Cokin vs Lee vs Nisi vs Formatt Hitech Firecrest Filter holders and Filters Review

Cokin, Lee, Nisi and Firecrest photography filter holders and filters review, experiences with them and why I changed to the Formatt Hitech Firecrest range.

 

 

 

10, "Firecrest USA", Formatt, "Formatt Hitech USA", "Formatt Hitech discount code USA", "Hitech filters review Germany", "best 100mm photography filter holder", "best filter holder", "best nd filter holder", "best photography blogs", "best photography filter holder", "best photography filters", "big stopper", "big stopper vs firecrest ultra filter", "camera filter", "camera filters ireland", 'code"', "cokin filter holder", density, discount, "elia locardi formatt hitech", filter, 'filter"', filters, "filters ireland", firecrest, "firecrest graduated neutral density filters", "firecrest neutral density filters", "firecrest reviews", "firecrest ultra", "firecrest ultra 10 stop filter", "firecrest ultra 6 stop filter", "firecrest ultra discount codes", "firecrest ultra filters", "firecrest ultra promo code", "formatt hitech", "formatt hitech 10 stop nd filter", "formatt hitech 100mm", "formatt hitech 100mm filter holder", "formatt hitech 100mm firecrest filter holder kit", "formatt hitech 77mm firecrest", "formatt hitech 85mm", "formatt hitech 85mm holder", "formatt hitech brand ambassador", "formatt hitech brand ambassadors", "formatt hitech discount code", "formatt hitech discount code", "formatt hitech filter holder", "formatt hitech filter holder", "formatt hitech filter holder review", "formatt hitech filters", "formatt hitech filters", "formatt hitech filters review", "formatt hitech firecrest 100mm holder kit review", "formatt hitech firecrest 16", "formatt hitech firecrest filter holder", "formatt hitech firecrest filter review", "formatt hitech firecrest holder", "formatt hitech firecrest polarizer review", "formatt hitech firecrest review", "formatt hitech firecrest ultra", "formatt hitech firecrest ultra filters", "formatt hitech irnd", "formatt hitech irnd filters", "formatt hitech limited", "formatt hitech ltd", "formatt hitech nd filter", "formatt hitech nd filter review", "formatt hitech nd filters", "formatt hitech polariser", "formatt hitech polarizer", "formatt hitech polarizer review", "formatt hitech prostop irnd", "formatt hitech prostop irnd filters", "formatt hitech resin filter review", "formatt hitech review", "formatt hitech solar filter", "formatt hitech usa", "formatt hitech vs lee", "formatt hitech vs lee filters", "formatt hitech vs nisi", from, graduated, "graduated filters", "graduated nd filters", hitech, "hitech filters review", "hitech formatt filters", holders, i, ireland, landscape, "landscape photography filters", "landscape photography ireland", lee, "lee filter holder", "lee vs formatt hitech", "lee vs formatt hitech firecrest", "little stopper", "little stopper vs firecrest ultra filter", long, "long exposure photography", "long exposure photography filters", nd, "nd filters ireland", neutral, "neutral density filters", "neutral density filters ireland", nisi, "nisi filter holder", "nisi vs formatt hitech firecrest filters", photographers, photography, "photography blog", "photography blog ireland", "photography blogs", "photography blogs ireland", "photography filters ireland", "photography filters review", review, seascape, "seascape photography filters", "six stop nd filters", stop, systems, "ten stop nd filters", to, "top five photography blogs", "top ten photography blogs", ultra, vs, "west cork photographer", "west cork photographers", why, "www formatt hitech com"Lee vs Formatt Hitech Firecrest Ultra filtersWhy I changed from Lee filters to Formatt Hitech Firecrest Ultra filters

 

This is an update to an older blog post which as filters have changed I felt I needed to update the blog also. I might have a very long-winded way of writing this but if you have or are interested in filters or thinking of buying them then this is going to help you I hope. So sit down relax and take a few minutes to learn from my experiences.

 

 

I would like to say I purchased all these systems with my own hard-earned money.
As most of you will know I am an ambassador for the Formatt Hitech range of products incl the Firecrest Pro & Ultra range of filters but I would also like to say it was my vocal appreciation for their products after I had purchased them that led to Formatt Hitech approaching me about becoming one of their ambassadors.


 

 

 

I haven't received any free filters or products for this review it's something I wrote 3 years ago and I update regularly in the hope of saving people money and lots of wasted time.

