On my several-year quest seeking the perfect mist filter, I’ve finally got my hands on the Tiffen Black Pro-Mist.
The Black Pro-Mist 1/4 Filter by Tiffen is an excellent tool for controlling the brightness of highlights and slightly decreasing the overall contrast to reduce some of the clinical effects of modern lenses as well as adding bloom to any highlights.
Cinematographers and photographers for years have used these filters to soften facial wrinkles and other skin imperfections for a more polished look but now they have become popular for casual shooters and especially street photographers looking to add a little character to their photos.
Unlike other diffusion or soft focus filters, the Pro-Mist preserves the image’s details and clarity. The 1/4 density option strikes a balance between contrast reduction and highlight control, producing a gentle, pastel-like quality of light that is more intense than the 1/8 density but gentler than the 1/2 density.
So what do I think about the Black Pro-Mist? I like it, and right now it’s my preferred filter, dethroning the Moment Cinebloom filter which is also very nice.
For this review and sample photos, I’m using the Black Pro-Mist 1/4 power 62mm threads on a Nikon 50mm f.18 S for consistency and have also added a few 40mm f2 images.
Tiffen Black Pro Mist Filter Review
After years of testing these different brands of filters laying them all out and closely looking at them, they all seem to be pretty similar with subtle differences, with the main difference being how they classify their strength and the type of particles they use. When the filters are stronger with large particles they tend to look dirty.
Another big difference is if the filters are multi-coating or single-coating on them or not. For example, Kenko filters have an almost bluish multi-coating to them, the K&F filters have a mild coating to them with no cast, and the Tiffen and Moment Cinebloom filters seem to be uncoated.
The Tiffen black pro mist filter I have is the 1/4 power. They’re a little expensive so I didn’t order them in multiple strengths but I like where 1/4 is at.
As far as which power is the best, I could probably go with the 1/2 power if I was shooting more in the daylight, and drop to 1/8 if I was shooting more in very bright lighting like car headlights shining into the camera. The 1/4 is about right where I want it for general everyday night street shooting with a little bit of an effect that’s not too obvious and not too annoying also the 1/8 power would likely be a great option.
Compared To Other Filters
Compared to the Moment Cinebloom filter – Tiffen and Cinebloom filters are fairly similar in what they do and I wouldn’t say one filter is clearly better than the other. They both are made of brass, and they both are uncoated. The main difference between the Black Pro-Mist and the Cinebloom filter is the particle type.
Tiffen Black Pro mist is using the Black Halation Diffusion system, they have several filters using this technology. The Black Diffusion FX, Black Net, Black Pro-Mist, Black Satin, Black Pearlescent, Black Glimmerglass.
Tiffen also has a category of White Halation Diffusions where you find their Glimmerglass, Pearlescent, Pro-Mist, and Satin. My guess is that the Moment Cinebloom is also using a White Halation Diffusion, since I do not clearly see black particles. Also the Moment Cinebloom filter also has a slightly warmer cast to it and blocks slightly less light with more of a spread-to-the-mist effect.
The Tiffen Black Pro-Mist filter seems to have a slightly tighter halation.
You can go to Tiffen’s website to see all the different technologies they use.
Compared to the K&F filter (see review)- the K&F uses the black mist particle system but the particles seem larger or the filters are just a lot stronger. These filter is also coated to reduce reflection and is made of aluminum for a cheaper feel.
It’s a good choice for a cheap filter, but you do risk it getting jammed on your lens because of the aluminum construction, and the larger particles do render almost a wet effect. You’ll want to order this filter a lighter power if you want to match the 1/4 effect of the Tiffen Black Pro-Mist. 1/4 with the K&F might be too strong for general use and even the 1/8 K&F filters have larger more visible particles.
Compared to the Kenko filter – Kenko uses a very similar particle type to the Tiffen Black Pro-Mist – I’m also seeing black particles. The Tiffen 1/4 power is slightly stronger than the Kinko 05 Power. The Kenko filter has a warmer cast like the Cinebloom but has a light coating to it. Its housing is made of aluminum.
Before I had the Tiffen Black Pro-Mist filter, my favorite filter was the Moment Cinebloom 10% filter. Today I’m leaning more toward the Tiffen Black Pro-Mist as my preference. I think both filters are great, I can’t say one is significantly better as they do pretty much a very similar thing and I haven’t done any side-by-side comparisons yet. It does appear like the Tiffen filter with the larger size black particles keeps a slightly tighter halation to the highlights than the Moment Cinebloom which creates more of a mist. I like the higher halation since it feels more controlled.
Both filters are made with brass and both filters look to be uncoated.
You can see my moment cinebloom filter review to compare.
Tiffen does not identify where their glass comes from. K&F sources their filters from a few locations, sometimes it’s Germany and sometimes it’s Japan. My guess is Tiffen is also doing something similar as they do not specify and they don’t guarantee exact quality between filters in the Q&A section I was reading on the B&H website.
Also, I cannot find any documentation on what metal the filter is made from. It feels like a softer metal like brass which is what the Moment Cinebloom filter users. It does not feel like the cold harsh aluminum of the K&F or Kenko filters which can get stuck on your lens.
The Tiffen filter doesn’t look to have any coatings as it’s casting the same amount of reflection as the Moment filter, whereas the Kenko filters and K&F filters are coated.
These filters use ColorCore technology, a method that involves sandwiching the filter material between two sheets of optical glass, grinding them flat with a precision of 1/10,000th of an inch, and finally, mounting the glass onto precise metal rings.
Tiffen Black Pro Mist Filter, is it worth it?
Yes, this is a great filter. I light the tighter almost Cinestill 800T halation effect that it produces. The build quality is nice and the non-coated surfaces help create some nice luminance which can further feed the particle effect.
These filters are a little bit more expensive than the other brands, but there is a good reason for that. For one, the filter ring is of higher quality than some of the cheaper brands. While that seems like an unnecessary luxury, you will regret not having this improved material when your aluminum filter gets jammed on your lens. Luckily I’ve always been able to get them off, but I’ve not always been so lucky with other optics in the past.
The Mist of the 1/4 is a really nice look and I really like the balance. While I’ve still yet to try their Glimmer glass, I will likely use this Black Pro-Mist as my daily driver for when I need a mist filter. Originally my favorite was the Moment Cinebloom but now I’m leaning a little more toward this filter. Both are great filters and the higher prices do reflect the quality.
In these samples, I’m using the Tiffen Black Pro-Mist filter with the Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter Crystals on the Nikon 4omm lens for a pretty classic feel. I also have an LED light stick on the side that I use for some lighting.
Tiffen Black Pro Mist Filter Sample Images
Shot with the Nikon Z6 and the 50mm f1.8. Filter power was 1/4.
The orange sepia colors are part of my core color pack. The green-blue colors are part of a new series I’m working on that won’t be available anytime soon.
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