August 30, 2014, 08:49:00 AM

Author Topic: Recommendations for a good starter kit for Lee Filter system  (Read 3598 times)

lastcoyote

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I wonder if anyone would post their suggestions on what is a good starting place when it comes to Lee filters?
I know they do a Lee Digital SLR Starter kit but not sure if the included 2 stop filters are the best starting point as I read a lot of people prefer the 0.9 (3 stop filters).

So maybe buying the foundation kit and getting seperate 3 stop ND and NDG would be better?
I know these things are really a matter of what you want to be able to achieve with them but still if we're talking a good starting point what would you suggest?

I'm initially going to be using this with my 24-70 f/2.8L II lens by the way.
I've already bought a Lee 82mm wide angle adaptor ring. I'll also be buying a Big Stopper at some point in the future too.

Any advice welcome...

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catfish252

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Re: Recommendations for a good starter kit for Lee Filter system
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2013, 09:36:23 AM »
I wonder if anyone would post their suggestions on what is a good starting place when it comes to Lee filters?
I know they do a Lee Digital SLR Starter kit but not sure if the included 2 stop filters are the best starting point as I read a lot of people prefer the 0.9 (3 stop filters).

So maybe buying the foundation kit and getting seperate 3 stop ND and NDG would be better?
I know these things are really a matter of what you want to be able to achieve with them but still if we're talking a good starting point what would you suggest?

I'm initially going to be using this with my 24-70 f/2.8L II lens by the way.
I've already bought a Lee 82mm wide angle adaptor ring. I'll also be buying a Big Stopper at some point in the future too.

Any advice welcome...

Don't forget a circular polarizer.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Recommendations for a good starter kit for Lee Filter system
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2013, 09:44:08 AM »
Foundation Kit, a 0.9 soft-edge ND grad, the Big Stopper, and if you plan to shoot straight horizons (ocean, etc.), a 0.6 or 0.9 hard-edge ND grad.  If you'll shoot sunsets on the horizon, consider a 0.9 reverse-grad ND (e.g. Singh-Ray).

Don't forget a circular polarizer.

Fine if you want to use the CPL solo or with a solid ND.  Not so easy with a Lee holder if you also want to use a grad ND.  Your options there would be to either get a second foundation kit and the tandem adapter putting the CPL in the outer holder, or the 105mm adapter insert and a 105mm CPL (B+W, etc., usually pretty expensive in that large a diameter).
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munkymorgy

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Re: Recommendations for a good starter kit for Lee Filter system
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2013, 09:51:23 AM »
My lee kit includes 2 holders and tandem adapter (professional kit)

0.45 ND Hard Grad (1.5 stop) 
Square circular polariser
10 Stop Filter, could not get a big stopper at the time.
Lee 10 filter case, hard backed with velvet pockets.
also lee lens caps, adapter rings stay on my lenses

Wide angle hood (2 slots).

I got the square filter because it is a lot cheaper, can be put in normal or rotated 90 degrees giving full or half polarization. for finer control planned on using the secondary holder.

I wish I had not got the two holders but just got the hood earlier. The hood can attach to the tandem adapter, using up one slot. Or the more expensive round circular polariser can fit inside the the lens hood and rotated separately.

I believe the issue is due to resin filters but sure some one will shoot with the real reason, the filters can handle flare really badly in some situations so having a hood or shading the glass from out of shot light sources is a really good idea.

lastcoyote

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Re: Recommendations for a good starter kit for Lee Filter system
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2013, 10:00:04 AM »
Foundation Kit, a 0.9 soft-edge ND grad, the Big Stopper, and if you plan to shoot straight horizons (ocean, etc.), a 0.6 or 0.9 hard-edge ND grad.  If you'll shoot sunsets on the horizon, consider a 0.9 reverse-grad ND (e.g. Singh-Ray).

