Behind the Lens speaks to LEE Filters about its new LEE100 camera filter system which the company launched in 2019. The firm also introduced the LEE100 Tandem Adaptor and the LEE100 Hood. Why use one filter when you can use more?LEE Filters’ is a dedicated partner in the industry and delivers the highest quality products and services to its customers. With the camera and lighting industry growing at such a rapid rate, how does the firm keep up with the changes?
They are indeed changing times in both our core markets of photography and cinematography. During 2019, we were laser focused on funnelling resources that would influence and drive our innovation process – including industry focus groups with our key users, for example. These efforts have informed our product roadmap, in addition to LEE recruiting key personnel to drive development. We are also working closer than ever with Panavision to align both brands’ expertise and experience in the cinematography sector to better understand user needs and wants as we look towards the future.
This year the company launched the LEE100 camera filter system as the firm’s most flexible filter system to date. What makes this unique compared to others on the market?
We were excited to launch this product and the response has been tremendously positive. New, innovative features on the LEE100 are based on input from photographers, which helped us to design and deliver a faster, more intuitive user experience. For example, the multi-function locking dial allows the filter to be quickly attached and repositioned and/or removed with one hand without disturbing the camera or lens. Several locking positions (neutral, half-lock, full lock) offer flexibility in adjustments of the filters as well. Lastly, the modular design lets photographers easily change filter blades, providing rapid mounting of additional products. We are hearing that the creative options and simplicity the LEE100 provides in terms of crafting the shot with the exact filtration photographers need has elevated the bar within the industry.
The company launched two new products for its LEE100 filter system – the LEE100 Tandem Adaptor and the LEE100 Hood. Can you tell me more about these products? It certainly has been a busy year!
Why use one filter when you can use more? The LEE100 Tandem Adaptor allows photographers to use more than one ND grad and rotate each independently, so they can be set at different angles. This provides extremely precise creative control of the exposure in complex lighting situations versus one holder alone. The holder closest to the lens can be used with up to three filter slots (one must be used for the Tandem), while the holder that’s attached to the Tandem Adaptor can be configured with one, two or three further filter guides. Both holders can be rotated freely until the desired effect is achieved, and then locked in place to avoid any accidental movement of the filters.
The LEE100 Hood is an ideal addition to the photographer’s kit, as it’s designed to shade the camera’s lens and reduce the risk of stray light and flare spoiling the image. It can be used with up to three slot-in filters plus the LEE Filters Polariser. Constructed from a water-resistant, reinforced nylon in a collapsible concertina design, the LEE100 Hood is self-supporting with no need for intrusive and fiddly rails or guides. It can be adjusted to different angles and extensions for maximum versatility. Simple to set up, the hood comes with an attachment ring that is affixed to the LEE100 Filter Holder via four locking tabs. The hood can also be rotated independently of the holder, allowing the photographer to use ND grads as normal, while still getting the most out of the hood itself.
What will the company have on display at the BSC Expo?
Further demonstrating the Panavision brands’ colour-control offerings, LEE Filters will showcase a wide spectrum of colours available in the company’s renowned library of long-lasting and dependable lighting gels. LEE Filters will also exhibit its ProGlass Cine IRND filters, which eliminate infrared pollution and ensure colours remain absolutely accurate and true.
How important are tradeshows to the company? The best part of tradeshows is that we get to hear directly from shooters. Our job is to listen to our customers and respond with the tools they need.
What does 2020 hold for LEE Filters?
2019 was a year of change for LEE Filters, both in our UK and USA businesses. We are excited to have a new senior management team in place to drive the business forward. This team is leading companywide improvements and initiatives across engineering, sales and marketing. For 2020, some of our plans include new product launches, a new global brand ambassador programme, more focus groups with key users of our products, more trade shows, and a new website with improved lighting functionality tools and lots and lots of new content – stay tuned!