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Thread: Filter System

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    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    Filter System

    I am thinking about getting a filter system for the S2, in particular gradual ND, ND, and perhaps big stopper (I already have screw in polarizers). I am looking at the Lee system or the Schneider 4x5.6 system. Any recommendations? Thanks.
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    Re: Filter System

    I have just recently started to use grads so I'm not very experienced with it. However as usual I have researched the market quite thoroughly and the conclusion is that if you want the best it is Schneider 4x5.65" filters.

    One problem is that nearly all grads are uncoated resin filters. Schneider 4x5.65" is coated glass filters, and there are no other that are among those easy to get. I have resin filters myself, surely cheaper and lighter and you can get smaller sizes (portability was a key feature for me), but filter reflections (due to no coating) is a real problem in some situations.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Filter System

    Quote Originally Posted by GMB View Post
    I am thinking about getting a filter system for the S2, in particular gradual ND, ND, and perhaps big stopper (I already have screw in polarizers). I am looking at the Lee system or the Schneider 4x5.6 system. Any recommendations? Thanks.
    Yes - for the LEE system with either LEE resin, Schneider glass and/or Singh Ray filters. A superbly flexible system. I'm totally biased towards this system because I've used it for years and so have all the rings/grad NDs/NDs/Big Stopper/reverse grads etc.

    Some folks prefer the flexibility of the Cokin P series which arguably have a better holder system, particularly for things like polarizers. The Singh Ray filters are excellent and if I didn't have my LEE system I could have been tempted to go Cokin P/Singh Ray instead.

    Ultimately though you might want to also consider availability. I built up most of my LEE system over literally decades and in particular when I was in England where it was readily available. In the US availability of some LEE gear can be somewhat akin to finding Ferrari parts for your 308 GTB.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Filter System

    Btw, for folks in the US here's a shameless plug for a supplier that has always been excellent for me. They seem to be able to have either have stock or faster availability than anyone else I know and this is all they do:
    Camera Filters, Sales Tax Free, 2filter.com

    for the small guy vs the big NYC giants.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 19th July 2012 at 13:20.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Filter System

    I currently use the Lee system because at the time it was the only one that could be used with W/A lenses. Lee uses a set of adapters to mount their holders to the lens, and offer an adapter type which reverses back on itself to mount the filter holder on which moves the actual filter closer to the lens to avoid vignetting. They also offer different accordion type shades, including one for super wide lenses. I haven't experienced flare with the Lee resins because I use the full system including their shades.

    That said, the Schneiders are probably better because they are MC glass and less prone to damage I would think. In either case pouches are essential because you don't want to be touching the surface of either. I use Pec Pads to handle any of these filters.

    What is used to hold the Schneider filters?

    It may be that the combination of the Lee holder/shade and Schneider filters may be the best of both worlds ... depends on the thickness if the Schneiders and if they will slide into the Lee holder slots and be moveable.

    -Marc

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Filter System

    I agree with Marc. Btw, be careful because like MF in general it's very easy to suddenly find that you've got $1k+ of filters in your filter bag ... particularly if you have the Singh Ray specialized reverse ND's and Schneiders.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Filter System

    The Lee system is very widely used by many top photographers. Their resin filters are very high quality. I use the ND grads and also their glass Big Stopper and 0.6 pro glass ND filters, and really cannot see any point is spending silly money on something "better", assuming it even exists.
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer
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    Re: Filter System

    Lee system here… very good quality glass and resin filters, have the glass CPL, big stopper, and resin soft grad set. Very nice and versatile setup, also the wide angle bellows hood is great!
    Rick Rose
    www.RickrPhoto.com
    HasselPhase

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Filter System

    If you build up a system I can also recommend the Kinesis filter pouches too. I find this an essential part of my filter outfit:

    F169

    They used to make a smaller version too for 3 or 4 filters but alas no longer (I was rather dumb in that I sold my smaller pouch to a friend!)

    Here's an example of it in use:
    http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/file.../permaquid.jpg
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    Re: Filter System

    Thanks for all the helpful responses.

    Schneider has a kit that apparently fits well on the S2 via adapter rings and some shops in the US seem to have the kit and filters on stock.

    Availability of Lee seems to be scarce. Robert White in the UK operates a pre-paid waiting list, with expected delivery of some filters, including the big stopper, of 6+ months (no gurantee). I have not checked other sources.

