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05-19-2009, 06:32 PM   #1
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Need input on film logging program

Mods: I know this sounds like it should belong in the software forum, but I'm putting it in the film forum because we are the people who would actually be using this program.

My summer project this year is to write up an application that will allow users to log pertinent data when they take pictures (shutter speed, aperture, etc) with good old fashioned film and then be able to export that data as exif data for when the user scans his film to jpegs, so that he has that information at his fingertips within the file.

I'm in the planning phase of the project and could use some input about the way the data is entered:

ISO: should I make it a drop down list, trying to cover all the ISO speeds, or should it just be a text field?
Aperture: Pretty sure I'm going to do this as a drop down list, but should I have a toggle for 1/2 or 1/3 stops, rather than try and jam all of them in there?
Shutter speed: A dropdown box would be really, really long on this one, given the range of shutter speeds, so I'm thinking just a text field to enter the shutter speed.
Focal Length: Given the number of possibilities, I'm thinking of just a text field here.
Metering Patern: Drop down list- Spot, Center, or Evaluative/Matrix/Whatever
Lens: A drop down list of lenses that the user specifies ahead of time, allowing him to have exactly the lenses he is using without having a massively huge drop down list?
Date: Drop down lists, or trust the user to input it in a text field in the proper format?

Also, are there any other fields you can think of that would be useful data to have, even if it's not covered in the exif spec? I've already got keywords and comments.

05-19-2009, 06:44 PM   #2
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You could consider to use sliders for the ISO, aperture and shutter speed. And have the program remember the previous value entered so that it will be reused if no new input.

Date: use a calendar.

Fields for for camera name and film type would be useful. Also, while you're at it, a field for copyright and place of capture.

For camera and lens: You could have the program "learn and remember" as the user enters his stuff.

You need a place to store the information learned from invocation to invocation. This could just be a simple text file.
05-19-2009, 10:32 PM   #3
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I like the idea for sliders, I'd not thought about that before. definitely makes it cleaner. I was considering a system similar to "learn and remember," in that the user inputs his lenses and camera before and then only giving those options, so that the user doesn't have to take the time to manually enter them in the field. The ultimate goal is to port this to the iPhone/iPod touch so that it's usable out and about (along with some other nice utilities, like an exposure calculator --1/2 sec @ f/22 equals what at f/64?-- useful for large format when you're taking your metering from a slr).

Thanks for the ideas, Ole.
05-19-2009, 10:50 PM   #4
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Just a couple things to ponder...

I, and many others, scan to TIF or TIF-DNG and not JPEG. It would be handy if the application gave you the option of exporting a XMP sidecar file since TIF doesn't support much/any EXIF/IPTC.

Add IPTC data to the interface so your users can input Location, complete Copyright, Job/Shoot and full Creator info. IPTC provides a plethora of information standard EXIF doesn't cover.

05-20-2009, 07:29 AM   #5
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make it easy to copy / repeat settings
how about bracketing?
05-20-2009, 09:39 AM   #6
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Excellent idea!

Instead of choosing either dropdown (or slider) vs. text-entry field, I suggest that you allow both. If you use the dropdown (or slider), the resulting data would be shoved into the text field, or if you enter something in the text field it will override what the program picks up from the dropdown or slider.

Concerning the date field, default it to the current date and time, and allow override (Ole has a good idea for using a popup calendar).

Add GPS coordinates (or some other location information). I'm not familiar with the EXIF specification, so whatever it calls for in terms of location.

When you get an alpha version ready, be sure to post it here and I'm sure we'll kill all the bugs for you! Ha!

05-20-2009, 10:54 PM   #7
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If you can put this in some kind of mobile device and link it to a scanner program, I might actually buy whatever device/scanner it is that will be compatible
05-22-2009, 02:34 PM   #8
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Maybe fields for Darkroom Data too? developer & time, etc...

05-23-2009, 09:50 AM   #9
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Something similar has been done Manual Focus Lenses :: It's just for WinMo phones at the moment.

I would LOVE it if it was easily linkable with a scanning program, or in Adobe Bridge or something like that.

If you get it going for S60 v3 and I still have the N95, I'll give it a shot. Can't wait to get a Nokia 5800 (when all the bugs are worked out) for touch screen S60 v5. TS would be perfect for this kind of thing
05-25-2009, 07:18 PM   #10
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Has anyone suggested Film Brand / Type yet - I haven't seen that, but it matters to me.
06-02-2009, 11:31 PM   #11
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I've not thought of putting film brand/type in, but I agree with you, it totally matters to me, and it's a lot easier having it in some sort of log rather than having to pop the frame off of a slide.

My first version will be a desktop app in Java while I learn Objective C and how to program for the iPhone, but I plan to nail the basic interface down (obviously it'll change as the platform changes, but the basics will be there). With any luck I'll have a GUI hashed out in the next two weeks, and I'll post it here for comments and criticisms.

Thanks to everyone for their input!
06-03-2009, 12:40 AM   #12
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A couple more things to ponder:

flash used/not used (checkbox?)

You might want two fields for ISO - film rated ISO and ISO set in camera (in case the film was pushed)

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