 

 

 

The advantage of me being an ambassador for their range is I can give you a 10% off code 10% Discount code  HAYES10  for Formatt Hitech products via their official website. For transparency, I should add I get a slight kickback from the sales.

 

HAYES10

 

 

 

To subscribe to my email list for the very latest Formatt Hitech special offers and special discount codes as they happen click Here.

 

 

 

 

So 100mm Camera Filters and holders and why I changed to Firecrest filters completely.

 

 

Over the years I have tried and tested numerous photography neutral density filters and their holders for landscape and seascape photography this has been my journey with all the bumps and problems I have met on the way.

 

 

On my wandering journey through several filters and holders, I have tried and worked with a number of manufacturers from Cokin, Lee, Nisi and Formatt Hitech firecrest. This has been a long and winding road for me, most of us have travelled along this path with both positive and negative experiences. So I thought why not document my experiences and help steer a few people down the better path.

 

 

 

 

 

Cokin

A long time ago I started with the cheaper Cokin filters (incidentally they were not the 100mm version) which worked fairly well but they have a strong magenta colour cast when combined together to increase the neutral density strength.

 

 

So I would have normally used a 3 stop nd filter with a 3 stop ND grad. This combination was sufficient after sunset or on overcast days to capture some motion blur but just not strong enough to create exposures for longer than half a second.

 

 

The holder and filters are ok for the price but the end results are nowhere near a proper set of filters. The holder is plastic which slides over the metal adaptor rings that screw on to the camera lens. It's a bit clumsy to take on and off when composing an image but as the nd strength is quite weak your camera can focus with the filters attached.

 

 

The filters are made of resin and apart from their magenta cast are usable just be careful as they are very easily scratched and rendered useless then.

 

 

Verdict... Cheap and a great starting point but that's where it ends. Not at all colour neutral and using these near sand they get destroyed in no time.

 

 

 

 

 

Lee

Next, I ventured down the road of Lee filters and yes they are a big step forward and worked reasonably well in most situations with only a few issues.

 

The first being the holder itself, it clips on snuggly enough to the lens adaptors but if you are unlucky to accidentally hit the holder while moving or repositioning the camera then the filter holder can just slip out of place and fall to the ground smashing your filters.

 

 

The edge of the brass gripper for some strange reason is sloped in such a way that you can pull the housing off the adaptor ring and it can easily unclip itself.

 

 

The next slight issue I had was the blue colour cast,

Yes, it can be corrected in editing to some extent but it throws off the colours in the sky still and I have struggled to correct this a number of times.

 

 

Also when you pay for a premium product you shouldn't accept defects straight out of the box.

 

 

Lastly, the nd grads were made of resin, now anyone that is serious about seascape or landscape photography will tell you how easy it is to scratch these filters. All it takes is a grain of sand in your cleaning cloth and serious damage can be done in a split second.

 

 

For their price, I wouldn't consider these filters or filter holder good value for money.

 

 

Time has moved on and most companies have improved their range incidentally as have Lee but with that in mind, it took an incredibly long time for them to move forward and for that reason you tend to see fewer of them in use today.

 

Verdict... Colour cast was just wrong straight out of the box. Holder design needs to be improved on, Nd grads in Resin considering the price is crazy, the price of the ring adaptors are very expensive. If you want a polariser they are incredibly expensive and have a design flaw in that light can get in between the polariser and ND filter or lens, this is a major problem at times.

 

 

 

Nisi

Next on the journey was Nisi, I have to say I like the filters themselves they are fairly colour neutral and their filter holder is nice enough.

 

The real advantage of this unit over the other two above is the inbuilt polariser. Its a beautiful little touch and with the external wheels for rotating it make it simple to use.

 

The only criticism I have of the polariser is that it's delicate to put in place and I was always unsure if it was locked in place properly or not, would it just suddenly pop back out again and smash to a million pieces on the ground. A solid click as its positioned would be nice.

 

The polariser has fallen out on me more than once.

 

The holder itself is simple and it works well it's not as easy to position on the adaptor rings as the Lee system but not far behind either. The two small little legs designed to hold the holder in place before you lock it in place are very small and hard to find at the best of times.

 

Verdict... A nice product but not cheap, the filter holder is good but I constantly worried about the polariser and the seating on the adaptor ring was a bit hit and miss when you're in a hurry.

