The Glimmer Glass is one of the many types of diffusion filters made by Tiffen that produces one of many different types of Diffusion effects.
While they all diffuse light, they are not all the same and do it in their own way and the use-case will vary pretty significantly.
After using Glimmer Glass, Mist filters, and Black Pro Mist filters for a few years now I can’t say one is definitively better but I like them in different situations.
But what I can say, is these are a must-have accessory and they can be a ton of fun for adding a little flavor to your images.
Compare to Tiffen Black Pro Mist Review
Pros – Adds a diffusion effect that’s not as obvious as other types of diffusion filters, the diffusion has a nice depth to it.
Cons – A lot of reflective orbs when shooting at night under harsh directional lighting, like car headlights and sometimes street lamps.
Tiffen Glimmer Glass Filter Quick Overview
To give a quick overview, I prefer the Glimmer Glass filters with daylight photography, and I prefer the Black Pro-Mist filters at night.
In the day you’re dealing mostly with sunlight and reflected light, and the blooming effect of the Glimmer Glass has a really nice quality filling the frame with a misty effect that really takes some of the hard edges off of the lighting giving it an almost filmmick look. At night, it’s a little bit too uncontrolled and you get a lot more of various types of reflective artifacts that you have to shoot around.
The Black Pro-Mist filters tend to keep the blooming more isolated for an almost halation-type effect you would get from shooting Cine Still or some sort of Cine filmstock with the ramjet layer removed.
The Black Pro Mist filter works better in daylight than the Glimmer Glass works at night, so if you only wanted one filter, I would probably go with the Black Pro Mist. But, I personally like using the two filters in these two different situations, Glimmer Glass for day, Black Pro Mist for night – with street photography anyway.
Tiffen Glimmer Glass Filter Review
For this review, I’m using the 1/4 Glimmer Glass filter with 62mm threads. I’m using the Nikon Z8 with the Nikon Z 26mm f2.8 and the Z 50mm f1.8 lenses.
I’ve upgraded the cameras from the Z6 to the Z8. So if you are comparing the Tiffen Black Pro Mist filter review to this review, bear in mind that the Z6 does render with a softer almost pastel quality than what we get from the Z8. The Z8 images by default are a little crunchier and have a more digital feeling. Also, I have a new workflow that scales the images a little nicer for the blog than what I was using on my Mac.
And lastly, I’m on Core V3 of my presets now which now have some pretty cool new looks, and overall the pack has been made a lot easier to use and I think is more user-friendly. So a lot has changed this summer, which is why I was so quiet on this blog for a while. Twas busy building computers and testing gear.
The Glimmer Glass filter is a little different than all the other diffusion filters I’ve used so far as mentioned earlier. One thing you might notice from the samples is that it’s not as immediately obvious that I’m using diffusion filters compared to some of the other diffusion filters I’ve reviewed.
And I think this can be attributed to the little reflective particles inside the filter.
The Black Pro-Mist filter and other black mist filters have what look like little black particles in them. The Black Pro Mist 1/4 keeps them pretty small, whereas the K&F Black Mist filters users much larger black particles.
Other standard diffusion filters like the CineBloom have what looks like a mist inside like almost they were hit with a can of hairspray.
The Glimmer Glass filter has larger particles in it, almost like little flavor crystals that are highly reflective.
Here is what the little particles look like in the Glimmer Glass filter.
The result is you get a depth to the mist that you don’t quite get with the other filters. Granted, it’s raining in a lot of these shots so there is that added depth by default, but also look at the samples that have no rain. It still adds a nice dimensionality that I haven’t really seen with the other diffusion filters and it has a more natural look.
I really like the look, especially for daylight street photography where you’re going for a more analog film quality and this might actually be the best filter for the daytime film look.
Glimmer Glass Filter Review Bottom Line
I see a lot of photographers and videographers using the Glimmer Glass filter under their studio lighting conditions or for vlogging outside, for this use-case the filter is great. However, if you’re in an environment where the filter can catch a lot of glare, it will give you more reflections that can get really distracting, so you may want to consider other options in these conditions.
For example, see my Moment Cinebloom Review, it has a soft diffusion effect, but not the glimmer effect that produces some really nice looks. It also does not have any coatings, so it can get a little wild at night under city lights.
Also, the Black Pro Mist filter is another great option at night as it produces a diffusion look, but it tends to keep the diffusion more localized to the light source so it produces more halo-like effects.
The Glimmer Glass is still a great option at night if you are careful how you shoot, but it is really great at providing you with a diffusion effect that’s not too aggressive, but that also has a level of depth to it that you don’t quite see with the other filters.
While these are expensive, ultimately I recommend trying a few different types of filters to see what works for your situation.
I generality would recommend Glimmer Glass for daylight and controlled lighting conditions, like a home studio YouTube for a nice natural diffusion with depth. At Night if you like the halation effect I would go with a Black Pro mist.
Standard soft mist filters like a Cinebloom or something by Kenko can be great as just a general-purpose diffusion filter. Some filters come with coatings, some are uncoated and this also can contribute to the effect.
Tiffen Glimmer Glass Sample Images
Images taken with the Nikon Z8 with the 26mm or 50mm lens. Colored with Core Color Presets, except the Cyberpunk blue stuff which is a new pack I’m working on.
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