Digital SLR Photography

REVIEW: The New LEE Filter's 100mm Holder Kit

By Daniel Lezano. Posted

Few photographers would argue with the fact that LEE Filters offer a superb range of filters for enthusiast and professional photographers. While there was nothing necessarily wrong with its original holder, it was beginning to show its age against some of the newer offerings from rivals brands like Benro, which offers a light, well-made and easy to use system holder.

What's been updated

The latest LEE100 holder updates the design, materials and features but most importantly is compatible with all existing LEE 100mm filters and adaptor rings. The LEE100 holder looks and feels far more modern than the original, with the injection-moulded composite materials being both light and rigid. The holder attaches to the lens via rings as before, with slots for two filters to be inserted. LEE has retained the highly-popular modular aspect in this latest design, meaning it's possible to add further filters as required. This is easily done by removing the grey insert on the side and pushing the filter guides towards the centre of the holder until it pops out, allowing new guides to be slotted in.

Polariser users will also appreciate the (£40) clip-on ring, which allows a polariser to be fitted or removed from the holder quickly and easily.

Latest Innovation

A spring-release is used to attach the holder to the ring and it's here one of the holder's main innovation is found: its blue locking dial. Using this dial allows you to choose from three settings that affect how the holder can be used. Set to neutral, the holder rotates freely and is easily removed – or knocked off accidentally should it be caught on something like clothing, thus protecting your kit. Set to half-lock, the holder can be rotated but is locked to the adaptor ring, while in full- lock, the holder cannot be rotated or removed. It's a neat system that works well, but I am worried about the durability of the plastic used in the clip – time will tell if my fears are valid or not. Apart from this one concern, I found the LEE100 holder to be fast and easy to use and a big improvement over the original.

What's in the kit?

Along with the two-slot holder, the standard kit includes two single-slot guide blocks and cover plates, two triple-slot guide blocks with cover plates and a blade removal tool. This means you can adapt the holder to suit the number of filters you plan to use, without additional expense. Should you wish to buy filters along with the holder, it's worth noting the LEE100 holder comes in other kits: the (£149) Landscape kit; (£319) Long Exposure kit; and (£639) Deluxe kit is also available.

Verdict

If you're happy using the original LEE holder, then there is no need to update to this latest version. However, if you find the original fiddly to use or you're looking for your first 100mm filter holder, then the LEE100 system can be highly recommended. Just check compatibility if you plan to use brands of filter other than LEE with this holder.

Specifications

Price: £80
Kit contents: LEE100 filter system holder; three modular filter-guide blocks with one, two and three slots; guide-block removal tool and pouches for holder and filter-guide blocks
Website: www.leefilters.com

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