Have you ever used a product that made you feel like you’d stepped into a time machine? Something that instantly took you back to the days when things were simpler? To the good old days that we all often crave? The Maven Show Glow Diffusion Filters are one of those charming little accessories that can sprinkle your photos with a dash of nostalgia. Recreate those classic vintage feels you remember from your 70s and 80s childhood years with this.
Table of Contents
The Big Picture
What sets the Maven Show Glow Diffusion Filters apart is their ability to infuse your shots with a soft, enchanting glow. Embrace the concept of fuzzy yet magical softness in your photo’s highlights, blurring the lines between now and then. Forget about clinical sharpness for a while. Say hello to images that speak to your heart and tap at your soul. These filters help rediscover the artistry of a time that’s longed for a lot in this hyper-digitalized world.
If you’re a baby boomer or a millennial like me, you’ve probably got loads of such glowy images neatly filed in your stashed away albums. Every time you pore over that collection, I’m willing to wager that your mind is more immersed in the feel of those photos rather than the technical perfection behind them. Helping you to recreate a lot of that feel pretty quickly, are the Maven Show Glow Diffusion Filters. Attach one of these filters to your lens, and your photos take on a dreamy, old-world look. It’s as though you’re transported to an era where the feeling in a photograph mattered more than how sharp it looked. It’s all about the feels with these filters and gosh, they really did help me take a trip back in time.
For the beautiful images it helps create and the flashback of emotions it immerses you in, I’m giving the Maven Show Glow filters five out of five stars.
- They retain the excellent build properties that the Maven Filters are known for
- If you use these filters, you probably won’t need to run any halation-creating film-look software.
- They drop the contrast slightly but help retain a lot of the sharpness of your lens.
- Only the highlights glow, so don’t worry about your images looking overly misty.
- Solidly built. I dropped one onto the pavement (yes, I’m awfully clumsy with filters), but there was absolutely no damage done.
- They come in three diffusion strengths – 1/8, 1/4, and 1/2
- Made with Japanese AGC Optical Glass and available in 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm and 95mm sizes
- The 1/8 filter gives a really low diffusion if you correctly expose for the camera meter. I’d recommend getting the 1/4 or 1/2 strength filters if you want a more noticeable glow in your photos.
I used the 77mm sized Maven Show Glow Diffusion Filters with my Nikon Z6 II and my Nikon Z 24-120mm F4 S lens. As these are magnetic filters, you will need a Maven Adapter Ring to be attached to your lens first. The filters were stored in the Maven Q case, which was sent over for our review along with the filters.
I’m skipping this article’s Ergonomics and Build Quality sections. That’s because all of these can be found in our Maven Magnetic Filters review from some months ago. These filters (seen above) are some of the best we’ve ever used and won our Editor’s Choice Award too.
Ease Of Use
All three diffusion-strength filter rings are made of the same silver/grey-coloured metal. To make your photography easier, the team at Maven has added 2, 4, and 8 squares along the circumference of the filters for the 1/2, 1/4, and 1/8 diffusion strength filters respectively. This is much quicker than checking the text on the filter to see the strength factor.
Accepting The Challenge
What I initially thought would be a straightforward filter test later came with a bit of a twist. Editor-in-Chief Chris Gampat threw me a challenge:
Give yourself a challenge to shoot at film ISOs and nowhere above ISO 400 to get the diffusion combined with the blur that you’d get from film cameras.Chris Gampat on how i should use these diffusion filters for my review
It had been a long time since I shot film at night. I figured this was a fun way to try and replicate those results for a few days, so I wholeheartedly accepted this. I didn’t use a tripod for any images to make it even more challenging. Some of the exposures were even shot at 1 second or slightly longer. Luckily, the humidity levels were low in the evenings when I set out to use these filters. So any glow you see in these images is entirely the doing of the filters.
This photograph shows the various diffusion strengths side by side, starting from 1/8 on the left, 1/4 in the middle, and 1/2 on the right. My favorite filter from the lot is definitely the 1/2. With this one, the diffusion glow is very apparent in the photos, even if you don’t overexpose the highlights. And when you photograph night scenes juxtaposed with the dark sky, the glow is almost surreal. You could get a close enough diffusion effect with the 1/8 and 1/4 by slightly overexposing the images. Here are the images again, this time showcased separately. The camera settings were the same for all three photos. You can see the difference in the diffusion effect quite visibly in the highlights:
As I kept seeing the results the Maven Show Glow filters were giving me, I kept wishing I had some Cinestill 800T film to shoot with them. This film stock would be a treat to photograph with using these filters.
Just as Maven filters claims, there are no color casts on the images created using these filters. This is super useful as it saves you considerable time in post-processing.
Extra Image Samples
From day one, the Phoblographer has been huge on transparency with our audience. 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. You’re not showing what the lens can do. So we have a whole section in our Extra Image Samples area to show off edited and unedited photos. From this, you can make a decision for yourself.
Who Should Buy This?
This will be perfect if you prefer to spend less time editing and want a nostalgic film look to your night shots. It would be great to use it on a wide aperture setting, like f2.8 or under. The shallow depth of field areas would look extra dreamy. These filters drop the contrast a bit, but not at the expense of reducing the overall sharpness of the photograph. On the whole, I have nothing to complain about. I will always carry these in my camera bag when I step out at night. They just give a relaxed feel to many scenes and open up many possibilities.
If you, too, long for a touch of the past, for photos that capture the soul rather than just the scene, consider buying the Maven Show Glow Diffusion Filters. Embrace the nostalgia in every click with them.