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Please post lens info, at least, with photos

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by DHart, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    A thought has re-occurred to me many times while browsing various threads in this forum.

    Lots of people make no mention of what lens, much less what focal length (if zoom)/aperture, was used in the images they post.

    Often there is mention of the body, sometimes the lens, often neither.

    My feeling is that I'm not that all that interested in what body was used for any photo on the site. All the m4/3 bodies can produce nice images and none of the bodies produces any particular 'look' to it, in the final image.

    What really DOES make a HUGE difference in the look of an image is the lens and the focal length, often the aperture, that was used.

    This may be an odd request, but, I'd sure appreciate other people's images even more if those people shared what lens (what focal length if a zoom lens) and perhaps even what aperture was used in the capture.

    As for what camera you used? For the vast majority of images, I really don't care.

    Myself, I do try to make a point of always indicating what lens was used in my images, if not the aperture and body.

    Of course, if a viewer really wants to make additional effort, they can attempt to find the EXIF info on a posted image, but wouldn't it be nice if everyone just made a quick note of the lens that was used, at least... so anyone can tell at an instant glance which lens was used to create an image?

    I think that would be a major benefit to all who browse these forums. Thanks for listening!
    • Like Like x 12
  2. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Sure. Lens and aperture are pretty straight forward. Easy to get if you shoot native and if you shoot adapted sometimes the lens is still set to the aperture. I don't mind camera info but I agree it isn't a big deal either way.

    I'm in.
  3. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I do agree & I'll often use Kuso EXIF Viewer in IE, only to find that photos linked to Flicker have been stripped on any details, but others reveal a lot, which is helpful for us attemping to learn or appreciate what went into making a particular photo that may interest us. The basic information is appreciated when it is included in the post.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. JudyM

    JudyM Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 5, 2010
    Westminster, MD
    Thanks for bringing this up, I agree with you. I use legacy lenses for most of my photos, so I try to mention both the camera and the lens used on the majority of my posts. I find it to be very helpful when contemplating the purchase of a lens, and I'm sure others do, too. EXIF doesn't show information for legacy lenses, and because there are so many that can be adapted for use, I think it's especially important to identify those. Agreed, the camera info isn't as important. It is nice to see though, especially when someone creates a great photo with an "old" camera like my Gf1.
  5. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    I don't really mind to open an EXIF viewer, no need to explicitly state lens, focal length and aperture. When I publish myself, I sometimes edit the EXIF data to include lens data for legacy lenses. For that I use the free ExifTool GUI.
  6. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    +1 I have an EXIF viewer plugin on my laptop browser but, surprisingly often, no data is recorded.

    On the iPad, using the mu43 app, I don't seem to be able to find a way at all.
  7. I always like to know the hardware involved (both lens and camera). I'm not too bothered about knowing the exact aperture, exposure, focal length, etc. Part of the fun is working out how that camera and that lens might have taken that image.
  8. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I find that EXIF data is irrelevant and distracting. Its never been important to me.

    If the photo is a successful one... does it matter whether it was from my Leica M9 or a Panasonic TZ5?
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I like to see lens info, but the above is a valid perspective as well. If this were a cooking group, it would be the different between giving people a taste of a dish and giving them a taste plus mentioning a few key ingredients.

    I occasionally I get a PM from a member asking me to make it a rule that people post lens info, camera info, or other info with their photos. Some people prefer to just let the image speak for itself.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Alf

    Alf Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 23, 2010
    Northeastern Tuscany
    I think Amin is right, I think posting camera and lens is quite easy, going on with the other details can be time consuming if not reated to the point of the discourse. But if you have flickr images with native lenses, there's a way out - as I don't see this info mentioned in the replies above, I'll add it:

    When posting a picture from flickr, it usually is shown at 1024 pixels or less and not at the original uploaded size - and flickr strips all the EXIF information on reduced size pics, but keeps it on the original uploaded image. I know it beacuse it does on my pics.

    So, if interested in the details of a pic, just click trhough to its flickr page and get the exif there (by clicking on the camera name in the top right corner or by using the view exif action in the left menu above the picture) - if it was uploaded with the EXIF information, you'll find them there (and if it was stripped before, not).

