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Tiffen DFX Standalone Digital Photo Editing Software - The Ultimate Filter Suite?

Trees In Morning Sun

Trees In Morning Sun, Edited With Levels And Glimmer Gloss In Tiffen DFX.

Adobe Photoshop? Maybe Lightroom or Elements? No? Ok, it must be Apple's Aperture or The Gimp? Wrong on all counts, the photo's in this review have been edited in Tiffen DFX, the stand-alone software that will amaze you with the sheer number of different looks you can easily create.

You've probably heard about Tiffen before. They are famous for their optical filters that screw onto the end of your lenses, from Polarizers to Gels, Grads and ND's. In the days of film we would all have had a bag full of different filters, but in the age of digital cameras we do a lot of the manipulation that optical filters would offer on our computers instead, and Tiffen have applied their expertise in this field to post-processing software.

The people at Tiffen were kind enough to send me a license to try out version 3 of their DFX software, and I have to say that I have been incredibly impressed. Coming in at US$169 Tiffen DFX offers a vast array of different effects and looks (including local editing options) that are so simple to apply. Imagine a huge bag of 125 creative filters, thousands of presets, full customization, simulated film stocks, levels, layers, masks, cropping, rotating, RAW support and 8 or 16 bit image processing, and that's what you get with Tiffen DFX. Before you even start reading this review, head on over to the Tiffen website and download the fifteen day free trial.

 Tower Block With Graffiti

 Tower Block WIth Graffiti, Edited With Levels and The X-Ray Filter.

 A testament to how easy DFX is to use is that I never bothered to read any of the instructions for the software, I just dived right in and started playing around. Don't get me wrong, I love using Photoshop and Elements, but it can be tricky to come up with different looks unless you've purchased an arsenal of plug-ins to help. With DFX you've got fantastic black and white filters, glow effects, and so much more. There's a handy demo of what lots of the filters can do over on Tiffen's website.


Creek, Edited With Fog, Horizontal Blur and Vignette In Tiffen DFX.

 Let's take a look at the user interface of Tiffens DFX Stand-Alone version:

You can see the original version in the middle, a choice of effects along the bottom, and then variations of the effects on the right hand side. Hopefully you can see the crop, rotate and mask options in the top left, and the multiple viewing toggles above the main photo.

With this particular image I wanted to get a selective colour effect, so I used a black and white film filter with a mask to isolate the bottle against the background:

You can see the layers on the left, and the mask too. I'm adding a vignette, and you can see the preset variations in the right panel, but to get an idea of how powerful DFX can be you can click on the "Parameters" tab and change everything about that particular filter to get it just the way you want:

 Bottle O Bud

Bottle o Bud, Edited With Agfa APX400 Simulator, Mask, Sky Filter and Vignette.

 All the photos in this review were taken on a short photowalk I did around Portswood, Southampton, in a spare half-hour I had before work a couple of days ago. The Sun was just coming up, but the light was overcast, so I wouldn't say it was ideal conditions for great photography. Using the Tiffen software I have been, hopefully, able to lift the images and make them a little more interesting.

Brick Shed

Brick Shed, Edited With High Contrast.

 I've a lot of time for softare that cuts down the time we spend in front of the pc so we can been out shooting, and DFX let's me do that. Paired up with Google's Picassa 3 to organise my photos, this is a very powerful combination indeed.

MMart Window

MMart Window, Edited With Cross Process, Vignette and Rack Focus Filters.

 So if you're thinking about upgrading or changing your photo-editing software, you should definitely look at Tiffens DFX. I've found the stand-alone proposition very good indeed, and I'm sure the plug-in version is just as powerful, but you don't need to take my word for it, download the free trial and find out for yourself.

Typical Semi, Portswood

Typical Semi, Portswood, Edited With Dramatic Filter.

Crricket Sight Screens

Cricket Sight Screens, Edited With Agfa APX400, Levels and Cool Mist Filters.

Train From Bridge

Train From Bridge, Edited With Levels And Blue Colour Grad.

Thanks, Rob.

References (1)

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    You may have photos which are not of the required sizes that need to be cropped. Our professional cropping services include airbrushing to ensure the desired right fit of images without compromising on your picture quality.

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