LensKit is a new iOS app that gives you the option to try out many different cameras and lenses to see how they work together and it will even help visualize the photograph for you by displaying a simulation.
, is based in New York City. It has a large database of lenses, adapters and cameras that can be assembled to show which lenses are compatible with what camera. Based on your camera’s model, it will calculate the equivalent focal length.
Ray spoke to PetaPixel and explained that LensKit grew from a need to keep track of the ever-more complex specifications of digital cameras.
“I first started working in filmmaking just after the transition from film to digital. While film cameras were not without their peculiarities, digital cameras offered more variety. The Vermont native says that they were easier tools and had less information to remember.
Ray says that filmmakers need to know more tech specs on the spot and with new cameras being released every year it can be difficult to keep up with the various sensor sizes, recording formats, and dynamic range.
” In college I created a spreadsheet to cover the different cameras used in school’s film program. Eventually, it grew to include all the major cameras filmmakers were using, at which point the spreadsheet was getting pretty unwieldy, and it slowly became the CameraKit app.”
LensKit is a natural extension of the same idea, allowing the user to combine lenses with a camera body to see a field of view or the focal length, something that could come in especially handy for a busy filmmaker.
Handy for Photographers
While the app is geared more toward moving stills, Ray says that the tools in LensKit are useful for photographers as well.
“The lens specs I included in this first release are all cinema lenses, but I definitely plan on adding stills lenses in the future, as plenty of filmmakers (myself included) use them often.”
App With a Purpose
Ray is a cinematographer and colorist who splits his time 50-50 between freelance works and app development, and he originally made the apps to use himself.
I believe that this is the most compelling reason to create a product. You know your goals, care about it, and care about its maintenance .”
The app consists of lenses from Arri, Canon, Cook, Leica, Zeiss, Irix, Laowa, Panavision, Rokinon, Sirui, Tokina and others, with complete specifications for all of the lenses, with the exception of some missing info from Panavision.
LensKit doesn’t just show the number but uses a clever coverage overlay that displays a lens’s image circle over the selected camera’s sensor to make sure your selected shooting mode is covered.
You’re even able to set things such as how far away you are from the subject or get the Super 35 equivalent focal length for what you’re using and it has a depth of field tool.