Every week I receive emails and messages from people asking me about what kind of filter system I use with my (favourite) lens, the M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO. So I figured I’d share my list of filters here on my blog.
I’ve used a few systems in the past and would like to list the options that I’ve worked with and tell you a little about the pros and cons and hopefully help you make the right decision.
I’m sure there are further systems out there and I’d love to add them to this list so I can ultimately create a list of all the filter options available for this amazing lens.
First of all: Why can’t we use regular filters on this lens?
Simple! Because of the dome like shape of the outer element of the lens it has a built in lens hood that cannot be removed in order to protect the glass. In theory that’s a great idea and I like that I don’t have to worry about my lens when I put it face down to onto a flat surface, but for a 7-14mm lens, which is definitely a landscape lens it’s a problem.
You see, the hood has no threads and therefore doesn’t allow for the attachment of screw on filters. We’re going to need a special adapter for that.
I’ve tested and used all of the below listed adapters and they all work fine with the 7-14mm lens. And if you want to take landscape photography to the next level you will sooner or later be getting one of these for your 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO. Or, if you’re into long exposures with the 7-14mm you’ll need one of these too.
The biggest advantage and problem at the same time with the 7-14mm is that it’s so wide. This means a regular screw on filter won’t work, so you’re going to need to use square filters for this lens. Minimum 100x100mm filters or even 150mmx150mm filters.
This Filter is the one I’ve used for over a year now. I love it. It’s light, compact, simple and easy to pop onto the lens. From all the systems I’ve used I think this is still my favourite.
It’s made of black nylon plastic with a matte finish and slight grainy feel which helps to avoid unwanted reflections.
On the downside this filter holder doesn’t sit on the lens as well as the other 2. Not usually a problem, but if you accidentally move it it might increase the distance between filter and lens and increase the chance of reflections, light leaks and vignetting. I’ve gotten used to always pushing it right back and tight onto the lens before I use it.
- It’s relatively cheap.
- It takes the LEE 100mm Filter Holder system or;
- It takes the HiTech 100mm Filter Holder system in a (different version)
- It’s small and really light.
- It’s not quite as solid as the others listed below. It won’t break when dropped, but I always handle it with care when I pack it away into my bag.
- It’s a slide on system. Easy to pop on, but just as easy to accidentally slide off its intended position.
- You still have to buy the Filter Holders from LEE (the foundation kit) or HiTech in order to use 100mm filters with the 7-14mm
This thing is solid. It’s super sturdy and looks nice on the lens too. It’s made of 3 elements. 2 that screw onto each other from either end of the 7-14mm and a 3rd that sits in-between to actually hold the LEE 100mm filter. Once it’s fitted it fits. No wobble.
This thing is the sturdiest of the lot. It’s a bit heavy and makes the 7-14mm quite a bit chunkier than I like it. Also a fair bit heavier. And it really a permanent fixture to your 7-14mm as it requires quite a bit of force to be removed and the lens has to be detached from the camera to do so. So just be prepared to have a heavier lens
- it’s made by LEE. Top notch quality
- it comes with it’s own custom lens hood for the 7-14mm
- it’s fairly compact
- relatively expensive
- it makes the lens quite chunky
- you still need the LEE 100mm filter holder to actually use filters with the 7-14mm and that can all add up quite a bit.
The NiSi System is really good. It’s the only system that allows you to fit either a square filter holder or a screw on system. (with an adapter)
NiSi 150mm filter holders are made from aviation-grade aluminium with single element processed by CNC machine with matte black frosted finish on the surface
It’s a one piece system, similar to the 3D printed Option 1. But sits much better and can be tightened compared to the 3D printed one. The all metal build it’s very solid and has the nicest matt finish of all the options.
NiSi get around the vignetting problem by making this holder a 150mm option. Meaning you’ll need to use 150mm x 150mm filters. It’s a solution, but can get quite bulky and expensive.
- it’s a screw on system
- high quality build
- no vignetting
- not 100% tight on the lens letting in a bit of light from behind
- if you’re using the 150mm x 150mm filter holder it’s very big
- not so cheap + 150mm filters get expensive too.
Disclaimer: I haven’t tested or seen this filter holder myself. But thanks to Steven Chien who owns it and commented below I’ve added this one to the list.
The fixture is similar to the LEE system (3 pieces) and the filter itself looks like it’s similar to the NiSi system.
It also seems like the front element that is permanently fixed to the lens (unless unscrewed every time) is quite large and it would be difficult to fit into a normal camera bag.
- it’s cheap
- it’s a 150mm filter holder
- it’s seems pretty big
Disclaimer: I haven’t tested or seen this filter holder myself. But thanks to Phil who is willing to send me a sample I will be able to add my person note to this model in a few weeks.
This Adapter for the Olympus m.Zuiko 7-14mm f2.8 Pro lens is custom made by Phil Norton and can be used in combination with the NiSi V5 and V5 Pro filter holder.
