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Thread: Lee filters or B&W filters?

  1. #1
    drmytan
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    Lee filters or B&W filters?

    I am planning to buy ND filters for my H4D 31. It's much easier to get B&W in my country but not Lee filters. Which one is of higher quality? Or should l get the Hasselblad's HC filters? Thanks

  2. #2
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Lee filters or B&W filters?

    Well I think you're comparing Apples with Oranges here. B+W is typically in the business of high quality screw in glass filters whilst Lee specialize in their in-front interchangeable filter system, especially suited to grads etc.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Lee filters or B&W filters?

    As mentioned, the Lee system is a totally different experience from regular screw-in filters.

    Personally, I've had good results with both B+W and Heliopan filters, both ND and polarizers. Both brands use brass (much less chance of binding than cheap filters), and have good optical quality.

    The biggest difference I found between the two brands isn't in the ND filters, but rather certain types like the Heliopan slim circular polarizer come with dedicated push-on lens caps, whereas the B+W equivalent do not.

    Haven't tried Hasselblad's filters, but I'd love to hear about anyone else's experiences with them. Do they even have a ND filter in their lineup currently?

  4. #4
    drmytan
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    Re: Lee filters or B&W filters?

    Thanks Graham and Matthew.

  5. #5
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    Re: Lee filters or B&W filters?

    If you go with Lee/Singh-Ray slot-style filters, you only need to buy the filters once. Each lens will need a different adapter, but the adapters are fairly inexpensive compared to the filters themselves. Lee filters are also impart far more control, in that you can slide them up and down in their holder. B+W circular, screw-on filters do not have any such option.

    Lee filters, I should also add, are very optically clean. I have not noticed any uncorrectable and or unsightly aberrations induced by their filters. While I have little experience with B+W gradient filters, I know their 10-stop filter has a rather pronounced "warming" effect.

    Also, if you intend to use these filters with a wide-angle lens, screw-on filters often cause vignette; they also limit options, again, as you can't stack them without further exacerbating the vignette.

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