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EXIF properties to set for Apple Photos
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 11:15 pm    Post subject: EXIF properties to set for Apple Photos Reply with quote

This isn't about a DSLR but I don't know where else to post this, it's about Sony a7R III and manual lenses that don't communicate EXIF.

I'm trying to get Apple Photos to display what lens was used on the camera. By default, when the camera has a fully mechanical adapter installed, Apple Photos' info dialog just shows "Sony 0mm F0.0" for the lens.

I should be able to correct this with exiftool, but I'm not sure what properties to set. I'm trying to set things like LensModel, Lens, and so on... but Apple Photos continues to display "Sony 0mm F0.0" instead. Anyone know what EXIF properties to edit to cure this?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2022 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

have success yet?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2022 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, it seems that when Sony-specific EXIF properties are present in the image file, the EXIF display gives priority to the indicated lens, which is encoded in a number with predetermined meanings, and not freeform. When my Sony doesn't have a native lens mounted, it puts a zero in that field, meaning "no lens." I could change that number to something else, but the only options available are the list of Sony lenses; I can't put "Vivitar this-and-that" or anything like that. There might be a way but I didn't find one. (I could strip all EXIF from the file and then add the properties I want, but that's not what I want to do. There's a lot of useful stuff in the Sony EXIF fields and I wouldn't want to try to figure out how/where to re-encode that.)

PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2022 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't tried it but there may be something here


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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2022 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been using MetaImage on my Mac. It’s a graphical front-end for the exiftool commandline app. I’m happy to use the commandline, but if a graphical user interface is easier, I’ll use that. MetaImage is easier for me, so I use it. One of the nice things it can do is distribute timestamps for images over an interval. I use this a lot when I’m “scanning” negatives from my film obsession. I don’t know exact timestamps for a lot of images, but I want them to be timestamped in chronological order. So if my notes say I took a bunch of photos of X during the afternoon of a particular day, I’ll use MetaImage to distribute the timestamps of those images from, say, 1pm onwards in 5-minute increments. Super handy. There are a bunch of other features I use a lot, like GPS location lookups.

I also frequently use ImageMagick for processing images, especially for inverting negatives and stripping all EXIF properties to get rid of camera brands’ proprietary stuff that overrides any customizations I try to make. I have found that a typical out-of-camera JPG from most camera brands has about 1-2MB of EXIF properties and frankly, I don’t care about what metering mode was used and what pixel offset it used for the focus point, but I do care that it has its own lens metadata that Apple Photos will prioritize over anything I try to enter myself. The only way I’ve found to fix this is erasing all EXIF and starting from scratch.

Manipulating EXIF on raw files seems to be a very, very bad idea. It “works” but then the raw files are unreadable, unexpectedly. I have settled on a policy of only messing with JPG. If I shoot RAW, I don’t touch those files. If I shoot JPG, fine. If I shoot JPG+RAW, I only tweak EXIF on the JPGs.

The properties I have kind of converged to using in MetaImage (some are kind of duplicates, but depending on camera make, one or the other is set or empty)

Image Description
Image Width & Height
Date/Time Original
GPS Location
Exposure Time
Shutter Speed
Lens Info
Lens Make
Lens Model
Focal Length
Focal Length in 35mm Format
Lens Serial Number

I have been using the “Image Description” field to record things like what film I used, what developer I developed with, what lens I used, etc. Apple Photos treats it as a free-text caption of sorts, and makes it searchable. It has been pretty inconsistent with how it handles the other EXIF fields over time. Some of my images are searchable by what’s in the Lens field, for example, but more recently it has started ignoring that, so from some point in time onwards, that’s not something I can search by or view in Apple Photos. I’m not super happy about this but I don’t want to switch what software I’m using to store and sync my library, so I’m just putting up with Apple Photos’ quirks.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2022 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use ExifToolGUI on my Windows PC for creating/editing the EXIF data for images where it isn't complete.
Under some circumstances I'll revert to the Command Prompt and use exiftool https://exiftool.org/
There's a MacOS package for exiftool available which may help, though it is a command line tool, so you'll need to be happy "working from the prompt".
Hope this helps Smile