Formatt-Hitech Firecrest ND filters for long-exposure photos

18 September 2017

Formatt-Hitech filters let you control the amount of light that enters your camera to get a perfectly exposed shot, and chances are if you’re a professional landscape photographer, you’ve already tried out a few of their products. If you haven’t, we recommend you try the new Firecrest ND filters and here’s why:

These filters are manufactured from durable 2mm thick Schott Superwhite glass that is treated with a rare earth metal coating process (it is applied directly to the glass through an electrolyte process). Unlike the traditional resin dye, Firecrest glass filters are hyper-neutral across the visible light and UV spectrums, and also remove more IR contamination than any other filter, allowing you to capture high-quality long exposure photos.

Which Firecrest ND filter do I need?

The next step is to decide which Firecrest filter best suits your photo needs as they range from 3 to 16 stops, where each stop number refers to a doubling of shutter speed, ISO or a full stop aperture. This means that you can either shoot using a longer exposure time, shallower depth of field during daytime and render sharper photographs.

  • 3-4 stop ND – shoot wide-open during the middle of the day, ideal for street photographers
  • 4-6 stop ND – moderate lengthening exposure time for misty effects in moving water
  • 6-10 stop ND – 2-3 sec exposure for mystifying waterfalls and streams
  • 13 stop ND – 2-minute exposure for ethereal effects in fast-moving water and clouds
  • 16 stop ND – 5-8 minutes exposure for streaky clouds and skies even during the middle of the day

* The values indicated above (and throughout this article) are only meant as indications as they will depend on your individual camera settings.

Firecrest glass filters are hyper-neutral across the visible, IR and UV spectrums, allowing you to capture high-quality long exposure photos.

Balance extreme contrast

Firecrest glass filters are hyper-neutral across the visible, IR and UV spectrums, allowing you to capture high-quality long exposure photos.

A Firecrest ND Soft Edge Graduated 0.9 filter is ideal for capturing rolling landscapes under the bright African sun as it gradually darkens part of the skyline by 3 stops, thereby allowing you to capture detail in both the darker landscape and the brighter sky.

Create motion blur

The solid 100 x 100mm Firecrest ND 1.2 filter lets you slow down your shutter speed up to four stops, ideal for marrying static buildings with moving tourists on a bustling inner-city street. This 1.2 density creates a darkening of the entire image, allowing you to photograph with a wider aperture or longer shutter speed than normally required. By lengthening your exposure time or decreasing your aperture, you’re able to control the depth of field and convey movement more easily.

Colors seem to dance as the soft light warms the waterfall Seljalandsfoss in the Southern Icelandic Countryside.

Create softening effects

The solid Firecrest ND 3.0 filter (10 stops) is ideal for long shutter speeds that transform stormy waterfalls and seascapes into a mystical paradise covered in soft mist. Whereas the Firecrest ND 3.0 allows for 30 sec exposures, you’ll need the Firecrest ND 4.8 filter (16 stops) for exposures of up to 4 minutes.

* Please note that the filter values used throughout this article are only indications based on their popular uses, which means that the specific values will depend on your individual camera settings.

Filter holder & adapter rings

Like Firecrest ND filters, the filter holders are strong and durable, made from lightweight aluminium and almost completely eliminate leakage when shooting long exposure. The filter holder incorporates three plastic slots in the front for stacking filters and screws into the adapter ring.

The Firecrest 100mm Filter Holder is designed for use with standard lenses and all standard wide-angle or zoom lenses. For ultra-wide lenses, we recommend using the Lucroit 165mm system fitted with the 77mm treaded adaptor ring.

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The Outdoorphoto Blog strives to inform, educate, engage and inspire South African creatives - it's all about the photographic lifestyle.

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