I'm a big fan of using a little diffusion on the lens, and to me it's a no-brainer whether to do this on set or in post. I wouldn't even bother asking this question here, but it comes up in relation to a 3D shoot where putting filters on the two lenses is likely to cause more than a few probs - and cost some time!
Tiffen do a range of plug-in equivalents for their glass-ware. I've put the manual up here http://bit.ly/TiffenFilters (Best to download this so you can access the index.) I can see a great use for them to preview what kind of look you're likely to get with the glass original, but how good a substitute can they possibly be when used in post?
BTW There are some really nice goodies they offer, like 'rack focus' - try faking that with gaussian blur!
Using diffusion on the lens, or doing it in post?
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