View Full Version : using gel filters

Tim Hettinger
14-Jan-2005, 13:04
I picked up a 4 x 4 Kodak Gel # 58, not realizing that it was so thin and didn't come in a frame or anything. How can I use this type of filter with the Lee system? I looked around and couldn't find any filter frames or anything, I'm either missing it or they don't exist. I have a 90 mm Nikkor 4.5 which has a large filter thread, so the little snap on frame doesn't look usable-anyway, how would one then use a lens shade? Any tricks or suggestions would be helpful.

Eric Woodbury
14-Jan-2005, 13:32
I use 4" gels and polyesters with lenes that are a full 100mm diameter. They work. First, you need a gel frame or holder. I buy mine from Calumet. You get a bunch of them in a pack and they are prestuck little cardboard windows. I put them in the Gel snap thing for smaller diameter lenses. For the big lenses, I use a square piece of foam board. In this I cut a circle just the outside diameter of the lens. This will slide over the lens. To this I either clip or use photo corners to retain the gel without the Gel snap.

Good luck, have fun.

Tom Westbrook
14-Jan-2005, 13:36
Try here: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=87154&is=REG (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=87154&is=REG)

They work fine, but you have to trim a bit of the filter to make it so the snaps close properly.

Ben Hopson
14-Jan-2005, 13:41

Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but the filter frames the above URL links to work with the Lee 4x4 gels. The instructions have you trim the filter about an eigth inch so the frame will snap together. If memory serves they come in a package of ten plastic frames.

Good luck.

Ralph Barker
14-Jan-2005, 13:43
You can also make your own gel filter holders out of manilla folder material. You'd want to check the Lee system to see that the spring clips will grip that thickness, however.

Ben Hopson
14-Jan-2005, 13:46
I've got to start using two fingers on the keyboard!

Tim Hettinger
14-Jan-2005, 14:14
that's exactly the sort of thing I was looking for! Guess I can put the duct tape away...

Alick Crossley
14-Jan-2005, 17:14
While a filter holder would be ideal, many times, I have just rolled a very small amount of gaffers tape on each side of the lens and stuck it on. You can put it on the rear of the lens if it is easier. Though I guess in the long run you will spend more replacing filters this way.

14-Jan-2005, 22:19
Has anyone compared the results using gels/polyester to using optical glass filters? I've been curious about this for a long time.

Tom Westbrook
15-Jan-2005, 06:20
Paul, from what I've heard and read gels are supposed to have a slight optical edge due to their thinness. But, I mostly use them because they save weight and can be used on all my LF nad MF lenses and using the $25 Gel Snap rubber band holder the whole package is fairly inexpensive. They maybe more expensive over time, though. Gels are less fragile than glass. I think they are less color stable than glass and maybe polyester, and you absolutely can not get water on them sicne they will dimple/deform a lot when wet (they are made of what? Gelatin!).

Not sure what the advantages are with the polyester ones. Maybe some of the same applies, but they won't be soluble in water. They are at least as thick as glass, so no optical advantage, but are lighter and harder to break than glass. You can use the same interchangeable holder you use for gels.

17-Jan-2005, 16:28
Interesting. I had no idea polyester filters were thick as glass. I assumed they were just like gels, but a better material.
Thanks for the info.