Sunday, 16 November 2014

Useful iPhone apps for analogue film photography

Lately I am shooting analogue almost exclusively, trying to get unplugged. But since my old trusty iPhone 4s (IOS 8.1) is always with me I decided to try several apps to see if they can be useful for a film photography.

I completely dismissed image manipulating / organizing apps and focused only on those that, supposedly, can help with shooting film. After spending $ and time I have to say that majority of apps are just waste. But not all.
So here is my pick listed in order of typical photo workflow.

1. Prepare for the trip

TPE (The Photographer's Ephemeris)
This is great app. Useful for every outdoor photographer (film or digital). And one of the most expensive in my collection.

This app "helps you plan outdoor photography shoots in natural light, particularly landscape and urban scenes. It's a map-centric sun and moon calculator: see how the light will fall on the land, day or night, for any location on earth."

There is a learning curve, so be prepared to read/watch tutorials. Try fee desktop version first if not sure.

2. On location

Pocket Light Meter
I have already reviewed this little app and found it very useful. Works really well.

The latest version also includes colour temperature/white balance meter for iOS 8 devices. I tested this app against standard photo light meters (Minolta, Gossen, Nikon , etc) and readings are very accurate. If you like the app don't forget to send a good pint to developer :)

Manual Cam
This app gives you full manual control over the iPhone camera (manual focus, ISO, Shutter speed, EV). For iPhones with IOS 8 only.

I like exposure compensation in particular.
I was using this app to take test shots in B&W/square format, to see what the final photo will look like on the film. Like with Polaroid backs long time ago it saved me many frames.

iHandy Level
Yes, I have a tiny level on my tripod which is absolutely useless. I just can't level the camera with it. But this app does wonders.

Great free app, helps me a lot with keeping horizon level straightened.

Latest addition to my photo apps.

This app allows you to record film, camera, lens, aperture, shutter speed and GPS location of your photographs. My "Hasselblad" version:

But that's not all. Install companion PhotoExifDesktop, run it on your computer and select the folder with your film scans (jpegs or tiffs). Then tap on "Develop" and "Export" in the PhotoExif mobile app and both applications will communicate to let you add the information you recorded in the mobile app as EXIF data to your JPG or TIFF files. Isn't it cool? My LightRoom catalogue loves it.

Back home, final steps

Massive Dev
I develop B&W film myself, and this application, while not cheap, is absolutely a "must have" for me.

"The Massive Dev Chart is the world's largest film development chart with easy to use multi step timer and darkroom support for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. "
You can also save you own recipes. Great app.

At the end of the day you don't need any of those to enjoy analogue film photography.

All the best and thanks for dropping by,


*** I have absolutely no affiliation with products/companies listed above ***


  1. Good selection, I am using TPE a lot, very helpful.

  2. Thank you for review. I just tried Pocket LightMeter and was surprised how accurate it is. AlanS

    1. Thanks. Light Meter is probably my most used app.


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