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Formatt Hitech Firecrest 100mm MKI filter holder review

Formatt Hitech Firecrest 100mm MKi filter holder

Formatt Hitech Black Friday Discount code HAYES20 gives you 20% off worldwide until 05/12/2022

Get the discount on the USA website here or on the International website

The latest updates are on my Formatt Hitech Promo code page here.

I may make a slight commission on any purchases made with my discount code but hey you save 10% with the discount code and I also pay for a tree to be planted with every sale made. So you win, I win and mother nature wins…. How cool is that?

The new MKII Version of this holder is out now so please click here to read all about it!!!

I have been using the Formatt Hitech Firecrest 100mm filter holder now for over 2 years so I thought it was about time I posted a review.

 I am very happy to say I can offer you 10% off all Formatt Hitech products with discount code HAYES10 which works on all Formatt Hitech products worldwide.

I should also add that while you get 10% off their products I also get a slight kick back from sales made with my discount code but this code helps me write articles like this so it’s win win for everyone.

Formatt Hitech products can be purchased via their International website or via their USA website. 

I also have a review on the Firecrest 85mm filter holder here.

Review

I have listed below the key selling points of this filter holder, all these combine to make this the best filter holder on the market.

1.- The ability to stack ND filters, yes you read that right you can actually stack a four-stop and a 6-stop ND filter to make a ten stop ND filter how cool is that? Or if you have a four-stop and a ten-stop you can stack them to make a fourteen-stop ND filter.

2.- Those awesome light shield caps cut out mist and light rain getting in between the back of your graduated filter and the front of your ND filter. Now for me, that is a real time-saving feature. More on this outstanding feature further down.

3.- You can use ND filters up to 24 stops in this filter holder due to the two different types of light shields used. Now you might say I would never use a 24 stop ND filter but during the last Solar eclipse, those filters were incredibly popular. So never say never.

4.- The price is just incredible for a Filter holder of this quality. Just look at what you get… The filter holder, 3 adaptor rings, Polarizing filter, extra light shield and the filter pouch.

5.- The ability to use this filter holder one-handed, yes you can actually pop this on and off with one hand, that might seem trivial but it is very useful at times. It also has a reassuring loud audible click when it’s locked in place.

I have two huge money saving tips at the end of this blog post that when combined could easily save you over £100.- on filters.

Disclaimer… I am a Brand Ambassador for Formatt Hitech and I get a slight commission for sales using my discount code. The advantage for you is you get 10% off with my discount code HAYES10, this commission helps me write informative blog posts like this but you also get 10% off so it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

With the Formatt Hitech Firecrest 100mm filter holder, you get an additional 3 lens thread adaptors. So straight out of the box, this filter holder will work on 82, 77, 72, and 67mm lens threads.

It also comes with a nice filter holder carrying pouch. This has 4 separate compartments in it one for the holder, one for the adaptor rings, one for the Polarizing filter and the last one for the allen key and the extra light shields.

I have a complete video on how to setup and use the formatt Hitech Firecrest 100mm filter holder at the bottom of this page also. 

See the animated video of the Formatt Hitech Firecrest filter holder below.

Formatt Hitech Black Friday Discount code HAYES20 gives you 20% off worldwide until 05/12/2022

Get the discount on the USA website here or on the International website

The latest updates are on my Formatt Hitech Promo code page here.

I may make a slight commission on any purchases made with my discount code but hey you save 10% with the discount code and I also pay for a tree to be planted with every sale made. So you win, I win and mother nature wins…. How cool is that?

The first time I used the Firecrest holder I honestly didn’t like it, the slots were too stiff and just didn’t work with my fast-paced style of photography. It was only when I looked at the holder properly and realized you can loosen or tight the tension on the slots that it started to grow on me.

Like any of the rest of my photography equipment, it needed a bit of personal tweeking to get it exactly the way I wanted it.

This is the only filter holder I have ever owned that I could get exactly the way I wanted it.

Is that a big thing? Well no it’s not but it made me feel a lot happier about my new purchase.

Next thing I had to get used too was the thumb slider to release the filter holder, that took a minute or two and it was only when I had my brain accustomed to this new system that I realised you can actually use this one-handed…

For me, that was another game-changer. When I go out taking photographs I arrive early and wait for the light to come right and by the time it has I have my list of compositions in my head. I want to move quickly between them and recompose my shots as I go along.

Having a one-handed release enables me to pop it off with one hand refocus and pop it back on again within about 3 seconds.

