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Lee Filters - 100mm or Seven5 on the Fuji X

10th April 2016
I am currently running Fuji X cameras alongside a Canon 5D Mk3 although I suspect this will not last for long, I feel so much more comfortable with the X-T1 and X-Pro2 and the lesser weight of the Fuji X system suits me too.

With the Canon I needed the 100mm Lee Filter System but I experimented with the Seven5 on the Fuji X cameras. I have wondered for some time what I would take with me when I sold the Canon and so it seemed sensible to make a comparison of the graduated filters and weigh up the pros and cons. First step was to make a proper comparison of the extent of the graduation and see how much difference there is in the fall off; simple enough to do by placing identical strength filters from each system along side each other. The pictures tell the story quite clearly. Now what of other considerations?

Comparison of 2.5 stop soft grads from the Lee Seven5 and 100 mm systems. The larger filter has a markedly gentler transition.

Comparison of 2 stop hard grads from the Lee Seven5 and 100 mm systems. The smaller filter has a slightly more sharply defined transition.

A landscape photographer will need a wide angle lens from time to time, Canon users will favour either the 16-35 or 17-40 as a zoom wide angle while the choice for Fuji X users is clearly the 10-24. With Lee's wide angle adapter plate it is quite possible to use these at their widest setting but whilst on the Canon you can have two filters in the holder on the Fuji using the Seven5 system more than one set of filter holder plates will result in vignetting and for this reason I have been carrying two Seven5 filter holders, one with a single set of slides and one with two. By making the transition to using the 100mm system on the Fuji I could however comfortably use three filters without any problem so a clear advantage for the larger system.

Other factors to take into account include cost and weight although I don't believe the latter will be a serious factor for most people but one more thing that ought to be brought into the discussion is the suitability of the transition of the 100mm grads on the Fuji X. As we saw above the rate of transition on the Seven5 has been carefully balanced by Lee to suit the smaller sensor; this does not mean you cannot use the larger system but perhaps the user of the larger system should consider the medium and very hard grads rather than the more established soft and hard filters. The more recently introduced medium and very hard grads may suit the smaller sensor of the Fuji X. Not having tried these, for me the jury is still out.

Lee have a system match facility on their website with over 500 lenses indexed to help you choose. See the page here. For the Fuji 10-24 lens it recommends the 100mm system but once you get up to 14mm either system can be used. Check it out for more help.

Update July 2016

I have now switched entirely to the Fuji X system with an X-Pro2 and X-T1 and have also included a Fujifilm XF 100-400mm lens in my armoury (what a great lens this is). That lens Having a 77mm filter size I have switched over to the 100mm size Lee filters and am now able to stack three filters if needed even on the 10-24 fully wide.

Update 2 October 2017

Cameras are now an X-Pro 2 converted to Infrared (so no filters needed there) and the Fuji X-T2. The latter is a truly great camera for me. The 10-24 lens has been replaced by a 14mm f2.8 lens because the 10-24 is very prone to hot-spots in infrared. The 100mm Lee filter system is now the only one I use and producing first class results.


Photo comment By Mike: Thanks I moved over from Nikon to Fuji this year and just love this system and your notes helped in what lee filters to use my wide for landscape is the 14mm
Photo comment By Bill Allsopp: Thanks Mike
Photo comment By Phil: I have the Fuji xpro2 as well, and having invested in Lee 100 system for my dslr I am loathe to buy a seven 5 if I can help it. I found the hard grads work better than softs on the Fuji. Good piece of info thanks.
Photo comment By Jan Zienkiewicz: Great insight into this dilemma. I'm deciding which system 100 or sevens. So a year or so on how is the system shaping up? is there a clear winner? My thanks
Photo comment By Bill Allsopp: Hi Jan. I have added an update. Thank you for your comment.
Photo comment By Bill Allsopp: Hi Jan. I have added an update. Thank you for your comment.
Photo comment By Jan: So as I've suspected,the 100 is the system with the least drawbacks. Thanks

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