I’ve built up quite a collection of Lee Filters but until now, I’d never really found a satisfactory way of carrying them. The Little Stopper, Big Stopper and Super Stopper come tins, which keeps them safe in my bag. But others come in soft pouches which are quite bulky – and only some have labels, so it takes a while to find the right filter.
I’ve also got a couple of Lee’s Filter Wraps which can hold three filters, but I never feel they offer my filters the protection they need in a bag that’s bulging with cameras and lenses. And again, they don’t have labels.
The Lee Filters Field Pouch is a great solution. What’s more, there’s a pouch for each of Lee’s filter ranges. The original Field Pouch is for 100mm filters while the SW150 Field Pouch is for the larger SW150 filters. Both can hold up to 10 filters.
There’s also a Sev5n System Pouch which is designed to house a Sev5n filter holder, a polarizer and 8 other filters.
Build and Handling
Lee Filters uses a tough, durable, canvas-like fabric for the exterior of the Pouches. Inside, they have a series of slots made from softer fabric that’s kind to filters.
The two Field Pouches have a flip-over lip that is secured by Velcro while the Sev5n System Pouch has a zip closure. Zips on either side of the Field Pouches allow them to be expanded to make accessing the filters easier.
Each of the pouches has a shoulder strap, which is my preferred way of carrying them. However, this can be unclipped and replaced by a shorter strap that allows you to hang it from your tripod.
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Alternatively, there’s a Velcro closing belt loop at the back that you can slip onto your belt.
Any of those options means you can always have the Pouch and filters to hand.
One small issue with the Pouches is that the strap loop clips are a bit fiddly to use. That’s because they push down into a recess when you go to clip the strap on. And the loops aren’t quite long enough to get a proper hold of them. It’s not a major issue, but it’s annoying if you like to use the shorter strap as you’re likely to want to clip and unclip it on a frequent basis.
Select your Filter
One of the things I like most about using the Lee Filters Filed Pouch is that when it’s open, I can see all my filters. I’ve got them organised by type, strength and/or gradient and I can see the label on each one in its slot. It means I can get hold of the one I want quickly and easily. As a result, there’s less time spent opening tins and small pouches or wraps searching for the right filter.
It also means you’re less likely to miss the great light. But in addition, the filters stand less chance of getting damaged.
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The Lee Filters Field and System Pouches are a simple idea that solves an annoying problem. They help you keep your filters organised and ready for action. Most importantly, when the light starts to change, they help you swap quickly between filters.
They also take up much less space in your camera bag than a random collection of individual pouches and tins.
It would be nice if there was room to fit a holder in the original and SW150 Field Pouches, but it’s probably safer for the filters if they are separate.
There also times when you may want to carry the Pouch on the shoulder strap then clip it onto your tripod. Consequently, it would be helpful if there was somewhere to clip the strap that’s out of use.