Photographer’s Friend

MBP Companion App Reborn

We have completely rebuilt our app for iOS 11 and renamed it the Photographer’s Friend because we believe it truly is with two epic photography calculators in a single app and a portal to a wealth of photography information that we sincerely hope you’ll find useful.

Free for Version 1 Users!

If you bought version one at any point, we’ve made v2.0 a free upgrade. If you already uninstalled the first version of the app because it was outdated, you can reinstall it from the App Store at no cost, or go to your Account in the App Store then navigate to Purchased > My Purchases > Not on this iPhone/iPad and look for Photog’s Friend in the list.

Note that it is no longer possible to buy iOS apps on a PC. Please click through to the App Store from an iOS device and opt to open the link in the App Store app to buy Photographer’s Friend.

Update Summary

In our redesign, we concentrated on three main areas in this release.

  1. We made the popular Depth of Field Calculator even easier to use.
  2. We added a completely new Neutral Density Filter Calculator, capable of applying multiple filters and calculating shutter speeds up to 30 years!
  3. The app is now universal, working natively on all sized screen iPads and iPhones, including working perfectly in Split View on the iPad.

Photographers Friend DoF Calc and ND CalcThe redesigned Depth of Field Calculator now has just four dials to change your settings, so you can use it with just your thumb if you only have one hand free.

We’ve added a red NightView mode for the DoF Calculator. Just shake your device to toggle between NightView and normal view to maintain your night vision.

The entirely new feature-rich Neutral Density filter calculator has a built-in timer that continues to run while the app is in the background during long exposures, and with Notification Center permission we’ll display an alert when the timer ends. You can stack many of the 18 preloaded ND filters for shutter speeds up to 30 years, so it’s not only a practical tool but also an excellent way to learn or teach the effects of neutral density filters.

We’ve removed the old Podcasts player and now link directly to our podcast in the Podcast app on your device from the redesigned Links tab, where we also link to relevant articles on Depth of Field and Neutral Density, as well as Contact Us links and links to other pages and articles of interest.

The app also now built-in help pages to help you understand how to use the two feature-rich calculators.

The app is now 100% compatible with all size iPads and iPhones and works in both portrait and landscape orientations. Photographer’s Friend also works seamlessly in Split View so you can reference the calculators while studying photography or writing articles on your iPad.

ND Calc in Split View on 12.9 inch iPad Pro

In the above screenshot, I opened our article on Neutral Density filters from the Links tab and then pulled up the Neutral Density Filter Calculator from the app alongside the page using iOS Split View, so that I could do the calculations for myself. A great way to learn photography theory!


Features in Detail

Depth of Field Calculator

The Depth of Field Calculator [DoF Calc] was the most useful and popular feature of the original app and it’s now even more intuitive and easy to use! Just select your camera sensor type (35mm full frame, 1.3X 1.5X or 1.6X crop factor, micro 4/3, or one of the medium format sizes) then choose your aperture, focal length and focus distance (the distance to your main subject). The calculator then instantly displays your depth of field including the near limit, far limit, and hyperfocal distance. If you tap the Hyperfocal Distance label the focus distance dial is automatically set to the hyperfocal distance and all displayed information is updated. From V2.1 your initially selected focus distance is restored when you tap the Hyperfocal Distance label again.

Tap the [Focus ft/m] button to toggle between feet and meters. To make this interaction easy to remember, the labels that have a function are blue.

Quick Tips

In the V2.1 update, we added a Quick Tips link to the DoF Calc that displays a number of tips over the bottom four dials to get you started. This is displayed automatically when the app is first installed.

Note that both half stop and third stop apertures are available in the settings dial, so if you see an aperture that is not available on your camera, that’s probably why.

