Hi all. Wanted to share my experience with anyone out there looking to pick up one of these filter systems.
A friend and I were able to track down the 4x6 soft grad ND Lee set but had a hard time finding the foundation kit. Yada yada He got the Hitech holder and Hitech adaptor ring, I got the Lee holder and Lee adaptor ring.
The Lee holder has a much smoother build quality. It feels more rugged, and holds the Lee filters better. The Lee filters DO fit in the Hitech holder, but not as tight (Hitech filters are .5mm thicker so there's some extra space when using the Lee filters). The Lee filters in the Lee holder felt nice and tight. My biggest complaint about the Hitech holder is the way it screws onto the adaptor ring. The screw that tightens a piece of plastic that expands and contracts felt really flimsy, and wasn't easy to take on and off. Drove my friend crazy. The Lee holder has a nice pull latch that's well built, and easily goes on and off the Lee adaptor ring.
THE ADAPTOR RINGS
In theory a ring is a ring. Since I was using the 16-35mm I got the WA ring which was great. No vignetting. Screwed on easy and felt great. My buddy's Hitech ring was a bit more finicky to lock in place, but it did the job. Again, the Lee just felt better. Also, The Hitech 82mm WA adaptor ring...*drum roll*...DOESN'T FIT ON THE CANON 16-35mmii! WHAT?! Yup. You heard me. Good thing my friend was using the 17-40, and the 77mm ring worked no problem. If I ended up with the Hitech system I would have been in big trouble.
Overall, I'd recommend to anyone looking for a filter holder and ring set to go with the Lee. The Hitech did the job, but being able to feel the two systems side by side really made me happy I got the Lee version...and my friend....less happy