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Author Topic: How do you determine the focal length you use most often?  (Read 4565 times)

lilmsmaggie

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How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« on: May 15, 2013, 04:28:34 PM »
I submitted the text of the subject line via a Google search.  The following was returned among the search results.  It was phrased much better than my original query, so I figure, what the heck why not use it instead:

"Many people recommend a focal length of 35mm, 50mm, and sometimes even 85mm and upwards for those interested in purchasing a prime lens. I, however, would like to figure out what focal length(s) I use most often, and then purchase a prime with that approximate focal length.

Is there a piece of software that will analyze thousands of photos and then tell me how many times I used a certain focal length?"



I don't have Lightroom installed and I don't recall how useful Adobe Bridge is at performing this type of analysis.
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How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« on: May 15, 2013, 04:28:34 PM »

Normalnorm

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Re: How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2013, 04:38:27 PM »
I use LR to do this.
In the library view I choose the metadata tag at the top of the page and I can see in an instant what the distribution of FLs for a set of images.
I used this to justify NOT buying a lens when I see that I rarely use a certain FL in a zoom.

As for Bridge, it will show the info (I think)in the sidebar at the left.
Like this below.

lilmsmaggie

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Re: How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2013, 04:59:07 PM »
I'll have to look a bit closer but I'm not getting focal length or aperture as a filter type in Adobe Bridge CS3.




I use LR to do this.
In the library view I choose the metadata tag at the top of the page and I can see in an instant what the distribution of FLs for a set of images.
I used this to justify NOT buying a lens when I see that I rarely use a certain FL in a zoom.

As for Bridge, it will show the info (I think)in the sidebar at the left.
Like this below.
5DMKII, T3i, 24-105L, 100 2.8L Macro, 70-300 4-5.6L

neuroanatomist

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Re: How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2013, 05:26:25 PM »
Doesn't apply to you, but I use Aperture, and a little app called Aperture Inspector to pull all sorts of stats from my libraries.
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lilmsmaggie

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Re: How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2013, 07:34:38 PM »
This looks promising and the price is right -- free   :)  !


http://www.vandel.nl/exposureplot.html


One small gotcha -- in order for ExposurePlot to analyze the metadata, the files must be in jpeg format.

Its a start ...
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 07:48:40 PM by lilmsmaggie »
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Hobby Shooter

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Re: How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2013, 06:46:26 AM »
I use LR to do this.
In the library view I choose the metadata tag at the top of the page and I can see in an instant what the distribution of FLs for a set of images.
I used this to justify NOT buying a lens when I see that I rarely use a certain FL in a zoom.

As for Bridge, it will show the info (I think)in the sidebar at the left.
Like this below.
Great info. Thanks.

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Re: How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2013, 06:46:26 AM »

crasher8

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Re: How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2013, 07:35:52 AM »
I tried this in LR and it just showed (mixed)…help? Thanks

gferdinandsen

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Re: How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2013, 07:38:04 AM »
I use LR to do this.
In the library view I choose the metadata tag at the top of the page and I can see in an instant what the distribution of FLs for a set of images.
I used this to justify NOT buying a lens when I see that I rarely use a certain FL in a zoom.

As for Bridge, it will show the info (I think)in the sidebar at the left.
Like this below.

+1 for Bridge
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crasher8

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Re: How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2013, 07:45:31 AM »
aha, got it, in Filters

rpt

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Re: How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2013, 07:52:28 AM »
Somebody had posted a utility on CR that read EXIF and gave you stats. I think it was a year back. If I find it, I will post the link to the thread.

jabbott

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Re: How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2013, 10:20:20 AM »
Here is a free way to do it that allows you to get the results into Excel or LibreOffice.  You can also use it to study other things like what apertures, lenses, ISO speeds and shutter speeds you are using.  It also works with RAW files.

1. On Windows, download and install exiftool, GNU coreutils and GNU grep and add them to your executable search path.  On OS X, just install exiftool.  The packages for each are located here:
http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/
http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/coreutils.htm
http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/grep.htm

If you are using Windows and have cygwin installed, you can skip downloading the GNU utilities as you will likely already have them installed.

2. Using the command prompt, change directories to the one above your photo library.  Run the following command sequence:
exiftool -r path1 path2 pathn | grep "Focal Length" | grep equivalent > focal-lengths.txt

Where path1 path2 pathn are the names of the photo library directories you want to analyze.  You can specify one or multiple directories.  If you shoot RAW+JPG, you can add "-ext CR2" or "-ext JPG" to the exiftool command above to make exiftool only look at the photo type you want.  As long as you run exiftool without destructive parameters, it will open your images read-only.  '-r' just tells it to recurse through all subdirectories underneath the starting path or paths.  The grep commands are used to only send the focal length information to the focal-lengths.txt file.  With some tweaking you could alter this step to study apertures used, etc.  To get an idea of what exiftool reports, try running it on a single photo file without the grep commands, and be sure to scroll up as there is a lot of output.

3. After that command finishes, run the following command sequence:
cat focal-lengths.txt | cut -d : -f 3- | cut -d " " -f -2 | sort -n | uniq -c > focal-lengths.csv

Note that Windows has its own sort.exe so you may need to specify the full path to the coreutils sort.exe file.

4.  Then open focal-lengths.csv in Excel or LibreOffice and use fixed-width delimiters to split the file into two columns.

5.  Select column A (which has the counts for each focal length) and move it to the right of column B (the focal lengths).  At least in LibreOffice, this is necessary for the graph to plot correctly, otherwise the axes will be flipped.

6.  Select both columns and then generate an X-Y scatter graph, and if desired, have it use lines instead of points.

7.  Add axis labels as appropriate.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 10:41:04 AM by jabbott »

pierceography

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Re: How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2013, 10:38:30 AM »
This doesn't apply to the OP's question, but some other nerds out there might find it useful.

I have a script which traverses my photography directories and indexes every photo.  I use exiftool to extra the photo metadata, imagemagick to create various sizes of the photo (two thumbnails, two web resolution images), mysql to store the metadata and statistics on the photo, and perl to tie it all together.

Probably not an ideal solution for most, but it's likely the most customizable!  :-)
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Re: How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2013, 10:38:30 AM »

Hardwire

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Re: How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2013, 01:52:55 PM »
If the current catalogue I have open in LR with 10k of shots, I was slightly surprised by my most used focal length considering I am a lover of zooms...but it seems that 25% of my shots (joint second and third were 105 and 24...guess what lens that was) are shot at 50mm.

I know I love my 50 1.4, but did not know it accounted for that many shots. Since this catalogue was started my kit was stolen and since replaced a collection of mid to budget lens with just the 24-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8 and another 50 1.4 :)
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melbournite

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Re: How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2013, 05:23:18 PM »
Doesn't apply to you, but I use Aperture, and a little app called Aperture Inspector to pull all sorts of stats from my libraries.


Applies to me :) Thanks for sharing Neuro - I didn't know this app existed but do you know if this is the official site as the download link is not working?
http://apertureinspector.com

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Re: How do you determine the focal length you use most often?
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2013, 05:23:18 PM »