Tiffen’s Photo fx Ultra for iPad – App Review

If you’re a photography enthusiast, there’s a good chance you have used a glass filter or other accessory from Tiffen. Tiffen has been in the photography business for over 70 years and is well known for their creative camera filters and more recently for their powerful digital filters. I have had Tiffen filters on my Nikon and Canon glass for over 20 years and have always been happy with the variety and quality of their filters.

Tiffen made the jump to digital years ago with their Dfx product set and introduced a large number of digital filters for the PC and Mac. Tiffen has taken these great Dfx filters and integrated them into their new Photo fx Ultra iPad application. This isn’t Tiffen’s first iOS app, they previously released Photo fx and Cool fx for the iPhone and their iPad app builds on this success. The iPad app is simply stunning.

Photo fx Ultra takes full advantage of the iPad’s larger display and touch screen capabilities. When you start the app, you can pull-up any photo from your iPad’s Photo Library and get to work applying creative filters and effects. Photo fx Ultra can handle photo’s up to 2048 x 1360 which is perfect for online use or smaller prints up to 5” x 7”. (Update: version 1.0.1 now supports resolutions up to 3072 pixels)

Once you’ve picked out the photo you want to work with, you can begin applying a wide range of filters and effects. Photo fx Ultra gives you access to 68 filters grouped into seven filter categories (Film Lab, HFX Diffusion, HFX Gradients and tints, Image, Lens, Light and Special Effects). When you apply a filter, you can quickly adjust your image with over 836 presets or you can get a completely customized effect by adjusting filter parameters via on-screen sliders. Want to apply more than one filter to a picture? No problem, you can add multiple layers to a photo with each layer having its own filter effect. The app allows users to selectively apply filters by painting a mask directly on the image.  This is perfect for those times when you want to target an effect to only a certain portion of an image.

In addition to numerous filter effects, you can crop, rotate and straighten images in both landscape and portrait mode. Photo fx Ultra features a built in search feature to help you find filter effects quickly and even comes with an integrated help function to explain all the tools and screens in Photo fx Ultra.

Once you have finished working on your photo, you can save it back to the iPad’s Photo Library for easy sharing or you can e-mail the filter settings to you desktop computer and apply them to your photos using Tiffen’s Dfx Digital Filter suite. This is a great way for photographers to work on photos with the iPad and then apply the exact same filter effects to RAW or JPEG files on their PC.  A perfect solution for working with high-resolution images.

What I liked: Photo fx Ultra is a great tool that’s fun to use. There’s a huge number of image filters and effects to help you create a great looking photo.

What I didn’t like: No sharpening tools.

To buy or not to buy: If you are into photography and like working on your images, Photo fx Ultra is the perfect addition to your digital camera bag.

  • App Name: Photo fx Ultra
  • Version Reviewed: 1.0
  • Category: Photography
  • Developer: The Tiffen Company
  • Price: $5.99
  • Score:

About Bill: Contact me via Twitter: @PadGadgetBill