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Lee Filter Holders?

MrPhil 9 11 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2010 8:09PM
Hi guys, hope someone can help

I am just moving to the Lee Filter System and getting a 105mm B&W polariser to go with it. Now I will be using this on my 16-35 lens and so I expect I will need to prune the holder down to one slot and the polariser to minimise vignetting (for those times when I want to use the polariser at 16mm; few but sometimes).

Other times I will need to use the holder with two filters; maybe an ND and a Grad so do I rebuild the holder in the field or carry a second holder made up with two slots?

Appreciate some advice here and what people with the same needs have found works for them

Many thanks


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ge22y 10 115 12 Wales
31 Aug 2010 8:29PM
I haven't got the polariser so haven't got any experience of the amount of vignetting you would get, but as for stripping the filter holder down and then reassembling it everytime you want to switch filters out in the field would be a nightmare especially as you're watching that lovely light disappear, I can picture screws and blades going everywhere! But then I have got sausages for fingers. If you have the means then 2 holders would be the way to go for me.
Warriorpoet 9 213 3 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2010 8:29PM
You are right about 1 slot although there is a school of thought about using polarisers at very wide angles due to the inconsistent effect on the sky. I carry 3 holders in different configurations but two would probably be plenty if you only have the CPL and one ND and one Grad. Those screws are quite fiddly and if the field is litterally a field may take some finding if you drop one. Also you don't want to miss the best of the light while faffing about building the filter holder.

Edit - What he said Smile must type faster.
Tandberg 15 1.2k 2 England
1 Sep 2010 9:20AM
I have one holder and it has 2 slots only

5D mark 2 and 1DS Mark 2 with a 17-40 at 17mm with Lee pol on will vignette at 17mm so i go up to around 20mm to get rid.

The B+W pol may be thinner so may not vignette at 17.
But the lee one does
Oh and i use either 1 or 2 grads or 1 grad and full nd sometimes with pol on as well.
MrPhil 9 11 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2010 9:29AM
Thanks guys

Yes the B&W is about 50% thinner than the Lee.

What I have decided to do is get an extra holder just in case - off to the Isle of Eigg at the weekend, so no time to test; so best to play safe.

MiddleMan 17 15
3 Sep 2010 8:50AM
I use the Lee polariser and I use it screwed directly to the lens with an adaptor ring, thus avoiding the filter holder for polarising shots.

However, you will get vignetting at the 16mm end, but more to the point the polarising effect will more probably be uneven and its best not to go so wide with a polariser attached. Keeping to 24mm max will avoid this uneven effect and also vignetting
66tricky 11 742 Scotland
3 Sep 2010 11:14AM

Quote:You are right about 1 slot although there is a school of thought about using polarisers at very wide angles due to the inconsistent effect on the sky.

No so much a "school of thought" as a rule of physics. Some info Successful Filtration and from this very forum: Lee Circular Polarising Filter: I'm somewhat disappointed. The filter is producing a dark spot centrally in the image .

The following is a quote from another forum:

Why aren't Circular Polarising filters as good on very wide angle lenses?

If you use a circular polarising filter on a very wide lens, you will get uneven effects across the frame, which can show up, especially in things like clear blue skies.

The question that comes up quite a bit is why?

It is because the effect the CP has is at it's best when 90 to the sun.

But when an ultrawide lens is pointing 90 to the sun, it can 'see' a field of view of about 100, so it is seeing from 40 to 140, so the effect it has varies greatly across the frame.
Less wide lenses 'see' less field of view, so the effect is less noticeable.

I have seen significant centre "vignetting" using a CPL on a 17mm lens on a 1.5 crop DSLR under the "right" conditions.
MrPhil 9 11 United Kingdom
3 Sep 2010 1:06PM
Agreed with the "probems" at very wide angles, but sometimes the shot calls for just doing this and when that happens, its best not to worry about vignetting.

I have tested the 105mm B&W on my Nikon 16-35 and with a two slot plus polariser adapter there is vignetting at 16mm, f/11 - with a one slot plus polariser there is no vignetting at 16mm, f/11 This is with the Lee wide angle adapter ring fitted.

Just means carrying the extra adapter made up with one slot and polariser, but it works.

LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
3 Sep 2010 1:38PM
Pols do not themselves introduce optical vignetting (gradual corner darkening) but if shooting in programme or shutter priority mode adding a pol results in a wider aperture being used. All lenses have more optical vignetting wide open than stopped down.
The physics of pol filters is that the maximum angle of view (with the light source parallel to the sensor) on FX is 35mm for colour saturation including blue skies, and 28mm for reflections.
Outside these angles the pol effect falls off rapidly - unless reflections occupy only the central part of the picture.
Photographers using Lee filter systems tend to be perfectionists - and most are unhappy with the obvious uneven pol effect when using a pol on too wide a lens.
Chris_H 14 1.5k 1
3 Sep 2010 6:00PM
I use the Lee holder with two slots and the heliopan 105mm polariser on the polariser ring. I tend to get vignetting at anything under 22mm. As others have already said you will get uneven polarisation on such as wide angle lens which looks terrible on any pic so I generally shoot above at least 30mm anyway unless I am shooting in the upright format where uneven polarisation is not such a problem as you are not covering such extreme angels on the sky.
LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
4 Sep 2010 9:27PM
>from this very forum: Lee Circular Polarising Filter: I'm somewhat disappointed. The filter is producing a dark spot centrally in the image.

Without a link to a picture it is difficult to comment.
Using a pol at the wrong angle to the sun or with too wide a lens can cause one side of a picture to be darker than the other.
However a pol cannot make just the central area of a picture darker.
A "slow" aperture (lens needs a repair) would not either as with a slow aperture the center of the image gets more exposure than the center.

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