Whenever I speak to photographers new to using filters when they attend my landscape courses, one of the issues they always talk about is having the time and patience to swap and change the filters to get the right effect that they would ideally like. This is particularly difficult to do when you are in places where there isn’t much room to put your bag on the floor or when you are in water and it’s just impossible to bend down and pick up a different piece of glass. The people at Lee Filters have listened to their customers and a few months ago produced a relatively cheap piece of kit that gets around this issue.
Until you have used the Lee Field Pouch you’ll just think that it’s another gimmicky item that relieves photographers of cash to remain in your home while you are out shooting. However, I have been using this for a couple of months now and I find it as invaluable as any of my lenses when I am out shooting landscapes. The concept is fairly simple; a fairly slim bag that can hold up to 10 150mm x 100mm filters but the simplicity belies its practicality.
The Field Pouch comes with three different ways of holding the pouch whilst you are shooting; over the shoulder; on a belt; or my preference, strapped to your tripod. What makes it great though, is that whilst the side zips are fastened the filters are held nice and tightly and are almost impossible to slip out accidentally yet can easily slide out when held firmly with you fingers. This was ideal when I was shooting in 50mph plus winds in Iceland a few weeks ago. Undo the zips though and you have really easy access, especially if you are storing 100mm x 100mm ND filters or the Big or Small stoppers. The other advantage of having it strapped to your tripod is that it allows you to put straps underneath it to stop them flapping around is a nice little platform to rest a shutter release on for long exposures.
Once you have a had a few hours of shooting seascapes with your camera-bag strapped onto your back but having the flexibility of switching filters you’ll be a convert to this clever little device. Suddenly you aren’t stuck with the filters that were on the camera when you started shooting, prior to this it would mean walking away to somewhere more protected to switch, now you simply switch filters around with no risk of damage to your expensive filters.
The Field Pouch retails for £38 from your usual Lee stockists and comes in either Black or Sand so is ideal for the photographer with a bit of Christmas money hanging around to be spent on something you aren’t going to waste money on.