DoF Calc Regular and NightView

DoF Calc NightView

Should you need to use the Depth of Field Calculator at night, the mainly white screen would appear bright, even with your display brightness turned right down, so we’ve built in a NightView mode. Just shake your device while in the DoF Calc tab to enter NightView, which is mainly black and red, so it won’t mess up your night vision. Note that the other tabs remain white, so stay in the DoF Calc for NightView, and just shake your device again to go back to the normal view.

Intensely Detailed

We didn’t have to go this far but thought it was fun to provide apertures down to f/0.7 because there are actual lenses that go that wide, although very rare. You can also increase focal length and/or decrease focus distance to the point that you not only down to a depth of field as shallow as 0.1mm, we then switch to µm (micrometers or micron) and continue to calculate down to single digit µm. That’s 0.0001 cm. Talk about razor thin depth of field! Crazy, but fun to play with, and you never know, you might need this one day.

1.5 Micrometer Depth of Field

Neutral Density Filter Calculator

ND Calc on iPhone with Notification Center MessageThe neutral density filter calculator takes any shutter speed that you can set on your camera and calculates your new shutter speed after applying neutral density filters to your lens. The filters are labeled by the multiplication factor (ND2, ND4 etc.) and also have the f-stop and optical density values for each filter, so there is no confusion as to what to select. Note that shutter speeds are available in both half and third stops.

The timer is available for shutter speeds of 5 seconds or more, so if you don’t have a timer switch or built-in timer in your camera, we’ll time your exposure for you! If you get a phone call or need to use another app during a long count-down, just background the app, and it will update when you open it again.

When you first set a timer, you’ll be asked for permission for Photographer’s Friend to use Notification Center on your iOS device. We only use this for the timer, but when enabled, we’ll display an alert when the timer finishes, even if you reboot your device during the count-down.

Although it’s unlikely that you’ll ever need this in real-life, the ND Calculator allows stacking of filters for up to 30-year exposures. This is great for understanding how neutral density filters affect the shutter speed and for teaching others when necessary. As you add filters after you reached 30 years, they will be automatically removed, and if you increase the base shutter speed taking you past 30 years, we’ll remove the largest filter and display a message to let you know what we removed. When you’ve finished playing there’s a Reset All button to clear the filters and start again.

Hide/Unhide Filters

From Version 2.1 it is now possible to hide and unhide filters that you don’t use. To hide a filter, just slide it to the left. Once filters are hidden, the new button below the Shutter Speed dial displays how many filters are hidden. Tap this button to display the hidden filters with a dark background, and slide them to left again to unhide them. Once you have finished unhiding filters, click the red button to exit unhide mode before continuing to use the ND calculator.iPhone ND Filter Hide Unhide

Links Tab

On the Links tab, we’ve included a scrolling list linking to in-depth articles on Hyperfocal Distance and Understanding Neutral Density Filters, as well as to our Podcast and Blog, which has been released weekly for more than twelve years. There are links to email us directly or use our web contact form to ask general photography questions or send questions or suggestions for the app. We think we have all bases covered, but for example, if you own a Neutral Density filter that is not listed, let us know and we’ll consider adding them in a future update.

Links and ND Calc HelpHelp Pages

There are two multi-page help sections with detailed information to help you understand both the Depth of Field calculator and the Neutral Density calculator. Just swipe through the pages and tap Done to return to the Help tab. Along with the linked articles, you’ll fully understand these topics in no time.

Whether you are just getting started or a seasoned professional, we think you’ll find these two calculators in one app invaluable.

Buy the App!

Pick up your copy of Photographer’s Friend from the App Store right now!

Download Photographer's Friend from Appstore

Note that it is no longer possible to buy iOS apps on a PC. Please click through to the App Store from an iOS device and opt to open the link in the App Store app to buy Photographer’s Friend.

Rate and Review

Once you’ve given Photographer’s Friend a try, we’d really appreciate it if you could rate the app and leave us a review on the App Store. This really helps us to get ranked higher and make more sales!

Technical Support

Visit the Photographer’s Friend Technical Support page for information on updates, known issues and to contact us for help should you require it.

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