Analog Film EXIF Data

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:


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!


@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…

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

Film Notes

Original Camera
Original Lens
Gear Notes

Lab Used
Lab Notes


  • Developer
  • EI
  • Time


  • 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.


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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.


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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Or you could use a camera that records your settings on the negative :slight_smile:

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That’s pretty neat. I’ve only seen cameras that print a timestamp onto the negative in the exposed area which is useless as it interferes with the actual picture. What camera does that?

@Skovick I have been looking for a camera with this ability, seems like it should’ve been a no-brainer for manufacturers (but I’m not one, so I don’t know the technical setbacks). What camera is this?

The camera is a Pentax 645n. I have read of the odd other camera that can do so as well but have no experience with any others. It has been a nice feature thou, when I got my first roll I was able to look back and realize my mistake in not changing shutter speed, which lead to why my picture was blurry.


oh great, another reason to save up for a new medium format camera :roll_eyes: haha thanks for the response!

Lol to be fair it’s one of the more affordable medium format cameras out there :slight_smile: the N II is quite a bit more but only has one or two new features for twice the $

The Nikon F6 does this as well. It prints the exposure information in the small space on the film rebate, between the frames (not at the top or bottom).

Hey Nate and all. Just wondering if there is an estimated date release for the next version of NLP. I’m looking forward to your implementation of the exif data for camera make, model, film, etc. Have been slowly re-processing all my RAW scans with NLP and Lens Tagger but would love to do it all in one step.

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Hi @patofot,

The custom metadata feature has now been added to Negative Lab Pro v2.1.

Thanks to @tonyjuliano and everyone else in this thread for their input.

:star2: Custom Metadata (Just for Us Film-Shooters)

A simple, fast workflow for adding and editing film-centric metadata
Negative Lab Pro extends Lightroom’s own metadata engine with a custom section for film shooters. It’s built right in to Lightroom. In the Library module, just select the dropdown to the left of the “metadata” section, and select “Negative Lab Pro.” When you start add your analog metadata, you get all the time-saving features Lightroom has built-in, like Metadata Presets, Autocomplete, and Selectable Lists of past values used.

:arrow_down: Click the video below for demo :arrow_down:

Perfectly Organized for Film Shooters
The custom metadata section is divided into 4 editable sections (equipment, shooting, digitizing and development), plus a section of metadata generated from your Negative Lab Pro status and settings. You don’t need to fill in everything, just fill in what you have and what’s important to you.

Sortable and Searchable
Once you’ve added your new metadata, you can use it directly in Lightroom for sorting and searching through your photos. Want to see everything photo you’ve taken using your Hasselblad 500cm, together with Portra 400? No problem!

:arrow_down: Click the video below for demo :arrow_down:

Non-destructive & Safe For RAW
The original standard metadata is not changed in the original RAW. This is critical, because Lightroom uses the metadata in RAW files (like Camera Model and Lens) to select the corresponding camera and lens profiles to use in rendering, so you don’t want to overwrite this. Instead, the custom metadata is stored non-destructively in Lightroom’s catalog. Then, when you export the RAW to tiff or jpeg, it allows you to generate and store the analog metadata in standard EXIF and IPTC fields.

:star2: 2. Smarter Exports and “Positive Copies”

Not only does Negative Lab Pro v2.1 extend LR’s metadata, it also adds a custom “export service”, so that you can take advantage of the metadata when you go to share it with other services. You can access this inside Lightroom’s export module by changing “Export to” to “Negative Lab Pro”, or by right-clicking an image and selecting one of the built-in export presets.

:arrow_down: Click the video below for demo :arrow_down:

Auto Captions
Now that we have all that custom, film-centric metadata, let’s do something smart with how we caption it. In Negative Lab Pro, you can now select what and how you want to caption your photo. This caption is built in to standard metadata fields on export, so it will automatically show when you upload to services like Flickr. It will also copy it to the clipboard, so it’s easy to share on places like Facebook or Reddit, which don’t include metadata.

Write to Standard EXIF Fields
It can automatically write the analog metadata to standard EXIF fields. Which, again, is really nice for both sharing on photo platforms like Flickr and for archiving.

Auto Keyword Generation
It can automatically generate film-centric keywords based on the metadata you input, and write them to standard metadata fields.

Right-Click > Positive Copies
Positive copies are really useful when working with film negatives in Lightroom, especially if you need to make some small tweaks using Lightroom’s normal toolset. Now, you can make positive copies without needing to open up Negative Lab Pro… just right-click on an image (or group of selected images), and go to “Export > NLP - Make Positive Copy”.

Presets for Exporting Files to Flickr, Facebook, Instagram and more…
The presets provide optimized file and metadata setting. You can also call them contextually using the “right-click, export” from the library or develop modules. Below is an example from a file I exported then uploaded to Flickr. The red boxes how the analog info I added was translated into metadata for the Flickr upload.

Full Customization of Export Settings
You can customize any aspect of the export presets and save them as your own. So if you want to change the file naming structure, or output sharpening, or color space… well, have at it!

You can read about it here: Negative Lab Pro v2.1 - Film Metadata, Clipping Control, and Much More

Creator of Negative Lab Pro

This is fantastic, Nate. As I mentioned elsewhere, I use a utility very similar to LensTagger called AnalogEXIF - its’ essentially the same thing but I’ve loved the way it organizes camera/lens selection combinations and once setup is just a single click. I’m still playing with getting close to this ease with the LR metadata fields and it’s not too far off, but not quite as magic yet at least in terms of steps.
But all that said, the fields themselves are fantastic, as are the export options.
What would REALLY make me happy (perhaps elated) personally is if those metadata write options could be included as something like an “NLP Metadata” in the Post-Processing Actions of the export module. This would allow those to be used for all other existing exports, as well as (most important to me) publishing services; I use several publishing services, especially for Flickr so that a) my changes to my images can be easily updated there whenever I like, but also b) in order to do it otherwise I have to continue generating TIFF or JPG files separately to either be discarded once the upload is complete, or kept for continuity on my personal storage, which would be preferred but adds up quick. With the publishing service option, it’s only the RAW, or source TIFF, that’s resident on my hardware and the published export version is gone, yet still linked in the service.
Long story short - it’d be rad to, as per usual publish service, retain just the raw but be able to add the NLP metadata changes for Flickr and other sites during the publish. That’d be gravy.