High quality filters are crucial in landscape photography and allow me to balance the light, control color saturation and reflections, provide me with complete control over shutter speed, becoming both a great expressive and compositional tool.
For some people, the most convenient way to add filters is to use a screw-on filter due to the reduced size and low weight, but this is not always the best option.
In fact, the usage of square filters gives you some big advantages on the field, among which I can highlight the following:
- More flexibility
- Use them on a wide range of lenses
- Stack multiple filters to get the desired combination
- Higher quality
To manage the square filters, you need to make a good decision when you are choosing the filter holder because is a key element on the final result.
On this review I’ll talk about my choice, the Formatt-Hitech Firecrest Filter 100mm Holder that I consider almost perfect.
WHAT MAKES IT ALMOST PERFECT?
Manufactured in a beautiful and high quality aluminium workmanship, I can describe this holder as very solid, sturdy with an acceptable weight of 181g (including caps and polarizer).
The holder has two high-grade nylon slots ensuring that your filters are well protected from side scratches.
ANTI-LIGHT LEAK COVERS
The revolutionary covers (top and bottom) included inside the package are made of anti-reflective material with an easy and fast slide assembly.
You don’t have to use them to operate the filter holder but they are very useful to prevent light-leaks, especially when shooting long exposures with neutral density filters.
Judging from my everyday experience on the field, they are useful in a low percentage of circumstances. As landscape and seascape photographer I’m always adapting the filters to the quick light changes and under this circumstances they can difficult the fast filters management.
On these images you can see the assembled covers in three different ways:
POLARIZER FILTER SYSTEM
The integrated top of the range Firecrest 82mm multicoated comes as standard within the system.
The built-in polarizer filter is now sitting in the adapter ring and can be controlled from a geared mechanism located outside of the holder for allows easy rotation.
BUILT-IN LOW-PROFILE GASKET
Now, you don’t have to stick the gasket seal on filters. The integrated gasket seal prevents light leaks in a more efficient way.
NOTE: You should always place the ND in the slot closest to lens.
I really like the lock system to attach the holder to the adapter ring. Is quick and stable but requires some maintenance. For sure it is a point to revise and improve on the next holder generation.
Note: Some people has reported vignetting using this filter system and I want to highlight an important information:
When you are using an ultra-wide-angle lens, you should always use the rotating adaptor ring compatible with your lens diameter.
If you are using the Nikon 16-35 f4 lens that has a 77mm diameter:
You should use the 77-82mm Rotating Adaptor Ring instead of a 77-82mm step-up ring + 82-82mm Rotating Adaptor Ring.
WHAT'S INSIDE THE BOX?
The time when you have to choose all the items that you will need is over. The filter holder package includes the following items:
• Firecrest 100mm holder with polarizer control wheel • Rotating 82mm Adaptor Ring • 82mm Firecrest Ultra-slim (non-rotating) Circular Polarizer • Two part anti-reflective soft-touch outer Case • 1 x Set of Solid End caps • 1 x Set Vented End caps for use with graduated filters • 67-82mm Step-up ring • 72-82mm Step-up ring • 77-82mm Step-up ring • Luxury pouch • Allen key
NOTE: Get 10% OFF using the code COSTA10
I can state with certainly that the FORMATT-HITECH FIRECREST 100MM FILTER HOLDER will mark a new important stage in the filter holder’s world. I can sum it with the key words of my experience: Innovation, Quality, Workmanship, Solid, Sturdy and Affordable Price.
As I said before, this is almost perfect and could be perfect on the next generation, for which I highlight improvements as Sturdy Lock System and Improved Light Weight .