CCTV Lens Finder App Tested

Author: John Honovich, Published on Nov 11, 2012

Figuring out the right lens needed for a specific camera location can be difficult, especially if you want to monitor something that is not close to the camera. Do you need a 10mm lens, a 30mm lens or perhaps even a longer one? In this note, we review a 99 cent CCTV Lens Finder iOS application that lets you find the exact lens length with your iPhone or iPad's built in camera. We conclude with a test video examining the entire workflow.

[UPDATE: This app is no longer available and we cannot find any replacements or alternatives.]

Basics

The app lets you take a photo of the area you want to monitor. Keep in mind that the photo should be taken from the spot where the camera will be mounted. Then, you can digitally pan / tilt and zoom the image to identify the correct FoV for your shot.

Key limitations include:

  • Maximum FoV width is 45.2 degrees, too narrow for most surveillance shots (which are often 50 - 80 degrees). However, for wide shots, such an app is likely not necessary as most cameras come with varifocal lenses that cover that range. [Note: this restriction is a function of the built in camera.]
  • The app only has options for 1/4", 1/3" and 1/2" imagers. This will create slight errors in lens length for the increasingly common 1/3.2" and 1/2.7" inch MP lenses available today.
  • No Android version.

That noted, let's look at a practical example. Imagine you want to mount a camera on a building wall like so:

mounting location

This camera will capture cars and license plates entering into the parking lot.

area of interest

You need to figure out what the right lens length to cover this area is. You take a picture and load it into the application like so:

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

full finder

Then use the controls to crop the image to the area of interest:

 zoomed

The result is that the app tells you in seconds that a 50mm+ lens is needed. This makes it easy to determine that you will need an 8 - 80mm lens.

Below is a video that puts all of this together:

For 99 cents, this is a nice niche application that can not only document but verify the correct lens length for long range cameras.

[UPDATE: This app is no longer available and we cannot find any replacements or alternatives.]

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Tools

Ideal SecuriTest IP Vs Unbranded IP Camera Install Tool Tested on Nov 21, 2018
In our recent IP camera installation tool shootout, multiple members questioned the Ideal SecuriTest IP's features compared to low-cost unbranded...
ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Final Report on Nov 16, 2018
This is our second (updated) and final show report from ISC East. ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed...
IP Camera Installation Tool Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Ideal, Hanwha, Triplett, Veracity on Oct 23, 2018
Setting up IP cameras has historically been challenging, with techs often precariously using a laptop on a ladder or lift. Some options for install...
Integrator Laptop Guide on Oct 16, 2018
This 18-page guide provides guidance and statistics about integrator laptop use. 150 integrators explained to IPVM in detail about their laptops,...
Security System Health Monitoring Usage Statistics 2018 on Oct 09, 2018
How well and quickly do integrators know if devices are offline or broken? New IPVM statistics show that typically no health monitoring is...
Ladders For Installers Guide on Sep 25, 2018
Ladders are one of the most important pieces of worksite equipment for the surveillance technician. Too often, however, even highly experienced...
IP Camera Cable Termination Guide on Sep 06, 2018
Terminating cables properly is critical to network performance, but it can be a tricky task with multiple steps. Fortunately, this task is easy to...
IP Camera Cabling Installation Guide on Aug 29, 2018
IPVM is preparing the industry's first Video Surveillance Installation book and our upcoming Video Surveillance Installation Course. We have...
SNMP / Network Monitoring For Surveillance on Aug 21, 2018
Surveillance systems typically rely on the the VMS to report issues, but this most often just means knowing a camera is "down" with no warning or...
Installing Dome Cameras Indoors Guide on Jul 16, 2018
IPVM is producing the definitive series on installing surveillance cameras. This entry covers one of the most common scenarios - installing dome...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Access Control Cabling Tutorial on Jan 15, 2019
Access Control is only as reliable as its cables. While this aspect lacks the sexiness of other components, it remains a vital part of every...
Gorilla Technology AI Provider, Raises $15 Million, Profiled on Jan 15, 2019
Gorilla Technology is a Taiwanese video analytics manufacturer that recently announced a $15 million investment from SBI Group, saying this...
2019 IP Networking Book Released on Jan 14, 2019
The new IP Networking Book 2019 is a 285 page in-depth guide that teaches you how IT and telecom technologies impact modern security...
Arecont Costar Layoffs on Jan 14, 2019
Arecont Vision, a Costar Company, has laid off more than 10% of their workforce in a move the company described to IPVM as a result of "important...
The False SCMP Story on Hikvision NYC AI on Jan 14, 2019
In the past week, one of Asia's largest publications, the South China Morning Post (SCMP), posted an article about "Chinese [facial recognition]...
WDR Tutorial on Jan 11, 2019
Understanding wide dynamic range (WDR) is critical to capturing high quality images in demanding conditions. However, with no real standards, any...
Pelco Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 11, 2019
Pelco had a significant favorability problem amongst integrators in our previous study (see 2016 Pelco results). Now, in the first edition of our...
Bad: Dahua Villa Video Doorbell Tested on Jan 11, 2019
Doorbells are one of the hottest segments in the residential market but Dahua's Villa Video Doorbell is the worst we have tested.   We bought and...
Last Chance - Winter 2019 IP Networking Course on Jan 10, 2019
Today is the last day to register for the Winter 2019 IP Networking course. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact