Big Stopper

I recently changed to the Lee Filter system …

and both the Big Stopper and Little Stopper and may well add the Super Stopper in due course. I had been using the Hi Tech system for simple pragmatic considerations … the Lee System was impossible to get at the time and the Hi Tech was available for the Nikon 14-24mm lens.

Since moving to the mirrorless Sony A7Rii system …

I have also changed to the Lee Filters and the Big Stopper. Now there is quite a lot written about the various extreme ND filters with various claims about neutrality and it must be said that the Lee Filter does have quite a strong blue cast. but these things are so expensive that I don’t intend to run through them looking for the fabled neutral ND filter in ten fifteen or even sixteen stops because I don’t really believe that they exist! It is actually not too difficult to remove the cast and I have tried various white balance protocols including use of curves to calibrate a white balance. However, I find it unecessary.

Firstly, it helps to get your exposure right!

I find that the blue cast is much worse if I under-expose with the Big Stopper.

I simply set Auto White Balance (though I take a reference frame in the light that I am shooting in both with and without the filter just in case I need to calibrate using curves). In post processing I then warm the white balance in ACR. I am careful not to overdo this at this early stage so that there is some ‘headroom’ to further warm the image using ‘Brilliance and Warmth’ in Nik Colour Efex.

I find that with this simple two stage process …

I can get images that appeal to me with the Lee Big Stopper quite easily and quickly. The image in this post is just such an image and was shot with the Big Stopper at the Ricklean River near Laxbacken in Vasterbotten, North Sweden. I was at the Ricklean River for several hours in two long stretches firstly shooting Infra Red Timelapse and Panoramas and then returning to shoot this long exposure, a normal exposure panorama and also a colour timelapse, all in all taking most of the day.


If you are interested in the Lee ‘Stopper’ series then try this link