    If the images come from non-AF lenses, you'll have to rely on the notes, available time and good heart of the author.

    Hope this helps.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    @Amin Note...

    My opinion has changed since the days of film. With film being replaced by digital in popularity (good thing), so did the notion that cameras are simply a tool (bad side-effect). We have seen here how a thread can blow up just with the mention of things like "Leica" resulting in a distraction from the original intent: photography.

    IMO, most people I see in these forums (not just here) fall into the classification of "users of photographic equipment" rather than "photographers". The fulfillment and enjoyment of photography is through the use of camera equipment rather than through the process (from beginning to end) of the creation of a photo. I wouldn't teach a basic photography class these days because the distraction of technology is similar to trying to teach a 10 year old a reading lesson with an Xbox sitting in front of them. It would be highly distracting and unfulfilling to me.

    To bring this back to your analogy to cooking. Its one thing to ask about the ingredients and cooking techniques... its another to say "Wow that tastes good! What brand cookware did you use?"
  12. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I did an experiment once.. I posted this:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    in two places... With and without EXIF. Nothing powerful about the photo just wanted to see a reaction. In one thread, I got decent discussion about the photo itself. The subtile inclusion of a OOF foreground branch to give a sense of depth for example. One mention they didn't like the placement of the owls head almost halving the photo horizontally. Another responding that the inclusion of the entire hole in the tree balances out the owl's placement in the composition. Great discussion...

    In the other, I mentioned that it came from a cheap Panasonic TZ5 P&S super zoom. All I got was, "look a the noise". not as sharp as a real DSLR and lens.

    The opposite is true if I post a photo from my Leica M9...

    The key here is that equipment are simply an enabler.. no more no less. A lesson I taught very early in the class. A lesson that falls on deaf ears these days... as technology distracts and drives the interest in the wrong direction. If you need proof, you simply need to examine the countless threads discussing on what's the next best thing to buy. Decisions being driven by G.A.S rather than what need isn't being fulfilled.

    But alas.. the world of photography is changing and rather than come off as a luddite, I would rather just flow with it. I myself partake in many of those technology/equipment discussions with great interest. I would just hate to make it a requirement for everyone to post EXIF data with their photos as I know for a fact that I am not the only one who feels the same way.

    PS> I posted my recent lighthouse image on a car forum photography thread taken with a 14mm and OMD. As usual no info except location. Lots of kind praises from a few members that had an interest. One member jumped in and asked what camera further guessing it was a Full Frame DSLR as the quality speaks to it. I laughed it off and said its a small crop 2x micro 4 3 camera. Something good to be said about our "small" camera systems... :) 
  13. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    I want to repeat that I don't mean to ask that people post all the EXIF data about an image when they post an image.... just the lens that was used, might be nice. Lenses for m4/3 are becoming many and varied, which is awesome and as new ones are being used in displayed images, it's nice to see which ones they are. My intention here is mostly just to be able to see at a quick glance which lens was used, that's all.

    I'm a self taught photographer. In my early teens I subscribed to Modern Photography and Popular Photography. I bought all the books on photography, lighting, business of photography, etc. that I could get my hands on and devoured them. Amphoto publishing loved me.

    I logged every shot I made for years, recording film, ISO, lens, shutter speed, aperture. Then later studied the results and equated it to my logged data. And whenever I saw an image that I liked, I tried to guess what the format likely was, same for focal length, aperture, film, type of light, number of lights, direction of light, quality of the light, color temp of the light. This process of trying to figure out how an image was made, often followed by my attempts to create a similar image, was how I learned to shoot. I did the same with music.

    One of the best ways to learn a complex discipline is to study and emulate great examples others have set forth.

    As a beginning guitarist I tried to figure out how other guitarists did what they did by sounding it out. In later years when I taught guitar in a music store many of my students would bring in cassette tapes of songs they wanted to learn and I approached them the same way.. Listen to the tape, stop it, sound it out, figure out how it was played, then show my student how to do it.

    So now at the end of a lifelong career in the field of photography I'm quite accustomed to looking at an image and being able to pretty much determine how it was done.

