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Palm Computer Software Tools
For Photographers

Owners of Pocket PCs can find a review of comparable programs here.

Focus+

For many photographers the passing of the days when all lenses had depth of field scales is lamented. There are, of course, books of DOF tables available and also pocket slide rules. But, if you own a Palm there is now a wonderful alternative called Focus+.

This program is extremely simple to use yet offers tremendous flexibility. You are able to create a database of all of the lenses that you own and use and also to pre-set the Circle of Confusion (degree of un-sharpness) preferred for each lens or format.

The program offers several different modes of operation. The Hyperfocal screen shows three columns; The left-most column shows the aperture, the middle column the nearest point that will be in focus and the rightmost column the hyperfocal distance to set on your lens so that everything from the near point to infinity is in focus at that given aperture.

User settings on this screen include the lens used (selectable from a table), the Circle of Confusion desired (if different from what you establish in the lens database) and whether to show distances for full, half or third stops.

A Depth of Field screen shows near and far points at any aperture and focus distance, and has all of the settable variables described above.

Finally, the Calculate screen is useful if you have the near and far points that you want in focus. When these are entered it shows you to point of optimum focus and aperture needed.

Focus+ can be downloaded from several Palm sites including Bitware and can be evaluated without charge for 14 days. If you decide to keep it you can register on-line for $17.95 and receive a password that allows continued use of the program.

If you own a PalmPilot and are serious about photography I can't think of a more useful software product product to enhance your technical versatility.

For more on Understand Depth of Field you should read this new tutorial.

Moon Phase & SOL II

I usually plan my photographic trips to coincide with a full moon. The few days each month around a full moon it rises and sets just before and just after sunrise and sunset, offering numerous opportunities for some striking images. 

Sunset at The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, 1999

While there are several good PC programs for determining these times a very handy program for the Pilot is Moon Phase. Combined with SOL II you are able to quickly establish the phase of the moon for any date as well as the exact times of the moon's and the sun's rise and set for any location. 

SOL II is shareware and costs $9.95 to register while Moon Phase is freeware and may be downloaded without charge.

Moon Phase    Sol! II Screens

I wouldn't be without either of these programs when working on location. In fact, if you don't already own a Palm Computer these three programs are probably enough reason to purchase one.

Owners of Pocket PCs can find a review of comparable programs here.


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Concepts: Depth of field, Science of photography, Circle of confusion, Hyperfocal distance, Moon, Focus, Aperture, Optics

Entities: Michael Reichmann, Moon Phase, SOL II, Focus+, Palm, Pocket PCs

Tags: shows, column, aperture, SOL II, Moon Phase, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, pocket slide rules, Palm, useful software product, good pc programs, hyperfocal distance, wonderful alternative, settable variables, tremendous flexibility, field scales, Hyperfocal screen, lens database, rightmost column, optimum focus, middle column, Calculate screen, nearest point, 14 days, left-most column, different modes, focus distance, Palm sites, technical versatility, new tutorial, Field screen, Palm Computer, photographic trips, Pocket PCs, comparable programs, numerous opportunities, exact times, handy program, offers, Bristlecone, striking images