If youve been around photography for a while the name Tiffen immediately makes you think of filters. Back in the day when we used more filters on the camera than we did in post, Tiffen was always a reliable fixture in my bag.
Now most of us don’t use as many camera filters and instead work in post. And Tiffen (unlike some other companies) decided to adapt offering many of its best filters in software called Dfx.
I have used this product on and off for a while now. The new Tiffen Dfx 4 has me using it more often.
For video folks, Dfx is the only plug-in package that replicates Rosco and Gam gobos and gels. Those of you who are familiar with this stuff know who you are and will be jazzed about this side of Dfx.
I am more excited as a stills photographers about the hundreds of photographic film stocks and film looks that can be added to a photo through a plug-in (working with programs like Aperture, Lightroom, or Photoshop) or as a standalone application.
The new interface delivers a faster and better workflow. GPU acceleration using OpenCL takes advantage of the systems graphic processors.
By my count, there are about 130 individual filter options. You can make your own presets by adjusting the existing ones or you can use any of the variations offered by the program. This program is much deeper than it appears at first blush and really spending time with it can yield some spectacular results.
Some of the new or improved features in Dfx that will be of interest to photographers are;
- 12 new filters Borders, Cartoon, Colorize Gradient, Detail, Develop, Grunge, Harris Shutter, Pastel, Pearlescent, Radial Tint, Satin and Tone Adjust
- 93 historical film processes added as new presets within the popular film stocks filter
- More parameters and tools added to presets includes new tools for color correction, tint enhancement and gradient control
- Process in 32-bit floating point precision ability to selectively access your images dynamic range without clipping values in a true non-destructive workflow. Improved easier and faster on board masking tools for the Dfx still programs photo plug-in and standalone.
- New edge-aware smoothing algorithm (great for skin smoothing) added to some filters for refined control and application
- New Curve Tool for still programs designed to control tonal range through RGB and individual red, green and blue curves. Adjustable curve points for shadow and highlight control
- Improved Interface new optimized preview size images can now be previewed in 4096, 2048 and 1024 pixels. Keyboard control added for brushes and new look to sliders, buttons and icons. Mac Retina display support.
- The addition of Mac Retina display support.
- A major acceleration of the software thanks to GPU support.
There are three major ways to get Dfx.
Tiffen Dfx 4 photo plug-in is available for 149.99 USD.
The standalone version of Tiffen Dfx 4 is available for 129.99 USD. This still image workflow is for JPEG, TIFF and RAW files. It works as an independent software and does not require host software.
Tiffen Dfx 4 film/video plug-in is available for 499.95 USD. One Dfx video plug-in will run in After Effects, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, and Avid Editing Systems if installed and activated on the same machine.
To sum up, if you have tried Dfx in the past and liked it, you’ll want to upgrade to version 4.0. If you haven’t tried it, you should, and if you tried it but thought it was too slow or limited in previous versions take a new look. The main thing to know about this version is that it is FAST! Really fast. Id say that Dfx version 4.0 puts this particular suite of image processing tools in my top five for sure. Try it out for yourself.