New app for making "exif notes"

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by team_player, May 26, 2016.

  1. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,408
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Tommi, just a quick update. I've been using this since landing in Iceland, it is so easy to use that one doesn't wish to not use it.

    Received the 1.9.3 update, thank you.

    Yesterday I was scrolling through some of the rolls of film, the information, although basic, was enough to give me a mental picture of just what I had shot and where and of course, when. This has revolutionised my note taking, which to be honest, was very scant in roll film format.

    Wondering how I'll adapt this program for my 4x5" cameras, twill be interesting.

    I have one question, will the application work where there is no phone reception?

    Still travelling in Iceland, where mobile phone coverage seems to be universal, or so I think, I'm wondering about when I get back to Australia where vast amounts of land where we often go to, have no mobile phone coverage for sometimes hundreds of square kilometres and in some cases, literally thousands of square kilometres.

    Still trying to give you a hot chocolate drink.

    Mick.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    team_player

    team_player Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    Location:
    Espoo, Finland
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hey Mick!

    Hope you've been having a great time in Iceland. I was there only for five days, but I will definitely visit again in a few years' time. It really is a fantastic and special sort of place. I came back with a couple of nice shots. One of them will probably make its way onto my apartment wall.

    Yes, the app will work without phone reception. It will also keep tracking your location using GPS when possible (only if you have location updates enabled of course). Maps inside the app won't work without internet however. You will be able to save your coordinates, but you won't be able to view locations on a map until you connect to the internet (e.g. a hotel wifi if you are travelling).

    I was trying to find a bearded guy with a Nikon film SLR while in Iceland, but couldn't find any. I guess they are becoming rarer and rarer. I appreciate your effort with the hot chocolate though, keep trying! :smile:

    -Tommi
     
  3. Jon Gilchrist

    Jon Gilchrist Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2017
    Location:
    Indiana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm a long-time user of some other apps, but recently changed phone service and the web-based one I was using is dead if you don't have a signal and I frequently lose signal (thanks T-Mobile.). I just installed Exif Notes and it looks good. I have a bunch of notes/requests based on my usage and observations. Just so you know where I am, in my last program I had created 41 cameras, 46 lenses, and logged 113 rolls of film in 22 months. Currently using a Samsung S7 Edge.

    Some observations about adding new gear:
    I don't seem to be able to set up a fixed lens camera, so I guess I have to create a lens entry for each camera and associate it. Not the end of the world, but most of my cameras are fixed lens.

    When I set up a lens, sometimes the first aperture is not a full stop but the camera only has full stop clicks. For instance, Bronica 150mm f3.5 starts at f3.5 but has f4 and only has full stops from f4 to f22. The way around this would be to ask for the widest aperture, then the full stop range. So for this lens I'd have to enter 3.5, 4, 22. Many 50mm do the same thing when they have 1.8 or 1.7 for the widest aperture, or they skip 2.

    Can the default for aperture stops be changed (or have a setting) to 1-stop instead of 1/3-stop? I've never seen a lens with 1/3 stops other than at widest aperture, and most of my lenses do not even have half stops.

    The "Add new frame" UI is cumbersome. For me, the most important items are Aperture and Shutter Speed, but those are so far down the page that I have to scroll to get to Shutter Speed. Things that I'm not likely to need to change (Date, Time, Location, Focal Length, Compensation, No of Exposures) should all be further down the page. Also, the "Add" button being at the top would avoid the problem with the keyboard covering the form. There is a lot of wasted space on the form, ideally the whole Add New Frame dialog would fit on a single phone screen. I'd be happy to help out with a page design.

    The frames list should sort in reverse order so the most recent frame is at the top of the list. I can't find a way to do this and sorting by date still puts the frames from the same date in frame number order.

    I have other ideas for useful features, but don't want to make this too long (like it already is) and don't want to sound like I'm complaining. From what I've seen and used so far, this is a great app. Feel free to PM or email me with questions.

