Filter Sets for LF.
Does anyone have experience with the Lee filter set for LF? I am looking at the following one through B&H http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=162548&is=REG
The rubber band mounting system sounds a little cheap to me.
How does the optical quality compare with MC filters from B+W?
I was under the impression that B+W uses the same kind of glass and manufacturing procedures as that used by Schneider. I only use B+W with all my lenses (I only have modern lenses) because of this, hopefully not erroneous fact - i.e. I do not want to degrade the quality of the lens with inferior filters. Perhaps it is not so relevant with uncoated, older lenses.
B+W and Heliopan multicoated filters are the best you can buy, but polyester and C32 resin filters aren't bad, and the Gel Snap system is attractive if you use classic lenses with odd filter sizes, and if you want to use ND grads, you'll need a resin filter system (even the Heliopan ND grads are resin filters, I believe, but in Heliopan's special holder). I don't know whether the Gel Snap system takes ND grads--I think it is just for gel and polyester filters, which are thinner. I have lots of 3x3" resin filters, mostly from the old Ambico system, as well as B+W and some Heliopan and Linhof, which are made I think by Heliopan.
Once I tested all my UV filters--even a cheap multicoated filter is better than a single or uncoated filter, but a resin filter is often better than an uncoated filter. Resin, polyester, and gel filters are of course more delicate than glass.
If you decide to go with glass filters--If you prefer a filter wallet, then go with B+W, because the filter type is engraved on the retaining ring, visible from the front of the filter. If you prefer to stack filters with stacking caps (which is more compact, but not as quick to use), then go with Heliopan, which have the filter type engraved on the ring in the normal way.
I'm always puzzled by how these things attach to the lens and if several lens holders are necessary to accomodate all the various sizes. Never seem to find any pictures or good descriptions.
I have one of these. Simply, the rubber band stretches around the outside of the lens and just sits there. The filter holder just sandwiches the filter and snaps shut. I found the filters to be so-so. I got one dirty once by dropping it on the floor. I didn't scratch it, but I never got the dust off. I stopped using it after two tries.
If you want to use a lens hood (which you should) then you have to put this behind the lens inside the camera. It causes a lot of glare if the sun hits it.
I replaced it with a Series 9 filter system. Tiffen made these years ago. It's very simple to use, but can be a challenge to find. If all your lenses are newer with threads, then just get a series 9 step-up ring for whatever lenses you have. E-bay has them all the time. Just search for series 9 under the camera category.
The system is just three pieces: the adapter, the filter, and a retaining ring. Unlike the threaded filters, these have a smooth ring around the glass. An adapter fits on the lens one of two ways: a slip on style, or a set-screw style. Get the set-screw type. These will fit several lenses. I also have a series 8 (smaller) ring with a 8-9 step-up ring for small lenses. The set-screws are three screws around the ring that clamp ono the outside of the lens. It has internal threads for the retaining ring. When the ring is in the adapter, there is a space for the filter. Just put the filter in the ring, then screw the ring onto the adapter. It's finished.
Lens hoods for the series filters are made to act like retaining rings, so you can interchange them, or use several filters at once.
B+W, Harrison & Harrison, and Tiffen all make series size filters. The filters are about 86 mm in diameter. This should fit almost any lens you have. If you shop for an adapter, the size is written in code. It will say something like "75 SS 9 Adapter". This means it is a 75 mm opening (inside diameter), set-screw, series 9. They also made "81 SS 9" and other sizes. It just dictates the maximum lens diameter you can use. My 75 mm ring fits over a 24" Artar. If it says "75 SO 9" then it is a "slip-on" type. This only fits one size lens, so I don't recommend them.
Series filters were used a lot in the motion picture industry, so you may find them in places that cater to that group.
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I use a very basic system. I use Kodak Wratten filters with my LF cameras. The filters come sandwiched between 2 pieces of white stiff board. In each, I cut an opening, leaving about 2 or 3 eithths of an inch border. I then wandwich the filter in between the two frames that I just cut. I seal the frames with tape or staples. I then wrap the filter in the foil that the filters come in and put it back in the stock yellow paper sleeve. For use, I place the filter behind the lens. It usually sits there in the light path just fine. Sometimes, I wedge the filter in the folds of the bellows. In some cases, I have assembled hand-made holders. I glue on a small magnet to the filter frame and cut a piece of galvanized steel strapping tape (called plumbers strapping or plumbers tape at Home Depot). I ben the piece in the shape of a 'Z' and glue one end to the inside of the lensboard. The filter then just snaps on the tape via the magnet. It is very easy to make and super-cheap. I read about this in a Zone VI newsletter about 20 years ago and it works fine. No gear to carry around and the filter sits behine the lens out of the way of the weather and sun glare.
You could use a combination of the Lee holder with the mega-rubberband and a Wratten filter. Just be careful with the gel filters...susceptible to finger prints, scratches, etc.
I use the Lee system on my LF. I don't use that rubber band adapter. I considered it until I found out how it attached to my lenses. I couldn't use it on my MF, because the aperture ring is out on the end of the lens and it would block it. I went with the one that requires an adapter for your given size of lens and have used it extensively for lots of different filters.
Originally Posted by bmac