Lee Filters has announced a line of high-performance circular filters for photographers and videographers called Lee Elements. The set includes two levels of neutral density (ND) filters, a polarizer, and a variable ND (VND).
Lee has made the new filters available in four standard sizes: 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, and 82mm. The new line of Le Elements is made up of five filter types: Little Stopper (offering 6 stops of light reduction), Big Stopper (10 stops of light reduction), CPL (circular polariser), and two densities of VND ( which provide two to five or six to nine stops of light reduction).
Of note, this is the first time that Lee’s “Stopper” filters have been offered in the circular format, which enables them to be quickly and easily used without the need of a filter holder and even when a photographer is wearing gloves. The filters have what Lee describes as a rugged and robust black anodized aluminum frame. The Little Stopper and Big Stopper also feature stackable housings and the rotating CPL and VND filters can be stacked in front of a Stopper and feature increased front rings that Lee says ensure optimal edge-crop performance.
Lee says that each filter uses its highest-quality multi-layer coated optics which it claims provide class-leading optical performance that makes them viable even when used with the resolving power of modern mirrorless optics and sensors.
Specifically with the VNDs, Lee claims that they feature a bracketed design with a rotational limit that prevents cross-polarization issues. They also have clearly marked numeric stop positions which make it easier to measure how much light is being blocked for both photo and video applications. The company also says that it designed them to fluidly and silently adjust when turned so that they work well for videographers.
All the new Elements filters have Lee’s scratch-resistant and anti-reflective coatings, as well as hydrophobic and oleophobic coatings which provide enhanced protection against moisture and fingerprints. Lee says this is equivalent to the level that is found on Panavision’s PanaND and Lee’s line of ProGlass Cine IRND filters.
The Lee Elements line of variable neutral density filters is available for $250 in any of the three size configurations. The Big Stopper filter in both six- and 10-stop options is available for $175. The Little Stopper is priced the same at $175. The circular polarizer is available for $160.