Lee filters

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Okay, okay. I'll admit it. I'm one of those people who NEVER uses filters (at least not on large format), but I'm ready to join the other side. I've seen some ads lately for what looks to be a fairly budget-minded filter system from Lee, which accepts 4" gels. This is the one with the rubber band clamp mechanism. (I've also seen a system Lee makes with a compendium lens shade that looks pretty attractive.) Is anyone familiar with either of these? What's the going rate? Advantages/disadvantages? Thoughts, opinions, comments, posers?

-- Chad Jarvis (chad_jarvis@yahoo.com), May 26, 1999


Response to Filters - specifically Lee

I have a Lee black and white kit. Filters can make the difference between ordinary and exceptional. I wouldn't go anywhere without a red filter for black and white in any format. The Lee system is inexpensive ($50 from B&H) but I often wonder about the plano-parallel soundness of a system like this. Also, I have a problem with the size of my Caltar 240mm exceeding the size limit for the filter holder.

-- bruce schultz (bschultz@theadvocate.com), May 26, 1999.

Response to Filters - specifically Lee


I ordered this very thing from Lee yesterday - hopefully it will arrive tomorrow, and I'll let you know what I think of it.

Up til now, I've used glass filters, but I need to buy a few contrast filters for B&W work, and I can't afford any of the large Rodenstock filters just now. I thought the Lee would let me try filters for B&W, and let me decide which ones I'll buy in glass format. The elastic band holder looks ideal for mounting to the back of a LF lens. The polyester filters are meant to be of better quality than resin, due to their thinness, but obviously they aren't as durable. The other thing I've been told is that you cannot mount a polyester filter in front of a polariser. I spoke to the Lee factory, and they said this holder had been designed for use on compact cameras, and that you either love it or hate it.

As I say, I can let you know how I get on with it once I've played with it.

Favid Nash

-- David Nash (nashcom@btinternet.com), May 26, 1999.

Response to Filters - specifically Lee

I have used the Cokin system (which is Lee) for quite a long time and find it a versatile system in the field. Fits all of my lenses except the 240 Caltar. I just hold the filter in front of my lens and it works fine. I haven't seen the contraption for mounting the system behind the back of the lens. I've had my system for about 6 years and they have a few small scratches but nothing major. I especially like and use the split grad ND filters. I cut off the front most channel so I don't vignette the image though now it wouldn't really matter as I over frame the scene regardless and crop in the darkroom. Much easier and less frustrating. Give them a try.

-- james (james_mickelson@hotmail.com), May 28, 1999.

Response to Filters - specifically Lee

I don't think Cokin and Lee systems are the same. Cokin P is 31/4x31/4 (83x83mm), while Lee is 4x4" (100 x 100mm). Coking is cheaper, there are third party high quality filters (Singh-Ray), but the holder is smaller therefore more likely to vignette, and the only way to mount it is by filter rings.

-- Quang-Tuan Luong (luong@ai.sri.com), May 28, 1999.

Lee filters are larger than Cokin (100mmx100mm or 100x150 for ND grads). They aren't cheep but very well made. Lee's web site is www.leefilters.com.

-- Andy Miller (andymiller@unforgettable.com), May 31, 1999.

I use the entire Lee filter system on 4x5, 8x10, 6x7 and 35mm... It can get a little expnesive with all the different adpater rings and wide selection of filters if you are just getting started... however, it works great! The wide angle adpaters prevents vignetting even when I shoot my 150mm on 8x10! The resin filters are hard to clean, so keep your fingers off of them! They have an excellent selection of filters and their color gels fit into small holders that can be slid into the filter slots, this seems to work much easier than the behind the lens method I tried. There rubber band holder is very difficult to get in behind the lens, and very difficult to remove without touch the filter. The support and technical services in Burbank 818-238-1220, is excellent. John Adler is very knowledgeable of filters and photography in general, he has provided me with a wealth of knowledge. With LF, this seems to be the only way to go.. best of luck.... Bill

-- Bill Glickman (Bglick@pclv.com), June 10, 1999.

I have a leaflet of Cokin where they offer new x-pro system filters of size 130x170 mm. (~5x7) They have also a filter adaptor to be mounted outside the barrel of LF-lenses with a four-screw system. This fill fit a lens with a diameter up to <120 mm.

-- Jan erala (jan.eerala@itameri.net), June 11, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