    -Jon
     
  4. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,408
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    Some interesting observations there.

    With regard to having the whole add new frame fit onto a single screen may be fine for people with good eyesight and a whopping big screen, a bit of scrolling, actually a flick of a finger, is easy as anything.

    Having the frames running from first down to last is a natural fit for me, when it is in a printed out form after being in a spreadsheet, this also looks normal. I realise you think differently and may wish for an added feature of being able to reverse the frame feature, but I sure do not wish this.

    Mick.
     
  5. Jon Gilchrist

    Jon Gilchrist Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2017
    Location:
    Indiana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In a printout or spreadsheet, of course. I just want to be able to look at the list on my phone when I'm out shooting and have the most recent shots visible. That has helped in the past when something was not set right and I could see the settings. It should be a simple matter to allow people to sort as they wish, I certainly wouldn't want to mandate it for everyone.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    team_player

    team_player Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    Location:
    Espoo, Finland
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi Jon,

    thanks for the feedback and welcome to the forum!

    I have gotten feedback from multiple users about the order of items on the frame edit window. Aperture and shutter speed seem to be the most important ones, so I will probably try and move them to top of the list. The solution of fitting all items in one single view could be problematic, as this would make texts and buttons appear very small. I will also add new items for new functionalities in the future, so the number of items is likely to go up.

    I wasn’t able to recreate the issue, where frames from the same date are sorted by frame number when sorting by date is selected. If frames have the same date and time (to the minute), then yes, frame number will then be used to sort these frames. By the way, the date and time are formatted ’yyyy-M-d H:m’.

    I could add descending sort options to the ’Sort by’ options menu. The default option would still be frame number ascending, as many users are already used to this. I’d like to point out however, that after having clicked on a roll the app will always jump to the last frame defined by the sort order. So if you have sort by frame number selected, the app will jump to the end of the list to show the frame with the highest frame number. And when adding new frames the app will jump to display the newly added frame regardless of sort order.

    I could also add the functionality of adding fixed lens cameras. This has been on my to-do list for a while (among many other features).

    I haven’t really done much developing these past few weeks. I’ve been trying to enjoy the brief but sweet Finnish summer. In the autumn when the days are short and the nights are long I will probably spend more time inside writing code.
     
  7. Ivo Stunga

    Ivo Stunga Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Location:
    Riga, Latvia
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hello once again!

    Just a quick idea - maybe the Film Rolls screen could show a little more information? Meaning - if user inputs more text than fits on screen on given font size, maybe the font size could then shrink to adapt and display some more info? Or just be smaller?

    Because after I insert "YY.Roll No. in that year - Film Used - Description" - I for example can hardly see that description on what's in the roll.

    And maybe all the info that's provided when making a new roll, could be exported in the Exif Tool commands file in the beginning or after the commands for user to be able to identify the roll later by doing some indexed search?

    And one more thing that I deal with every time when doing data import into my TIF files:
    It would be nice to have an option to offset the Frame count number in app to match frame numbers imprinted on film. For example - one batch can end up on frame 0 as first photo on the physical roll, but other batch - on 00. And on rare cases - on frame No. 1. By doing the same manual roll insertion operation to the millimetre - each time. But in the app I always start with 0. So, taking all those imprinted numbering issues into account, it would be nice for app to feature an offset option, so the entered data could match the frame described on film. Otherwise I often end up describing frame No. 0, when on actual film it refers to frame No. 00 or 1.
    And that would help to correct other user errors - like misnumbering, forgetting to add frame, etc.

    And thanks again for the amazing experience!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
  8. OP
    OP
    team_player

    team_player Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    Location:
    Espoo, Finland
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks again for providing great feedback, Ivo! And sorry for my late reply. I've just come back from my summer holiday yesterday. I will resume developing the app in autumn this year, so new updates will probably start rolling out at that time. I've been accumulating new feature requests from users the entire summer. So now I have quite a long backlog of features to introduce. :D

    I will investigate the features you have suggested as well. They shouldn't be too hard to implement.
     
