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Stephen Fritz
10-Aug-2008, 12:56
Iíve just purchased but havenít yet received the 150mm SSXL for use with 8x10.

In other formats using a lens with a similar angle of view, I usually use a polarizer plus a graduated neutral density filter together. Sometimes I also stack a full neutral density filter on top of this combination.

I am wondering if anyone else is using this combination of filters with this lens and what filters/holders work without 1.) vignetting with 8x10 and 2.) if a solution is required which keeps a filter from bumping the front element of the lens.

If the lens does not require a step-up ring, I was thinking of placing a 95mm polarizer on the lens first, adjusting it for effectiveness, then placing the Lee 100mm clamp-on filter holder for the GND and ND filters. I thought placing a 4-stop full ND filter on the rear element in addition to the polarizer would cause the image to be so dark I wouldnít be able to see the image enough to focus. (The lens would have to be focused with the ND installed on the rear element due to focus shift caused by the thickness of the filter).

Before I spend a lot of time and money experimenting with possibly non-returnable holders and filters, I thought Iíd pose the problem here.

I guess you're really out of luck if you want to include the #4a center filter in the mix!

Joanna Carter
10-Aug-2008, 14:08
Take a look at the Cokin X-Pro system holder, it takes 130mm filters.

After having lost a Lee 100mm push-on holder and square polariser into a waterfall, I decided it was time to get a holder that could not fall off whilst I was adjusting the angle of a filter.

archivue
10-Aug-2008, 14:13
There's also a large sinar holder 125mm

http://www.sinar.ch/file_uploads/bibliothek/k_92_Brochures/289_0_prka_filter_e.pdf

Eric Leppanen
10-Aug-2008, 15:05
For my taste, the SS150XL on 8x10 has a fair amount of light falloff on the edges, so I find myself using the CF much of the time. I therefore needed a filter system that accommodated both the CF and non-CF SS150XL configurations, as well as the rest of my 4x5 and 8x10 lenses.

I settled on the Lee system using three filter holders: the standard FK (which attaches using adapter rings), the 100mm press-on FK100 (for SS150XL without CF), and the 115mm press-on FK115 (for SS150XL with CF). However, unlike your setup I use a Lee 100mm square linear polarizer, as it is compatible with all three holders. Obviously using the square polarizer requires rotating the entire holder to get the proper orientation, so if I am using the polarizer and ND grads simultaneously I first position the ND grad then tape the polarizer to the front of the holder. It's not the most elegant solution but it works. So far I haven't had any problems with press-on filter holders falling off the lens.

I think your idea of attaching a press-on Lee holder onto a round polarizer (presumably a thin version to minimize vignetting) might work, but obviously it doesn't address a CF configuration if you decide to go that route. I also always place the polarizer farthest from the lens, since I use plastic resin Lee ND grads and I understand mixing polarizer and plastic resin filters can potentially cause problems if not placed in the correct order (see http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=18867&highlight=polarizer+order). Presumably folks using glass filters (such as Singh-Ray ND grads) don't have this problem.

My concern about Cokin X-Pro is that you'd be purchasing a new and relatively bulky filter system (including polarizer and ND grads) just for one lens. I'm also not sure how much longer X-Pro is going to be around; Samy's has been disposing of a lot of X-Pro inventory on Ebay over the last six months or so (there is still a lot for sale there, so if you do go this route you'll save quite a bit of money). The Lee ND grad filters (which can be custom made in the X-pro size) are much better than the Cokin ones.

I would avoid placing the 4-stop ND filter over the rear element (much too dark). I occasionally place a #25 red filter (3-stop correction) on the rear element of my 200mm Grandagon, and focusing is not a lot of fun.

Joanna Carter
10-Aug-2008, 15:25
My concern about Cokin X-Pro is that you'd be purchasing a new and relatively bulky filter system (including polarizer and ND grads) just for one lens. I'm also not sure how much longer X-Pro is going to be around; Samy's has been disposing of a lot of X-Pro inventory on Ebay over the last six months or so (there is still a lot for sale there, so if you do go this route you'll save quite a bit of money). The Lee ND grad filters (which can be custom made in the X-pro size) are much better than the Cokin ones.
Although I use the Cokin filter holder, I would continue to use Formatt Filters as they are excellent quality at a much more reasonable price than Lee or others.

Stephen Fritz
10-Aug-2008, 16:24
I am going to keep this as simple as possible and assume I will not ever be using the 4a center filter. I use the 80mm SSXL lens without a CF and find it satisfactory since I shoot only color negatives of non-architectural subjects.

