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Lee filters advice

Bianca22 5 19
13 Jul 2013 12:05PM
Has anyone had experience using the Lee Soft Graduated resin filters? I am considering getting a set of these filters, and because the size is 100 x 150mm, would the dark area of the filter if pushed down completely cover the image on a cropped sensor camera? Just wondering if this could then work as a solid ND filter as well? Thanks.


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ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
13 Jul 2013 12:11PM
it depends on the lens, but in my experience, most of my lenses could be fully covered by the dark area
Bianca22 5 19
13 Jul 2013 12:21PM
The lenses I would be using have 67mm and 77mm filter threads. Two of them are wide angle, a 17-55mm and a 10-22mm. Do you think these should be ok then?
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
13 Jul 2013 12:32PM
17-55 should be ok, not sure about the 10-22 though
Bianca22 5 19
13 Jul 2013 1:23PM
Thanks for replying to my post. I'll just have to experiment and see if the ND Grads will work at giving full coverage with the dark portion of the filter down completely - at a push they just might hopefully! Cheers.
AlanTW 15 351
13 Jul 2013 2:38PM
I used to use them regularly as aa ND filter on my D300 and a Nikon 16-85 lens (67mm filter thread I think)
Gundog 5 629 Scotland
13 Jul 2013 3:25PM
..but, with the 10-20mm, I think you will have to use a wide-angle filter holder anyway when the lens is at its widest setting.
Bianca22 5 19
13 Jul 2013 5:50PM
Is it the diameter of the actual lens I'm using that would pose the problem? I'm thinking that the 10-22mm wide angle lens has a 77mm filter thread and half the length of the 100 x 150mm filter would be 75mm. I measured inside the actual rim of the lens and its just about 75mm so I'm hoping it might cover the lens - just. The other wide angle lens I've got, the 17-55mm also has a 77mm filter thread.

I'm just wondering if anyone here who has used a 77mm diameter lens has tried doing this with any success? I have a couple of lenses with a 67mm filter thread which I know now will work ok with the soft ND Grads - thanks for that info Alan. Cheers.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2013 8:09PM
With a filter 150mm long, and the transition zone placed centrally, the 77mmdia lens diameter is 2mm more than half the length of the filter, then you need to allow for the width of the transition zone. So in answer to your question no, it cannot be used as a straight ND filter unless you shoot wider than needed and crop it

For a 67mm dia lens, the transition zone would have to be less than about 15mm.
RoyChilds 10 90 England
13 Jul 2013 9:11PM
I sold my soft grads, Hard grads work better as ND filters as the transition is more pronounced and Gundog is right if you use a wide angle lens you need the wide angle adapter ring, it sits further back on your lens.
pink Plus
14 5.1k 7 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2013 9:27PM
You have to also remember that normal grads would let a certain amount of light into the lens around the edge, ND filters tend to have a foam or rubber gasket to stop light leakage on long exposures, you may get away with it but I'm pretty sure the grad transition would be in the shot.
Bianca22 5 19
14 Jul 2013 11:02AM
Thanks very much for all your help and advice. I have been using a Cokin P series of ND Grads and I've certainly noticed some light leaking around the sides on very bright days, even when trying to cover with my hands. Yes, I see now that using the ND Grads as a make-shift solid ND filter wouldn't work for all the reasons you've mentioned here.

I also didn't realize the solid ND filters had a rubber or foam gasket to prevent light entering. I knew the Lee Big Stopper has but wasn't sure about the other ones. Thanks again everyone.
Gundog 5 629 Scotland
14 Jul 2013 11:28AM
Also remember to close the viewfinder eyepiece shutter when making long exposures with an ND filter. Otherwise light will enter through the viewfinder and "fog" the image.
Bianca22 5 19
15 Jul 2013 8:09AM
Thanks Gundog for telling me about the viewfinder also needing to be covered for long exposures.

You mentioned before about when using the 10-22mm lens I would need to get a wide angle adaptor ring. Does this also apply to the 17-55mm lens as well? I think I read on the Lee website something about when using a cropped sensor camera, standard adaptor rings are only suitable for focal lengths down to 18mm. Would it be safer to use the wide angle adaptor ring on this lens?
tanyard 11 109 United Kingdom
18 Jul 2013 3:00PM
I have a Sigma 12-24 which has a built in tulip lens hood. The large lens cap fits over the end of the barrel/hood and doubles as a filter ring when the central flat section of the cap is removed.

A pity Sigma didn't think that withthe filter ring in place, you get a perfect black circular surround at all focal lengths except 24mm.

This makes placing any filters over the lens at any length other than the longest a waste of time.

I only realised this having spent out on a Lee ND grad kit and 82mm ring specifically for this lens.

I guess Blutac is the only answer as the filter will fit over the front of the lens without the edges showing.

Oh well. At least I have the Lee for the other lenses in my armoury.

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