Optical Resolution Diffusion

In the previous posts we looked at overt halation inducing filters which achieve their effect by use of fine particles embedded within the glass.

As beautiful and stylish as these effects are, it is not always ideal to soften the images in a way that spills the light so obviously.

Optical resolution Digital Diffusion filters achieve a softening of the shot via acid etching instead of imbedded particles and this acid etching in the glass is an extremely delicate way to bend light across the surface of an image.

Unlike the embedded particles of Glimmerglass etc which deliberately scatter light, acid etching reduces stray light’s ability to scatter which eliminates halation. The subtleness of this effect means that the colours are not noticeably diluted either.

Where the Digital Diffusion filters really gets to work is on fine detail resolution , such as wrinkles and fine lines on the skin.

Importantly, they don’t overpower the overall image, so the final look is still very sharp looking and not out of focus although they do introduce a slight reduction in contrast across their entire range.

But ultimately this means that even stronger densities can be used without the power of the filter’s look overwhelming the image.

Another optical resolution option are Tiffen’s Soft FX range.  Soft FX use a different manufacturing process, whereby the filters have many different strengths of oval lenslets within the laminated glass and these reduce the sharpness and resolution of your image. These lenslets bend the light throughout the entire shot.

What this produces is a softness which is widely spread through the image, meaning the resolution is reduced to a greater degree at a lower density. At high densities there is a very slight halation but it is much less pronounced than overt halation inducing diffusion. Digital Diffusion is therefore great option when you need a really clean and subtly softened image. Soft FX are great when you need a more overtly softened look but without conspicuous halation.


In the next post we’ll finish up diffusion with a look at atmospheric filters but for more information on our range of diffusion filters and to make an enquiry, check out our full range here.


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