Since I do not see any manufacturer producing glass graduated neutral density filters in a 4x6 size (Singh Ray doesn’t make them), needing to put the polarizer farthest from the lens further complicates the issue. Taping the polarizer to the front of a holder with a GND wouldn’t be acceptable in the environments I work in and is hardly a professional solution.

The Cokin P holder puts the round polarizer slot for their glass polarizer closest to the lens. I can’t tell if Cokin’s larger size holders does so similarly since I don’t own them.

I do not see the ability to rotate either a round or square polarizer independently of a 4x6 GND filter in a system which places the polarizer farthest from the lens from any manufacturer. This strikes me as rather ridiculous considering the demand for a technically satisfactory filter solution for wide angle, wide diameter large format lenses. The desire to combine a polarizer with a ND grad is hardly unusual with these lenses.

The solution may lie with a Panavision or HD video compatible filter system. If there are any AC’s (assistant cameramen) reading this, are there any filter systems which place a rotating polarizer stage in front of a 4X filter? Or is anyone aware of glass 4x6 grad ND filters?

Eric Leppanen
10-Aug-2008, 16:44
Since I do not see any manufacturer producing glass graduated neutral density filters in a 4x6 size (Singh Ray doesnít make them), needing to put the polarizer farthest from the lens further complicates the issue. ???

Singh-ray makes 4x6" ND grads in one through five stop versions:

http://www.singh-ray.com/grndgrads.html

Also, I would suggest talking to John Adler of Lee USA (800-576-5055) before ruling out the Lee system. They may have some newer products that I am not aware of. I know they do make a combination polarizer/ND grad system, but it historically was usually limited to nornal or longer lenses (at least in 4x5 format).

Stephen Fritz
10-Aug-2008, 16:48
Re: Singh-Ray -- Eric, yes but they are all resin according to earlier posts I've read. They stopped making the glass ones years ago because people kept breaking them.

Hmmm, maybe this situation doesn't come up that often because most 8x10 shooters seem to be using black & white and don't use polarizers much with GND's, instead using yellow/red filters for darkening skies, etc.

Looks like Tiffen makes GND GLASS filters 4x6 at around $400 each. Ouch.

Eric Leppanen
10-Aug-2008, 23:05
Stephen, thanks for the correction re Singh-ray. Yikes, it's been longer than I thought since I purchased my filter systems. When I last talked to Bob Singh he was still shipping glass ND grads.

IMO, Cokin X-Pro has suffered because 8x10 has essentially become an amateur format (with mostly B&W shooters as you note), and most amateurs want to keep their field kits light and avoid bulky filters and big glass. Plus even X-Pro doesn't completely address 8x10 wide-angle lens requirements, as I discovered when I assembled my 8x10 kit back in 2004. A SS210XL or Grandagon 200 has a front filter thread of 135mm, which is too large even for X-Pro (unless you dispense with the filter holder and tape the filter directly to the lens). Add the SS210XL CF (I shoot a lot of chrome) and things get even worse. I finally decided to use my usual Lee filters for my SS150XL, and bought a big Tiffen 6.6x6.6" cinema-style square glass polarizer which I taped to the big SS210XL (I taped my B&W filters to the SS210XL's rear element, and gave up on using ND grads with this lens). Admittedly all of this involves compromises and can be frustrating, but there's simply no market for a big filter holder for 8x10 wide angle shooters. SK Grimes will happily make you one (I discussed this with them at length) but it either will have limitations or cost an arm and a leg. I also looked at cinema-style matte-box holders, but none were appropriate at the time.

Stephen Fritz
11-Aug-2008, 12:10
Eric, thank you for your thoughtful and thorough posts. An interesting statement that 8x10 has become an amateur format.

I sympathize with your dilemma trying to resolve the filter holder issue with multiple large diameter lenses and center filters!

I also have a Nikon 120mm SW which requires the GND/polarizer filter combination, but I don't forsee using this combination with any other lenses for 8x10 I might use in the future.

I expressed my wish for a filter holder satisfying both the requirements of the 150mm SSXL and the use of a graduated neutral density filter(s) in combination with a rotating polarizer stage farthest from the lens to Lee Filters USA. I will post any response.

Stephen Fritz
16-Aug-2008, 15:04
Received this note from John Adler, LEE Filters USA, today:

"It is okay to put the polarizer behind a resin filter. (The problem arises when you put the polarizer behind a gel or polyester filter.)

Your best solution is to mount your existing polarizer on the lens, adjust it, then clamp on the FK100. For this to work, the polarizer must also have an outside diameter of 100mm.

Alternately, you can get the Lee 105mm polarizer and mounting ring to go on the front of the FK100 holder."