The Secret Ingredient for Better Portraits. PrismFX Radiant Filter Review

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Last year, I bought almost every filter PrismFX makes. As a camera reviewer, it’s easy to become bored. Most camera and lens brands try harder and harder to erase character and fun from lenses. Software companies do the same thing too. So we have to use lens filters or vintage glass to get the looks we want. When PrismFX launched the Radiant filter, I was a bit skeptical. Some of the company’s other products were mediocre. But quite honestly, this might be my favorite lens filter I’ve ever used.

Too Long, Didn’t Read

The PrismFX Radiant filter combines a soft glow that you’d see in a Pro-Mist filter with randomized lens flare. Before I wrote this review, I showed the images to the staff. They loved it. And I’ve actively used the images in social media and dating profiles. The flare is a welcome effect that’s long been missing from modern lenses. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Much improved build quality
  • Softens skin
  • A bit of glow
  • Randomized flare patterns
  • Easy to Use

Cons

  • I’m a bit torn on whether or not this is worth $70.

Gear Used

We tested the PrismFX Radiant filter on the Tamron 17-28mm f2.8 lens on the Sony a7r III camera. 

PrismFX Radiant Filter Tech Specs

These specs are taken from their website:

  • Available in 77mm Rotating Filter and 4×5.65 Matte Box Filter
  • Creates “Refractions” from points of highlights in your frame
  • Easily rotates to achieve the desired effect, look, and movement
  • Includes PLFX Filter Case (when in stock) 
  • 20cm x 20cm Microfiber Cleaning Cloth /w logo (Gift with purchase when in stock / 1 per order) 

Ergonomics

The PrismFX Radiant filter is a very straightforward filter. It’s a piece of plastic inside of a circular ring. The ring rotates around to render different flare effects. Of course, it also screws onto a lens.

Build Quality

The Prism FX Radiant filter is built a bit better than previous filters. The company’s other filters feel like they have a plastic ring. If you use lens filters a lot, you’ll know how annoying that is. It can make mounting and removing it a chore. But this one seems to be made of some sort of metal. It’s not the brass I’m used to with other brands: it’s better. Then there is the glass quality. The glass is basically plastic with very specific scratches built-in. You can’t make it yourself. 

Overall, I still think the PrismFX Radiant filter lags behind other filter brands in build quality. But they’ve stepped up their game.

Ease of Use

Luckily, all you need to do is mount the Prism FX Radiant filter to the lens, point, focus, and shoot. PrismFX doesn’t recommend any focal lengths specifically. But I used the wider end and 28mm alike. I really liked what I got at 28mm. And I’m positive that if I used 50mm or 85mm, I’d get a similar look. 

The PrismFX Radiant filter works in two ways. First, the plastic softens the skin. This is a huge, but even with the likes of the Sony a7r III, you’ll still get a lot of pore details. 

The second way it works is by playing with light hitting the lens. Any point light source that reflects off a surface or travels right into the lens will get flared. The effect is really beautiful. This isn’t just lens flare: it’s a ton of tiny lens flares. This is a circular filter, and you can rotate it to get different effects. We tried using it with slower shutter speeds and stuff like car light trails. Generally, it’s better to just use it with point light sources. 

Extra Image Samples

From day one, The Phoblographer has been huge on transparency. Nothing from this review is sponsored. Further, lots of folks will post reviews and show lots of editing in the photos. The problem then becomes that anyone and everyone can do the same thing. They’re not showing what the lens can do. So we have a section in our Extra Image Samples area to show edited and unedited photos. From this, you can make a decision for yourself.

As you’ll see, this is a very fun filter to use, and there are tons of possibilities. You can use these for portraits. You can add a bit more flare to food. And imagine what you’ll get with neon lights.

Unedited

Edited

PrismFX Radiant Filter Review Conclusions

I don’t understand why anyone would hate on this filter. The PrismFX Radiant filter is doing something camera manufacturers should’ve done in the first place. It’s letting us have organic lens flare. If you want to put that in using post-production, you have to spend a lot of money to get ones that look good. And many of them are clearly fake. Lots of them also aren’t unique or fun. Conversely, if I wanted to get rid of this lens flare, it would be super simple to do so using Capture One or Lightroom. So, in my opinion, it’s better to have the effect instead. And if I really don’t want it, then I can eliminate it.

Specsial mention should be given to how good the build quality of the PrismFX Radiant filter is versus previous filter. I really like the Prism FX Radiant filter. I’ll be using it a whole lot more.

The Prism FX Radiant filter receives five out of five stars. And it’s receiving our Editor’s Choice award. Want one? They’re available on the PrismFX website.

Chris Gampat

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