Polarizing filter for Lee system

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

Can someone describe how does the polarizer attaches to the Lee system ? I have not been able to see it by myself. The Hitech system has a huge ring which screws in front of the holder, so that it will take a regular polariser, but this will cause vignetting with wide-angle lenses.

-- Quang-Tuan Luong (luong@ai.sri.com), July 08, 1999


The Lee system has a similar attachment. The Lee adapter screws onto the front of your lens, and a polarizer screws onto the Lee adapter. To avoid vignetting, I bought a Hoya slim (thin, ultra?, whatever its called). B&W makes at thin one also, but I like the coatings on the Hoya better.

-- Ben Diss (Ben@Benodee.com), July 08, 1999.

The Lee polarising filter (linear only at the moment; a circular version is 'due') is itself a 100mm square which slides into the filter slots like other filters. I've found that this can be used with a bit of care on a 20mm lens (for 35mm) (I've nothing nearly so wide for LF). The problem with this is that to rotate the filter, you have to rotate the entire holder which makes using grads impossible. Lee, however, make an attachment filter holder which attaches to the front of the main holder and rotates independently of the main holder, and so grads can be used in it at the correct angle. But having all of this on a v.wide angle lens does cause vignetting.

-- Stephen Fletcher (sfletche@linklaters.com), July 09, 1999.

Most filter manufacturers have slim polarizers. Heliopan offers a slim circular at the same price as the standard circular polarizer. The slim cir pol (as well as the regular standard slim Heliopan filters will not vignette on 21mm lenses). Like all Heliopan polarizers the slim one is fully calibrated around the rim.

But coatings can be very deceptive.

For instance Hoya makes a slim MC polarizer and, if you read the specs on the filters box, you will see that it is multi coated but only on the rear of the filter.

This is different than their Ultra which is coated on both sides,.

Which type did you get? One with worthless coating or one that seems to have more proper coating?

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), July 09, 1999.

As Ben's response mentions, the "standard" adapter rings do offer a screw thread in the front. If your using a very wide angle lens, you will probably want the Lee "wide angle" adapter rings. These do not have the threading and will only work with the Lee filter folder and 4" series filters.

-- Larry Huppert (Larry.Huppert@mail.com), July 09, 1999.

Yes, for wide angle you need the wide angle version of the Lee adapter.

I've solved this problem another way. I almost always use a center filter with my wide angles. I use the Heliopan center filter. The lens thread is 67mm and the thread on the front of the Heliopan is 86mm. Being unable to find a slim MC polarizer in 86mm, I replaced the 86mm retaining ring with a slightly thicker one that makes the front thread 82mm and bought the 82mm Hoya Ultra (yes Bob, coatings on both sides). It is a little tricky to get on and off, but it does the job. You'd think that by going from 86 to 82 would cause vignetting, but with the very slim Hoya it does not. At least, not even on my 75mm f/4.5. I would imagine that it might not work on a 58mm or 47mm.

Next I had a special adapter ring made that goes around the perimeter of the Heliopan. It is essentially two ridges that the Lee filter holder mounts to. This makes the center filter also serve as the Lee adapter. This way I can have my center filter, polarizer and grads together.

Of course, my picture looks like crap because I'm shooting through so much stuff, but at least I feel good about it!


-- Ben Diss (Ben@Benodee.com), July 09, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