Lee100 polariser and case
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LEE100 Polariser Filter review

Lee100 Filter Holder – Why do you need it?

Although you can use image editing software to achieve many of the same effects using specific filters such as a polariser to cut reflections and improve saturation remains an advantage for some types of photography, such as interiors and landscapes. As they cut down on exposure somewhat, they’re also used as an ND. They are also pretty expensive so if you have several lenses of different thread diameters using a holder can save a lot of money.

Please note this review has been edited and updated from the Lee100 Filter Holder review, which can be read here.

Lee100 circular-type polariser

Lee Filters sent me the new Lee100 circular-type polariser for review on a short-term loan. It’s designed specifically for the new Lee100 holder but can be detached and fitted to the older Foundation Holder, with the addition of the 105mm filter ring.

At around £280 GBP inc VAT at WEX Photo (UK) and $311 USD at B&H Photo (US), it’s not cheap exactly but the whole point is that you’ll likely only buy it once.  If you have the older 105mm polariser or the later thinner Landscape filter there’s a new (hard to find) ring you can use to attach it to the new holder.

The filter comes supplied with an excellent zipped hard case and a vast improvement over the older soft pouch with its somewhat unreliable velcro flap. The ‘bomb-proof’ case accepts the filter and ring together, so there’s no excuse to take it into the field.

The new Lee100 polariser has 105mm thread like the previous Lee polarisers (and of course can be used on lenses with a 105mm filter thread directly). The frame is about the same thickness as the old Landscape filter to prevent vignetting. According to my contact at Lee, it has anti-reflection coatings on both sides and is neutral in colour. It’s claimed the glass is the same spec as the Lee Landscape filter but the ring is notched rather than serrated.

LEE 100 Filter Holder plus Polariser on a Canon EOS 5Ds

The polariser comes preassembled with its ring to clip onto the holder; you simply push one of the two tabs into a dedicated slot on the front face of the guide blocks and then using a little pressure, push the second into the slot on the opposing block.

Although deeply knurled, the (aluminium) frame is quite thin as already mentioned and therefore a bit tricky to turn when on the camera, though it gets easier with practice. It’s simpler to adjust it off-camera while on the holder, and then add the combination to the lens via the adapter. That’s especially the case if you’re also using any NDs.

Sadly there’s no indicator for polarisation on the ring which, although perhaps a minor oversight, it is easy enough to add a small amount of modelling paint to the ring if you find the need to.

Optical quality is first class; ghosting and flare are kept well under control and the filter has no observable impact on sharpness. Colour rendition is great and transmission is pretty high, sucking up around 1.3-1.5 stops in use.

Removing the polariser from the holder is a bit more fiddly, requiring the pressure on one side of the polarizer to open the holder’s blocks. It’s best to do this off-camera and to practice this a few times before using the filter holder in earnest. Still, it’s a lot easier than doing so with the older Foundation holder and polariser combination, which I have.

But what about the holder’s new locking mechanism? Like the original, it’s easy to use one-handed when attaching or detaching, but the new locking collar is a vast improvement over the original design. When fully locked the holder can’t be moved at all which aids adjustment of the polariser if left on the lens.  

Due to the shape of the blue coloured locking collar, it is easy to keep track of the setting if you regularly set the holder back in the same position. 

Lee100 Filter Holder and Polariser – Final thoughts

The Lee 100 filter system is one of the most popular and with its modular design and range of quality filters, it is not difficult to understand why. With the new filter holder, the few shortcomings of the original holder have all been addressed, including the fitting and removal of the polariser which was perhaps the most troublesome aspect.

If you already own the Lee Landscape Polariser then you won’t notice any difference optically, as it’s the same filter but in a new notched frame and ring. Nevertheless, it’s much easier to add or remove in the field, which wasn’t practical with the Foundation holder. Should you be new to the system then it’s easy to recommend – you are unlikely to find a better polariser at any price. 

Sometime after the loan items were returned to Lee I purchased the new holder at full price from a retailer (WEX, if I remember rightly).

Lee100 Polariser Filter

WEX Photo (UK)

Amazon (UK/US)

B&H Photo (US)


Lee100 Filter Holder – Check prices (affiliate links)

WEX Photo (UK) (Competitively priced)

Amazon (UK)

B&H Photo (US) (Competitively priced)

Amazon (US)


Popular adapter ring sizes

72mm w/a (WEX UK / B&H Photo)

77mm (WEX UK / B&H Photo)

82mm (WEX UK / B&H Photo)