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07-11-2010, 01:41 PM   #1
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EXIF info - is my camera confused?

I recently installed an EXIF viewer program on my computer because I wanted to check the number of shutter actuations. What surprised me was the EXIF info for the lens I had used. It was right about the focal length and aperture, but it was convinced that my Tamron is a Pentax FA 28-105 4.0-5.6 instead.

I know the FA was a Tamron design, but according to what little I can find, the MC and such is supposed to be different. Anyone know how different they really are? I tried a google search for the site and mainly just found "for sale" topics.

I've had this lens for about 4 years and it has been my most used lens over that time period (probably 25k pictures). I bought it new from a camera store in Orlando when on a trip for work. It is the only one of these (Tamron or Pentax) that I've seen for sale (not counting internet).

07-11-2010, 01:50 PM   #2
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I suspect the EXIF viewer is the problem. Open the picture with the Pentax software and see what it says. The detail is not in the EXIF, only a reference number to identify the hardware, and if it is mis-coded, you get incorrect results. If you cannot get another program, PM me a picture (it can be 50x50 pixels - doesn't matter to EXIF viewers) and I can tell you what DxO 6, LR 2.7 and PTLens say it is.
07-11-2010, 05:10 PM   #3
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Pentax Photo Browser also agrees with PhotoME that my Tamron lens is an FA 28-105 4-5.6 [IF]. So I'm guessing that either (a) there really isn't a difference between the versions of the same lens with different brand names or (b) they put the wrong chip in it, and it thinks it is actually its evil twin brother.
07-11-2010, 05:43 PM   #4
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The camera only puts a numeric code in the EXIF; it's up to the software to interpret that number and report a lens name based on its own table to lens and their code. And if the lens isn't on the table, it tries to guess based n whatever else it can find - focal length and aperture info, for example. So either those two lenses happen to use the same numeric code (that definitely happens, especially with Sigma), or the lens wasn't on the table but something else in the EXIF is leading both programs to make the same guess. The lens probably does report its focal length range and aperture range, and the programs may just not know about the Tamron version.

07-11-2010, 06:06 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The camera only puts a numeric code in the EXIF; it's up to the software to interpret that number and report a lens name based on its own table to lens and their code. And if the lens isn't on the table, it tries to guess based n whatever else it can find - focal length and aperture info, for example. So either those two lenses happen to use the same numeric code (that definitely happens, especially with Sigma), or the lens wasn't on the table but something else in the EXIF is leading both programs to make the same guess. The lens probably does report its focal length range and aperture range, and the programs may just not know about the Tamron version.
That makes sense about the EXIF side of things. ACR shows focal length range, but I haven't seen any full EXIF info in ACR/Elements to see if it guesses the brand. The big brother (28-200/3.8-5.6 Macro) knows it is a Tamron.

I am still wondering if there were any functional differences or if it was just cosmetic differences between the Tammy and the Pentax.

edit - the Tammy reviews average 9.0 but it only rates an 8.2 as a Pentax. Do people just have lower expectations on the same lens just because the name is spelled differently?

Last edited by eastman; 07-11-2010 at 07:50 PM. Reason: another point, but no need to bump
07-11-2010, 06:12 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by eastman Quote
That makes sense about the EXIF side of things. ACR shows focal length range, but I haven't seen any full EXIF info in ACR/Elements to see if it guesses the brand. The big brother (28-200/3.8-5.6 Macro) knows it is a Tamron.

I am still wondering if there were any functional differences or if it was just cosmetic differences between the Tammy and the Pentax.
The functional difference would probably be the lens coatings, with the Pentax version using their SMC which is, for my money, the best lens coatings there are.
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