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LEE v HiTech Big Stopper

Nick_w > Nick_w Blog > LEE v HiTech Big Stopper
07/01/2012 - 7:27 PM

Unique views 5359 (7823)

Some time ago I did a brief tutorial on the HiTech big stopper (note this is their New version that isn't subject to IR contamination).

As I mentioned I only bought the HiTech as the LEE had such a long lead time, however I kept my order on with the LEE as I wasn't convinced with the HiTech.

HiTech = 69.99
LEE = 100

Winner = HiTech

Lead Times

LEE 7 Months
HiTech 5 days

Winner = HiTech


HiTech = CR39
LEE = Glasss

The LEE gives slightly better clarity of image (you can't really see it at 600px), however it is very easy to break


HiTech has quite a cheap looking plastic leatherette pouch
LEE has a very proffesional canvas Pouch

Both have a exposure guide.

Winner = LEE

Now to the results:


Straight shot, 3 stop grad ND - F14 1/80 sec ISO 200 Auto WB=4600/+2


HiTech Big Stopper +3 stop Grad ND Straight out of Camera - F11, 30 Sec ISO200 Auto WB=4900/-8


LEE straight out of camera - F11, 30 Seconds ISO200 Auto WB=5450/-2

A few comments:

The HiTech has quite a strong Aqua caste
LEE is pretty neutral (slightly cool) -it must be said this is much better than my last LEE copy

Winner= LEE

To get a consistant exposure (30 seconds) both Big stoppers had to be set to F11, so they are both closer to 11 Stop than 10 stops.

Winner = Draw

The next stage was to take the RAW's set a white balance off the same area (one of the stones in the wall) then use Auto in lightroom to balance exposure (note this is only for consistancy and not my usual workflow).


Original WB= 3850 / +1


HiTech WB= 8900 / +118


LEE WB=6150 / +17

The above Just confirms my original thoughts that the LEE is far more neutral, particularly for the tint settings.

The final versions are the finished Lightroom files (done by eys to get the best IMO of each file)


Original Finished


HiTech Finished


LEE finished


I was very surprised, the HiTech filter performed very well, my preference is still the LEE, but only just for the upmost quality, however you can with care get more than acceptable results with the HiTech. As HiTech are more readily available they are probably goin to provide quite a challenge to LEE.

Tags: Big stopper, Hitech, Lee



Looks like a useful comparison, but I'm not sure what using auto-white balance proves. Surely it would be easier to see a colour caste if the white balance was manually set to the same thing with each filter? The fact that the AWB reacts differently to each filter is simply an indication that they are not optically identical?

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7 Jan 2012 - 8:31 PM

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Thanks Stuart. There are arguments both ways Stuart. It's why I did a manual WB adjustment from the same spot on the same rock for all 3 images. TBH I never (or rarely) set the WB in camera, the D700 is very good at providing a good record. I do all WB adjustments in RAW.

The fact they are not optically identical is important.

Thanks for the feedback.

Last Modified By Nick_w at 7 Jan 2012 - 8:35 PM

The pictures were taken at a local reservoir near Penistone. When the level was low revealing an old wall that's normally submerged. I must go back and explore it properly without thinking about the tutorial.

29 Feb 2012 - 9:10 AM

Thanks for this link from the forum Nick, a great help.

Mkalsaeed  2
5 Apr 2013 - 6:31 PM

Sorry, Im also wonder what is the difference between;


I've wide angle lens any suggestion??

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