I recently picked up a new lens (Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM for Canon) and realized that the metadata of the photos I took using that lens wasn't showing the full lens information. Like when I go into the lens correction area, it shows the full lens info, but in the Lightroom metadata it just shows as "17.0-50.0mm". Any reason as to why that is and how to fix it?
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It may well be that the data for both comes from different sources, one from the camera, the other (lens correction) from Adobe's effort to identify the lens correctly.
LR's Metadata panel displays information contained in the industry-standard EXIF metadata section, whereas Develop / Adobe Camera Raw (at least some of the time) uses lens information recorded in the manufacturer-specific MakerNotes section and combines it with its own database mapping lens ids to lens names. Typically, manufacturers record different information in the two sections; for example, here's what's recorded for a Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-43 DC Macro OS HSM | C lens (as reported by Exiftool):
[EXIF] Lens Info : 17-70mm f/0 [EXIF] Lens Model : 17-70mm [EXIF] Lens Serial Number : 0000000000 [MakerNotes] Lens Type : 137 [MakerNotes] Lens Model : 17-70mm [Composite] Lens ID : Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM | C
It would better if manufacturers recorded the same information in the EXIF fields as in MakerNotes, but after all these years, that seems unlikely. It would also be better if LR displayed the MakerNotes lens information used by Develop in the Metadata panel and made it searchable.
Yeah or maybe it's because I'm using a lens adapter that's causing the lens to not correctly register or something (I also couldn't access lens aberration correction settings in the Canon menu for the Sigma lens if that matters)? Or maybe it's just something to do with Sigma lenses in particular.
There are two separate metadata sections in a photo that record lens information, the industry-standard EXIF section and the manufacturer's proprietary MakerNotes section. They usually store different information about lenses.
As explained above, both Exiftool and LR's Lens Corrections panel use Canon's MakerNotes:LensType field (a simple number) to look up the full name of the lens in their own lens databases.
Whereas LR's Metadata > Default and Metadata > EXIF panels display the lens information that the manufacturer (Canon) records in the EXIF metadata section of the photo. Canon is not recording the full name of the lens in the EXIF metadata section or in the MakerNotes section for that photo.
To see precisely what's recorded in the different metadata sections, use the "-a -G -n" options with Exiftool:
exiftool -a -G -n photo
That will demonstrate that Canon is not recording the full lens name in the EXIF metadata section and just a number for MakerNotes:LensType.
Note that when Exiftool displays MakerNotes:LensType without the -n option, it automatically translates the number stored in the file to the corresponding full name stored in its database.
As I stated above, it would be better if LR displayed in the Metadata panel the full lens information shown in the Lens Corrections panel.
Lens Information changed
All my Nikon F lenses, Sigma, Tokina and even Iphone 12 Pro Max lens names are suddenly wrong in LR Classic. They all changed to some generic names like 50.0mm f1.4 instead of making a difference between a G or D nikon lens for example. My VR 105 macro... is showing 105.0 f2.8 and this goes on for all lenses. This must be a wrong reading of the lens ID by LR classic, latest version, because if I look at the file on my Mac preview from the file folder the right name appears. Further more, if the same lens, let's say a Nikkor 85mm f1.8 is used on a Z camera with an adapter, the lens name is correct in LR classic. Please advise, because this is a major bug, not making any difference between lenses in my whole LR catalog of many ten thousands of pics. I am happy to help testing to find a solution.
Hope to hear from you soon.
The lens displayed in the Metadata panel is often "generic", while the information displayed in Develop's Lens Corrections panel is much more specific. For example:
This is because the Metadata panel is displaying whatever the manufacturer has recorded in the industry-standard EXIF fields of the photo, whereas Lens Correction looks up proprietary lens information specific to each manufacturer to look up a full description of the lens. See here for more details:
I just double-checked LR 11.3.1, and I don't think this has changed recently. If you think otherwise, please upload a sample original photo to Dropbox or similar and post the sharing link, I'll verify with past versions of LR.
it is probably just a table that was changed in LR, a two column table with a description linked to a specific lens ID provided by the camera, that must have been revisited and unfortunatelly simplified to a minimum, using the same naming for several lenses.
