*Effect: +2 Diopter Strength to create a blur/diffused effect & leaving the middle open for sharp subject and isolation
*Works best with Aperture (35mm – 85mm) / More Telephoto Aperture (2.8 / 2 / 1.4)
I’ve hit a bit of a lull in my portrait photography, appeasing the Instagram algorithm and making reels takes the wind out of my sails, feeling uninspired, I wanted some new toys and a new creative direction. So for my recent trip to the US, I purchased the Camdiox Middle Split-Diopter (and their Half Split-diopter which I haven’t tested infield yet) and so far, it has been an absolute game changer for my photography. I’m inspired again, loving the results and having fun experimenting with these filters.
I view most of my portrait style as “Dreamy”, except for the glam and editorial work, but I want to go back to my roots and increase the dreamy artistic effects for my portraits, usually I would achieve this with large aperture lenses from f/1.2-1.8, adding depth in the foreground and background, and blown highlights. Sometimes due to the environment and lighting, this effect is not always achievable.
The diopter is well-made, with a solid construction and freely and smoothly turns, that make it easy to get the perfect focus. With the addition of a mirrorless camera and its live-view on the screen or EVF, composing the image is as easy as point and shoot.
I purchased the 82mm filter to match my largest lens diameter on the Canon 16-35mm f2.8 II, my other lenses will have to use a step up ring to use it, which saves me a lot of money having 1 filter for all lenses. Step-up ring adapters are super cheap on eBay anyway. I got the common 77mm, 72mm, 52mm and 43mm. All stackable to use the larger 82mm filter thread.
Although the effects can be hit and miss, you can play around with the composition and turn the filter for the desired effect. Lights in the background and flares are exaggerated, background elements are sometimes mirrored onto the image looking like a dual exposure. With time you will learn what effects and compositions make a desirable dreamy image that evokes emotion. It takes a little extra time to get the right “look”, but it’s so easy to use and has allowed me to capture photos with beautiful depth of field and scattered light effects straight out of the camera that I never thought possible.
You can achieve a similar but not exact style with a lot of Photoshop effects, and it would take a lot of time building up many layers of various digital enhancement techniques (like ghosting, blurring, light flaring and mirroring) why not just buy this $69AUD filter and get the look straight from the camera instead of spending more time on the computer, you can get out there and shoot more. Freewell, a rival brand, make similar products at the same price, I honestly don’t know the quality difference, and assume they are from the same factory in China, the quality of the glass is not an issue here, image quality is not the goal, the artistic effect is.
I highly recommend this product to anyone who is looking to experiment and add another stylistic element to their video and photography arsenal.
Now to the sample images, in my experience, the effect of the filter is more pronounced on landscape-oriented portrait shots, I prefer to have the middle split down the vertical plane rather than horizontal to isolate the subject, depending on the models pose, I might add a slight diagonal angle to it. Let me know what you think!