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Lee Filters Super Stopper 15-stop ND Filter Review

We review the Lee Filters Super Stopper - a 15 stop ND filter!


|  Lee Filters 15 Stop Super Stopper in Filters
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Features and Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specifications

Lee Filters Super Stopper 15stop ND Filter Cropped Adjusted

The Lee Filters Super Stopper is the darkest Lee Filter ND filter available, and offers a whopping 15 stops, which will extend your exposure time significantly for example, a normal exposure of 1/500s will become a 1-minute exposure, and a 1-second exposure would become an 8 hour 32-minute exposure! Let's find out how this ND filter performs.

Lee Filters Super Stopper Features and Handling

15 Stop Super Stopper

The Super Stopper is a 15 stop ND filter, and sits as part of Lee Filters "Stopper" range, with a Little Stopper offering 6 stops, the famous Big Stopper offering 10 stops, and the new Super Stopper offering 15 stops. Lee Filters also offer a range of standard and graduated ND filters.

The Super Stopper dramatically limits the amount of light entering the camera, and this significantly slows down the shutter speed needed for a correct exposure. 

Here's a guide as to how much the Super Stopper changes the shutter speed:

Normal shutter speed with Super Stopper
1/2000 sec 15 seconds
1/1000 sec 30 seconds
1/500 sec 1 minute
1/250 sec 2 minutes
1/125 sec 4 minutes
1/60 sec 8 minutes
1/30 sec 16 minutes
1/15 sec 32 minutes
1/8 sec 1 hour 4 minutes
1/4 sec 2 hours 8 minutes
1/2 sec 4 hours 16 minutes
1 second 8 hours 32 minutes
2 seconds 17 hours 4 minutes


As you can see, you can easily get up to some extremely long exposure times, with a 1-second exposure becoming an 8 hour and 32-minute long exposure! Due to the super stopper being so dark, it's also important to use manual focus, before attaching the filter to the camera. You'll also need to take into consideration how long your camera's battery lasts as well. 

Lee Filters Super Stopper 15stop ND Filter Scene Cropped Adjusted

As it's a square filter, you will need an adapter to fit your camera to hold the filter in place. Luckily, Lee Filters will be able to sell you one, and the filter holder has a good level of rubber / foam sealing to ensure there are no stray light leaks. You also get a protective case as part of the kit. 

Lee Filters 15stop With Case

Lee Filters Super Stopper Performance

Lee Filters 15 Stop (Heavily recovered - Noise Reduction) | 60 sec | f/11.0 | 29.0 mm | ISO 200
Lee Filters 15 Stop (Heavily recovered - Noise Reduction) | 60 sec | f/11.0 | 29.0 mm | ISO 200

There is some vignetting when using wide-angle (24mm equivalent) lenses, but this is less noticeable when using zoom. We edited the waterfall photo to give a slightly warmer tone. Using long exposures it's possible to remove crowds of people, for example in tourist spots or busy city centres.

There is very little colour difference, which can be seen with the colour chart above which shows a very slight blue or "cool" tone, although using manual or fixed white balance can be useful, as the filter may confuse the camera's auto white balance. The foam seal also did an excellent job, ensuring there were no light leaks visible.

Lee Filters 15 Stop Super Stopper Sample Photos

 

Value For Money

The Lee Filters Super Stopper is available for around £100 for the 100x100 sized filter used here, which makes it good value for money compared to competitors, which are often 20-25% more expensive. The filter is also available in the larger 150x150 size, as well as for the smaller Seven5 system.

Most other ND filters max out at 10 stops, such as the HOYA PROND 1000, Kenko RealPro ND1000, and Cokin Nuances ND1024. So to get a 15 stop filter, you'd need to combine a 10 stop and 5 stop filter, or another combination. However, Singh-Ray offers a "Mor-Slo" 5,10,15, and 20 stop circular ND filter, although finding a UK supplier can be tricky. NiSi also offer a 15 stop square filter for around £125 (100x100), and there is a HiTech 16 stop (100x100) filter available for around £120.

 

Lee Filters Super Stopper Verdict

The Lee Filters Super Stopper is a high quality 15 stop ND filter, available at a very competitive price point. The Lee Filters filter system is well regarded, meaning that it is a good system to buy into, with a wide range of filters available. The results are good, with little colour change, although we did notice a little vignetting.There will also be an element of trial and error, due to the higher likelihood of the lighting changing during longer exposures and here things like Olympus's "Live time" features can help

Overall the Lee Filters Super Stopper offers a new and creative option for long exposure photography, creating good results, whilst also being good value for money, as well as being part of a good system with high-quality holders and adapters. 

Lee Filters Super Stopper Pros

  • 15 stop ND filter
  • Minimal colour change (if any)
  • Protective case included in kit
  • Foam surround to stop light leaks
  • Good value for money

Lee Filters Super Stopper Cons

  • Some increased vignetting (with wide-angle lenses)
  • May be too dark for some (see Big Stopper)

Features4/5
Handling4.5/5
Performance4.5/5
Value4/5
Overall Verdict

 

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