I also imagine that there is another table used used with an adapter on a MLC camera, maybe the lens ID there was changed by Nikon
Anyway, my suggestion is to have naming:
1. Specific enough to identify a lens in a unique way.
2. Not to make the name dependant on the camera used, as it was the case before, same naming from D70 to D850 than that changes when the same lens is used on a Z camera...
3. Always use the same naming in the future on all different platforms and systems. I suspect LR Classic is not using the same tables as LR Cloud, when imported from one or the other, as shown here below:
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I checked a couple dozen camera/lens combinations I have in my test catalog (which has 99 camera models with 123 lenses, downloaded from dpreview.com) and I found no change in how LR 6.14 and LR Classic 11.3.1 display the lens in the Metadata panel. In general, the Lens field in the Metadata panel shows the contents of the EXIF:LensModel field stored in the photo by the camera.
For example, for the Nikon D810:
The second column is what LR displays in the Metadata panel and the third column is what the camera stored in the EXIF:LensModel field (which is the EXIF field LR reads). The two columns are identical.
The information is exactly the same for LR 6.14 (released December 2017):
If you still believe that LR has changed how it displays lens information, we'll need a sample photo that demonstrates it -- I can't find any.
As I mentioned above in the earlier thread, "it would be better if LR displayed in the Metadata panel the full lens information shown in the Lens Corrections panel."
thank you for all your research. I don't understand how this occured to my database but I will keep on searching.
Anyway, I will give a try to your tool, Anyfilter, to give you proofs of my issues, comparing LR lens field and the one in the Exif description/Lens model for a good size of my catalog because what I described here below with different screen shots is real, but I agree, it only shows an example at a time. Nevertheless, I did look into 40 or 50 photos manually, and I still don't understand why these differences appear nor when they started to appear. So I guess I still have homework to do and I will get back as soon as I can.
1. I can and will show proofs on the different naming of the same lens used on Nikon F camera and Z with adapter. This is a 100% consistent and repeatable.
2. I still need to find a good way to show the differences in the Exif/Lens model (Finder) and LR lens definition, but it is not going to be easy because it doesn't seem to be 100% consistent. I believe your tool will help.
3. I might be wrong about the change of naming over time, eventhough I am totally positive I could make a filter difference between Nikon D and Nikon G lenses some time ago, but I can't remember how it looked like in the lens model definition, so that's going to be tough to prove because all lenses appear now with a generic naming, and I don't have access to previous versions of LR. I would be curious to know the experience of others.
4. For the last part, differences depending on import plateform, like for my Iphone 12, I might be wrong on the cause, but that is the only explaination I have and it is real as it appears exactly as it shows in my previous post's screen shot. Anyway, I don't care so much about my Iphone pics ...
I invite everyone caring about their Lens model definition in LR to explore their databases as well and to let us know what they find. I would be very interested to learn.
Thanks for your message and connection to other trails.
Regarding when it changed, it is true that I didn't use the lens info for a while but I am positive it radically changed merging several lenses under the same generic name, like 50mm nikon D and G or even mixing Sigma and Nikon lenses, which were clearly identified before. The naming with decimals is also new and kind of exotic 16.0-35.0.
Here is an example
1. The first 50mm f/1.4 are Nikon, D and G when shooted on D810 or D850
2. The last indicating the G is when shooted on a Z Camera only
So I understand, the lens ID is provided by the camera but I know LR changed the way to name the lenses from these IDs, probably to regroup them... The problem is that it became useless in particular if a similar lens exists on different mounts, or if you use the same but with an adapter on a different camera.
If you look at the following metadata read by a Mac finder, last column viewer, for the same photo, the lens name is correct :
but in LR it shows 16.0-35.0 mm F/4
I have no issue with the lens correction module in the dvp mode, even if the lenses are not always recognized automatically, you finally get a precise naming.