When I first got the 40mm CF lens for my Hasselblad my first question was how do I use filters on it? Nearly every photo I take has some kind of filter on it so it was an important issue for me. I wanted to use the 100mm Lee filters if possible, as I would want to use the filters on my other lenses and 150mm filters would be huge on the 80mm and 150mm lenses.
The 40mm CF is a big lens. The lens itself has an 86mm filter thread, into which is normally screwed the dedicated hood.
So at first the answer seemed simple, unscrew the hood and attach an 86mm Lee filter adapter. This seems to be what Lee themselves suggest on their web site which currently says:
The CF 40mm has a built in filter holder to take circular drop in filters 93mm in diameter, this can unscrew and there is an 86mm thread behind which will take a standard LEE system. We can also make custom 96mm rings to fit the front of the drop in filter holder if necessary.
I think this wording is slightly different from what it was originally (but can’t be sure).
Anyway, that is what I tried. And I had quite pronounced vignetting in all four corners of my shots. I was not impressed, especially as Lee equipment is not cheap, so experimenting with these things is an expensive business.
So, what to do next? Lee themselves don’t make a wide angle version of the 86mm adapter. I did come across a third party wide angle adapter by Century but it was quite expensive and only in the US and would it work?
Then I looked at the push-on Lee filter holder.
Maybe that would fit on the hood of the 40mm. Then I’d have the best of both worlds, the hood left in place and a filter holder. So I bought one to try. And it fitted perfectly. In fact, it could almost have been made to fit on the hood. And no vignetting. Well, almost. You do have to make sure that it fits on squarely on to the lens hood. It’s quite easy to put it on so that it’s not fully seated onto the hood and then it’s still possible to get a little vignetting. Even then it’s a lot less than with the standard Lee 86mm filter holder.
By the way, the cheap plastic lens caps that Lee make to fit over their filter adapters fit perfectly on the 40mm lens hood.
So the push-on holder is what I’ve been using on my 40mm CF lens for the last year or so. You do have to be careful that it doesn’t come off, though. Although you can screw down the fitting screw quite tight, it’s still quite easy to accidentally knock the filter holder off. And it’s an expensive item to lose, especially if it has a filter attached to it. Also, once you’ve tightened it, it’s not possible to rotate it, unlike the normal Lee filter holder. My solution to this is to keep the lens hood very slightly unscrewed, not enough that it’s in danger of falling off, but enough to be able to rotate the whole hood slightly in either direction.
I’ve been asked how bad the vignetting is with the 86mm filter holder, so here’s an example photo to illustrate.
OK so it’s not that bad I suppose, you can easily crop the photo slightly, but I’d prefer not to have to crop and for me it was bad enough to look for an alternative solution.
Edit 2 (April 2017)
My worst fears about the Lee push-on filter holder came true – I lost it! Grrr…
I discovered a much cheaper alternative, though. I bought a Zomei 86mm adapter ring. It fits slightly more flush to the lens than the Lee adapter ring and will take my Lee filter holder (the non push-on one). It’s still possible to get vignetting in some situations, but no more than with the push-on Lee holder and it’s definitely better than the Lee adapter ring.