The Steps

A few days ago I downloaded Tiffen Photo FX, but today I realized I loved it. I played with this image in almost every filter under the Fun fx>Looks menu, and finally used the Faux Film filter to add fake grain, push the contrast and saturation, and add a vignette, all in one fell swoop (but with an “Amount” adjustable slider that offers a live preview–love it!). I added a touch of sharpness back into this image in Photogene, but foolishly I had set the resolution in Tiffen to be lower than the maximum, so if this image looks a little lower resolution that the other photos, it is. It’s sort of a neat effect though: areas of sharp detail, and areas of, er, loss of information…okay, maybe not the best effect, technically speaking, but it was only my second time using Tiffen Photo FX, and when I discovered this problem I immediately fixed it.

As a note, the app warns me to select a small resolution to avoid phone crashes. The app has yet to crash on me, even though CameraBag does it about 30% of the time.

This app is clearly going to be one of my favorites. For $2.99, I feel completely spoiled. The Vint series, $0.99 each, give you basically two options: use the filter or don’t use the filter. Even CameraBag, one of my favorite apps–and the same $2.99 price as Tiffen Photo FX–only allows you an “on” or “off” option with its 10 filters. But Tiffen has dozens of filters, adjustable sliders (sometimes two per filter, plus an adjustable spot), classic film and processing presets like “vignette” and “polarize”…a Photoshop/Lightroom addict’s dream.

Even so, I have a Wishlist item for Tiffen: allow stacking of filters; right now, you can only apply one at at time, and when you save the image, you get booted out of the app, back to the home menu. Some might find that efficient, but I would rather keep playing with different filters after saving a version, the way you can do in CameraBag and Photogene. Still, these are quibbles. For $2.99 ($2.99! For this technology! On a PHONE!) I won’t quibble, not even a little bit. Thank you, Tiffen; thank you for this full range of processing possibilities that I can carry around in my pocket.

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