For a number of photographers, filters mean post
processing in computer software. The captured image is digitally
manipulated, this even includes scanned 'film' negatives transformed
into 'tiff' files.
It can be argued that applying software filters to an image to graduate
and open up it's dynamic range, alter the colour of it's skies or to
create other effects to enhance it are simply no substitute for the real
hardware filter. In fact when a software filter is applied to an image,
does the image itself not suffer a degradation in image quality, no
matter how mild?
produce some of the best lens (hardware) filters ever made and they are
supplied in various forms and sizes to fit the majority of film and
digital cameras. There is even a rangefinder camera kit, especially
designed for Leica M cameras. Invariable the filter kits are supplied
with a main adapter bracket that screws into the front of a lens and
then a filter mounting frame is attached to accept the various filters
required by the photographer.
Lee Filters supply their filters as individuals or as kits and the
mounting frames (depending on the choice) can accept a single filter or
a number of different filters. Also some mounting frames are designed
within a bellows hood to shade the lens and filters from the sun.
There is a great deal of satisfaction in selecting a subject and a
location, perhaps even weeks or months before you go there, and setting
up your equipment for a photo shoot. There is no rush, it might be a
night set-up for a rising dawn or even a late afternoon for a falling
sun. It could even be a train travelling through the day that crosses a
bridge at a particular time and you have been there several times in the
year to catch a moment. It might be a water fall cascading down a
Perhaps if you consider that the photographers of the 19th and 20th
centuries lugged plate cameras up mountainsides and across continents
then surely modern camera equipment is no big deal to
carry.............as long as you have the right back pack to carry it!
Typically you might take with you -
A back pack
A film or digital single lens reflex camera
or even a medium format camera
A number of prime
lenses of different focal ranges
There is a great deal
of pleasure to be had from this approach to photography, sure it is not
rapid fire and it requires planning and concentration, especially if the
opportunity to take the final shot is limited...........like a moving
train that you are waiting on!
I use the Lee Filter System with my Canon 5D DSLR for landscape photography.
The pace is slowed right down, the location and subject have been chosen
and I enjoy setting up the tripod and fitting the accessories that
make landscape photography so relaxing.
Lee Filters are great to use and it is very easy to assemble the various
components and slide in the filter choices to suit the scene.
There are starter kits for DSLR and other cameras (outlined in the
videos below) and the filters as well as the holders come in very nice
well made pouches with cleaning cloths.
This shot was taken up at Aviemore in Scotland and the weather was
appalling. I used the Canon 5D MK 1 DSLR with a Canon
24-105mm IS L Lens with the Lee 77mm adaptor screwed on the filter screw
of the lens, my Lee
clipped onto the ring of the adaptor with a graduated '2 stop' grey grad filter slipped in the
first slot of the hood for a graduated sky effect and a 'yellow'
straw filter slipped into the second slot with the 'straw' section of
the filter at the bottom.
I prefer to use the the Universal Hood and as it name suggests,
it can be configured to
suit many specific needs. It can be a simple lens shade, or have room
for one, two or three filters in any standard thickness.
Its size and shape make it an ideal general-purpose hood, and for
shading wide angle lenses on Digital SLR, 35mm and medium format
Lee Filters turned what would have been a hopeless image for light into
something reasonably worthwhile and I likened the effect to creating a forest
atmosphere that could have been prehistoric, at least to my eyes - I
called it 'Prehistoric 2008'.
There is also the
Lee RF75 Filter
smaller camera systems, such as the Panasonic
the Leica M Series of Rangefinders, which has been designed to offer a high
quality precision filter holder that is
compact, lightweight and will fit to
lenses with a diameter of 67mm or less.
is primarily offered to users of
rangefinder and high end digital compact
cameras, but will equally be of use for
large and medium format users who
require a smaller, more compact filter
System includes a full range of filters
sized 75mm x 90mm. These filters are
hand made to the same exacting quality
standards of colour and optical flatness
found in the
renowned LEE 100mm System. In keeping
with the smaller size, the filter
graduation zones have been adjusted
to suit the
smaller system. These changes have been
made through extensive testing and in
conjunction with top landscape
This is the Lee Seven5 Micro Filter
System for compact system cameras on the
go and travelling light -
A video from
Robert White in the UK -
The Lee SW150 Filter System enables you to
use graduated and
standard filters on a Nikon 14-24mm lens.
The filter sizes for the system are
150mm x 170mm for graduated filters and
150mm x 150mm for standard filters. The
holder is fully rotational enabling
greater flexibility when positioning
Also available is the SW150
System Adaptor, this allows you to
attach to the SW150 onto any standard
LEE adaptor ring, enabling you to use
the SW150 on any other lenses you have.
video explains the basics of Lee Filters -
This Robert White Photographic video explains the Lee Starter Kits -
Lee Seven5 Filter System for compact system cameras -
Lee 100mm Filter System ( 2 Part Videos) for DSLR cameras -