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Review Roundup: Boris FX Optics, VFX for Photographers

Review Roundup: Boris FX Optics, VFX for Photographers

Boris FX Optics brings lighting effects, color grades, film stock effects, and more to your photography. Use Optics in Photoshop or Lightroom. We’ve been collecting reviews from authoritative sources over the past year and thought it would be auspicious to share a few with you.

Optics 2021 has been out for a while so there are A LOT of reviews out there. We have EIGHT reviews here, all for the current release. It’s interesting to compare different reviews because everyone uses the software a bit differently. Most of these are reviews from Blogs and magazines, but there are a couple of video reviews too.


Add Drama and Flair to Your Images Easily: Boris FX Optics Review, The Phoblographer

I like how this review breaks down the pros and cons of the software, first thing. The reviewer likes the quality effects, the UI, the EZ Mask system and that it can be used as a standalone or a plugin for Lightroom or Photoshop. They also can’t disagree with the price! Of all the reviews on this page, this one dives deepest, covering Performance, some of the effects, and gives a lot of examples.

At $149, Boris FX Optics is priced really well, considering the quality of the assets used. I have had a lot of fun going back through my library of images and playing around with them. So, if you’re looking for a way to bring new life to old and new images, check out Boris FX Optics.

The Phoblographer

Best Photoshop Plugin? DIYP Reviews Boris FX Optics, Illya Ovchar, diy Photography

Learn how Optics is different from other tools. The reviewer jumps into the presets and gives several useful examples.

Photoshop plugins come in two flavors: the ones that claim to do something and are great at it, and the ones that are plain rubbish. Optics is the first type. It claims to do magnificent things and it does them very well indeed. Optics packs lots of effects for a very affordable price, as well as having a simple-to-navigate UI.

Illya Ovchar, diy Photography

Optics by Boris FX: Comprehensive Review and Tutorial, Rikard Rodin, Nucly • Photoshop and Creative Design Training

Rikard created an almost 2-hour video for your viewing pleasure.


Boris FX Optics – Review and Complete Overview [2021], Skills Factory


Boris FX Optics 2021 review: Hollywood visual trickery, now for digital photos, J.R. Bookwalter, MacWorld

J.R. clearly knows the history behind the plugin and includes some effective examples in his review. He covers the Sapphire filters in the package, as well as the filters Boris FX acquired from Tiffen Dfx.

Billed as “visual effects for photographers,” Optics 2021 retains everything that was great about Tiffen Dfx (including the intuitive user interface), infusing it with a liberal amount of the Hollywood magic Boris FX is known for. A standalone application that doubles as an Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom plugin, Optics offers 160 filter types across nine categories, each with a ton of one-click presets for thousands of potential creative possibilities.

J.R. Bookwalter, MacWorld

Boris FX Optics by Oliver Peters, DigitalFilms

Oliver talks about the technical side and the raw formats and resolutions that Optics supports. He also explains the EZ Mask, useful for cutting a person out of their background for effects. In addition, he dives into the Lens Flare Designer, which uses the same technology as Sapphire filters. At the end of his review, he includes several examples of the filter on images.

If you work with a lot of stills and hate going through the gymnastics that Photoshop requires in order to create truly unique looks, then Boris FX Optics will be a game changer. It’s very addictive, but more importantly, Optics offers a huge improvement in efficiency. Plus you’ll have filter options at your fingertips not normally available in Photoshop alone. You might quickly find yourself doing all of your image processing strictly in Optics.

Oliver Peters, DigitalFilms

Maximum Workflow: Boris FX Optics, by Sean McCormack, Lightroom Magazine

Lightroom Magazine published this article in Issue 64 of their magazine. In the review, he has a fantastic example of different settings of the effect applied to the same image. He explains how to install and activate the plugin, then talks about Optics vs. Lightroom. The article includes a tutorial of some of the features of Optics, including masking with EZ Mask and adding lens flares.

I wouldn’t be joking if I said I could keep going with this Boris FX Optics plug-in. If I had to pick one word to describe it, I’d choose “fun.” When you open it, you know it’s play time. You’re still being intentional when you begin, but the directions you can go are almost limitless.

Sean McCormack, Lightroom Magazine

Award-Winning VFX Specialists Boris FX Releases Software for Photographers, Wouter du Toit, FStoppers

Wouter breaks down what comes in the Optics package. He also talks about the user experience and workflow, what he likes, and what he doesn’t like about the tools. He includes some fantastic examples as well.

Boris FX is going to be a no-brainer for commercial photographers who work in the advertising and product photography industries. The same goes for landscape photographers who want a unique approach, having the ability to add stars based on your location, add and modify lightning bolts, add northern lights, and much more. They’ve got wedding, fashion, and portrait photographers who want to give their images a unique, vintage look with lens flares and film stocks covered too. In fact, real estate photographers, as well as photographers more into lifestyle will all be able to benefit using this software. 

Wouter du Toit, FStoppers

Need more Boris FX Optics Information?

Below, check out some news updates and tutorials for your new favorite Photoshop plugin.


Boris FX Optics Boris FX Optics

Lighting Effects, Film Stocks, Color Grades, and More!

Boris FX Optics is the definitive digital toolbox for photos. Created by professional feature film VFX artists, Optics is designed to simulate optical camera filters, specialized lenses, film stocks and grain, lens flares, optical lab processes, color correction as well as natural light and photographic effects. Take your images to the next level, try Optics.

Available now as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, as well as a standalone application for macOS and Windows. Purchase a new license or choose a subscription option.

Learn MoreTry Boris FX Optics for free!

Boris FX SuiteBoris FX Suite

The Ultimate Visual Effects Package

The Boris FX Suite offers the best-in-class complete library of Boris FX award-winning tools, such as tools for visual effects, planar tracking, and rotoscoping tools. To put it another way, get it all for one low-cost annual price of $1,295.
Boris FX Suite Includes:

Sapphire plugin suite multihost license
Continuum plugin suite multihost license
Mocha Pro standalone application and the multihost Mocha Pro plugin
Silhouette standalone application and the multihost Silhouette Paint plugin
In addition, get Boris FX Optics, a multihost plugin

Learn More

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Posted by Michele Yamazaki