Lee Filter System

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Ok, here are more dumb questions from Carole :)

I've always had the filters that screw on, and now that I have lenses with so many different diameters, it's just gotten nuts.

I'm looking at getting a Tokina 11-16 for my landscape photography and I posted on the B&H photo live questions thread. They recommended the Lee system with a neutral density filter. They said I'd need to get the foundation kit ($88) and the 77m adapter ring ($60). Then she said I'd be able to use the 4X4 or 4X6 filters which look like they range from $120-$260 (for the set).

To get this before my October workshop will only be possible if I get some extra funds from somewhere. Is there a lesser expensive alternative to this? She said i wouldn't get any vignetting with this system on an ultra wide angle lens.

My other question is: if and when I get something like this, I would also have to get adapter rings to use the filters on my other lenses which have diameters of 52mm-55mm-62mm-67mm. So would getting into a system like this alleviate having to have separate filters for all of these diameters? Would I just get adapter rings for each of these?

Thanks,
Carole
 
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Check out Hitech filters. Quality is really good (I cannot compare to Lee as I don't have Lee filters, but are really steps ahead of the Cokin filters I used before) and price is reasonable.

Make sure to get the wide-angle adapter but even with the wide-angle adapter I get vignetting on my Nikon 16-35/4 mounted on the D700 below 24mm with a 2-slot holder and a 105mm CPL. Without the CPL I get vignetting around 21mm. Maybe this could be better with the Lee system but similar issues occur with all wide-angle lenses.
 
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Thanks, Kees. I will have a look at those. According to B&H, the Lee will not vignette at all. So I'll have to see :)

Carole
 
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Carole I have the Cokin P filter system which is similar to the Lee system.

I have 3, 2, 1 stop and also 3 different Graduated ND filters all square.

I also have adapter rings 52, 58, 62, 67 and 77mm



if you are looking for a filter system only because you dont like having different filter sizes for your range then i wouldn't suggest a LEE or COKIN square filter system as you are going to spend more money just getting adapter rings anyways which is the same thing as having multiple size circular filters around.


You get the square system so that you can be modular and stack filters and easier.
 
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Really, your better option would be to buy step up/downd rings and use your existing round filters on different lenses. This route is much cost effective as well. My regular rim (not slim not thick) B+W polarizer and 10 stop filters worked fine with my Sigma 10-20 on DX without dark corners. That is wider than your 11-16mm.
 

IsamuM

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Ok, here are more dumb questions from Carole :)

I've always had the filters that screw on, and now that I have lenses with so many different diameters, it's just gotten nuts.

I'm looking at getting a Tokina 11-16 for my landscape photography and I posted on the B&H photo live questions thread. They recommended the Lee system with a neutral density filter. They said I'd need to get the foundation kit ($88) and the 77m adapter ring ($60). Then she said I'd be able to use the 4X4 or 4X6 filters which look like they range from $120-$260 (for the set).

To get this before my October workshop will only be possible if I get some extra funds from somewhere. Is there a lesser expensive alternative to this? She said i wouldn't get any vignetting with this system on an ultra wide angle lens.
She is correct. I've used my Lee foundation kit with the Zeiss 18mm on full-frame and not had any vignetting. This is with the basic holder adjusted to hold one filter and using the wide-angle adapter ring, of course.

My other question is: if and when I get something like this, I would also have to get adapter rings to use the filters on my other lenses which have diameters of 52mm-55mm-62mm-67mm. So would getting into a system like this alleviate having to have separate filters for all of these diameters? Would I just get adapter rings for each of these?
Yes and yes. You can keep the costs down by getting regular adapter rings for your normal and telephoto lenses, and only getting wide-angle adapter rings for the sizes that correspond to anything less than 28mm or so.

As Kees mentioned, Hitech also makes holders and filters in the same size, but I've found their holder to be inferior to the Lee holder. (Because of vignetting and the way the holder is attached to the Hitech adapter rings.)

The Lee holder can also hold Cokin Z-Pro filters, although you will want to avoid their NDs because they have a color cast.

So to summarize, Lee, Hitech and Cokin all make holders and filters for 4x4 and 4x6 square filters. They each have their own holder and adapter system, which are not compatible (i.e., you have to use Lee holders with Lee adapter rings), but all the holders can hold filters from other companies although the fit might be tight or loose in some instances.

Personally, I've found the Lee system to be the best because it is easily adjustable, has the most options and spare parts are available through major camera stores, such as B&H or Adorama. One problem is that some items are often out of stock, but that just goes to show how popular the Lee system is.

Now, if you really want to keep costs down and only need to occasionally use, say, NDs, then here is an inexpensive alternative, but not nearly as robust or flexible. Get the Lee Gel Snap holder (for 4x4 gel filters) ($20 at B&H) and a set of resin filters (ND polyester filter set is $56, but temporarily out of stock). Or just get the Gel Snap holder and ND filter set and save $1. (Unfortunately, this too is out of stock.)

This set will allow you to use the filters with any lens with a filter diameter of 82mm or smaller because it uses a strong rubber band to attach the holder. Again, the holder and filters are not nearly as robust, but they will get the job done.
 
