Tiffen Pro Mist Filters Return the Magic to Your Lenses

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For years, I’ve complained about overengineering in camera lenses. Japanese manufacturers have worked to create a crystal clear look with no character. It’s all sterile. You can fix it in post-production, but many of us don’t want to do that. We’ve spent years honing our craft, and we know exactly what we want. This is one of the biggest reasons why I adore the Tiffen Pro Mist Filters. They easily attach to your favorite lenses, and they bring back the analog look of things.

Essentials is a series featuring products we’re currently lusting over in quick, bite-sized posts.

Tiffen Pro Mist filters have a few variants. Of course, there’s the size, but there are also the standard version and the black version. From what I’ve heard, the black versions are stronger at each setting (the effect is more pronounced). We played with the 1/8 and 1/4 setting variants of the standard Pro Mist.

And in my eyes, there’s no reason to go weak. Just go strong.

Couple this with the output of the Fujifilm X Pro 3, and you’ve got yourself a dream setup. 

Specifically with the Fujifilm system, you’re getting quite a treat. Start out by choosing your favorite lens, then put the 1/4 Pro Mist filter on it. Next, choose your favorite film simulation. (My heart personally belongs to Astia, Classic Chrome, and Classic Negative.) If your camera has a clarity setting, turn it off. Then just go shoot. The cool thing is that the Pro Mist filters create more of a natural bloom effect around lighting. This is super desirable. 

For even more effect, try locking your white balance to Tungsten or Daylight. You’ll get more of a filmic look to your photos. 

When walking around with the Pro Mist filters, we found it really hard to not like what we shot. Sometimes we wished the effect was even stronger than what it was. But with the 1/4 filter, you’re going to really like shooting into direct lighting. Practically speaking, I thought it was going to affect autofocus performance. Afterall, you’re basically making the image softer. But thankfully, that wasn’t the case.

Adding the extra analog look to Fujifilm RAW files is very nice. But, where I think the Tiffen Pro Mist filters are sorely needed is with Sigma and Sony lenses. The companies have more or less engineered the character out of them. They’re, in my opinion, too clinical. That’s not to say that they’re not good lenses. They’re pretty fantastic. But if your favorite flavor of ice cream grew on a tree in your backyard, you’d go for it instead of milking a cow, churning, adding flavor, etc. Similarly, if a lens gives me a look straight out of the camera, why do I need to spend more time in front of a computer editing? Why can’t I just keep shooting and love what I get?

Where I think the Tiffen Pro Mist filters might truly make a difference is with portraits. These days, cameras and lenses are too good; you can see everyone’s pores so well. To tone that down, use these filters. Suddenly, no one needs to be overly photoshopped or retouched.

We encourage you to give the Tiffen Pro Mist Filters a shot. They’re fun. And if anything, they’ll make photography really special again. When you chimp the LCD screen and see the photos you get, you’ll be delighted.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.