Handy phone apps for analog photographers

Handy phone apps for analog photographers

Martin Wilmsen

This article lists several phone apps that I find useful for analog photographers. There are obviously many other apps out there, but I'm listing apps that I'm actually using myself only. If you are using other interesting apps, then leave a comment at the bottom to let us know. Sharing is caring :)

MyLightMeter PRO

Even if your camera has a built-in light meter, this app can be very useful. I have tried several different light meter apps, but found this particular one to be very accurate. I own a Sekonic lightmeter, and I compared the incident readings I got from it to the reflected readings I got with the app on my iPhone. And the results were almost always pretty much identical. Incident metering is measuring light that falls on to your meter, as opposed to metering light reflected from your subject. There are of course plenty of situations in which I would trust the readings from my Sekonic more, or where metering reflected light isn't useful at all (for example when shooting with flash/strobes). But for general outdoor use in daylight the app is absolutely fine. And you can leave your pro meter at home to save some weight and space in your bag. You can tap the center part for a larger/full screen view, and in that view you can tap a specific point on your screen to take a reading from just the selected area. Basically taking a spot reading as opposed to metering the entire scene.
You can actually use the app for incident meter readings too. This requires a diffuser/dome that you'll need to buy separately. I've never tried that though, as I'd rather use my Sekonic for that.
If you are new to photography, an app like MyLightMeter can help you understand the exposure triangle, i.e. how Aperture, Shutter speed and ISO affect eachother. This app is not free, but in my opinion it's well worth the 4 Euro that I paid for it.

MyLightMeter app
MyLightmeter app screenshot


Develop! lets you easily program multiple film developing recipes, i.e. the steps you need to take when you're developing your film. The app is basically a lab timer, but with quite a few advantages. I've been using this app for about a year now, and it does what I need it to do. It's straightforward without too many bells and whistles complicating its use. The app tells you when to start your next step in the process, e.g. when to agitate, when to blix, when to start rinsing and so on.
There's a visual indication - the screen will display the name of the next step - and you can configure the app to chime / make a sound when you need to do something. I use intermittent agitation quite often, and that really requires the use of a lab timer or it would be impossible to keep track of things. There are many other options available but this happens to be the one I found first, and I haven't felt the need to look for anything else as it works well.

Develop! app
Develop! app screenshot

Magic Film Viewfinder

I use Magic Film Viewfinder to check what my composition will look like with a particular film format, camera and lens combination. The app supports film formats 35mm, 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9 and 4x5. And it can simulate lenses from 5mm up to 300mm. This lets me check things without having to actually change lenses on my camera. I often use it to find which lens is best suitable for a composition I'm looking for. What I use the app for the most however, is when I'm shooting large format with my Cambo view camera. It lets me find where I should set up my tripod beforehand.
You can save photos for your reference with data such as focal length used, camera, lens and so on. The app further more lets you calculate Depth of Field with the set up that you have configured. Magic Film Viewfinder is free, unless you want the Premium version. I bought it for approximately 7 Euro for the indefinite licence.

Magic Film Viewfinder
Magic Film Viewfinder screenshot (210mm lens 4x5 film)


Filmlab lets you quickly inspect your negatives - viewing them as positives. I don't use it to actually convert negatives, just to give me a rough idea of what my photos will look like when I hang my negatives to dry. The results you get are very much depending on the conditions, e.g. the light, what's behind the negatives and so on. It does work, but it's a bit quirky to use. The app lets you take photos of your negatives so you can save those to your phone. It works with both black and white, and color film. Filmlab is approximately 6 Euro in the appstore.

Filmlab app
Filmlab app screenshot
Filmlab app
Actual screenshot of a roll of C200 that I developed in CS41


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