 

I never scratched one of their filters but I didn't have them that long either. I would be worried about the nano-coating on the filters getting damaged through exposure to grit, sand or dust.

 

In saying all that I would add that Nisi the Chinese manufacturer was better than the Lee setup.

 

 

 

 

 

Formatt Hitech Firecrest

Finally, we arrive at where I am today, as an official Formatt Hitech Firecrest ambassador this review may seem to be biased but it just so happens I was delighted to be chosen by them for the simple reason that I love their filters and products.

 

Their customer service is second to none and constantly amazes me and anyone that I have spoken to has said the same.

A good product is only as good as its weakest link and I am still trying to find one after five years using their products now.

 

So let me just start with my very first experience using their new filter holder and filters.

 

Being honest when I initially used the Firecrest filter holder I wasn't sure about it. It just seemed to be so different. It was only when I stopped and treated it like any other part of my camera equipment I realised it just needed to be customised.

 

After two mins of adjusting it and getting it the way I wanted it, I started to feel very very comfortable with it.

 

Initially, the filters were stiff going into their slots, the unusual aspect of having the gasket fitted to the filter holder and not the filter seemed alien to me. It was only when I slightly loosened the tension screws on the filter slots I realised this could actually really grow on me.

 

Now just think about that, isn't it great that you can have the filters at the tension you want and not fixed via the factory.

 

So it took me about an hours use before I really began to fall in love with this filter holder and I haven't looked back since.

 

 

The gasket on the holder is not a problem at all and the filter holder itself can be removed very easily with just one hand as there is a thumb-slide that releases it, this is something I instantly liked, the ease of rapid removal then refocusing and composing a shot was just so very easy.

 

Repositioning it is just a matter of clipping it back in place and after you see the lever lock again with a nice solid audible click you're ready to go.

 

Having a built-in polarising filter is also again a major plus. This time the polarising filter screws into the lens adaptor section, something you then don't have to worry about falling out of place. Also a lovely little wheel on the side of the holder to turn the polariser

 

A huge bonus to this system is you can use the polarising filter without the holder in place. Now that's a huge bonus and something the others couldn't do.

 

The extra removable caps for the filter holder are fantastic for removing any stray light and work perfectly. They are the holder's secret weapon also as they stop any seaspray from getting in between the graduated filter and the Neutral density filter.

 

Can I find a fault with the adaptor?

Well not yet, it's easy to position on the camera and feels solid, has an inbuilt polariser, and external wheel to rotate the filter, seems to be easy to customise, if I were being petty I would have requested the option for a third filter slot (I will never use it though) and brass filter adaptor rings as Aluminium or alloys never wears well and have a tendency to lock on the camera threads but when you look at all the other systems mentioned above none of them provide brass rings either.

 

The winning points for the Firecrest filter holder over any of the others are.....

  • Easy to clip on one-handed.
  • Polariser screws securely into place.
  • Polariser can be used without the holder.
  • Turning or twisting the holder on the camera won't also turn the polariser.
  • Extra Light shield caps are the true winner for preventing sea spray and light rain from getting in between the Graduated and Neutral density filter.
  • It's cheaper.... yes with the 10% off its cheaper than the rest. On my filter holder review I breakdown the pricing of all the others Here

 

The Firecrest Ultra filters themselves are made of bonded glass so the actual nd part of the filter is protected by hardened glass on both sides making them incredibly scratch resistant. They are completely colour neutral and have a very large selection of filters to choose from covering all price ranges.

 

Full review of the Firecrest Ultra filters Here where I go into a lot more detail on their groundbreaking sharpness and colour clarity.

 

I have an in-depth review of the firecrest holder Here and the awesome reason why I love it.
 

 

I have a post here on my recommended starter filter kit, its exceptional value for money and includes everything you need starting out.

 

Verdict... I love the filter holder now, it's so easy to use and the neutrality of the filters is second to none.

 

All in all a really nice system and great value for money definitely by far my favourite filter holder. In short, I always carried the Nisi and Lee systems in my bag but now I only carry the Formatt Hitech Firecrest system with me.

 

 

So to sum it up the Firecrest Ultra filters are completely colour neutral and exceptionally easy to use, at the end of the day we should expect no less. 

 

It should be the case with all filters but sadly it's not, I am very proud to be associated with such a company and can only give my honest opinion on their products. If I didn't like them I personally wouldn't use them or promote their products.

