Fuji XT-1 and Lee Big Stopper

Started Apr 28, 2014 | Discussions thread
Wupjak Regular Member • Posts: 110
Re: Fuji XT-1 and Lee Big Stopper

Great examples!

I own the 'Sev5n' (seven five) system with these bits:

CPL
Big Stopper
.3, .6, .9 hard
.3, .6, .9 soft

I shoot an XE-1 and use the 14mm with the filters for the most part. My adapter ring is a 58, so I bought step up rings for the 35 (52-58) and my X100 (49-58) so I can mix and match.

The buy in is fairly steep, but man it makes such a huge difference when you're out shooting to be able to get what you want in the viewfinder and then fine tune in post. Prior to buying the LEE stuff I just got it close in RAW and futzed around in post until I got what I wanted. I prefer the way I'm shooting now. I have so much more free time!

Like a couple of other posters, I struggled with the decision between soft and hard NDs. I started out with the soft NDs since I shoot mainly with the 14 (wider focal length = more noticeable transition between grad/clear) and then spotted the hard ND set on the Bay for a price that was too good to pass up. Soooo, now I have both.

Of note when shooting with the 14 - I got some pretty bad reflections from the lettered ring on the front of the 14 when using the Big Stopper/ND/CPL, particularly when the sun was in the frame. I did some google research and ran across this thread which summarizes what I was experiencing:

Problem using Fuji 14mm and filters! - FM Forums - FredMiranda.com

I masked off the entire lens except for this ring and applied a couple of coats of matte black spray paint to the ring. No more reflections. The culprit is that lettered ring on the front of the 14mm and the fact that it's angled toward the center of the lens barrel. Light bounces off of the letters, reflects off the inside of the big stopper and hits the sensor. Pretty crappy.

This was 1.7 seconds with the .9 (3 stop) soft ND, CP and big stopper at f11. Contrary to some folks I see some sky issues with the 14mm and the polarizer, but it may be user error as I'm fairly new to all this as I indicated above:

Al Valentino wrote:

Jil wrote:

Al,

Been reading this thread with interest - would you mind filling me in on your expected subjects with the Lee Seven 5? I have a very similar lens set to yours and I am making myself nuts with the soft vs hard grad decision - looks like you are going with both.

I have a few 100mm Lee's for my Nikon gear, pretty evenly divided between hard/soft, but for the life of me, can't really remember which got used more often, it's been awhile.

The use of the hard grad is fairly obvious, mostly Ocean and straight mountain horizons.

The use of the soft grad is when the horizon is not straight. This can include cityscapes with buildings of varied height or simply landscapes where the break from shadow or dark to bright sky is uneven.

So ideally both are needed. The 2-stop hard is included in the starter kit with the Seven5 holder which saves a few dollars. Lee packages three sets of three filters, one of which is the Big Stopper (ideal for water or cloud shots) and either 2 & 3 soft grads (packaged as the Urban Kit due to variable skylines), the Seascape kit of 2 & 3 hard (mostly for shooting ocean horizons) and the Out of Town kit which includes 2-soft and 3-hard to handle variable transitions (soft) and mountain and ocean horizons with the hard. So the name itself of these kits describes the use fairly well. I have the 2-hard on order with the starter kit and might get the Urban kit or just the 2-soft and big stopper. The kits mentioned above are new supposed to be available by late May. Lee does have two other kits with 1, 2 and 3 hard, and 1,2 and 3 soft which are already out. See website here for description of the kits...

Below are a few samples with the first two as shots I took to use when I listed my larger filters for sale. According to Lee, The Seven5 filters are not just cut down versions of the LEE 100mm System. In keeping with the smaller size the gradation zones have been adjusted to suit the smaller system. These changes have been made through extensive testing in conjunction with top landscape photographers.

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