7artisans has released a 79mm Handheld Split Diopter Filter that it says allows photographers to add a blur or bokeh effect to the edges of a photo to “enhance visual storytelling.”
Split diopters are a tool typically used by filmmakers to create “deep focus” effects, but 7artisans says that they have additional capability beyond this one specific use case. If held in front of a photographer’s lens, a split diopter can add foreground blurring or bokeh effects to half of a photo.
The effect is similar to what some photographers have been using for years: prisms. PetaPixel has reported on their use in portraiture going as far back as 2013, and wedding photographers often employ prims to create unique, creative images for their clients. Some companies have even created screw-on filters that have embedded prims that allow photographers to get the effect without needing to manually hold the objects up to the lens.
Prims have a specific effect on photos, which generally present as areas of distorted light, which makes the 7artisans Spit Diopter a bit different. The 79mm Handheld Split Diopter Filter is a circular filter designed to be used handheld and provides what the company describes as “a multiple refraction” effect.
“Suitable for any lens, it can be operated with one hand to achieve multi-angle blur effects, tilt-shift effects, and special light spot effects,” the company says.
“You can have the option of mounting your handheld split filter directly to your camera cage or rig to keep your focus consistent by connected it with a mounting arm. Just attach the mount to the bottom of your mirrorless or DSLR or to any of the quarter-20 mounting points on your camera cage for your cinema cameras. You can also handhold and move the filter to get the perfect angle for your subject.”
Some examples of the effects photographers can expect are provided in the sample images below. While some happen to have some questionable editing, the blur effects are at least apparent.
7artisans offers two versions of the filter a +1.0 and a +2.0 option. The company says the +1.0 filter works best with 50mm to 105mm focal lengths, while the +2.0 filter works best with 35mm to 85mm focal lengths.
The 7artisans 9mm Handheld Split Diopter Filter is available for $29 from Pergear.
Image credits: 7artisans