Tiffen Dfx 3 Review

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

Introduction

Tiffen Dfx 3 simulates over 2,000 glass filters, specialized lenses, optical lab processes, film grain, exacting color correction, plus natural light and photographic effects. Available as a stand-alone program or a plugin, Tiffen Dfx 3 offers enhanced multi-processor acceleration for faster interaction and rendering of images, 10 brand new filters for optical effects, interface improvements, and more. Read our Tiffen Dfx 3 review to discover if it's worth the $169.95 investment.

The third version of Tiffen Dfx is a software program for adding exciting film-like effects to your digital camera pictures. Tiffen Dfx 3 boasts enhanced multi-processor acceleration for faster interaction and rendering of images, brand new filters for optical effects, updated host support, interface improvements and more. It joins a multitude of other programmes offering similar features, so what makes it stand-out from the rest? Our full Tiffen Dfx 3 review will determine just that. The standalone version of Tiffen Dfx 3.0 is available for $169.95. The Tiffen Dfx 3 Photo plug-in is available at an introductory price of $199.95.

Installation of Tiffen Dfx 3 is an easy enough process but it's worth noting which variation of the program you want. As well as Mac and Windows options, there's also standalone and plug-in. Notably, other programs will allow you to open one program as either a standalone or plug-in but Tiffen is different. If you have the plug-in option, opening the program from the desktop to input the activation key simply won't work. To open the program in an editing suite, you need to have a picture open. Then you can activate and register your product.

Tiffen Dfx 3Launching Tiffen Dfx

We used Adobe Photoshop CS4 for our base program that we launched Dfx 3 from. You need at least CS3 for Dfx 3 to work. To open the program, go to Filter, Tiffen, Dfx v3. The program launches quickly and as we browsed through the features, we noticed that the rest of it is also lightening fast. Multi-processor acceleration is one of the new features of Tiffen Dfx 3 to make it faster for the consumer, with changes to filters practically instantaneous. There are other new features in v3 such as 10 more filters and improvements to the interface.

Even though ten doesn't sound much, adding those to the vast amount already available and you have hours of messing around adding the right feel to your pictures. You get the usual filters found on any program such as ND, grads, warm ups, blur, contrast, cross processing and lens distortion correction, but Tiffen Dfx 3 also has some other features not normally seen, including filters such as X-Ray, Infrared and Ozone. It makes us sit up and see a program that's different to the herd of filter plug-ins.

However, it's all very well discussing the originality of them, but if they don't look realistic then there's no point. First we'll take a tour of the workspace before looking at the filters in more depth.

Tiffen Dfx 3Main Interface

The main Tiffen Dfx 3 workspace is quite simplistic in its approach. There are only four drop down menus in the top left corner. Those drop downs also have a minimum of options within them. Below that are four more options. The cog icon represents the render action. Once all the filters and editing has been completed, Dfx 3 will render it to the picture and load it into Photoshop. The X will cancel any actions while the two circled arrows resets all changes. The final icon adds a mask to the picture and there are a number of masks to choose from. The mask can also be edited once applied.

Once you've selected a picture that you want to edit, there's a ridiculous amount of filters and setting to choose from in Tiffen Dfx 3. However, they're all laid out with little thumbnails to give a small preview, while clicking on them once will preview the changes on the actual picture. Should you decide you like the filter, double clicking the thumbnail will confirm it onto the picture. If you make a mistake, the left side of the window shows the history with each filter applied. The title is above the filter, not below so don't accidentally delete the wrong one.

Tiffen Dfx 3Rendering

Entry Tags

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