Lee Filter System questions

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by pthrift, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. pthrift

    pthrift No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well I finally bit the bullet and bought into the lee filter system. Found a great deal used on eBay with a Big stopper; the foundation kit; a holder; and a 72mm adapter ring. I will have to get a new adapter as my current wide lens is a 68mm and the ones I'm looking at are 77 & 82 respectively (the sigma 10-20/3.5 & the tokina 11-16/2.8)

    But....

    I'm super excited! I am curious to what owners think the more useful set of GND's are the soft set or the hard set; I can only afford one or the other right now. I mainly am looking at these for landscapes; and looking thru my flickr account it looks like all I shoot is ocean scapes but I do right much back wooded creek areas too.

    Suggestions to what's practical?

    Also-- big vs little stopper- it seems to me that the little stopper would be more practical in general use; but I'm interested in hearing real world use there too.

    Thanks


     
  2. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Little stopper is more versatile, and I find myself using that more often than the big stopper. That being said, the big stopper, when used, creates effects that no other Lee filter can do. So, it's an amazing filter and I love having the option of one or the other. Also, the soft set is DEFINITELY more versatile, and I'd recommend that set first. The hard edged have their uses, but mostly on flat horizons (like seascape shots and such).

    Enjoy them!
     
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  3. pthrift

    pthrift No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Gotcha. Thanks for the input!
     
  4. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The hard vs. soft edge GND really depends on your subject. If there's a hard "edge" between land and sky (such as an ocean -- with a very well-defined line) than a hard-edge is probably a better choice.

    If the land vs. sky separation is not a nicely defined line... then you may prefer to go with the soft edge.

    I suspect you'd prefer the hard-edge at the ocean and the soft edge at the back-wooded creeks.

    Ultimately there's a reason they make both types.
     
  5. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Which is what I always tell people. HOWEVER, on tonight's sunset shoot (on a beach, with an essentially straight/perfect horizon, I used two soft edged (0.9 and 0.6) GND's. Why? The foreground was rocks, then water, then the sky. The sun was reflecting quite heavily off of the water, which meant I needed to ND that AND the sky. A hard edged filter was too apparent, so I used those two listed above and offset them slightly to "blend" from no ND to 5stops of ND.

    Jake

    In other words, it's an "99% of the time yes, but 1% of the time, not really" situation.
     
  6. pthrift

    pthrift No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Which is what makes it a difficult choice for me.
    I'm sort of inclined to purchase a single filter of each and see what comes out of the bag most often for a while then go from there; but I'd want to buy an odd # not found in the sets (like the .45 or .75) to save money long run by still having the option to buy a whole set.. Just what I'm contemplating for now.


    I'm also leaning towards really wanting the little stopper too...


    Apparently I'm going to go broke messing with the Lee system
     
  7. AlanKlein

    AlanKlein Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I know this has nothing to do with Lee filters. But, has anyone use grad ND lens type filters. I know you're kind of stuck with the soft edge transition is. But has anyone actually used one and what is your experience?
     
  8. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I own both hard and soft, and find them interchangeably useful. Sometimes soft, sometimes hard, sometimes both. Choosing only one I'd recommend soft first.
     

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