    I have not yet compared the prices.
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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Filter System

    If you do look at the Cokin system, I'd opt for the larger Cokin Z-pro. Otherwise, the comments I've seen seem to give the nod more to the Lee system over the Cokin Z-Pro. I use mostly Singh-Ray filters, 4x6.

    Same as Graham, I've had good experiences with Camera Filters, Sales Tax Free, 2filter.com, camera filters for digital cameras,IRND camera filters for HD video, B+W 77mm XS Pro Nano filters, B+W 77mm MrC on sale, Tiffen Variable ND, Marumi DHG Vari ND Filters,deals on MPTV camera filter tools, Ca

    ken

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    Re: Filter System

    Lee makes a special-made version of their holder to fit the 4mm thick Schneider glass filters.

    Compared to the cost of the rest of a MF system Schneider 4x5.65" filters are not that bad. It is quite rare in the MF world that "the best" is this cheap

    If portability is not a problem I see no reason why not getting the multi-coated glass filters (unless you just want to try out the concept or something). No-one with high-end photo gear would buy a normal ND filter made of uncoated resin, right? That we get resin grads is because it has been poor availability of glass ones, but now they exist.

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    Re: Filter System

    I have used Lee GND before Schneider. While Lee is not a bad filter, but it's easy to get scratches if not handled with extreme care. It may not affect the image, but I prefer my filters to be spotless. So, after my Lee filters got some obvious scratches, I decided to go for schneider. It's thicker and heavier filters, but the quality is much better than the Lee resein and I don't have to worry about getting scratches. I like them so much and ended up getting the 4"x4" schneider polarizer and ND to simply my filter setup. On the GND, you need a 2 stops (which come in with the landscape control kit) and 3 stops. Highly recommended.

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    Re: Filter System

    I have a question too.

    I currently use a Cokin P holder with Hitech resin filters, since I wanted portability. However, having occassional softening problems from filter reflections in scenes with bright highlights (backlit leaves in trees etc) I'm considering getting a Schneider set anyway.

    I use Schneider Digitar lenses, often longer lenses, so the filter thread is typically only 40.5mm. With step-up rings I could attach the Lee filter holder and Schneider glass filter, but is it ok concerning weight?

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    Re: Filter System

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    Lee makes a special-made version of their holder to fit the 4mm thick Schneider glass filters.
    Can you please give more details on this LEE 4mm holder ? ? ?
    I tried a lot but could not find that item .
    Thank you .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: Filter System

    LEE Filters Side Guides for 4mm Thick Filters G4 B&H Photo Video

    Hope it helps.

    cheers,

    Jae Moon

    Quote Originally Posted by jotloob View Post
    Can you please give more details on this LEE 4mm holder ? ? ?
    I tried a lot but could not find that item .
    Thank you .

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    Re: Filter System

    Yes , I have seen these , but do they fit to the rear of the LEE Standard or WA Bellows ?
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: Filter System

    Yes they do.

    But...

    The Lee system for the holders is a 'pancake' setup, held together with some long screws. The but is, you may not have screws long enough to account for the extra length as standard.

    The second problem, the Lee B&H 4mm holders are not very tight so the glass 4mm filters have a tendency to slip out of them as the filters are heavy.

    The Schneider kit includes a 4mm holder that has a screw tension knob on the side of the slot, that allows you to lock the filter in place, or at least, increase the tension on the slot. These work better for the scheider holders.

    The second problem with the 4mm slots is vingnetting on wide angle. I found I couldn't have two 4mm slots on a Canon 24-TSE without them becoming visible. (One polarizer, one grad as a rule). So I went back to the 2mm grads.

    Regards

    Mark.
    {Owner of WAY too many bits of the Lee system sitting in a draw...}

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    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: Filter System

    Thank you Jae and Mark .

    Looking at the given information , I doubt that my idea will be possible .
    Have a look to the rear of the bellows hood .
    There are two slots for 2mm filters . My intention was to replace these slots by one or two 4mm slot(s) to be able to use a Schneider Optics ND filter .
    These slot holders can't be removed . I will have a detailed look to that again tomorrow . Screws are no problem as I got many of these UNC screws in different length . And even in black .

    Attachment 61241
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: Filter System

    For those , who are interested .
    The Schneider Optics filter can be purchused in Germany from .

    http://www.lightequip.de

    I got this info from Schneider Optics Service .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    Re: Filter System

    Can resin filters really be trusted? I've played around some more with my Hitech resin grads which is supposed to be "good quality", but I can't say I'm impressed.

