App Simulates Hundreds of Cameras and Lenses to Plan Your Next Shoot

App Simulates Hundreds of Cameras and Lenses to Plan Your Next Shoot

There is obviously no shortage of camera apps out there in the world but, every once in a while something new hits the market that actually seems a bit useful. While not something I would recommend to the casual, or even semi-pro photographer the Mark II Artist's Viewfinder actually looks very helpful to directors, and photographers that need to do a lot of scouting and planning for their shoots. The biggest feature of this app is it's ability to replicate the viewfinder of hundreds of camera and lens combinations. You may be wondering what in the world would make that useful. The point is to give you an accurate idea of what a scene would look like if you decided to lug your big heavy gear up to some remote location. It basically allows you to check your shots and possible compositions against the 35mm (crop and full frame), medium format, large format, and even motion picture systems. It even has a list of supported iPhone lenses, some of which will all you to simulate up to 17mm full frame images.

The big downside to this app is the steep price tag of $25 on iTunes. That's probably not going to worth it to most of you but, like I said, I think there is a very specific market segment that would absolutely love this. Especially when you consider that once you select your setup and take a photo, the app will also store GPS data alongside it's simulated metadata. When you get back your scouting session you will have everything you need to not only make sure you have the proper gear packed up, but also know that you can find your way back to the exact spot. Sure there are other ways to do this, but I haven't seen one yet that could make scouting so much less annoying.

Is it worth $25? I don't know, but I'm tempted for sure.

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Award winning photographer, Fstoppers writer and entrepreneurial consultant David Bickley is wholly engaged in helping people become more. Be it more confident via the portraits and fitness photos that brought him world-wide recognition, or more profitable in business through mentoring... David lives to bring his client's voice out into the world.

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Let's be real. The average photographer only has one format, MAYBE 2. And 9/10, it's either FX or DX.

If you're the kind of person that's passionate enough about photography to "lug your big heavy gear up to some remote location", then you've probably got a pretty good idea of what your 24/35/50/85mm lens looks like through your particular camera's viewfinder. I, for example, shoot 99% of my portrait work on an 85mm lens. When on location without my camera, I have a pretty good understanding of what my frame might look like at a given distance from my subject, and that's purely because I take photos. I see zero need to spend 25 bucks (which is nuts for an app like this, btw) on an app that can tell me something that I can probably get a pretty solid estimate of with my own eye.

Or am I being a jerk and missing the point?

Only slightly missing the point.

For me personally, there are some jobs where I need to travel quite a bit and scout for at least a few weeks pre-shoot. With that being the case, it could be incredibly useful to have an easier and more convenient way to not only plan my shots, but also to make sure I know I'm bringing the best options with me on set.

Do I know my equipment well enough to have a solid idea of what I'll use? Absolutely, however when I'm hitting 20 different locations and needing to keep track of what I intend to use at each...well then, now we have a fairly solid benefit. Especially when you consider that I DO use several different formats.

Like I said in the article, it's an interesting app...but it is obviously designed for a VERY specific user.

Photographer... no.. Cinematographer... sure. It's basically a Directors viewfinder, plenty of other apps out there (and of course people still use an actual viewfinder =). In the end its all about what workflow that you as the cinematographer/director are used to and prefere. As for knowing your own gear, sure thing. But if you switch between Alexa, RED, BMCC, Sony FS, S35, S16 etc. and an assortment of different lenses for each, it may be a bit hard to remember exactly what framing you got with lens X on camera Y for format Z.

And considering how much a proper directors viewfinder will cost, not to mention the optics, then $25 is a no brainer ;)

So as the article said, directed to a very select few perhaps.


i wrote a script for photoshop that simulates other focal length.
you put in your original focal length the image was taken with and it crops to other focal lenght.

that´s how i figured out i need the EF 600mm f4. :)

lol....should i sell that script for 25$....?

Ooh... you wrote a script in Photoshop. Pretty sure half the Photoshop educated population can write the same thing. It's not difficult. But good luck trying to convince an audience to go on location (with or without a computer), take a pic, turn on computer or go to your computer's location, transfer from your camera or phone, open Photoshop, and then use your "script" which I'm betting has NO support or info for cameras, back, converters, etc... to achieve one single task and ask these people to pay $25. Read the specs on this app before acting like you're a badass.

Perhaps you should get a sense of humour before "acting like you're a badass"...

Hooray... I got a comment from The King of Fstoppers Trolls.

I would love to have an app to tell me where is the best location to take a photo. Assuming i arrive in a new place, the app would show me the nice pictures that others have taken. Then i can try something more creative. Right now flickr seems to be a good thing to do for this. Sadly this new app doesn't.

that exists already. search on google play store.

k. thanks :)

Acacia is a similar app for Android, and it's free!