  9. Ivo Stunga

    Ivo Stunga Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Location:
    Riga, Latvia
    Shooter:
    35mm
  10. OP
    OP
    team_player

    team_player Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    Location:
    Espoo, Finland
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Heh, thanks for that Ivo! :D Btw, that's a nice looking phone you have there. I'm guessing the audio quality on that one is really good since it's a Marshall. :wink:

    And don't worry, I haven't given up on developing Exif Notes and I am still actively following this thread. I seriously planned to continue developing this autumn, but I had no idea I would be THIS busy at work. Luckily it's beginning to settle down again. And thank goodness we have a thing called 'working hours bank' here in Finland (if you're interested: https://www.ekonomit.fi/web/en/working-hours-bank). Suffice it to say I could take an additional month long paid leave this winter...

    After a long period of not doing anything to the app it's becoming increasingly hard to start again. Not in the sense that I'm not interested, it's just a matter of having enough time and energy. There's no point in doing one hour here and there, because you simply won't get anything substantial done that way. Optimally you would be able to dedicate 10-15 hours (in total) on consecutive days, for example at weekends. Usually this is enough time to introduce a significant new feature. And sadly this hasn't been possible in a long while, but hopefully that's about to change soon!
     
  11. Ivo Stunga

    Ivo Stunga Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Location:
    Riga, Latvia
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Yeah, absolutely - the sound is marvelous. Both - from on-board speakers and headphones. Best sounding phone even as of now. Sadly - the rest is not on par. Not even close.
    GPS is non-existent almost, so that affects this app too. But it's ok, can live with imperfections
    : )


    Have a blast! Jealous of your working hours bank. Latvia has a millennia of development in front to reach Finlands levels of awesome. To come even close. Soviet breath is still here sadly. But, oh well, we're alive and having this awesome app and film to shoot, thanks!
     
  12. OP
    OP
    team_player

    team_player Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    Location:
    Espoo, Finland
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hey everyone, I have some great news. I finally found some time and energy to do a bit of developing. I have just uploaded v1.9.4 to Google Play Store, and it should be available to download shortly. I added a few things which were quite easy and quick to implement. Here's a list of the changes:
    • In ExifTool commands, the frame count is now preceded by *_ to ensure, that only correct frames are being updated by ExifTool. Make sure you use underscore as the delimiter before the frame count in your filenames.
    • Ensured compatibility with Android Oreo.
    • Moved the aperture and shutter speed properties higher up in the frame edit dialog because these properties are changed frequently.
    • Added option to app's settings to ignore minor errors and warnings when writing EXIF information with ExifTool.
    I still have a long backlog of features to introduce. Here are some of the features still to come:
    • Batch editing the frame count for all frames of a roll
    • Possibility of a frame having multiple filters
    • Exceptional max apertures (e.g. f/1.7 and f/1.9)
    • Fixed lens cameras
    • Adding complementary pictures to frames with the phone's camera
    So I will be adding these features among others some time in the future. Also, at some point, I will likely convert the app's Java source code to Kotlin to keep things interesting and to make the code more compact and expressive.
     
  13. rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,349
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Location:
    West virginia, USA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Any chance this will make it to iOS?
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,408
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Having the aperture and shutter speed on the first window you look at (so to speak) is certainly better.
    Many thanks.
    Mick.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    team_player

    team_player Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    Location:
    Espoo, Finland
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi, and thanks for asking. Sadly, I don't have the resources (mainly time, know-how and an iPhone :D ) to create an iOS version of this app. Luckily, there are already some good applications on iOS that do the same thing. I've heard good things about PhotoExif, although I haven't tried it myself.
     
  17. Ivo Stunga

    Ivo Stunga Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Location:
    Riga, Latvia
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hello there again! Have a quick idea to consider!

