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Author Topic: Digital Transitions Visualizer Beta - Lens Equivalency Made Easy  (Read 5325 times)
Doug Peterson
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« on: May 09, 2012, 10:01:50 AM »
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Announcing "Visualizer"
Digital Transitions is pleased to announce a public beta or our new "Visualizer". This free web app helps answer questions like "I use a 24mm lens on my 5DIII, what lens is similar when using an IQ180?"

Click Here for Digital Transitions Visualizer

We'd Love Your Feedback!
This is a beta version and we are very eager for real world feedback and bug reports. You can leave them right here in this thread or if you wish to have more privacy you can email them to (dep@digitaltransitions.com) or use the built-in [Feedback / Questions] button in the Web App (upper right corner).

Current Widest Lens Allowed
In the Beta the widest lens allowed is the equivalent of a 18mm on a FF dSLR. Before the final launch next month we will allow for up to the equivalent of 14mm on a FF dSLR.

Unique Features
Many such tools already exist. Here is why the Digital Transitions Visualizer is unique:
- Free and Does Not Require Download. Other tools (e.g. iPhone Apps) require download to computer
- Does not require any 3rd Party Apps. Other tools require applications like Excel to open.
- Medium/Large Format Friendly. Includes names of digital backs rather than sensor sizes (e.g. "36mm x 48mm") which are confusing to those new to MFDB.
- Easy to Link to. Questions can be answered on forums simply by linking to this web app.
- Mobile and Desktop Friendly. Other tools are mobile only or only work well on desktops.
- Uses an Actual Photograph. What a concept right? Rather than rely only on numbers the app shows you what a certain combo looks like.
- Uses Common Photographic Terms. Visual cues show "wide", "normal", and "long" ranges rather than numerical AOV.
- Flexible. By default the lenses will be matched automatically by diagonal AOV. But click "Auto Match Lenses" and you can manually tweak each lens. This allows the user to easily and intuitively see width or height rather than diagonal AOV, or to select specific lenses rather than theoretical lengths.

Known Issues
- "Submit" button for feedback is sometimes slightly outside the white "paper"
- When simulating "very long" lenses the quality of the preview is not great. We hope to improve this modestly without sacrificing load-time.
- Pushing the back button in the browser may result in a strange bug where the window is doubled up

Successfully Tested On
- Chrome 18.0 / OSX 10.7.3
- Safari 5.1 / OSX 10.7.3
- Firefox 11.0 / OSX 10.7.3
- iPhone 4s / iOS 5.1.1

Failed Testing On
- iPad 1

Not Yet Tested On
- iPad 2 or iPad 3
- iPhone 3, 3g, 4
- Android
- Any browser on Windows

Already Planned Future Improvements
- a help/intro screen which provides basic instructions to help first time users
- inclusion of Leica S2 and M9 cameras
- a Print size feature which compares the size of prints from the two systems at a given resolution.
- other major features we won't discuss until they are closer to being ready

If you have additional ideas for improvements we can make, other cameras we should list (e.g. 4/3rds cameras? iPhone?), or other ideas please let us know! You can leave your feedback on this thread and I promise we will read it!

Registration Page
- When you first launch the app it will ask for your information in exchange for your free use of the app. It only asks for this once, and remembers you after that (no need for a username/password).
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
Dealer for Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Profoto
Office: 877.367.8537
Cell: 740.707.2183
Phase One IQ250 FAQ
Doug Peterson
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2012, 10:09:23 AM »
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Here are two screen grabs so you know what it should look like after you've logged in to the Digital Transitions Visualizer.


« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 11:19:45 AM by Doug Peterson » Logged

DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
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henrikfoto
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2012, 11:13:11 AM »
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Works very well on my iPad 1 with latest software.

Henrik
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2012, 11:23:35 AM »
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Works very well on my iPad 1 with latest software.

Perhaps the iPad 1 I tested on wasn't up to date?

My experience was it worked well for a while and then would lock up.
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
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Office: 877.367.8537
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James Clark
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2012, 11:34:06 AM »
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Works on my iPad 1 as well. Scaled from widest to longest with no issue.

Very cool little tool!
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JonMo
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 12:48:23 PM »
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I found it funny that to register to use the program that I had to pick a US State or "not in North America"
I had always thought Canada was part of North America.
 Wink
Like the program, will we be able to compare something like the IQ140 to a 5D mark II in the future?
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2012, 01:10:38 PM »
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I found it funny that to register to use the program that I had to pick a US State or "not in North America"
I had always thought Canada was part of North America.
 Wink

Doh! I'll correct that.

Like the program, will we be able to compare something like the IQ140 to a 5D mark II in the future?

You can do that now! Maybe it's not obvious enough that you can click the name of the camera in the upper left and select a different one? Or maybe there is a bug preventing you from seeing the full list of cameras when you click on the name of the camera? Let me know!
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
Dealer for Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Profoto
Office: 877.367.8537
Cell: 740.707.2183
Phase One IQ250 FAQ
jimgolden
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2012, 03:20:49 PM »
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very useful, thx doug
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ondebanks
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2012, 04:33:39 PM »
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Doh! I'll correct that.

