PhotoPar Userís Guide

1. General Information

2. Editing databases

3. The Formats Database

4. The Lenses Database

5. The Filters Database

6. The Reciprocity Tables database

7. The Films database

8. The Cameras database

9. Contextual Help

10. Final words


1. General Information

This module is necessary to edit all databases used by the Photographe 2.0 suite of applications for photographers using the PalmPilot.

PhotoPar is used to create, delete or change any entry in the six databases that Photographe 2.0 uses. These databases are:

You can create as many entries in each databases as your memory allow.

Using PhotoPar should be a one time event, when you first enter your photo equipment in Photographe 2.0. Once this is done, you can remove PhotoPar.prc to free some memory, the databases will remain in your Pilot and will be accessible by the Photographe 2.0 modules. In general, every module of the Photographe 2.0 family can be removed and re-installed from your Pilot's memory without affecting the databases, however, PhotoLIB.prc should NEVER be removed, as this would destroy your databases.

If you find yourself acquiring new equipment, or if you want to change some databases, you can download PhotoPar again in your Pilot at any time, do the change, and remove it. However, if memory is not a constraint, it is advisable to keep PhotoPar around all the time just in case you ever need to change something when you are away from your desktop.

2. Editing databases

The main screen of PhotoPar gives the user an entry point to all 6 databases. Six buttons are displayed with the current number of entries for each DB.

The first time PhotoPar is run, it creates sample entries in each databases. This can be used by you as a reference as to what information is needed for each DB type. Of course, you can delete all these sample entries and start fresh with your own. They won't be re-created next time you start PhotoPar.

To edit a DB, from the main screen, just tap on the corresponding button, this will bring you to the list view of the database selected, showing each entry as a single line with usually the description and the most relevant piece of information for each entry. For example, in the Films DB, the list view shows the description given for this film, and next to it, the ISO of the film. Some DB only show the description, and in order to see the full form, you have to open the entry.

In each DB, once in the list view, you simply need to tap on the entry you want to edit to bring it up. A form shows up with the selected entry information and from there you can edit it and tap OK to validate, or you can delete the entry altogether by taping Delete.

All this should not surprise any user already familiar with PalmPilot UI.

The sorting order of each DB is as follow:

The databases are guaranteed to be always sorted.

3. The Formats Database

This databases is used to describe all the possible film formats you are working with.

Each Format entry requires the following information:

NOTE: If you don't plan on using the Depth Of Field module in the Photographe 2.0 suite of applications for the PalmPilot, then you don't need to bother with the COC.

Also, please refer to the PhotoDOF Userís Guide fro more information about the Circle Of Confusion diameter and its meaning.

Here's a typical entry:

4. The Lenses Database

This databases is used to describe all the lenses you can possibly use and is one of the most important databases because it is used by both Depth Of Field and Logger (PhotoLog) modules.

Each Lens entry requires the following information:

The actual focal length is the REAL focal length for this lens, for example, the 45mm lens used by the Contax G cameras has an actual focal length of 48mm. If you don't know the actual focal length for your lenses, simply enter the published one. This is only to get more accurate results when using the Depth Of Field module, for example.

When creating an entry for a zoom lens, you can use the Focal Length entry empty, or you can enter the focal length most likely to be used with this zoom. Then in the two following fields, enter the mini and maxi limits for this zoom.

The other settings are self-explanatory.

If you use several films formats with the same lens, then you can create more than one entry per lens. For example, if you use a 4x5 camera with both 4x5 holders and a 6x9cm holder, and if your lens is a Schneider 150mm, then you can create two lens entries as follow:


Then, when using the Depth Of Field module, you'll just need to pick the right Lens/Format combination from the drop list. This way you can set up a different COC for your 4x5 and 6x9cm format.

5. The Filters Database

This is a simple database since the only requested information for your filters, beside the description, is the filter factors, expressed in stops. The filter factors can have up to one decimal. You can enter up to three factors per filters for the following light condition: Daylight, Tungsten and Strobe.

