Anyone else bought their latest model?

Thought Lee was out of my sensitive budget zone with polariser ring and didn't want any cheap chinese copy so I just bought one directly from Formatt and after a couple of days trials I consider it very good in usability after upgrading from Cokin P-size system. It secures itself superbly (something Lee holder owners seem to complain about) and the filters also very good - the softness of the plastic springs keeping the filters tight seems to be just perfect - not too strong yet not too sluggish. Having been used to plastic holders this aluminium holder just feels and handles GREAT!

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Lee-Hitech.jpg 
Views:	49 
Size:	106.3 KB 
ID:	58402

Their wideangle adapter ring (also much cheaper than Lee's) works wonders with my Pentax 67 45mm wideangle that many people have vignetting problems with various holders - I can use full 3 filters w/o any vignetting, can't test the additional polariser ring yet though.

Two things were a dissapointment though: they forgot to add Polariser Ring into the package although I paid for it (I emailed them, hopefully it won't be an issue and they dare to send it) and while their new aluminium holder if fabulous it has one little con (that maybe also other "flat" holders have?): using the bottom closest-to-the-aluminium-baseplate filter slot can scatch the filter with baseplate itself if you aren't careful enough in sliding it especially if any sand or bigger dustparticles get between = deep scratch when roughly sliding out your filter since the filter is so close to the baseplate, it means a scratch even in stronger Lee filters as I was sadly witnessing today.

Mostly I never use the bottom slot and when I do I use Lee Big Stopper with seals perfectly in with the plate (to avoid light leaks) and with seals separating it's perfect to slide in witout filter getting scratched by the holder's baseplate.

And I got the inspiration from Big Stopper's seal - I quickly made a good easy modification to perfect the ("latest and the greatest" ) Hitech holder by adding two layers of "painter's tape" (soft and chemically neutral) to act as carrier rails for the filter, they kind of act just like the holders on above rows by supporting the filter only from the sides and thus pushing it away from the baseplate and avoiding scratching it. I added just two layers, maybe around 1/10th of a millimeter difference or so, enough to separate the filter from the baseplate yet doesn't kill the sufrace topology so the Big Stopper can still "seal in" with it's foam seals w/o light leaks. I din't have the black tape so I painted black with a marker so it doesn't look so ugly . See here:

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	hitech-mod.jpg 
Views:	36 
Size:	236.3 KB 
ID:	58403

Will let you know how it handles. Other than that I'm very happy with it.

What's your experience with the Hitech aluminium holder?

Happy analog shooting,
Margus