I love that it’s the ‘pop on pop off’ system and that the holder can be easily removed. It also looks pretty compact. Can’t wait to test it!
- compatible with the high quality 100mm NiSi system
- fairly compact
- tight fit (no light leaks)
- competitive price
- none so far.
Disclaimer: I haven’t tested or seen this filter holder myself. But thanks to people on Facebook for pointing it out.
This adapter is made by Helge Süss (in Germany I suspect). It’s a fairly simple construction but does the job. There is now also a version with 2 rails that will take 2 square 100mm filters. I’m not entirely sure how tight the filters sit in the holder as they are secured with an elastic band.
It seems like the filter holder has to be placed perfectly onto the lens in order to reduce the chance of vignetting.
According to Helges website there are minimal reflections when used with BigStoppers (10 Stop or 15 Stop filters). To buy it you have to contact Helge through his website (click on the blue button below to get there)
- self contained system. You don’t need a NiSi or Lee filter holder to get to work
- fairly compact
- unsure how tight filters sit in the holder
- unsure how robust this filter holder is
- price: unknown at this stage.
Disclaimer: I haven’t tested or seen this filter holder myself. If anyone has any experience with it I’d greatly value it and would like to add more details into the guide.
This Adapter by STC (based in Hong Kong) is a similar system to the LEE filter holder. Two pieces slide in from either side of the lens and are then screwed together to be permanently fixed onto the lens. It looks fairly light and easy to mount, although the lens has to be removed from the camera in order to attach this holder.
It’s a simple 105mm screw in filter holder. So you can’t use 100mm square filters with this system.
The good thing is that STC seems to offer various packages with various 105mm round filters. There is a STC UV filter, STC Circular Polarising filter, STC ND64 filter and you can buy them in various combinations. Who knows how good the filters are…
- should sit very secure and tight on the lens
- comes with a 105mm lens cap
- comes in various filter combinations
- OK price
- probably chinese copy quality
- unknown quality of the filters
- unknown if the holder causes reflections or vignetting
So the big issue with almost all system for the 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO is vignetting. The edge of the filter holder blocks a part of the frame and you can’t zoom out all the way to 7mm without the filter adapter showing in the frame.
The 3D Printed Adapter comes in 2 different kits.
Kit 1: You can use up to two filters with original rail with decoration plate (with “LEE”mark) removed, at non-rotated position. If you use more than two filters or rotate the filters, there will be vignetting.
Kit 2: This kit contains an adapter and a customised rail type II, which permits you use up to two filters without getting vignette at almost any rotated position with focus further than 3m.
The LEE Filter Adapter
does cause vignetting if you go wider than 9-10mm. It also strongly depends on where you focus. If you focus at infinity you can usually go a little wider (around 8-9mm)
LEE also now offers an adapter for their SW 150mm filter system. I haven’t tested it, but I assume it will remove all form of vignetting. However, you’ll need the larger and more expensive 150mm x 150mm filters for this.
The NiSi Filter Holder is a 150mm system and will not cause any vignetting. But, you’ll need the more expensive and larger 150mm x 150mm filters.
The Haida Filter Holder vignettes up to 9mm. A bit disappointing for a 150mm filter system. (according to online reviews)
The Phil Norton Holder won’t vignette at all at 7mm, there is some room for angling filters, zooming the lens a tad so it still registers 7mm will allow filters to be angled. (according to Phil)
Helge Suess Holder sounds like doesn’t vignette either as long as it’s mounted correctly.
STC Holder – no information.
I’ve tried my best to show the differences, pros and cons and list my experience with these filters. If you have any comments or remarks, or if I’ve made any mistakes or you’ve heard of a different filter system not listed here I’m interested in adding it to this list.
Just leave a comment below and I’ll try my best to add it here as soon as possible.
On a side note, I mostly need this adapter system to be able to mount a circular polariser (the LEE 105mm Circular Polariser) to my 7-14mm as you can often see me do in my Adventure Photography On Location episodes.. In order to do so I have 2 LEE Foundation kits. One is a regular one with the possibility of mounting up to 2 square 100mm filters and the other has the Circular Polariser Adapter ring mounted to it without any space to add any 100mm square filters. I did this in order to reduce the distance between lens and polariser to avoid vignetting. With this solution I can use the LEE 105mm circular polariser up to about 8mm before I get vignetting. Quite a good workaround for me. BUT I can’t use square filters in combination with the 105mm Circular Polariser without unscrewing things or without vignetting
I’d love to know: what filter adapter do you use and how/why?
Please share in the comments section below.
SPECIAL THANKS to the amazing guys at LEE Filters for providing me with the filter holder (and all the amazing filters!) and to Georges Cameras and Nisi Filters for letting me test the NiSi Filter Holder.