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Thread: Not sure what to buy for a lee filter kit

  1. #1
    Member salnel's Avatar
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    Not sure what to buy for a lee filter kit

    I have decided to buy a lee filter kit, but after doing some research, I am a bit confused as to what I actually need. I was looking at a nd .9 grad filter, the little stopper and the big stopper. Has any one used the little stopper ? The filters would be used on my 16-35 mm lens. Any advice would be appreciated.
    D610 and D90 with a 16-35mm f/4,a 70-200mm f/4 ,a 300mm f/4 +TC11 convertor, 18-200mmDX and 85mm micro Dx.

    Sally...CC always appreciated

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  2. #2
    It's all about the Light!
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    You need
    1. Holder and adapter rings
    2. Then various filters to need, eg. a set of grad NDs , big stopper etc

    Cokin 100mm (Z-pro) are the same size as Lee 100mm and they can be interchanged
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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    I think the "need" will depend on what you are photographing. I use ND filters a far bit but not the big stopper as my main subject matter is models, and I prefer to shoot wide open for a very narrow dof, therefore I usually have to add an ND or two. However, landscapers LOVE the big stoppers.

    Kym is 100% right about the holder and adapters. Can't forget them.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, Kym and Jon...I knew I needed the holder and adaptor but I wasn't sure which was the best way to go with the actual filters. I would mostly be photographing seascapes .

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    Seascapes, check out the reverse grad then, its pretty much a must.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Cheapest way to get a selection of Lee filter is with one of their foundation kits.

    I'm not entirely sure what types of foundation kits are available, but you'd save at least a couple of hundred dollars if you get a kit, as opposed to getting each item individually.
    But the kits don't come in mix'n'match mode.

    That is, you either get hard grads, (or maybe) ND's only .. but not grads AND ND filters in the one kit.
    The kit will come with a holder of some type, but not adapter rings for your specific lens.

    You can get adapter rings for your lens cheaply off ebay(I have one) which cost 1/3rd of the price of the genuine Lee adapter ring.

    I got the 100mm 3 filter soft grad kit myself, and of course it came with a 3 filter holder.
    The 77mm adapter ring I got from Lee cost nearly $100 on it's own.
    Eventually, I needed an 82mm adapter too at a much later time, when I got the Tamron 24-70VC lens.

    The Lee version, again, was in the $100 price range .. which for a simple turned metal ring is wayyy too much.
    But a chap in the USA makes his own, sells them on fleabay for about $30.
    For all intents and purposes the ebay ring is of the same quality as the Lee version ... same solid feel to it. Only difference is that it doesn't have Lee printed on it.

    If it's just ND filters you want, then screw on ND's are probably a lot cheaper(no adapters and holders and stuff needed.
    But if you want both ND AND grads together, then a Lee type system is definitely required.

    Something you probably don't want to do often is to get a circular screw on ND and then attach a Lee adapter ring and filter holder to the front of that for grads.
    It may limit your focal length range at the short end due to vignetting.
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    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  7. #7
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    Thanks, Arthur..they are not a cheap item so I might have to keep looking. Any thoughts on the Little Stopper?

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I don't have any experience with ND filters other than just the one 3stop Hoya I got a long time ago for my 50/1.2. Sorry.

    Do you plan on using both a ND and GND filter together?

    I can't confirm this, but from memory the 16-35mm lens has a smallish front lens element. Being an f/4 lens, I think it's 'small enough'
    This can be important, more so than just the pure numerical factor of focal length.

    The reason I ask this is that I think!! that it may be possible to mount a slim-ish screw on ND and then mount the 100mm lee filter holder to the screw on ND without getting hard vignetting.
    The only thing that you would have to do tho is to get a lee filter lens ring adapter that is the Wide Angle type, and at 77mm this is fairly expensive if it's the genuine article.

    FWIW: I have the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, which gives an equivalent FOV of about 15mm on full frame.
    Because the front element of the Sigma is small, I can mount both a polariser(being a normal size type, not ultra slim type) and the Lee 100mm filter holder with all three lugs for filter and still not get hard mechanical vignetting at 10mm.

    I'm pretty sure that most screw on type ND filters cost less than the Lee filters @ 100mm.
    So there is the potential to save some money overall, or get a more comprehensive lee filter set.

    Also: you could use multiple grad filters to simulate an ND filter set it the need arose. Although, if you did get something like the soft grad foundation kit(as an example), the number of total stops you could get with this setup is limited to your strongest filter.
    ie. if you had the lee soft grad kit, you get an 0.9(3stop) 0.6(2stop) and 0.3(one stop) filters in the kit. The holder accepts three filters in total.
    What you then do, it set up the 0.9 filter in one direction(lets say dark area up top), and the other two filters(0.6+0.3) in the opposite orientation to the 0.9(so that would be dark are bottom)
    The total filter effect would be 0.9(ie 3stops) over the entire frame.

    I've only ever done this once myself(with my old Coking filters), but this isn't because it didn't work well.... more so because I'm not a heavy user of ND filtration. I rarely do extra long exposures in bright light.
    Any long exposures I have done have all been in lower light.

    Hope that helps.

  9. #9
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    Thanks, Arthur,for the feedback. Lots to think about and a bit of saving to do, I think. Much appreciated

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    Watching this with interest, I think I have settled on the DSLR starter kit, that gives a holder, 0.6 hard grad, 0.6 ND and a case. Best price I can find so far is $320 from BHPhoto. Will need 77mm and 82mm adapters also.

    Anyone recommend any other places to look at buying? I like to support local but no one in Perth has this kit in stock.
    If at first you dont Succeed........Then Skydiving is not for you.



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