Tiffen Dfx 3 Review

February 1, 2012 | Matt Grayson | Software Reviews | Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


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

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