Lee Filters – Something a little smaller Sir

While circular screw on filters are convenient, square filters such as the well known Cokin System are necessary, for things such as graduated filters.

As you camera system gets larger its not long before you realise you have spent a couple of hundred pounds on filters for each lens size.  Its at this point you start looking at filter systems.  While the Cokin system is possibly the most well know, I decided to invest into the 100mm Lee Filter system.  Now I have a single set of grad’s and a polariser to fit all my lens and cameras, with the aid of just a few adapter rings.  These filters can now be used on my Large Format Lens’ my Hasselblad Lens and my DSLR Lens.

Of course everyone now wants small and more compact high performance cameras such as the Sony NEX, Olympus and Panasonic MicroFourThird’s systems.

So with that in mind, Lee have produced a very high quality smaller filter system the RF-75.

Chris Bennett recently purchased this filter system so with Chris’s kind permission I borrowed it this weekend to give it a try.

The weather this weekend was not conductive to good photography, plenty of rain and hardly any blue sky in sight, but there was a brief spell of sunnier weather Sunday afternoon for a couple of hours.  So with that small windows of opportunity, I put the laptop down and left my Adobe Lightroom alone to try and test out the filter kit.

I headed out to the local church and first took a quick snap with a naked Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron lens.  The above shot is pretty much straight from camera with nothing done to it.

It was now time to test the filter system.  While Chris has a number of adapter rings suitable for his Sony NEX System lens, only one of them is compatible with a lens I had; the Leica 24mm f/3.8 Elmar.  A quick lens change from the 35mm to the 24mm lens and I was ready to test.

The adapter ring screws onto the filter thread of your lens and then the lens holder clips on that.  There is a knack to getting the holder on, but once on its securely held.  I decided to try the polariser to enhance the blue sky.  If your a Sony NEX or MicroFourThird’s system user you will have a advantage over me at this point, as I was testing this on my Leica M8 rangefinder so could not tell through the viewfinder what effect the filter was having.  I took two shots with the filter in different orientations just to make sure.

I found the filter system very well made and any difficulty in its use was more down to my choice of camera rather then the camera system.  I would say its a definite improvement over there 100mm system and well worth looking into if your lens do not need the large 100mm filters.  Of course if your lucky enough to have the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 even the 100mm filters are not large enough!  But Lee even have a solution to that.

Many would say filters are no longer required in todays digital world, and while a lot can be done in Adobe Photoshop and simular products, somethings its just easier and faster to get it right in camera at the point of  image capture.

Thanks Chris for letting me test this out, and if your luckily enough to have an investment in a small camera system then I suggest you take a look at this system.

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