LEE Filters FAQs

Should I use LEE Filters hard or soft grads?

This depends on: the type of photography, the type of equipment, and the requirements of an individual situation. There is no simple answer, most professionals will carry a selection of both. Hard Grads tend to be used on smaller format cameras (DSLR or 35mm) and are used for general landscape shots with a definite horizon. Soft Grads tend be used on larger format cameras or on very wide angle lenses and are used for balancing exposure evenly, when there is no definite horizon i.e. in cities or other situations when you may have an uneven skyline.

How can I clean my Resin Filters?

LEE Resin filters are made of an optical polycarbonate resin, and should be treated as you would a lens, or a pair of glasses. Clean with a lint free cloth for general use, and if necessary a lens cleaning solution to remove greasy fingerprints. Salt spray should be dissolved in warm water (not hot) and the filter dried and cleaned as usual.

What is a stop?

As a unit of measurement for exposure, a stop signifies an increase (or decrease) of the amount of light reaching the film by 2. Therefore a one stop increase will allow twice the exposure, and a one stop decrease will signify half as much light is reaching the film. LEE Filters ND filters tend to be rated by their average optical density – 0.3 is 50% – ie. It will reduce the amount of light transmitted by the filter to 50% of its original intensity – a one stop reduction.

Can I use a polariser and polyester filters together?

Yes you can use LEE Filters Polariser and polyester filters together. On very rare occasions Polyester Filters can have a detrimental effect when used with a polariser in bright sunny conditions but Resin Filters will have no such effect and can be used at any time

Can I use my existing screw in polariser with the LEE Filter Holder?

Providing your polariser has a repeat thread to accept the LEE adapter rings then there is no reason why you cannot use existing screw-in polarisers with the LEE System. Bear in mind however that polyester filters, if used in the holder in front of polarisers, will stop the polariser working correctly.

Can my scratched Resin Filters be polished?

Unfortunately no, unlike Glass, Resin Filters cannot be polished to remove scratches.

Do the bayonet adapter rings fit the inner or outer bayonet?

LEE Filters Bayonet adapter rings for such cameras as Hasselblad and Rollei fit into the inner bayonet lens fixing.

How do I clean my Polyester Filters?

LEE Filter Polyester filters have a surface coating, which is affected by solvents such as acetone or ethanol. Ensure any cleaning solution is water based and use a lint free cleaning cloth.

How do I mount polyester filters in the plastic frames?

To mount the LEE Filter polyester filters in the plastic mounts, first you need to trim the filter using scissors to about 90mm square – then place on the mount, inside the tabs on the frame. The frame should snap together but you will find it all works much better with a bit of super glue added.

How many LEE Filters can I use before the image quality suffers?

Most photographers will use the minimum number of filters possible to obtain the image, up to three filters should not have any major detrimental effect, but bear in mind that anything on the front of your lens will decrease the image quality to some degree.

If I had to buy just one filter, which would you recommend?

For general outdoor use, the LEE Filters 0.6ND Hard grad is a good starting point. Even if not the ideal filter for every situation, it will make a noticeable improvement to almost every picture on which it is used.

LEE Filters Polariser ring 105mm, do I need longer screws needed?

To fit the 105 polarising ring, you simply have to remove the two front cover plates from the filter guide stack. These cover plates are for cosmetic purposes only and serve no other function.

Removing the plates will give you enough distance to then use your existing screws to secure both the filter guides and the 105 polariser ring.

What do I need to get started using filters?

You will simply need a LEE Filters holder (100mm foundation kit) and the relevant size adapter ring (wide angle if necessary) – The filters can then be bought separately as needed, a good starting point would be a 2 stop(0.6) Hard edge ND grad.

Alternatively, the very popular DSLR starter kit would be ideal – you just need to add the adapter ring as this is not included in the kit.

What filter sizes do LEE make?

The standard size for the LEE Filter System is 100mm wide, however, they also have the Sev5n (75mm) and the SW150 (150mm) filter systems for more specific uses.
As LEE resin filters are hand made, they can make any size to special order, with enough notice.

What is the difference between Resin, Polyester & Glass filters?

 LEE Resin filters are individually hand made, the 2mm Optical Resin is cast in their factory, hand dyed and cut to give a very high quality product both in colour accuracy and optical quality. They are hard wearing and ideal for use on location.

Polyester Filters are made on a master roll, the colour being coated onto the surface of the clear polyester base material. Because the filters are very thin (0.1mm) the optical quality is high. Polyester is a good, low cost alternative to Resin, but because of the manufacturing process polyester grads are not available.The Glass Filters that LEE offer tend to be specialist filters that are not available in other materials, such as the ProGlass series or polarisers. They are hard wearing and scratch resistant.

When should I use a wide angle adapter ring?

On any lens wider than 24mm (on 35mm) or the equivalent on Digital or larger formats, using a wide angle adapter ring will greatly reduce the chances of vignetting.

Which lens hood should I choose?

The LEE Filters Universal hood is the sensible choice for most styles of photography. It will cover a reasonably wide focal length and as it is configurable by the end user, it can be used with 1 or 2 filter slots, or as a hood alone.

The wide angle hood is physically much larger, and will cover a wider focal length on most cameras. It is also fully configurable by the end user.

In Full Frame terms, the Universal hood would cover approximately 24mm effectively, the W/A hood. approx 21mm.

Both hoods can take the 105mm polariser ring inside the bellows, allowing the use of a screw-in 105mm polariser if required.

Why is 82mm the largest Wide Angle Adapter Ring?

LEE Filters Wide Angle Adapter Rings have a countersunk thread to allow the filter to be positioned as close to the lens as possible, maximising angle of view. 82mm is the widest they can manufacture that still allows the filter holder to attach and be effectively behind the adapter ring, any wider and the holder could not attach.

Do LEE FILTERS make a system for the Zeiss 15mm?

The Zeiss 15mm will take no filter system unless you have the hood removed by Zeiss (a service they now offer which is not as costly as you may think)

With the hood removed, the 15mm will take the LEE SW150 system and a 95mm screw thread adapter – or if you are already invested in the 100mm system, you can use the Lee Filters 100mm push-on holder straight to the hood-less lens, but only with one filter slot to get results without vignetting.

What is a Professional kit?

A Professional kit consists of 2 x Foundation kits ( Filter holders) and a joining part allowing the two holders to rotate separately.

This is usually only purchased when graduated filters are needed to be placed at different angles to each other or a square 100×100 polariser is purchased and needs to rotate independently of a graduated filter.