Formatt-Hitech’s Firecrest ND filters are some of the best on the market, with natural IR filtering properties. Now the company has announced some ultra slim versions of the glass.
At half the thickness of standard Firecrest filters, the new 4x5.65 NDs are only 2mm thick and have been designed for situations where you really need to keep the weight down, such as on a drone, Steadicam, or gimbal. The filters also facilitate having a much lighter camera setup in general, for example when you might want to keep a handheld rig as light as possible, such as all the time.
The company claims that the quality of filtration is exactly the same as the thicker standard 4mm models, and the work very well with lightweight matte boxes such as the Bright Tangerine Misfit Atom. For other matte boxes you’ll need a dedicated 2mm filter tray, which can be purchased from Formatt.
Another option is to mount two of the new filters within one standard 4mm stage, thus doubling the amount of ND filtration that is possible. The Bright Tangerine Atom matte box allows one 2mm filter to be combined together with a 4mm one, so you could for example combine ND filtration with a diffusion filter.
Other options include the ability to use the new filters with Formatt’s Firecrest 100mm MKII filter holder. This accessory will hold 100mm photographic filters as well as the new Superslim NDs, which can then be attached to the camera by way of a screw in adaptor ring, available from 67mm to 86mm. A circular polariser can also be combined using this device.
One of the new Superslim filters mounted inside the the Formatt 2mm filter stage holder. Image: Formatt-Hitech.
Ultra Cine Superslim Firecrest IRND strengths
The Firecrest Ultra Superslim NDs will be available in 0.6, 0.9, 1.2, and 2.1 strengths, and the 2mm tray will be available on its own or as part of a kit with all five filters. The total weight of the full set is only 360g, making for an incredible lightweight bit of kit to pack with you. Handy for those occasions where a long hike in might be necessary with outdoors and wildlife shooting for example.
Each of the filters retails for US$199 each and are available to order now.
Personally I’ve been using Firecrests for years now. If I don’t require a variable ND I always go to the Firecrests because the quality from them is so good. If you want any further indication of how good they are, they are often used on major feature films such as Dune and Batman. They naturally filter IR light due to the material they are constructed from and there is virtually no tint or colour variation like you might see in others, so you can stack them fairly safely. They are well worth the money in my opinion, and it is good to see these new versions with the additional practicality they bring.
For more information visit the Formatt-Hitech website.