Or you could Blame Canada.

Ray
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dizzyg44
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2012, 05:09:50 PM »
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Here's feedback,

less people than usual will use it if their personal info is mandatory just to use it, gives off the vibe that it's more of a marketing contact ploy than a useful tool.

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ondebanks
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2012, 05:48:44 PM »
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Some feedback here too.

I like the concept but 3 things could be better or extended:

1) We still need to be able to enter a sensor size by its dimensions in mm - since there are so many formats that are not included. What about our square digital backs, for example? Rather than you (Doug) going crazy trying to remember all formats that cameras and film have ever been made, just let us enter the numbers freely.

2) I think it's completely pointless having a long list of cameras, all with the same sensor size: surely "Full-frame 35mm" catches all cameras of that nature. And so on for APS-C, etc.

3) This tool tells me that say, a 45mm on 645 film gives the same image as a 28mm lens on a 5DII. But the other relationship that one needs to Visualize is - when I put my 45mm 645 lens on say an APS-C camera, what's the equivalent-focal-length-in-35mm terms? Crop factor stuff, in other words.

Ray
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 02:57:40 AM by ondebanks » Logged
Doug Peterson
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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2012, 08:43:54 AM »
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1) We still need to be able to enter a sensor size by its dimensions in mm - since there are so many formats that are not included. What about our square digital backs, for example? Rather than you (Doug) going crazy trying to remember all formats that cameras and film have ever been made, just let us enter the numbers freely.

Point taken. If it's reasonably possible I will implement an option for "custom" (i.e. user defined) format size to accommodate some of the more unusual formats. It's a great suggestion.

2) I think it's completely pointless having a long list of cameras, all with the same sensor size: surely "Full-frame 35mm" catches all cameras of that nature. And so on for APS-C, etc.

That's really there specifically because many of the target users would be very new to medium format. We get a lot of questions about which size each back is. Heck it took me a couple weeks when I first started the job to reliably remember which of the backs was 1.1, 1.3, 1.5 crop etc.

So while I respect it doesn't make a lot of sense for a more seasoned user like yourself, I'm pretty sure we'll keep it that way.

3) This tool tells me that say, a 45mm on 645 film gives the same image as a 28mm lens on a 5DII. But the other relationship that one needs to Visualize is - when I put my 45mm 645 lens on say an APS-C camera, what's the equivalent-focal-length-in-35mm terms? Crop factor stuff, in other words.

This tool can tell you that. You simply select APS-C in the first slot and a 5DII in the second slot and set the lens on the APS-C to be 45mm (after all it doesn't matter if the 45mm lens was made for APS-C, FF35, or large format - it's still a 45mm). It will show the equivalent is around 72mm for FF-35mm, which qualifies as a "portrait" (or "tad longer than normal" lens). I'm attaching the relevant screengrab. Do you have any suggestions on how we could make it more clear how to accomplish this? The hardest part of any program (for me at least) is making the user interface as intuitive as possible, even for users who don't yet 100% understand what it means to be an "equivalent" lens.
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
Dealer for Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Profoto
Office: 877.367.8537
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2012, 07:58:39 PM »
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This is something really great which builds on and compliments the excel doc you made while at CI. Speaking as someone who is entirely self taught via the internet, its really great to have access to tools like these when trying to figure things out and understand differences and similarities. I know that after discovering the CI excel doc things made a lot more sense when trying to understand focal lengths, especially on larger formats. It helps to bring things into perspective which is really great.
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ondebanks
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2012, 07:52:06 AM »
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Point taken. If it's reasonably possible I will implement an option for "custom" (i.e. user defined) format size to accommodate some of the more unusual formats. It's a great suggestion.

Great, glad you agree on that point.

That's really there specifically because many of the target users would be very new to medium format. We get a lot of questions about which size each back is. Heck it took me a couple weeks when I first started the job to reliably remember which of the backs was 1.1, 1.3, 1.5 crop etc.

So while I respect it doesn't make a lot of sense for a more seasoned user like yourself, I'm pretty sure we'll keep it that way.

To clarify, I wasn't including any of the digital back sizes in that suggestion to consolidate the lists - just the 35mm/FF & APS-C cameras. Surely the MF-curious newbies will be coming from the perspective of familiarity with those ubiquitous smaller formats.

This tool can tell you that. You simply select APS-C in the first slot and a 5DII in the second slot and set the lens on the APS-C to be 45mm (after all it doesn't matter if the 45mm lens was made for APS-C, FF35, or large format - it's still a 45mm).

Doh, yes of course. Where was my brain when I wrote that?

Do you have any suggestions on how we could make it more clear how to accomplish this? The hardest part of any program (for me at least) is making the user interface as intuitive as possible, even for users who don't yet 100% understand what it means to be an "equivalent" lens.