    Look at this 100% crop:

    http://torger.dyndns.org/resin-blur.jpg

    Looking more closely it seems like my soft edge filter has a blurry band on it close to the transition (vertical in that example picture), while the HE filter seems ok (so far...)

    Perhaps Lee resin filters are better, but "hand-dipped" does not really sound like the utmost optical quality to me...

    This somehow feels like the old thing buying too cheap a tripod and upgrading several times before getting to one that really is sturdy enough. Maybe it is best to jump to Schneider glass grad filters directly?

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Filter System

    Never hard a quality problem with LEE filters. The only issue I've had is making sure that you don't scratch them and also to ensure that with grads that there is no slackness in the filter holder so that a filter can slip out.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Filter System

    Forget glass filters. Extra weight, fragile, costly, no optical advantage over Lee filters. Get a full Lee set instead, plus spares.

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    Re: Filter System

    I would recommend you purchase the Schneider landscape kit, which includes a modified LEE filter holder that allows the use of glass or resin filters. They change it so it only has 2 slots instead of 3 (sort of a negative) but the slots are large enough to accommodate glass filters from them as well as Tiffen, and they add a set screw to tighten down on glass filters. I think it's a good change, and I use a combination of Lee grads as well as the Tiffen ND/IR filters (glass) and 1 Schneider glass grad (which comes with the landscape kit).

    The Lee filters are very good, but seem a little fragile. That being said I have no scratches on mine. I don't think "hand dipping" them has any negative affect on their optical quality after watching the video on how they are made ... they seem very thorough in testing their product from beginning to end.
    Last edited by Wayne Fox; 27th July 2012 at 20:55.
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    Re: Filter System

    Speaking of filters.

    How does everyone use a Grad filter on a Tech Camera? Hit and miss, or are there some good rules of thumb?

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Filter System

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyPtak View Post
    Speaking of filters.

    How does everyone use a Grad filter on a Tech Camera? Hit and miss, or are there some good rules of thumb?
    I can't speak for others but I eyeball it and review on the LCD of my IQ160. I also use soft vs hard grads more often with my Alpa to avoid the obvious issues related to misplacing a hard grad and leaving an obvious line. That said, the shoot/review works ok most of the time and I can generally get it pretty much right after a couple of shots.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Filter System

    I used the a sliding back with a ground ground glass on my techno. So, no problem with positing the GND.

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    Re: Filter System

    If the conditions are right live view helps. Otherwise shoot/review, which is completely different than hit and miss. Hit and miss takes no talent or technical ability. Shoot/review on the other hand, takes a very high degree of skill.



    Dave

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    Re: Filter System

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    I would recommend you purchase the Schneider landscape kit, which includes a modified LEE filter holder that allows the use of glass or resin filters. They change it so it only has 2 slots instead of 3 (sort of a negative) but the slots are large enough to accommodate glass filters from them as well as Tiffen, and they add a set screw to tighten down on glass filters. I think it's a good change, and I use a combination of Lee grads as well as the Tiffen ND/IR filters (glass) and 1 Schneider glass grad (which comes with the landscape kit).

    The Lee filters are very good, but seem a little fragile. That being said I have no scratches on mine. I don't think "hand dipping" them has any negative affect on their optical quality after watching the video on how they are made ... they seem very thorough in testing their product from beginning to end.
    Some years ago I had two glass grads, got them based on some unsubstantiated idea in my mind that "glass would be better than plastic". Both broke. I've yet to break or significantly scratch a Lee filter. I'm still using the same batch of Lee grads I had for two years of fairly extreme travel photography, including dust and sand storms, pouring rain, and -15C conditions. So from my experience, glass is far more fragile. Just be slightly careful with the Lees and they last many years.

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    Re: Filter System

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Some years ago I had two glass grads, got them based on some unsubstantiated idea in my mind that "glass would be better than plastic". Both broke. I've yet to break or significantly scratch a Lee filter. I'm still using the same batch of Lee grads I had for two years of fairly extreme travel photography, including dust and sand storms, pouring rain, and -15C conditions. So from my experience, glass is far more fragile. Just be slightly careful with the Lees and they last many years.
    I'd tend to agree with Lars based on experience.

    I've had my Lee system for well over 10 years. This includes a vast array of filter types from tints to grads to net sets and NDs. Used to use them extensively with my film cameras, especially the Hasselblad V cameras. Less so now, but still use them from time to time. All of them are still pristine. I keep them in their pouches and treat them as I would any filter, glass or plastic. Air bulbs and Pec-Pads are your friend.

