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09-06-2011, 01:34 PM   #1
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How are lenses identified for EXIF?

I was hoping that somebody was familiar with where the lens information comes from in the EXIF data. Reason I ask, is because I have two Sigma lenses that are not identified correctly.

My Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 HSM II is identified in Photoshop/Bridge as a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8. And My Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 DG Macro just comes up as "Sigma lens".

I just sent Sigma technical support an email, but I'm wondering who the responsible party really is in this case. The lens maker? (Sigma) The camera body maker? (Pentax) The software company? (Adobe)


09-06-2011, 01:41 PM   #2
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It would be the software company. Each lens has an ID, and the exif reading software looks up that ID in a database. Try uploading a photo with exif to the forum and you will see what exif tool thinks the lens is.

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09-06-2011, 01:45 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
The lens maker? (Sigma) The camera body maker? (Pentax) The software company? (Adobe)
All of the above. The lens communicates a maker-specific code to the body which writes it as a manufacturer-specific extension to the EXIF. Your software (Adobe) identifies the lens from a list supplied by the camera manufacturer. The accuracy of the identification depends on how good a relationship the lensmaker has with the camera maker. Sigma lenses are notorious for not identifying correctly. My Sigma EX DG 50/2.8 Macro passes the code for and identifies in Lightroom, Flickr, and other places as a Pentax 50/2.8 Macro. Close, but no cigar.

It is possible to manually insert a lens designation using software such as ExifTool, but it is a bit of a hassle.


Last edited by stevebrot; 09-06-2011 at 01:50 PM.
09-06-2011, 04:45 PM   #4
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Also, the codes are the ones generated by Pentax and third party lens manufacturers may use the same code for their similar lenses as Pentax does.



09-06-2011, 06:28 PM   #5
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Here is the codes used within the Pentax EXIF meta data...I don't know how up to date it is.


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