fit your lenses. I have one lens, a 150mm G-Claron, that has an odd ball diameter and Lee doesn't make an adaptor that will fit it. I could have one made by S.K. Grimes (or some other camera machinist type) but the cost is about $75 and I don't use the lens that much anyhow.

-- Brian Ellis (, June 25, 1998.

Don't know what kind of view camera you are using but I have a Linhof Tech III I found a used compendium bellow at Clayton Classic Camers For $175 and it has two places to insert gel or resin filters. I use the Calumet poly filters in their cardboard holders and the set up works like a dream. The only hitch was I had to come up with a way of attaching the compendium to my older linhof but that cost about 75 cents at the hardware store and some epoxy.

-- Ronald J LaMarsh (, June 30, 1999.

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