    The only other heavily used effex filter I use is set of screw-in Zeiss Softars. They are also plastic.

    -Marc

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    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    Re: Filter System

    Just to update folks: i got the Lee system with 2 stop reisin hard and soft grads, the big stopper, and a 3 stop glass ND. I am noew for 2 weeks in the Tetons, Yellowstone, and Glacier to "test" the system. Many thanks again to all who chimed in with helpful advice.
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    Re: Filter System

    Georg, Did you find a new source for Lee Filters? It seems that the Lee Big Stopper is on intergalactic back order....

    Have a great trip!

    ken

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    Re: Filter System

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Some years ago I had two glass grads, got them based on some unsubstantiated idea in my mind that "glass would be better than plastic". Both broke. I've yet to break or significantly scratch a Lee filter. I'm still using the same batch of Lee grads I had for two years of fairly extreme travel photography, including dust and sand storms, pouring rain, and -15C conditions. So from my experience, glass is far more fragile. Just be slightly careful with the Lees and they last many years.
    While I agree on the glass filters, the main reason I opted for the Schneider kit (i have the full Lee system) is the holder will handle my Tiffen NDIR glass filters, which I use much more frequently than I do the grads. I have a 4 stop and a 6 stop and use them singly or combined giving me 10 stops.
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    Re: Filter System

    OK, this is a very old thread, just trying to get what opinions still linger.
    So for the STC / HR40, HR70, phaseone 80 and 120 TC, would the sev5n system from Lee suffice, or should I go for the 100 system ? Any other options for long exposures and grads ?
    thanks

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    Re: Filter System

    Quote Originally Posted by GMB View Post
    I am thinking about getting a filter system for the S2, in particular gradual ND, ND, and perhaps big stopper (I already have screw in polarizers). I am looking at the Lee system or the Schneider 4x5.6 system. Any recommendations? Thanks.
    Hi, I have the schneider. The filters are superb. The holder is actually a schneider modified LEE holder, which is very nice, so the adapter rings and the holder system is similar, just modified to be able to hold the thicker schneider filters.

    I really recommend it. I use it on the 40mm HR and 70mm HR and it allows basically full shift on the lenses for when I want to make panos.

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    Re: Filter System

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_R View Post
    Hi, I have the schneider. The filters are superb. The holder is actually a schneider modified LEE holder, which is very nice, so the adapter rings and the holder system is similar, just modified to be able to hold the thicker schneider filters.

    I really recommend it. I use it on the 40mm HR and 70mm HR and it allows basically full shift on the lenses for when I want to make panos.
    Schneider Lee 4" Filter Holder w 77mm w A Ring Auth Schneider Dealer 94 250000 | eBay

    is this the one ?

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    Re: Filter System

    That is the one I got.

    But this one is the same just not the "kit" with the filter included: Schneider Lee 4" Filter Holder w 77mm w A Ring Auth Schneider Dealer 94 250000 | eBay

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    Re: Filter System

    I use the Schneider 4" filters and they are great. The Platinum IRND filters exhibit less color cast than my Lee Big Stopper. I have the 4 stop and 7 stop IRND along with a 3 stop GND plus the Schneider modified holder. Sadly, they are expensive, but I didn't like the idea of putting a resin filter in front of my Leica S lenses and I couldn't find any better option.

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    Re: Filter System

    The only filters I use are UV filters (to protect the front lens element) and I've always done this on my lenses for my A900 but I'm wondering if a UV filter will degrade the image quality of my Alpa lens?

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    Re: Filter System

    Quote Originally Posted by satybhat View Post
    OK, this is a very old thread, just trying to get what opinions still linger.
    So for the STC / HR40, HR70, phaseone 80 and 120 TC, would the sev5n system from Lee suffice, or should I go for the 100 system ? Any other options for long exposures and grads ?
    thanks
    On my HR40 / HR70 I use the Lee holder. I got a wide angle ring for the 40 and a standard for the 70. The holder is 3 slots and the polariser ring on front. I get no vignetting with this set up. If the Schneider holder is the same you will have no problems.

    For filters I use Lee ND grads (0.3,0.6,0.9), Lee Big Stopper (just got this) and some Hitech-Formatt IRND filters as well (1-5 stops).

    As for the system I am not too sure on the sev5n. I use the 100mm setup so I can transfer to my DSLR as well if I want to. I don't know if the 75mm filters would work too well if you stack a few, maybe others can help on this one.
    Stop chasing gear, start chasing photos instead.

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