yeah this is kind of what i'm thinking of getting.
still undecided on whether to go hard or soft on my first ND Grad though  :-\
Canon 5D Mark III | BG-E11 | 24-70 f2.8L II | 70-200 f2.8L IS II | 100 f2.8L IS Macro | 135 f2L | MP-E 65 f2.8 | MT-24EX | 600EX-RT | ST-E3-RT

neuroanatomist

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Re: Recommendations for a good starter kit for Lee Filter system
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2013, 10:09:26 AM »
still undecided on whether to go hard or soft on my first ND Grad though  :-\

A soft edge tends to be more versatile - there aren't to many straight lines in nature...
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munkymorgy

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Re: Recommendations for a good starter kit for Lee Filter system
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2013, 10:26:46 AM »
still undecided on whether to go hard or soft on my first ND Grad though  :-\

Nero knows his stuff so not going against his recommendations, my understanding is that the soft grads were originally designed for medium format use and the hard grad on a full frame gives the same result. Choosing soft on a full frame would makes placement a lot easier though. In my experience has too much of a gradient.

An incorrectly placed 3 stop hard grad is very noticeable. I find a 1 stop hard grad over sky is barley noticeable and incorrect placement does not destroy the image. I use the 1.5 stop hard grad (0.45) and add extra grads in lightroom. I think of it as adding 1.5 stops to the dynamic range to the scene I can handle with a very low risk to messing it up with bad or obvious filter placement.

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Re: Recommendations for a good starter kit for Lee Filter system
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2013, 10:26:46 AM »

lastcoyote

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Re: Recommendations for a good starter kit for Lee Filter system
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2013, 12:11:42 PM »
maybe it would be sensible to go for a soft ND Grad first then.
WEX in the UK here have 10% off filters at the moment and typically they're out of stock of almost everything Lee  >:(
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bitm2007

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Re: Recommendations for a good starter kit for Lee Filter system
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2013, 12:15:07 PM »
Depends on your budget. 

If money is tight

Lee Foundation Fit (Holder)
0.9 ND Grad Hard
0.6 ND Grad Soft (often combined with 0.9 Hard at sunset)
0.9 ND Pro Glass (more expensive than resin version but better results and scratch resistance)
105mm BW Polarising Filter (slimmer profile helps with vignetting plus great results)
Lee 105mm Front Holder Ring (for Polariser)

As a pro landscape photographer I carry (in the order I use them most)

105mm BW Polarising Filter
0.9 ND Grad Hard
0.6 ND Grad Soft
0.9 ND Pro Glass
0.6 ND Grad Hard
Big Stopper
1.2 ND Resin
0.6 ND Pro Glass
0.9 ND Soft

Plus 2 Lee holders both with Lee 105mm Front Holder Ring (1 and 2 Slots), the 1 slot helps with vignetting
Wide angle adapter rings for each lens

« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 12:19:51 PM by bitm2007 »

RLPhoto

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Re: Recommendations for a good starter kit for Lee Filter system
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2013, 12:30:00 PM »
Black Card technique.

munkymorgy

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Re: Recommendations for a good starter kit for Lee Filter system
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2013, 03:12:13 PM »
maybe it would be sensible to go for a soft ND Grad first then.
WEX in the UK here have 10% off filters at the moment and typically they're out of stock of almost everything Lee  >:(

I tend to find that Dale Photographic is pretty good with LEE stuff the website is not at Wex levels but they are great on the phone.

Kernuak

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Re: Recommendations for a good starter kit for Lee Filter system
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2013, 05:06:40 PM »
If you shoot a lot of seascapes, then a hard grad is usually best, but with only the foundation kit, then you're better off with a soft grad. If you were able to add the tandem adaptor and second kit, then you could use two hard grads with hills or mountains in some situations. I find that a 3 stop is the most useful, as there aren't too many scenes that have less than 3 stops difference between the sky and foreground (unless you're lucky with the lighting or aren't including the sun anywhere near the frame in the golden hours).
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lastcoyote

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Re: Recommendations for a good starter kit for Lee Filter system
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2013, 05:23:44 PM »
all very helpful info so far thanks  :)
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Re: Recommendations for a good starter kit for Lee Filter system
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2013, 05:23:44 PM »