 

 

They have a huge range of filters and filter holders for all prices making it the ideal one-stop-shop. As an ambassador for their products, I can also offer a 10% discount with the discount code  HAYES10  at checkout via their website simply click Here to see their range.

 

Don't just take my word for it, look at all my new upcoming images. I can already see an improvement. 

 

For a bit more about my Landscape & Seascape photography and a few tips and tricks please click here
 

 

I have a blog post on Long Exposure Photography which helps explain what filters are used for and how to use them.

 

Any questions feel free to email me @ [email protected] or leave a comment below.

 

See you out there,

Kieran.

 

 

 

10, "Firecrest USA", Formatt, "Formatt Hitech USA", "Formatt Hitech discount code USA", "Hitech filters review Germany", "best 100mm photography filter holder", "best filter holder", "best nd filter holder", "best photography blogs", "best photography filter holder", "best photography filters", "big stopper", "big stopper vs firecrest ultra filter", "camera filter", "camera filters ireland", 'code"', "cokin filter holder", density, discount, "elia locardi formatt hitech", filter, 'filter"', filters, "filters ireland", firecrest, "firecrest graduated neutral density filters", "firecrest neutral density filters", "firecrest reviews", "firecrest ultra", "firecrest ultra 10 stop filter", "firecrest ultra 6 stop filter", "firecrest ultra discount codes", "firecrest ultra filters", "firecrest ultra promo code", "formatt hitech", "formatt hitech 10 stop nd filter", "formatt hitech 100mm", "formatt hitech 100mm filter holder", "formatt hitech 100mm firecrest filter holder kit", "formatt hitech 77mm firecrest", "formatt hitech 85mm", "formatt hitech 85mm holder", "formatt hitech brand ambassador", "formatt hitech brand ambassadors", "formatt hitech discount code", "formatt hitech discount code", "formatt hitech filter holder", "formatt hitech filter holder", "formatt hitech filter holder review", "formatt hitech filters", "formatt hitech filters", "formatt hitech filters review", "formatt hitech firecrest 100mm holder kit review", "formatt hitech firecrest 16", "formatt hitech firecrest filter holder", "formatt hitech firecrest filter review", "formatt hitech firecrest holder", "formatt hitech firecrest polarizer review", "formatt hitech firecrest review", "formatt hitech firecrest ultra", "formatt hitech firecrest ultra filters", "formatt hitech irnd", "formatt hitech irnd filters", "formatt hitech limited", "formatt hitech ltd", "formatt hitech nd filter", "formatt hitech nd filter review", "formatt hitech nd filters", "formatt hitech polariser", "formatt hitech polarizer", "formatt hitech polarizer review", "formatt hitech prostop irnd", "formatt hitech prostop irnd filters", "formatt hitech resin filter review", "formatt hitech review", "formatt hitech solar filter", "formatt hitech usa", "formatt hitech vs lee", "formatt hitech vs lee filters", "formatt hitech vs nisi", from, graduated, "graduated filters", "graduated nd filters", hitech, "hitech filters review", "hitech formatt filters", holders, i, ireland, landscape, "landscape photography filters", "landscape photography ireland", lee, "lee filter holder", "lee vs formatt hitech", "lee vs formatt hitech firecrest", "little stopper", "little stopper vs firecrest ultra filter", long, "long exposure photography", "long exposure photography filters", nd, "nd filters ireland", neutral, "neutral density filters", "neutral density filters ireland", nisi, "nisi filter holder", "nisi vs formatt hitech firecrest filters", photographers, photography, "photography blog", "photography blog ireland", "photography blogs", "photography blogs ireland", "photography filters ireland", "photography filters review", review, seascape, "seascape photography filters", "six stop nd filters", stop, systems, "ten stop nd filters", to, "top five photography blogs", "top ten photography blogs", ultra, vs, "west cork photographer", "west cork photographers", why, "www formatt hitech com"Nisi vs Formatt Hitech filtersThis blog explains why I changed from Nisi filters toi Formatt Hitech Firecrest filters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Formatt Hitech vs Nisi vs Lee vs Cokin

4th January 2020

Firecrest Pro nd Filter

Kieran Hayes

5.0 Star

19 ratings

Kieran Hayes Photography

Formatt Hitech

£90

https://www.kieranhayesphotography.com/blog/2018/4/cokin-vs-lee-vs-nisi-vs-formatt-hitech-firecrest-filter-holders-and-filters-review