    My thought on this thread isn't to get all the EXIF data, in fact I've never checked the EXIF on an image I've seen online (I don't even have an EXIF checker).

    Not a big deal if someone in particular has a problem with posting what lens they used. However, I don't see mentioning the lens or focal length used as a distraction from the art of the image at all. I think that a lot of forum members would benefit from being able to see what lens was used, without having to resort to guessing or trying to find the EXIF. The lens/focal length used only was my main point. As I said, I have little to no interest in camera body, etc.

    Beginning photographers, image makers, users of gear, whatever you want to call them, can benefit from seeing an image and then equating its look to a particular focal length as they learn the various optical effects of focal lengths.
    • Like Like x 2
  14. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    I like to see EXIF, as it helps me learn or at least sometimes sparks an idea I might never have thought of myself. I do use an EXIF viewer plugin with Firefox, but I don't bother trying to use it with images posted from Flickr, because I know there won't be any data! I use Picasaweb, and although I leave EXIF intact, it doesn't come along with the image link. If you view that same photo in my gallery, however, all data is intact and visible in the detailed info panel. I usually post at least camera and lens with my photos, but sometimes I forget....

    Although I do like to see EXIF, I would really hate a requirement to post this info, as it would make posting that much more time consuming, and I'd post fewer photos. I suspect others would do the same, and I really love looking at all the photos, beautiful and otherwise. :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  15. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    I'm fascinated by some of the amazing images that people on this forum post. I myself am much more of a "user of photographic equipment" than a "photographer". There is a certain art to photography that often eludes me... I can identify a great picture, but all too often I miss what would make a great picture when looking through the lens. Good photos seem to come at least as much through repetition and chance as photographic intent. This is something I hope to improve upon.

    The information in EXIF is only part of the equation. What I would like to see, is an addional photo-sharing forum that is intended to be instructive... Where people can post a great shot, like the owl above, and reveal how the photo came to be. "I was using a point and shoot with a rather small aperture, but I wanted to show as much depth in the photo as possible, so I allowed a nearby small branch to creep into the edge of the frame to mimick the effect of a narrow depth of field." Instead of having thread titles that tie in to a specific subject, camera or lens, perhaps they would be more about technique as well: "manipulating depth of field" , "light painting with an led torch", or "panning to create a sense of motion".

    I know we have the photo works section where a user can bring a photo they have taken to get feedback from the group, but I think there also could (should?) be a place for some of the more talented users we have here to bring a photo and give details/instruction to the group.
    • Like Like x 3
  16. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I monitor numerous "contacts" and "groups" on Flickr via my iPad, using the very competent FlickStackr app. I do enjoy looking at the EXIF data, but usually only the camera model and lens, sometimes the ISO. Many times, I find that compelling images are made with "old" and/or "cheap" cameras. Helps to overcome GAS; puts the attention back on composition and exposure.
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Well put. It can be a "disabler" as much as it is an enabler.
  18. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Chuck.. you bring up a point which I think many beginning "users of photo equipment" don't realize... and that is that successful images are made by people, not by inanimate photographic equipment - and that using the latest, greatest, fanciest gear isn't going to make it much more likely that one can create a great image. I'm often reminded of this when using my LX5. :rofl: Once in a while I think I can get rid of all the other gear I spend so much time with and be content shooting with the LX5... but I like gear too much to do something so zen-like. :wink:
    • Like Like x 2
  19. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    I am in Chucks camp on this one. Truth is that often EXIF is meaningless unless you know under what situations and intentions the image was made. So much so that I purposely remove EXIF information from images I put on the web. I feel posting the name and make of a lens and/or body only helps the manufacturer sell cameras and they are not paying me so why should I help them sell brand X.
    • Like Like x 2
  20. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Agree, Grant... No need for all that EXIF data... But I have no qualms about mentioning which lens I used or seeing what lens someone else used... It's great to see examples of all the lenses that different people are using to see how it might visibly influence the image. Whether that encourages a sale of a particular lens doesn't worry or bother me at all... I see a potential benefit to other people who are "users of photographic equipment."
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