Filters 101                                                          

 In ALPA, Arca Swiss, Cambo, Tech, Tech Camera

LEE SW150 Filter System

The LEE SW150 Filter System is the filter system we recommend for your medium format needs. This system fits every lens in the Schneider LS line up: 28mm-240mm along with most of the other lenses you find in medium format. In the video below we show how to assemble the SW150 system, what solution you need for the 240mm LS, and what lenses will work with this system including:

  • Schneider LS Lenses
  • Tech Camera Lenses (Alpa/Cambo)
  • Hasselblad H Lenses
  • Contax 645 Lenses
  • Mamiya RZ Lenses

*Note: There may be more Contax lenses or Tech Camera lenses that work with the LEE SW150 Filter System, but all the ones included in the video are ones we actually have tested.

LEE SW150 Adapter Rings

The LEE SW150 Filter System is limited on the adapter ring choices: 72mm, 77mm, 82mm, 86mm, 95mm, 105mm. With the design of the SW150 Adapter Rings you don’t have to worry about vingetting as the adapter ring lays flush with the front of the lens, but the adapter ring does extend towards the back of the lens… making it incompatible with some of the tech camera lenses due to it hitting the bully bars.

LEE Stoppers

LEE Filters added a new filter recently to their Stopper line: the Super Stopper. This 15 stop filter is a great solution for the harsh midday sunlight and long exposures. LEE offers an exposure guide when using one of the below stoppers.

LEE Stoppers:

  • Little Stopper – 6 stops
  • Big Stopper – 10 stops
  • Super Stopper – 15 stops

*LEE’s range of stoppers are available for both the LEE SW150 Filter System and LEE 100mm Filter System.

LEE 100mm Filter System

LEE also offers the 100mm Filter System also referred to as the 4″ Filter System. With this system there are two types of LEE Filter adapter rings: the standard adapter ring and the wide-angle adapter ring. The standard ring sits in front of the lens’s front thread while the wide-angle ring sits closer to the front element of the camera’s lens. We recommend LEE’s 100mm Filter System for tech camera lenses. The offer a range from 49mm-82mm with they wide-angle adapter rings. Although this system won’t work with a few of the wider lenses when centerfilters are used, such as the 23mm HR and 32mm HR, it is compatible with a lot of the tech camera lenses.

Cokin X-Pro Filter System

One of the original reasons we recommended the Cokin X-Pro Filter System on our Filter Solutions page was at the time it was the only solution for the 105mm filter threads. There was finally a filter solution for the Schneider 40-80mm LS or the Schneider 35mm LS, but in the last year Cokin has discontinued the 1.00 pitch thread for the 105mm adapter ring. Although Cokin’s X-Pro Filter System offers a wide range of adapter ring sizes: 62mm – 112mm we have to wonder if more of the 1.00 pitch thread adapter rings will be discontinued over time.

Vü VFH-100mm Filter System

Vü’s 100mm Filter System offers a low range of step down rings enabling this system to work on filter threads from 49-82mm. This is a good solution for tech camera lenses like Alpa and Cambo considering the filter threads of their lenses mostly range from 49mm-72mm. Keep in mind Vü’s 100mm filter system does not have a step-down ring to 40.5mm to fit such Tech Camera lenses as: Schneider 150mm, Rodenstock 135mm, Schnieder 120mm, Schneider 100mm, etc.

Top 3 Filter Tips

  1. Double check your filters sizes. Although you might think the LEE 100mm filters will fit on the LEE SW150mm filter holder… they won’t. Most manufactures make filters meant only to fit their own specific filter holders.
  2. There are many different filter systems offered from each manufacturer. Lee offers four for example: Sev5n, 100mm, SW150, Bug. If you find the 100mm system doesn’t offer the adapter rings sizes you need then you may want to look at their other systems.
  3. Our Filter Solutions page is pretty comprehensive. It tells you what filter thread each lens is for Phase One, Mamiya, Alpa, and Cambo. It also tells you what adapter ring to use when using a centerfilter on a certain tech camera lens. Recently we have updated the page to showcase what lenses we have actually tested in-house.
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