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Thread: Lee Filters - anyone using these or Cokin et al squares?

  1. #1

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    Apr 2017
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    Lee Filters - anyone using these or Cokin et al squares?

    I've got the 67mm rounds, but beginning to play with Lee's squares. Rounds are definitely more portable in a way. Squares allow multiples and grads and polarizers, and that has some appeal (until it doesn't). Cost of the squares is mega more.
    So I wonder whether I'm just barking up the expensive tree. Experience, thoughts, opinions, rants? All welcome.

  2. #2
    Joe O'Hara's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    610

    Re: Lee Filters - anyone using these or Cokin et al squares?

    A minus of the square Lee polarizing filters is that they sometimes force you to rotate the lens hood along with them in order to get the degree of polarization you want. The result is that you have to retract the hood a bit to avoid vignetting the corners. If you don't use a lens hood (but you should) that may not matter to you. It's a nuisance but has never stopped me from making a picture.

    You can also use the filters and hood on a roll film camera (if you use one). I lucked out and didn't have to buy any new adapter rings for my Pentax 67 lenses.

    Other than that I've been happy with them. Indeed, glass 100mm square filters are insanely expensive, but the plastic ones were more reasonable, or were, when I bought mine. Occasionally they pop up on the used market.

    The newer rectangular lens hoods with the integral two filter slots are very nice. Fewer separate parts to fiddle with in the field.
    Where are we going?
    And why are we in this handbasket?


    www.josephoharaphotography.com

  3. #3

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    May 2007
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    New York City & Pontremoli, Italy
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    Re: Lee Filters - anyone using these or Cokin et al squares?

    I have both round and the square (Cokin - not glass). My brain insists that glass is better even though I can’t tell the difference in prints. And so, I go back and forth between systems - I use the Cokin when I go on long hikes even though the weight difference is not that much.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    bay area, CA
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    12

    Re: Lee Filters - anyone using these or Cokin et al squares?

    I use round filters for B&W. like an orange, red or yellow filter. also for warming filters, 81a,b and c. for ND grad filters, I use rectangle filters as they are much easier to get the proper position of the filter density change.

    john

  5. #5
    Lachlan 717
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    Apr 2007
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    2,359

    Re: Lee Filters - anyone using these or Cokin et al squares?

    Both Lee and Cokin produce horrible colour casts for positives. Very difficult to correct.

    Companies like Kase, Nisi and Breakthrough have left them in the dust with newer optical coatings.
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  6. #6

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    Re: Lee Filters - anyone using these or Cokin et al squares?

    Lachlan:

    For digital, I suspect your're right. However, for B&W film, I don't see one of those three offering B&W contrast filters. Not one.
    Each of them makes a Lee or Cokin look inexpensive as they're at least double the cost in the filters I looked at. I'd tend to prefer Singh-ray.

    As to the rest, I've had the Lee kit for years. Always seemed clunky compared to the round. But now that I'm giving the Lee a shot, the Squares do have some features for Soft Grads, and I'm beginning to see the positive impact. Will use them more commonly... and yes, the squares are expensive and not that many available in 4X4 (100mm X 100mm) available used as I'd like.

  7. #7
    Eric Woodbury
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,402

    Re: Lee Filters - anyone using these or Cokin et al squares?

    I'll probably rot in hell for this, but I'm using the cheapest I can find -- polyester gels. I buy the 2 foot square lighting gels from Lee or Rosco and cut these to whatever size I need, usually the 4x4 inch. I put them in the cardboard frames. I'm shooting only B&W. Filters are used sparingly.

    They aren't coated, not graduated, not fancy. They are, however, so thin that they work easily with ultra wide angle lens. There's no appreciable focus shift. If I lose one, no big deal.

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