IMPORTANT: If you donít know the factors for Tungsten or Strobe (they are usually given only for Daylight) enter the same factor in each of the three fields. The difference is usually negligible, especially between Daylight and Strobe.

Typical filter entry:


6. The Reciprocity Tables database

This database allows you to enter your own reciprocity tables for your own films. This is a very powerful feature of the Logger (PhotoLog). The sample entry provided is the standard reciprocity table for standard films (other than T-Max), such as Tri-X, or Pan-F.

Each table can have an infinite number of points. Each point is a set of two durations expressed in seconds.

The standard knowledge of reciprocity for photographers is "if the meter tells you 1 sec, expose for 2 sec". You would therefore translate this into the following point: "Indicated exposure: 1 sec, Given exposure: 2 sec". That's all there is to it!

You can create your table with as many points as you want, ranging from 0.1 sec to thousands of seconds (hours).

Note: when the Logger (PhotoLog) computes the actual exposure required for a shot based on the reciprocity table, and if the given speed falls between two points, then a linear approximation is performed. In most cases, this ends up with an extremely accurate result, however, the more points you enter, the more accurate the result. This is especially true in the lower portion of the reciprocity curve, i.e. from 1 sec to 1 min.

Once a reciprocity table has been selected from the list view, another list view appears on the screen, with all the points already defined. Three buttons labelled New, Edit and Delete let you create new points, edit existing ones or delete them.

Another useful information is also given in this form, this is the number of stops that a particular point represents. For example, the point described by "1 sec gives 2 sec" represents a jump of one stop. Another point described by "15 sec gives 60 sec" represents a jump of 2 stops (time multiplied by 4).

This information is given in the Logger (PhotoLog) as well, and recorded in the final log in order to adjust development accordingly, or take decisions as to what luminance falls where, etc.

7. The Films database

In this database, you will enter all the different types of films you find yourself using. Information required to create a film entry is as follows:

IMPORTANT: If you donít know the personal EI for Tungsten or Strobe, enter the same value in each of the three fields for EI and reciprocity table. The difference is usually negligible, especially between Daylight and Strobe.

If no reciprocity table is given then the film is assumed to have a linear response to light, which is usually true for any film in the 1/8000 sec to 1/2 sec range, so if you only do handheld photography, don't bother with that.

The Personal EI parameter is YOUR EI index for that film. If you use several developers yielding several EIs, simply create one entry per combination, like:

Or if you use the same type of film in several formats, you can create the following entries:

And so forth.

8. The Cameras database

This database has one major role: to keep track of what camera configuration you are using right now, and is used by the Logger (PhotoLog).

Let's say that you are on a shooting trip, carrying two camera bodies. One 4x5 camera and one 35mm camera for casual shots. The following information will be remembered for each camera in use:

PhotoPar lets you inspect and change only the first four settings, the rest can be changed in PhotoLog.

So basically, on the field, you can log a few shots with your 35mm, then switch to the view camera, and all parameters listed above will return to their previous value for that camera. This is extremely convenient, and you can set up as many camera body configurations as desired.

9. Contextual Help

Help is available from the main screen by tapping on the little "i" icon on the bottom left corner of the screen, or by selecting Commands/Help from the Menu. Individual help screens are also available for each database from the new/edit form. Simply open one of the six databases, select an existing entry from the list or tap New, and from the form, tap the small "i" icon at the top right corner of the form, in the title area.

10. Final words

Any bug regarding bugs, crashes, or even user interface problems can be submitted to me at:

You can even send me nice things!

I worked hard at making this module easy to use and bullet proof, however, neither the PalmPilot OS nor me are infallible, and I am open to any suggestions and wish lists.

Please register this software, not only you will get rid of this nasty About box always coming in your way, but you will sleep better at night, and youíll have the right to flame me!