Tiffen Dfx 3 Review

3.5
February 1, 2012 | Matt Grayson | Software Reviews |

Each filter that appears along the bottom of the frame has several other filters that will pop up on the right side of the window. There are also a few other useful tools along the top of the preview screen.  For example, you can zoom into the image, make side by side comparisons or perform a split screen comparison if you prefer. The split screen can be done vertically or horizontally.

Tiffen Dfx 3Split Screen

There are a number of new features in Tiffen Dfx 3, some of which seem useful such as the BeBlock, DeNoise and DeBand filters. Others are a little cosmetic such as the Colour Shadow filter. The idea is that it creates a high contrast image in a similar fashion to a Warhol pop art image with different colours instead of black and white such as what Warhol would do. Tiffen liken it to Apple's iPod advert but we've not seen it to pass judgement. Any features that have a point on the picture - such as Rays - can be manipulated so that the effect will originate from the point. For example, the rays will emit from the point on the photograph. On our sample, we placed it where the sun was in the shot so that the rays look as though they're coming from the sun.

Tiffen Dfx 3Colour Shadow Effect

There are a select few filters that are both cosmetic and useful such as the Film Stocks filters. They simulate popular film types and there are 113 variations from Agfa to Polaroid. Without the actual film stocks in front of us it's difficult to say exactly how precise they are to the real deal. Fans of those types of film such as Agfa CT Precisa or Fujifilm Provia will be able to tell though. Interestingly, when the filters are applied they don't look as strong on the final image as when they're on the preview in the Tiffen program.

Tiffen Dfx 3Applying Rays

Conclusion

The price of Tiffen Dfx 3 is $199. Using the Reuters conversion calculator, that works out to around £130. For that, you get an extensive program with lots of interesting filters to use and have fun with. Having fun does seem to play a big part in the program which isn't a bad thing in many ways. Adjustment filters are present such as Levels and there's a histogram, but these can be done in Photoshop anyway so it's nothing new.

Tiffen Dfx 3 isn't the easiest to use. The navigation isn't the most intelligent we've come across and the downside to all those filters and their variations is that it takes an age to get through them. To use the program effectively, you'll need a full understanding of the program and know the filters inside and out.

However, in its defence, Tiffen Dfx 3 is lightening fast. The Tiffen website mentions almost nonchalantly that they've improved processing power. We think they've understated it because it's super fast. Changes are instantaneous when previewing or making the final render - it goes so fast that it puts other programs to shame.

If you want a digital effects filter system and you need to work fast then Tiffen Dfx 3 is the program for you. It has its downsides but we think that using it often will get rid of those. It took us around a week of regular use to remember to automatically create a layer before opening the program. After that our original issues were a thing of the past.

The filters look nice when applied to the right pictures. The trick is to explore Tiffen Dfx 3 which does take time until you find your feet. Features such as the noise reduction aren't that powerful and we had to run a couple of pictures through Nik Software's Dfine 2.0 which we reviewed last year.

Yes, the filters are good and seem to be precise. Yes, it's eye wateringly fast which means that there will be no more drinking tea while batch processing. While we're on the subject, if you want batch processing in-program, it's only available on the standalone version and on the plug in you have to create an action for Photoshop to do it. While this includes a bit more work, it does mean that the program code is lessened so takes up less space on your computer and means you don't have unnecessary duplicating of programs. There are a lot of pros and cons to Tiffen Dfx 3 and it will boil down to your own judgement as to whether you'll find this program useful for your daily workflow.

3.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 3
Value for money 3.5

Entry Tags

review, test, software, photoshop, application, program, filter, plugin, 3, stand-alone, tiffen, Tiffen Dfx 3, dfx

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Your Comments

11 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Avoid

Plenty of features, yes but terrible user interface and it is riddled with bugs. Glaring bugs, that support does not acknowledge or is willing to fix, even though the same bugs have been in place for years. Whenever (some) bug fixes are released, that’s called a new version, for which you have to pay for. Never mind the new bugs that are introduced and forget about backwards file compatibility of the previous version you bought. You just get screwed over.

If you intend(ed) to use this software for professional application, don’t bother. Save yourself the money, time and headache dealing with this software and company.

4:29 am - Saturday, February 4, 2012

#2 Jerzy Folke Sjöberg

It takes a while to master the hudge amount of filters that Tiffen Dfx 3 offers.I had a very good experience for adding multiple effects in a short period of time. Likewise with the blending modes.The easy features of masking and using color filters.
In short I recommend Tiffen Dfx 3 to reach fast and accurate effects in a few seconds.

