Analog Film EXIF Data

If you the “anal retentive” sort like me, you want accurate EXIF data - even in your scans.

There is a great plugin for LR that enables you to add the accurate camera model, lens and even film stock and development data to your files. I’ve been using it, even before the advent of negative scan pro, and it’s a great thing.

Have a look…

https://www.lenstagger.com/

oh… and its free!

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Love Lens Tagger, and it works so well for film.

OMG!!!. This is awesome. I hated reading my scanner info where my camera data should be. Thank you so much @tonyjuliano.

Very cool, but I would just warn users that this could potentially cause issues when you are working with RAW files (either with digital camera “scans” or with RAW DNGs from Vuescan or Silverfast).

The reason is that that the metadata of the “camera” make/model is used internally by Lightroom to select the appropriate profile to use. So, for instance, if you’ve digitized your negative using a Fuji X-T2, it’s important that Lightroom knows it was taken with a Fuji X-T2 (so it can apply the appropriate Negative Lab Pro camera profile and lens profile). If you overwrite this tag to the original film camera used, it could cause issues with Lightroom (and thus, Negative Lab Pro).

Nate
Creator of Negative Lab Pro

Point taken…

But in my case, I’m using it on a “finished” TIFF file only. Very cool that NLP has the option to stack one with the original RAW file!

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Ok, looking a little closer at this, I think we can do better… it looks like what this plugin is doing is stuffing the “user comments” tag on the EXIF data with the analog info. So what you end up with is something like this:

41%20PM

I guess that could be helpful in some cases (like for posting to flickr), but it really is not the best use of the way that metadata works inside of Lightroom…

In the next version of Negative Lab Pro, I’ll add a custom metadata section. This makes much better use of Lightroom’s internal filtering tool, autocomplete, tagging, etc. and is much easier to use. Here’s a prototype I built this morning:

(definitely looking for feedback if there are other fields you’d like to see!)

You can then set up custom library filters for any of the custom fields. It makes filtering through your library super easy.

Let me know what you think!

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@nate… I think thats a great Idea!

Please note that the Lenstagger plugin is doing more than just stuffing that stuff in the “user comments” exif field. It puts that particular data there because there is no other appropriate field in place to put it. The other data fields (camera make, camera model, lens name, focal length, aperture, shutter speed, etc.) where there is an appropriate exif field, it is written as such.

But again, for my purposes, I’m writing all this to the TIFF copy.

My suggestions for field layout would be…

NEGATIVE LAB PRO
Converted with NLP (yes/no)
NLP Version (auto populate from plugin)
Positive Copy (yes/no - auto from NLP option)

FILM NAME
Push-Pull
Film Notes

ORIGINAL GEAR
Original Camera
Original Lens
Gear Notes

LAB INFO
Lab Used
Lab Notes

SELF PROCESSING

  • Developer
  • EI
  • Time

DIGITIZATION

  • Scan Source (Camera, Scanner Model. Etc.)
  • Scanning Software (Vuescan, Epson, Etc.)
    Light Source
    Film Holder
    Digitization Notes

“Bulleted” items are my suggested additions. In my particular situation, I would continue to use Lenstagger on the TIFF copy, because the data it writes to EXIF is important to me, but having this additional data in LR will also be welcomed.

How have I never heard of this?! This is incredible!

If I remember correctly there are different Exif fields for “camera” and “scanner” and both can coexist.

I am pretty sure that there is no standard Exif tag for “scanner”. There isn’t really any one for “camera” either.

According to the standard, only “make” and “model” exist, and those are described as “image input equipment manufacturer” and “image input equipment model” respectively.

When an image is captured with a digital camera, it is the cameras maker and model that is written, when a scanner is used to do the same, it is the scanners maker and model that are written.

This being said, I think that Nate’s cautions about altering “make” and “model” tags in the original RAW file are prudent and valid. But, for me, it’s nice to have accurate make, model, iso and exposure data written for archival purposes. Having a TIFF stacked with the RAW file, and having the analog data recorded into it, is a great thing.

Oh… there’s another good reason, for me, too…

While shooting analog, I use an app on my smart phone to quickly and easily record film type, iso, camera (make and model), aperture and shutter speed of each shot captured, along with lens data. This is another useful app, as it not only records this for future reference, but also has the ability to write applicable data at a later time into each frames Exif. It can only write the data into a non RAW file (TIFF or JPEG), so having that file stacked is useful for another reason.

Here is more info on the app…

IOS only. Unfortunate for some.

At any given time, I have about a half dozen film bodies, loaded with various rolls - in various stages of exhaustion - and images captured with way too many lenses to admit. It would be impossible for me to keep track of everything without these tools.

You might be right. But you have enough “space” for metadata. EXIF, XMP, XTPC.

Let me confirm, but I think I could set it up so that when you make a tiff copy, you have the option of automatically updating the exif on that copy with the analog info you’ve provided. So the original RAW would still maintain the needed tags for RAW processing, but the positive copies would show the analog metadata instead.

Wow! That would be incredible! It would make this awesome plugin even more so.

So nice to have a film enthusiast - with the skill that you have at LR and programming - making such valuable products.

Kudos!!

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And since you’re looking for input…

Here is what would be “nirvana” to me.

Original Camera Maker - written to the “maker” tag in exif. Would be helpful if input comes from an editable drip down list. Where you enter “maker” once, and it stays on a list to be selected again in the future, instead of typing each time.

Original Camera Model - same as above, but written to “model” exif tag

Original Lens - same again, but written to appropriate exif tag.

Aperture - selected from a static drop down list of 1/3 stops, written to exif.

Shutter speed - same as above

ISO - type it in, written to exif.

The rest don’t have an applicable tag in exif, so just writing to internal metadata…

Film Stock - editable drop down

Film Format - select from list of formats (135, 120, etc.)

Film Notes - Type it in

Developer - Editable drop down list

EI - Type it in

Develop Time - Type it in

Development Notes - Type it in

IMO, it would also be beneficial that the values selected for the previous frame be defaulted to the subsequent ones, this would make it much quicker to just rail through the whole roll, as the only adjustments - frame to frame - would be “aperture” and “shutter speed”.

Salivating like Pavlov’s dog for this!

Yep, fortunately this is already the default behavior in Lightroom when editing custom metadata… just click on the metadata name itself and it will show past entries drop down. It will also autocomplete.

lightroom-metadata

You can also save any custom group of metadata as a metadata preset - so for instance, I can just select my Contax G1 preset and it will enter all the info for me. You can mix and match presets, so you can have separate presets for film gear vs processing notes, or put everything together exactly as you want.

There are a few ways you can do this… the metadata you enter (or apply via metadata preset) will be applied to whatever photos you have selected, so you can just select all the images you need, and then enter the common metadata. If you’ve accidentally only entered for one image, and you want the same on other, you can use the “SYNC METADATA” button to apply the metadata from the master image to subsequently selected images. Or you can use the “Metadata > Copy Metadata” command in the menu.

And thanks for the other feedback! :pray: I’ll see what I can do :smiley:

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