Think 10 stops of ND is a lot? How about 17 hour exposures with Lee Filters’ new 15 stop Super Stopper

Mar 5, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Think 10 stops of ND is a lot? How about 17 hour exposures with Lee Filters’ new 15 stop Super Stopper

Mar 5, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Announced today via Lee Filters UK distributor, Linhof Studio, a new member joins the Stopper family, adding to the 10 stop Big Stopper and 6 stop Little Stopper.

That new member, the Super Stopper, blocks a massive 15 stops of light, reducing the incoming light hitting your sensor to 1/32,000th of its original intensity!

The Super Stopper is designed for use in very bright conditions, during the middle of the day, when it’s often difficult to shoot due to the harsh and contrasty nature of the light.

Available for 100mm, SW150, and Sev5n sizes, the filter is made from the same high quality optical glass as the rest of the Stopper family, and supplied in a metal case for protection.

A handy exposure guide has been provided to give you an idea of the kind of light crushing power that 15 stops of neutral density has.

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There’s no mention of them on the main Lee Filters website, and no word on an actual release date, yet, but hopefully more information will be coming soon.

Being an owner of a 10 stop ND, I know how extremely useful they can be when it comes to blurring subjects on bright and sunny days, but I have occasionally found myself stacking on an extra couple of stops to reduce the light even further.

Linhof Studio do state that it has “a minimal colour cast that is easily corrected in postproduction”, but your mileage will almost definitely vary depending on the duration of the exposure, and the camera you shoot.

In my experience, some bodies are more prone to this shift than others when used with ND, and longer exposures will generally have a stronger cast.

I typically take a second shot of the same duration with my ColorChecker Passport while at the scene in order to account for any color issues, but I’m not sure I’d want to turn a 17hr exposure into a 34hr exposure just to be able to fix the color.  Oh, and make sure to turn off your long exposure noise reduction.

Long exposures are a big drain on your battery, even without having to take a second shot to account for long exposure noise reduction, but perhaps this just means it’s time to satisfy your gear lust a little more with Tether Tools’ new Case Relay hot swappable power supply?

I’ll definitely be looking forward to trying this one out once they become more readily available, although you can preorder a  Super Stopper now.

[via DPReview]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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14 responses to “Think 10 stops of ND is a lot? How about 17 hour exposures with Lee Filters’ new 15 stop Super Stopper”

  1. Mark Niebauer Avatar
    Mark Niebauer

    Seems way overkill to me.

    1. Jason A. Avatar
      Jason A.

      I use a 10 stop and 6 stop B+W filter stacked for a total of 16 stops fairly regularly to get exposures in the 8-10 minute range in broad daylight. Although I think that combination makes more sense than a single 15 stop filter because you can also use just the 10 stop or just the 6 stop.

  2. Simon Lodge Avatar
    Simon Lodge

    I agree with Mark Niebauer. There is a point where exposures longer than a certain time become totally pointless and would introduce so much noise that the image would not be usable. However this filter maybe useful for photography in broad daylight as suggested in the article.

    1. Gannon Burgett Avatar
      Gannon Burgett

      It’d be a different story if you were shooting with film though—no problem with long exposures.

      1. Rick Scheibner Avatar
        Rick Scheibner

        Depending on what you’re shooting, excessive grain can be an issue at longer exposures. Then there’s that pesky reciprocity factor to deal with.

  3. Jeff Whitford Avatar
    Jeff Whitford

    Could this be used for a solar eclipse?

    1. Marc Stokes Avatar
      Marc Stokes

      probably, but excessive, I used a 10stop with iso100 for a partial eclipse last year and got great results, shutter speeds were hand holdable,

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcstokes79/16683901598/in/dateposted-public/

  4. Paul Richards Avatar
    Paul Richards

    Suppose they had to make one, and I suppose someone will have a use, but I would think the ten stopper is enough for the vast majority of people

  5. Howardo Mansfieldio Avatar
    Howardo Mansfieldio

    17 hours? I could get a shorter exposure time if I left the lens cap on!

  6. Marcus Wolschon Avatar
    Marcus Wolschon

    Does it also block a similar amount of Infrared light? The IR-filter on most sensors would be WAY thinner then this beast. So you are bound to get brown leafes and strange skin tones when there’s lots of IR around (e.g. on a sunny day at noon)

  7. Anthony Mehlhaff Avatar
    Anthony Mehlhaff

    Oooooohhhhh

  8. James P Avatar
    James P

    Late to the game response from Lee, who has been losing business to Formatt Hitech’s Firecrest 13 and 16 stop, which have better optical quality too.

    1. Jeff Deveau Avatar
      Jeff Deveau

      I have used the 16 stop firecrest it is a great filter. The thing is that the 16 stop sits in my bag and almost never gets used. But recently I switched over to Progrey and have been really happy with their 12 stop I feel it is a much more Versatile filter.