Being a nerd, a pedant, and a Virgo, it’s painful to me to see terminology misused. Like when people say that a lens or photo has “a lot of depth-of-field” when they really mean a “shallow” depth-of-field, for instance.
I am destined to go through life constantly disappointed (and of course making my own dumb mistakes), but at least the depth-of-field problem has now been solved: there’s an app for that, and it’s called Lens•Lab.
Lens•Lab is anything but pretty – it looks like somebody designed it for Windows XP and then sprinkled on every iOS control element they could find – but it is effective.
The app lets you interact with a notional scene from the side, and see just which parts will be in focus depending on the distance of the subject from the camera, the focal length of the lens and the aperture. You can also pick the camera’s sensor size, and toggle most of the informational overlays on and off to make things clearer.
The adjustments can be done with sliders, but you can also pinch and swipe the scene directly, which really gives a great deal of immediacy to the tool.
Okay, so it might not stop people saying that “Your photo is awesome! It has tons of depth-of-field!” but it will at least show them how the optics and sensor size fit together with distance to define just what parts of a picture will be in acceptable focus.
Better still, it’s free for this week.