Again as I mentioned before when you click it back into place there is a nice audible click which is another nice feature to have when you have €250.- + of glass filters in it. 

For a bit of background information, I should add that I currently own and have actually paid for the Cokin, Lee, Nisi and Firecrest 100mm filter holders. I have spent a lot of money on filters over the years as they are a large part of my work so to give you an idea how happy I am with this holder I currently have five Firecrest filter holders. Now five might seem a lot but I use them weekly on my photography workshops if clients don’t have their own filters.

Getting back to the advantages of the filter holder again let’s talk about those extra light shields.

Now back to those beautiful Light leak caps, what can I say but for me they simply destroy the other systems for three reasons…

1.- When shooting with very strong Graduated ND filters like the 5 stop graduated filter I frequently use. It prevents light from leaking in behind the graduated filter causing reflections from the lens. See the photo below.

2.- They also make it possible to use Nd filters up to 24-stops, yes an amazing full 24-stops. While most of us will never use a 24-stop ND filter even though the 24-stop Firecrest filter was incredibly popular for the last solar eclipse, so never say never. 16-stop ND filters are becoming a lot more common now too and that’s where this holder starts to come into its own.

3.- Now this is the main reason I love this holder if you look at the photo below you will see when a graduated filter is put in place it slides through the vented slots on the light shields. The incredible result of this is in light rain, mist or seaspray moisture can’t get in behind the graduated ND filter and the ND filter. It’s a complete pain to constantly have to take filters out to clean off water droplets between the two filters without those light shields.

I should also add the light shields are the second layer of light leak protection. There is also a gasket on the holder itself. So if you are using weaker ND filters you don’t need to use the extra light shields.

Formatt Hitech Firecrest 100mm MKi filter holder vented end caps

As you can see from the above shot they really do close off the gap between the Neutral density filter and the graduated filter which if you’re shooting in damp conditions saves you a lot of time. 

For me alone this is enough of a reason to highly recommend the Formatt Hitech Firecrest 100mm holder to anyone. The fact that it’s cheaper and so incredibly versatile is just the icing on the cake.

The one thing I didn’t mention is the polarizing filter. 

As you can see from the video above the polarising filter is mounted just in front of the lens on the rotating ring adaptor meaning you can use the CPL without the filter holder in place.

Once the filter holder is on the lens you can turn the CPL by simply turning the thumbwheel on the side of the holder until you get the polarizing effect you want. 

 
A CPL is incredibly hand for removing reflections and increasing colour saturation in skies but did you also know that a CPL has a light reduction of about 1.5-stops so you can also use this to make your 4-stop ND filter into a near 6-stop ND filter. 

Reliability is the next thing we need to talk about, as I mentioned above I have five of these holders and never had a problem with anyone of then.

Build-wise it’s very solid and so far has stood the test of time with me which is really saying something. The holder shows absolutely no signs of wear and tear but then again that’s to be expected from a quality product.

At the time of writing, the Firecrest 100mm filter holder costs €146.22 delivered to your door. Once you put in the discount code HAYES10 at checkout to give you a 10% instant discount which works on any Formatt Hitech products.

Just to recap… It’s cheaper. It’s better so it’s the one in my bag.

I have a complete video on how to setup and use the formatt Hitech Firecrest 100mm filter holder at the bottom of this page also.

Money saving tips

I have two tips for you here… firstly use discount code HAYES10 to get 10% off and secondly buy a signature artist kit. 

Ok, it might seem a bit obvious to buy a filter kit but you would be surprised how many people buy filters separately.

Lets take the Elia Locardi filter kit for example if you were to buy all the pieces separately would cost you £490.88 + £5.00 shipping          £495.88 

If you use the two tips above you buy this kit for only £364.49

That is a staggering  £131.39 saving and yes that is available worldwide and that is the price delivered to your door. 

This is the reason why I advise clients to buy signature artist kits. The money savings are huge.

I have a list of the kits available below and my review of them and whats in the kit also. 

 
Some other Formatt Hitech Firecrest product reviews that may interest you… 
My recommended Formatt Hitech starter filter kit is the Elia Locardi Firecrest Pro kit click here for my review of it, this kit is exceptional value for money and a great all rounder kit. 
I have two great blog posts on Long exposure photography and also a comprehensive guide to Seascape photography if you are interested. They are both full of some very useful tips and tricks to help improve your photography.
I also have a few blog posts on… 
 
See you out there, 
Kieran.