Welcome to my review of the Formatt Hitech Onyx 85mm seascape filter kit.
This kit is currently available for the Onyx 85mm system but will be coming online soon also in 100mm Onyx versions also.
So let’s starting with the basics and as you may have guessed this kit is aimed at seascape photographers and includes the filter holder, cpl, adaptor rings and a six stop neutral density filter and both a three stop hard and soft graduated filter.
Normally I would start with the filter holder itself but I already have an in depth review of what you get with the Firecrest 85mm filter holder here so please read that if you want to a real in-depth review of the filter holder.
I also have a review of the Lee 85mm system versus the Firecrest 85mm holder here. Spoiler alert the Firecrest 85mm was honestly the clear winner on that one.
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.
Just add the discount code at checkout to get the 10% off. I should also add I get a slight commission for sales made with my code but hey you also get 10% off so it’s a win win situation. This commission helps me write blog posts like this then.
So why a three stop hard and soft graduated filter? Well usually seascape photography has a defined line with a horizon in the image and the hard grad can be placed more or less on this transition between sky and sea to help balance the exposure a bit better. The soft graduated filter is more useful if you have a more undefined or undulating background for example if you are shooting more along the coastline rather than shooting out to sea. The image in this example has both sky on one side and sea cliffs on the other the soft graduated filter helps here as you don’t get that defined graduation line on the cliffs then. The softer slower graduation or change from no ND effect to full 3 stop light reduction gives a gradual change and is less apparent in the image.
Shooting the same scene with a hard grad would give you a sharp transition and a dark line or near sudden effect on the cliffs in this example.
Hard graduated filters are fantastic but slightly more critical where you place them in your shot.
This brings us to the six stop Neutral density filter. This filter is my personal favourite ND filter apart from maybe the 13 ND stop filter which I now adore also.
The six stop filter is ideal for shorter long exposure around the golden hours and when the sun has left the frame at golden hour you should be able to get longer LE shots with it also.
If I were talking to a client that was buying this kit I would advise them to get a 10 stop filter also or at least think about buying one in the near future. A ten stop filter is great for giving you a 30 second exposure around the golden hour times.
If you are unsure which ND filter to buy, how to choose the right one or even if you should go for square or circular filters then checkout my Nd filter pages here where I answer all you ND filter questions and more.
So this kit is great value for money as it has three filters and a polarising filter with the amazing Firecrest 85mm filter holder also.
If you were to buy these filters and holder individually it would cost you…
Firecrest 85mm filter holder £119.00
6 stop ND filter £89.00
3 stop hard grad filter £99.00
3 stop soft grad filter £99.00
Total price of £406.00
This kit costs just £345.00 so you save £61.00
Now add the discount code HAYES10 and the price comes down to just £310.50
Now that’s a bargain price for premium products.
If you want to find out more about any of the components of the kit then just click the links below to find out more.
Thanks for reading my review and if you have any questions then please feel free to send me a message via the form below, I am only too happy to help.
I have a list of the kits available below and my review of them and what’s in the actual kit also.
A few more Formatt Hitech products you might be interested in…
The final tip I have for you is… did you know the in the above kits lets you stack ND filters so again let say you buy the Elia Locardi filter kit. That kit comes with two ND filters and one graduated filter. The four and ten stop ND filter in the kit can be used separately or you can stack them to get a 14 stop ND filter. Now how cool is that?
Before you go I have two great blogs on Long Exposure photography and also a comprehensive guide to seascape photography both of these blogs are full of tips and tricks to help you to improve your photography.
See you out there,
Kieran Hayes Landscape photography Ireland Kieran Hayes Photography Formatt Hitech Seascape filter kit 5.0 39 20th of November 2021