Tiffen Dfx v3 Software Review


While preserving the eye, I chose the Dfx v3 Lens/Vignette Filters and the HFX Diffusion/Glimmer Glass Filters and adjusted to my needs with the Parameter settings.

Nearly every photographer knows the Tiffen name when they hear it and one immediately thinks of their photo filters and lens accessories. But we are now immersed in the digital age, so Tiffen has gathered their many years of knowledge, in collaboration with Digital Film Tools, and applied the same expected quality to their post-process imaging software.

Great things come in small packages is a well-know phrase and Tiffen’s recently released new version of their Dfx plug-in, the v3, provides an amazing number of replicated digital optical filters stuffed into one program–2000+ simulated award-winning Tiffen glass filters, specialized lenses, optical lab processes, film grain, exacting color correction, and natural light and photographic effects. Add to that gel & lighting effects libraries and film stock presets that are based on specific products from Agfa, Fuji, Kodak and Polaroid. And there’s more. It is an editing program all of its own, with masks, paint, levels, selective saturation and sharpen, just to name a few, all with RAW support.

You can choose from a standalone version or choose Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom or Aperture as the software’s download destination for your photo plug-in version, and if you’re looking for a video/film plug-in version it will run in Adobe After Effects, Final Cut Pro and Avid Editing Systems. And the support is there for both Windows and Mac OSX.

It features 8 or 16 bit per channel processing and the Multiprocessor acceleration will also speed up your workflow.

I chose the Photoshop plug-in version. One can’t resist just starting to play in the program, even before you look at the instructions or the wide array of easy to follow tutorials provided. This is one user friendly program and you’re going to be dazzled by all of its capabilities. Choose from 125 individual filters and thousands of customizable presets that are sure to meet your needs.

Dfx is comprised of the following filters: Ambient Light, Auto Adjust, Black and White, Black/White Looks, Black Diffusion/FX®, Black Pro-Mist®, Bleach Bypass, Blur, Bronze Glimmerglass®, Center Spot, Chromatic Aberration, Close-Up Lens, Color Compensating, Color Conversion, Color Correct, Color- Grad®, Color Infrared, Color Looks, Color Shadow, Color Spot, Cool Pro-Mist®, Cross Processing, Day for Night, DeBand, DeBlock, DeFog, DeFringe, DeNoise, Depth of Field, Diffusion, Dot, Double Fog, Dual Grad, Edge Glow, Enhancing, Eye Light, Faux Film, Film Stocks, Flag, Flashing, Fluorescent, Fog, F-Stop, Gels, Glimmerglass®, Glow, Glow Darks, Gobo, Gold Diffusion/FX®, Gold Reflector, Grain, Halo, Haze, HDTV/FX®, High Contrast, HFX® Star, Ice Halos, Infrared, Kelvin, Key Light, Lens Distortion, Levels, Light, Light Balancing, Low Contrast, Match, Mono Tint, ND-Grad, Night Vision, Nude/FX®, Old Photo, Overexpose, Ozone, Paint, Pencil, Photographic, Polarizer, Printer Points, Pro-Mist®, Rack Focus, Radial Exposure, Rainbow, Rays, ReLight, Selective Color Correct, Selective Saturation, Sepia, Sharpen, Sky, Silver Reflector, Smoque®, Soft Contrast, Soft/FX®, Soft Light, Split Field, Split Tone, Star, Streaks, Strip Grad, Sunset/Twilight, Telecine, Temperature, Texture, Three Strip, Tint, Two Strip, Ultra Contrast, Vari-Star, Vignette, 812® Warming, Warm Black Pro-Mist®, Warm Center Spot, Warm Polarizer, Warm Pro-Mist®, Warm Soft/FX®, Water Droplets, Wide Angle Lens, and X-Ray.


Here I used HFX Grads/Tints/ND-Grad and then Special Effects/Pencil Filters and fine tuned in the Parameters to my liking.

I chose Special Effects/Color Shadow and adjusted to my needs with the Parameter settings.

And here, HFX Grads/Tints/Tints and just a touch of the Light/Edge Glow Filters were used– enhancements completed using Parameters.

This is just a very small sampling of what this software program can do.
Visit the Tiffen Dfx v3 web site to see more images of Before/After filter effects.

Tiffen’s Dfx v3 software has a well organized visual interface that shows an image layering system for multiple filters with blending mode options, the ability to customize masks, an active center canvas with resize and split-screen options, a presets/parameters display box, along with an entire bottom row of filter and effects options right at your fingertips. All give you a preview by utilizing thumbnails of your image. Then when you find the ones you really like, you can add them to your Favorites so they can be recalled in an instant.

So what new Effect Filters come with the Dfx v3 version?

Color Shadow: Creates a high contrast image overlayed with a gradient, simulating the look and feel of those colorful iPod® commercials.

DeBand: Removes banding artifacts from an image by smoothing pixels in banded areas while retaining detail. Banding frequently occurs, in blue skies for instance, with DSLR’s as well as digital cameras. DeBand effectively smoothes out this unwanted banding.

DeBlock: Removes blocking artifacts created as a result of high compression factors, such as overly compressed JPG images which often cause square blocking artifacts.

DeNoise: Grain and noise from digital cameras, whether still or video, is a common problem. DeNoise removes the grain and noise while still retaining detail.

Film Stocks: Simulates 113 different color and black & white photographic film stocks. For those desiring the look of either old or current film stocks, there are simulations of many of the popular brands from Kodak®, Fuji®, Agfa®, Polaroid®, and Illford®.

Glow Darks: Glows and grows the dark areas of an image, creating a stylized, dreamy dark glow.

Key Light: Relights images with a directional or point light. Changing the lighting after an image has been photographed gives the photographer/editor control to fix or enhance their images, as well as create interesting lighting effects.

Rays: Creates stunning and realistic light ray effects quickly and easily. Rays can add shafts of light streaming through clouds, rays filtering through a forest canopy, beams of light on a foggy night, or rays shooting through an interior window. Rays adds a striking and dramatic quality to any image.

Texture: Applies textures to an image for a stylized look. Adding texture to an image is a great way to create a unique and customized look.

Match: Matches the color, detail, grain, and tone of one image and applies it to another.

I must say that I’m impressed, not only because it is so user friendly, but because of the staggering number of filters and effects available to the image editor. Whether you are a professional or amateur photographer the Tiffen Dfx v3 will help you easily create eye-catching and memorable images.

Be sure to visit Tiffen where you can pick up a 15-day free trial of the Dfx v3 software or download your own today.

Introductory Price for Tiffen Dfx v3 Photo Plug-in: $199.95
Tiffen Dfx v3 Standalone Software: $169.95
Video/Film Plug-in: $599.95

by Marla Meier, APM Editor
Review and photos: © 2012 Marla Meier. All Rights Reserved.

All written content (and most images) in these articles are copyrighted by the authors. Copyrighted material from Apogee Photo Mag should not be used elsewhere without seeking the authors permission.

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