October 23, 2012

Tiffen DFX 3 Mini Review

If you’re an old guy like me, you remember screw on filters and Tiffen used to distribute many of the filters I used. They still sell filters, but the company was smart enough to realize that business was moving to post-processing so they invented their DFX line of post-processing filters.

The third version adds faster processing (taking advantage of computers with multi-cores) and new filters, interface and support. DFX3 supports just about every post-processing program in use and can also run as a stand alone filter.

The strength of DFX3 is the preset filter pack built-in. But Tiffen has added something here that I find really valuable. You aren’t just stuck with one preset. Each preset can be tweaked and often there are small thumbnails that will show you the difference. Somewhat less user-friendly are the presets that are tweaked by using a series of sliders. If you invest 30 minutes you’ll figure these out well enough.

The interface is very easy to navigate and while the company offers plenty of webinars and teaching materials, it’s intuitive enough to figure out without much help. You can even customize the interface.

There are 125 filters. Some of my favorites include simulations of the old glass filters as well as Rosco gel libraries. The program offers layers and masking as well as a variation tool. There is eight or 16 – bit image processing, but unfortunately no 32-bit processing. If you have a machine with multiple processors DFX3 takes advantage for better speed.

You can try Tiffen Dfx for free. Visit their website to find out more info on the free trial – http://www.tiffensoftware.com/products/dfxv3-free-trial-download.

The price is my only nit. At $599,95 it’s pretty expensive for the full package, but most photographers can make do with the more affordable bundle. The expensive bundle is primarily for video producers.

Depending on what version you buy, DFX 3 is priced from $169.95 to $599.95.

Highly recommended.

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