    Maybe it would be useful to make a Development module in your app? Say, you're developing your film yourself and of course - in the end - you want to know which development recipe, agitation and timing gave what results. Because they both affect your work strongly. Recipes could be populated from Massive Dev Chart or other database, or custom-made - step-by-step - by hand - required for some multi-step, multi-dev recipes.

    So, you would have your list of rolls, and you would have your DEV module with recipes and their respective ratio/dilution calculators.

    User would then combine defined recipe to a roll, and this combo could then be imported in Caption or Comments, or some other EXIF field, constructing a simple sentence that's used in WEB: {Film} in {Developer} for {Development Time} or something like that, or/and use FilmDev format. Like shown here: http://filmdev.org/recipe/finder/?find=HP5++in+HC110

    Result - awesome app made even more awesome by combining notes on shooting and development, its timing. So, you would have Exif Notes + Dilution Calculator + Development Timer in one app. Would be sweet in theory, huh? You could then take a quick snap of your drying strip to add to the information of roll for a quick glance...
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  18. BabakFarshchian

    BabakFarshchian Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
    Location:
    Norway
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Groups:
    Retained comments ++

    Hi everyone. Thanks a lot Tommi for this wonderful app and sharing it with us! It has become a permanent partner in my photo tours (though there aren't many of them right now in -15 c degrees in Norway:smile:.

    After having used the app for some time now, here are some humble suggestions for improvement from my side.

    1) A way of setting same comment on all frames i a roll: there might be a way of doing it but I have not found it. It would be nice to have a standard comment field for all frames, e.g. type of film or developer. This can be either set at the roll level or at the first frame and retained for the rest of the frames in the roll unless you delete it. For instance, the same way you retain lens and aperture values from frame to frame, you could also retain the comment (though it would be easier to have a "frame comment" field set at roll level). This "roll comment" can then be appended to the Exif comment of each frame.

    2) Easier setting of coordinates: The process now is that you have to click on the location field, go into a map, click on your location and get an address or coordinate (is there an easier way already? I did not find it). I suggest to also have a faster options. For instance, have two buttons in the location field, one called "fetch coordinates" that does it without going to a map, and one called "set address" where you can go to a map and find an address as you do now.

    3) Archiving developed rolls: My list of film rolls gets longer and I hate to delete the developed films (I hate to delete anything:smile:. Can we have an option for either archiving (so the roll can disappear and go into an "archived rolls" list) or just mark them as hidden?

    4) Multiple film backs on multiple bodies: I also have an issue with my Hasselblad bodies and backs (I have two old V bodies and two film backs). The app does not allow film to be moved between bodies. I am not sure how to implement it and if it is worth spending time on it. I just add all the two film backs to the same body for now. It works but I don't know which frame was shot with which body. (I also have a Canon Elan IIe that allows you to rewind and take out the 35 film roll in the middle of shooting for e.g. shifting between two film speeds, I have not tried that feature yet).

    That's all for now. Keep up the good work!
     
  19. OP
    OP
    team_player

    team_player Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    Location:
    Espoo, Finland
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks so much for the suggestions! And sorry for my late reply. I still read your comments and suggestions. :D

    There are so many new features I'd like to introduce to Exif Notes. At some point I'll probably make a completely new and separate version of the app (Exif Notes 2 for example). There are many things I would do differently (and better) now under the hood.

    @BabakFarshchian: Welcome to the thread and thanks for your comments! The archival of film rolls is such a clever idea! This makes it to close to the top of my backlog/priority list. As to the setting of coordinates: if you have enabled location updates in the app's settings and you have allowed the app access to your location data, then the coordinates should be set automatically when you add a new frame. At least this is how it is intended to work and how it works with my testing phones. You can later edit or clear the location of any frame. Let me know if you continue to experience problems with the locations.
     
  20. BabakFarshchian

    BabakFarshchian Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
    Location:
    Norway
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Groups:
    Thanks! I see the location update in the settings now. I will give it a try in my next photo tour!