Filter Types

Firecrest Glass Filters

Firecrest / Firecrest Pro / Firecrest Ultra

Firecrest glass use carbon neutral coatings to bring unprecedented neutrality to the market. To ensure the filters are as durable as possible, the coating is bonded in-between two pieces of optical grade polished glass (using a very precise amount of an equally neutral bonding agent, developed in-house.) This process gives the filters two vital areas of protection:

  • The critical part of the filter, the Neutral Density coating, is shielded from wear and tear.
  • They have more structural strength than a single piece of glass

Firecrest Pro Filters are available in 100mm and have a blackout edging applied to alleviate the risk of light leak that can occur through unprotected filter edges. Firecrest and Firecrest Pro filters are rated for focal lengths upto 100mm and is ideally suited for landscape photography. With Firecrest Ultra we have taken this process one step further and we now "lap and polish" the filters, a process previously only carried out on our cinema grade filters. So as well as the superb neutrality and durability that Firecrest deliver, the filters now benefit from enhanced clarity and sharpness and are the most optically flat photographic ND filters in the world, regardless of focal length.

ONYX Coated Glass Filters

Onyx by Formatt Hitech is a brand new coated filter system in 85mm glass. These surface-coated filters are made to withstand a great deal being made of toughened mineral glass which makes it significantly more resistant to dropping and impact damage. The modern Multi-coating technology gives the filters many advantages over resin or traditional ND filters and is IRND, meaning it is suitable for all camera types.

 Onyx is made from tempered hardened optical glass, giving you added protection from accidental drops. Giving you added peace of mind when using the system.

Onyx features a brand new Anti-reflection coating. This coating works to reduce glare on the filters in bright direct sunlight. It also helps to remove any reflection between the filters, which can affect contrast and exposure.

 Onyx is designed for all environments and features the latest Super Waterproof coating giving you peace of mind when it comes to taking amazing images in wet weather or by the sea and other water sources.

 The Onyx coating is designed for neutrality even at high stop values. Using the latest Double Sided Coating techniques to give neutral colours with even coverage by applying the coating to both sides of the filter.

Traditional Glass Filters for Broadcast and Cinema

Traditional glass filters are those glass filters that we make that don’t require the application of our Firecrest multicoating. These filters include color grads, cinema diffusion, and speciality filters. As most photo filters are now made from Firecrest, traditional glass filters are typically for cinema. Formatt-Hitech glass filters are made from Schott Superwite glass, the finest optical glass material available. The filters effects (such as colors) are applied on advanced, computer controlled manufacturing equipment to ensure consistency of results and accuracy of density. The filters are then lapped and polished to extremely high tolerances to ensure that the surface flatness is the highest in the industry. The surface flatness ensure that waves of distortion aren’t seen when panning the cinema camera.

Hitech Resin Filters

There is a misconception that glass is better than resin. Formatt-Hitech’s resin filters are ultra flat, have excellent contrast and are completely transparent to the visible light spectrum. In fact, our traditional glass filters are manufactured by sandwiching an optically true resin filter between glass. Formatt-Hitech’s resin has the highest scratch resistance of any non-glass optical material and it’s resistant to most solvents, chemicals, aging and material fatigue. Because of the light weight and portability, resin filters are a great choice for photographers and HDSLR filmakers. Resin filters are dyed using our exclusive Absorbing Cell Technology™ process.

Firecrest ND Test results

These graphs show test results from an independent test performed at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). The test measured the spectral power distribution of tungsten light reflected off a spectralon target made of barium sulfate using a Photo Research SpectraScan Model 705 spectroradiometer. The results were graphed according to their wavelength (in nanometers) along the X axis, versus radiance (in watts per steradian per meter squared) along the Y axis. In the top graph, the yellow line represents the baseline tungsten light reading reflected off the barium sulfate target. This graph illustrates the excellent filtration properties of both the ProStop IRND (shown in green) and the Firecrest ND (shown in blue). Both filters appear nearly flat from this perspective.

The second graph emphasizes the differences between the two filters by removing the baseline tungsten reading and zooming-in on the Y axis. On closer inspection, the graph shows the ProStop IRND strongly attenuating the near-infrared spectrum before returning to neutral attenuation of the infrared spectrum around the 730nm mark. Firecrest (shown in blue) performs perfectly linearly in the visible light spectrum, before completely eliminating the infrared energy at around the 700nm mark. Compared to the ProStop IRND (which is the previous benchmark in IRND filtrations) the performance shown by Firecrest ND is nothing short of revolutionary. Firecrest ND truly is the future of ND filtration for digital sensors. Results in-the-field confirm the test data. The new Firecrest ND is amazingly neutral regardless of the camera make or model used.