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Hertfordshire, England
The Lee is system is used by the majority of Professional Landscape Photographers here in the UK because of the quality of production when it comes to colour. For example Cokin refer to it's filters as Grey Grad rather than ND because of colour cast where as Lee do filters on the basis of 0.3, 0.6, 0.9 and 1.2 ND with soft and hard graduation. They also make a wonderful Big Stopper which they can't make fast enough.

With the Lee system you buy a holder, filters and adapter rings for each filter size.

As with tripods you can go the budget route and spend money finding out why they are cheap or invest in quality.
 
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Really, your better option would be to buy step up/downd rings and use your existing round filters on different lenses. This route is much cost effective as well. My regular rim (not slim not thick) B+W polarizer and 10 stop filters worked fine with my Sigma 10-20 on DX without dark corners. That is wider than your 11-16mm.
That depends on what you photograph and how you use your filters. If all you're using are pola's then the screw-on filters are fine. But the second you switch over to grad filters the rectangular filters are superior, and they're not nearly as cumbersome as you'd think.

Carole, get your adapter rings on ebay or amazon. This is one of those cases where I don't feel bad buying brandless. It's not like they're reaping from R&D of others, an adapter ring is nothing more than a metal disk worth less than a dollar with a bit of thread machined on the inside. I don't care who manufacturs it, anything over $10 per ring (and I'm being very conservative here) is in my eyes a rip-off.
 
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Thanks, everyone. I am at the point in my photography where I want to take it to the next level.

I know I can't buy all of this at once, but I think I'll start with the Lee foundation kit. Then I'll look around for adapter ring, like you said Lurker. I'll also probably invest in the ND filters since what I do most is landscape photography.

Carole
 
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Check out 2filters.com.
They usually have package deals.
I bought the Cokin Z holder and Hitech GND filters from them for under $100 when I still had the 11-16.
 
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Check out 2filters.com.
They usually have package deals.
I bought the Cokin Z holder and Hitech GND filters from them for under $100 when I still had the 11-16.
Were you happy with the results that you got from them? I'll take a look at that website and see what they have.

I checked on eBay and the Lee foundation kit is cheaper on B&H.

Carole
 
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Were you happy with the results that you got from them? I'll take a look at that website and see what they have.

I checked on eBay and the Lee foundation kit is cheaper on B&H.

Carole
Yes. I am satisfied.
Once I take on shooting landscapes again, I'm going to dust off the GND's and the holder.
It's easier to justify leaving inexpensive gear in the bag longer than normal when I got them for cheap. That's just me of course.

If you're going to be using the filters often though, you can't go wrong with the Lee system as it is made to tackle constant use and abuse. :smile:
 
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Yes. I am satisfied.
Once I take on shooting landscapes again, I'm going to dust off the GND's and the holder.
It's easier to justify leaving inexpensive gear in the bag longer than normal when I got them for cheap. That's just me of course.

If you're going to be using the filters often though, you can't go wrong with the Lee system as it is made to tackle constant use and abuse. :smile:
Well, I'm going to be attending this amazing workshop in October, so I want to get decent equipment. A few things have happened recently that make me think it's time to go to the next level :smile:

I will probably go with the Lee system and just buy things a little at a time.

Carole
 
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Well, I'm going to be attending this amazing workshop in October, so I want to get decent equipment. A few things have happened recently that make me think it's time to go to the next level :smile:

I will probably go with the Lee system and just buy things a little at a time.

Carole
Piece by piece is always good.
Make sure you give yourself some time to get to know the system so you're not all over the place come October.
Judging from your images I think you will do well with the Lee system. :biggrin:
 
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Piece by piece is always good.
Make sure you give yourself some time to get to know the system so you're not all over the place come October.
Judging from your images I think you will do well with the Lee system. :biggrin:
Thanks, Donski! I was just looking at your bird photography. Amazing shots!! We get a few birds around here, but nothing as colorful as what you get. And where I live, they tend to be way up in the trees, so you can hear them but not see them :frown:

I will be on Whidbey Island in October, so I'm hoping for nice weather and some gorgeous shots :smile:

Carole
 
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Thanks, Donski! I was just looking at your bird photography. Amazing shots!! We get a few birds around here, but nothing as colorful as what you get. And where I live, they tend to be way up in the trees, so you can hear them but not see them :frown:

I will be on Whidbey Island in October, so I'm hoping for nice weather and some gorgeous shots :smile:

Carole
Hey, thanks for the nice comments.
I have other folders in my SM but I'm currently re-organizing...for the last year and half. Haha.

Looking forward to your shots after the workshop. :smile:
 
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I have gotten the few filters I have from 2filter.com. Never had an issues with their service. I use the cokin P series holder and hitech ND filters. Not to expensive to get new rings for each lens diameter.
 
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The question is - on a wide angle lens do you get vignetting with the Cokin system? According to B&H, Lee is the only system that doesn't get vignetting on a wide angle lens. I'm looking at getting the Tokina 11-16 for landscape photography.

Carole
 
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Hey, thanks for the nice comments.
I have other folders in my SM but I'm currently re-organizing...for the last year and half. Haha.

Looking forward to your shots after the workshop. :smile:
Me too! I hope they are much better :biggrin:

Carole
 

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