11:27 pm - Sunday, April 8, 2012

#3 nick

Ooops….
Dear Sir,
We have offered you service to support any issues with our software that you may have.
However you are being quite critical , without giving any substantial information in regards to the software.
Also this software has been through rigorous testing developed by well-known industry professionals , so your observations are NOT correct.
We also give a 15 day trial in full version for you to test. If the software does not suit your needs, that is fine. You do not have to buy it.
At this point, we cannot address any issues with concern to the software and we have no need to subject ourselves to this unsupported negativity.
So we will be closing the case.

Kind Regards,
Jena

Product /Support Manager

10:44 pm - Friday, June 1, 2012

#4 Tom Dickey

Hi.  I am a registered user of DFx2.  I’m a Nikon guy and shoot using my D3s. I use Nikon Capture NX2 to edit my imaes.  Are there any issues in using the Capture NX2 and DFx3?  I’d like an answer before I download the 15 day free trial. Additionally, will I get any price break by upgrading to version 3?  Thanks.

3:45 am - Tuesday, June 26, 2012

#5 Charles

I have been wanting to own DFX3 and the recent price drop seemed a great time.  After reading the user reviews, and particularly the response from “Jena” to a user I believe I will pass.  Shame on you!  I can see now that the turmoil involved with using this software would be all out of proportion to it’s usefulness.

I also found that it’s almost impossible to ask Tiffen any question about their software except under narrowly defined conditions as pre determined by Tiffen.  That’s not customer service to me.

5:54 am - Wednesday, January 2, 2013

#6 Alex

Not only is this program extremely tricky to install. but it is the worst, most non-user friendly Photoshop plug-in I’ve ever bought (and I’ve bought quite a few, as I own a retouching website). I am a fairly advanced Photoshop user, and I am having trouble finding a single effect that I woud find useful in my day to day retouching for clients.

Tiffen, I am so upset that I paid $149.99 (the discounted price!) for this sub-par program, that I promise to take this down if you refund my my money.

Not happy,

Alex

7:03 pm - Saturday, June 1, 2013

#7 Barthegreat

Overall when the product works its, OK….gee and I thought I was the only person having software issues with DFx 3 ……but with any type of software problem don’t expect any customer service support. Tiffen customer support can not solve a problem with one email response, it’s ongoing and painful. Wonta make some money on a bet, it’s a sure thing regarding Tiffen’s problematic responses. There are other alternatives which have actual customer service ....the best that comes to mind is RedGiant software.

2:50 pm - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#8 Barthegreat

Overall when the product works, its OK….gee and I thought I was the only person having software issues with DFx 3 ……but with any type of software problem don’t expect any customer service support. Tiffen customer support can not solve a problem with one email response, it’s ongoing and painful. Wonta make some money on a bet, it’s a sure thing regarding Tiffen’s problematic responses. There are other alternatives which have actual customer service ....the best that comes to mind is RedGiant software.

3:47 pm - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#9 Jena

There is no doubt that good customer service is KEY to any product. In response to the latest feedback, please keep in mind, that in some rare instances, Dfx support may not have an immediate solution in one email response and it may require some collection of data,that may require some interaction of questions and answers. This helps us to get to the root of the problem.  We know that the wait on resolution can be quite frustrating and we do strive to do better on resolving these type issues as fast as possible.
We give you an unrestricted installation of the software as a 15 day trial. This way you can test it, hopefully love it and most importantly see any issues before purchasing. Our DFX software support center can be accessed by this URL http://tiffen.helpserve.com - here there is an area for self-serve KnowledgeBase with hundreds of articles, and a ticket submission where we get back to you in a timely manner. There are alot of great features to this software as we are award winning and get great reviews. Along with your feedback, we will only get better. Thanks.

6:31 pm - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#10 Barthegreat

My original blog was removed with this UN-identified response sent to me…from manufacture-Tiffen?...reallllly spending more time spinning than solving bugs in Software?  “please keep in mind, that in some rare instances, Dfx support may not have an immediate solution in one email response and it may require some collection of data, that may require some interaction of questions and answers. “   
My response, to the manufacture;  Do you really do not want me to post the original complete emails of my service ticket.
My original post-
Overall when the product works its, OK….gee and I thought I was the only person having software issues with DFx 3 ……but with any type of software problem don’t expect any customer service support. Tiffen customer support can not solve a problem with one email response, it’s ongoing and painful. Wonta make some money on a bet, it’s a sure thing regarding Tiffen’s problematic responses. There are other alternatives which have actual customer service ....the best that comes to mind is RedGiant software.

7:14 pm - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#11 Alex

I must admit, that since Tiffen’s Customer Service is so excellent and had the good nature to extend my trial, that my previous comments were way off! Now that I’ve given the plug-in a fair shot, I must admit that there are many useful features, scores of which I could use for my website in my daily retouching.

Two thumbs up for the program, and for their Customer Service. Top notch!

Please forgive me for unfairly jumping to conclusions. Go get DFX3!

Alex

10:07 pm - Saturday, June 15, 2013