A complete guide to diffusion / mist filters.

What is a mist filter?

To achieve the perfect shot, many photographers and videographers use professional tools to enhance their images and give a more film-like, cinematic look. This can be done by using a special effects filter known as a “mist filter” or “diffusion filter.” Other names for this type of filter include soft, bloom, or our own best selling CineSoft filter!

A Mist filter reduces highlights and also slightly lowers the overall contrast of the image or video. In short, it technically creates a diffusion effect and adds a softer, less digital feel to the image.

taken with CineSoft filter

Why use a diffusion filter?

Recently in the world of digital photography, cameras have become amazing leading to images becoming tack sharp with an extremely high megapixel count. Sometimes though, you want quite the opposite of this look, a more vintage, cinematic feel that has been on trend in the photography world for quite a few years now! Of course you can add grain and other bits in post production, but there is nothing quite like getting your desired effect in camera.

What strength of diffusion filter should I buy?

Tide Optics has 3 different strengths of CineSoft filter:

CineSoft Subtle (1/8)

CineSoft Original (1/4)

CineSoft Strong (1/2)

As suggested in the name, the subtle filter will very slightly take the digital edge off your image, whereas the strong will have quite an obvious diffusion effect, that will noticeably bloom any lights sources considerably. 

When purchasing a diffusion filter for your camera lens, make sure that you buy the correct size, your lens thread size is marked with a diameter symbol “ø” e.g ø77mm.

We hope that you enjoyed this blog post and took some value from it! Feel free to browse our product catalogue for all your camera filters and accessories!