You know that "Auto Match Lenses" button? It's not obvious what parameter it is matching, so I would relabel it "Auto Match Lenses' Field of View" (or "Auto Match Lenses for Same Photo Appearance" if you think that's less intimidating for newbies).

And I would add another button/function: "Equalize Focal Lengths to Visualize Crop Factor". This would simply lock the 2 buttons' values to be the same, as you slide them around. That would mean you could see the crop differences of different sensor sizes, without having to pull the 2 sliders around individually to coincide at the same numerical value.

Of course, in your code, you'd have to make selecting the 2 buttons mutually exclusive.

Finally, maybe a footnote could go into all that white space on the lower right, explaining/disclaiming that many other properties of lens/format comparisons, like depth-of-field differences and resolution, are not addressed by this Visualizer.

Ray
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gerald.d
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2012, 10:02:30 AM »
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Any chance of going wider, or are you limited by the sample image?
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gerald.d
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2012, 10:06:26 AM »
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Sorry, couple more things.

Can the match-lens thing have options for diagonal, horizontal, and vertical FoV's?

This is very cool by the way. Nice work Smiley

/edit
and more film options please Smiley 5x7 large format, and the other 6x MF options (up to and including 6x17 would be nice!)
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 10:08:52 AM by gerald.d » Logged
Doug Peterson
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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2012, 10:37:33 AM »
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Any chance of going wider, or are you limited by the sample image?

Yes and Yes.

We plan on shooting a just-for-this-tool test image using a 14mm on a FF dSLR. I do not plan on shooting anything wider, but that should cover the vast majority of possibilities.
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
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Office: 877.367.8537
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2012, 10:43:57 AM »
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Sorry, couple more things.

Can the match-lens thing have options for diagonal, horizontal, and vertical FoV's?

This is very cool by the way. Nice work Smiley

/edit
and more film options please Smiley 5x7 large format, and the other 6x MF options (up to and including 6x17 would be nice!)

Thanks. I'll gladly include 5x7 and 6x17 in the final version. I received a few (private) requests for 6x17, but you're the first to ask for 5x7, so when it's included - it's entirely for you  Grin.

Re: Diagonal/horizontal/vertical - the central struggle of designing this was to allow flexibility while keeping the user interface simple and intuitive. I don't claim to be a software designer so you can imagine it's not easy for me! The "auto match lenses" button, when unchecked, allows the user to slide the lenses back and forth freely without being locked to each other. That allows the user to quickly match the horizontal or vertical aspects. I also considered a drop-down for vertical/horizontal/diagonal.

I think now based on some great feedback I will change the phrasing to "Auto Match Lenses By [select] View" where [select] is a drop down that allows vertical, horizontal, or diagonal. This should also make it more intuitive what that checkbox does in the first place.
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2012, 10:49:07 AM »
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Great, glad you agree on that point.

To clarify, I wasn't including any of the digital back sizes in that suggestion to consolidate the lists - just the 35mm/FF & APS-C cameras. Surely the MF-curious newbies will be coming from the perspective of familiarity with those ubiquitous smaller formats.

That's a good point. We will add several more of the smaller cameras, as well as a few 4/3rds-ish sized cameras and we now have some ideas about how we can include the actual sensor size as a visual cue, without overcomplicating the interface for novice users.

You know that "Auto Match Lenses" button? It's not obvious what parameter it is matching, so I would relabel it "Auto Match Lenses' Field of View" (or "Auto Match Lenses for Same Photo Appearance" if you think that's less intimidating for newbies).

Agreed. It's not clear enough what it does based on how we have named it! That has been a central theme of the feedback we've received. See my above post where your advice and some other feedback has taken me for naming that button.

And I would add another button/function: "Equalize Focal Lengths to Visualize Crop Factor". This would simply lock the 2 buttons' values to be the same, as you slide them around. That would mean you could see the crop differences of different sensor sizes, without having to pull the 2 sliders around individually to coincide at the same numerical value.

Of course, in your code, you'd have to make selecting the 2 buttons mutually exclusive.

I have something in mind to intuitively show sensor crop factors, but it isn't this direction. Still I think you'll be pleased when it comes (not that you personally need it).

Finally, maybe a footnote could go into all that white space on the lower right, explaining/disclaiming that many other properties of lens/format comparisons, like depth-of-field differences and resolution, are not addressed by this Visualizer.

Ah, but I have secret plans for that white space (long term)!

But I think based on feedback we will include a bit more of an introduction on the same screen you log in with. And/or a short (30 sec) youtube video which explains how to use the tool and what it does and does not tell you.
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
Dealer for Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Profoto
Office: 877.367.8537
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gerald.d
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« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2012, 12:03:46 PM »
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Yes and Yes.

We plan on shooting a just-for-this-tool test image using a 14mm on a FF dSLR. I do not plan on shooting anything wider, but that should cover the vast majority of possibilities.

Great for now. When I finally sort out getting my Hartblei, I'll shoot something with the Canon 17mm TS-E on the IQ180 for you if you want Smiley
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