Want to search for images lacking EXIF info due to manual or adapted lenses

I’d like to start using the DAM features of PhotoLab, but one of the obstacles I’m facing is being able to search for unusual EXIF information. Case in point: I’d like to find photos taken using a fully-manual Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 fisheye lens in micro four thirds mount. The lack of electronic communication between this popular lens and the camera body (Olympus or Panasonic) means the EXIF information in these RAW photos includes aperture “f/0.0” and focal length “0 mm”. These don’t show up as 0 in PhotoLab, however: they show up in the metadata palette as --. After indexing the folders including these images, I tried searching for 0, 0mm, 0 mm, or f/0.0. I get results from some old Canon cameras whose images have f/0.0 for some reason, but that’s all. For some reason, PL can’t find the fisheye photos - neither RAW nor JPEG files from my cameras are found.

With a bit of experimentation, I found some of the fisheye photos by searching for NO-LENS. But only a few of them show up - those taken with a Panasonic GX85, which writes that particular keyword into the EXIF. I’m still looking for a way to find the fisheye images taken with an Olympus body (E-M5 II, E-M1 II, E-M1 III, E-PL5…). But the actual EXIF info containing zeros is unsearchable!

The only other distinguishing characteristic of these images is that they have no DxO optics module. But my images are spread out across many folders spanning many years.

Please make the metadata search capabilities more robust so that this isn’t a problem. Something more interactive than an all-purpose word match would be very helpful. What might work is if, after indexing, I can see a sorted list of different values in a given EXIF tag and choose a blank one or a strange value if I wish. This would let me find images taken using adapted lenses, too - anything that can be mounted but not controlled due to a lack of electronic communication between the lens and the body. As it is, the DAM search feature is way too primitive.

So the PL DAM search capability is responsible for a camera body not delivering any EXIF with a certain lens and also for the lack of any data coming from the lens? Interesting. And now DxO should go and get a collection of silly camera bodies and lenses without contacts to make sure each of them can be found by some kind off magic search word?

Some cameras allow to choose a focal length manually for this kind of situation. Some even ask to do so when such a lens is mounted. First idea: rtfm. Maybe you can set your Olympus up?

Now I wonder: how do you search for something which either is not to be found or simply not existing?

Might I also suggest you use something like ExifTool to see if such metadata even exists?

As @JoJu indicates, you can’t search for what isn’t there.

“Nothing as hard to find
as something not defined”

You could try to search for “mm”, eventually some lenses will come up with an EXIF focal length. And then somehow you magically invert the search.

DxO’s DAM doesn’t find it’s own projects, so honestly: What you called a DAM is somewhat between ridiculous and painful and very far away from “useful”. Before you search for EXIF metadata which are not existing, it would need dozens of steps to overcome to even find what could be found.

True…but some applications can point you in a direction nevertheless:

Lightroom Classic adds missing metadata as “unknown” in this kind of search shown above. Note how data is offered, which is much easier to use than having to type in a search term one doesn’t or can’t know.

I suppose that @Egregius is looking for a similar feature (being offered “unknown” when searching)

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Not to mention that typing something in and PL is searching in ALL kinds of data (except project names, of cours…) is rather cumbersome. Wouldn’t it be quicker/easier to select “focal length” or “aperture” first? Also, some searches result in 1000+ results. Too much to show for PL. Meaning, the search already is only “better than nothing” - but “good”?

Thank you, everyone, for sharing some thoughts on this.

Joachim, your suggestion to set the focal length manually in-camera is very helpful! It had been my understanding that this is done on Olympus cameras only to program the IBIS (in-body stabilization) and not to store data in EXIF. But I looked again and see that at least with the newer cameras I can program the camera to write all of the needed EXIF data. I will do that from now on. Thank you.

I accept that I might need to now painstakingly search for all of my old manual-lens images and use Exiftool to write the missing data into the fields. But the point of this post is that it would be great if PhotoLab could find images that have peculiar entries or blank entries in EXIF for focal length or aperture. PL’s image browser shows the values as 0.0 or 0 - but the search engine can’t find this data, so it might in fact be missing entirely. I’ll scrutinize this more carefully when I have time.

In response to the rather demeaning sarcasm I received, there seems to be a misunderstanding here. Let me point out for clarity that this is only a feature request, not a bug report or some such declaration that DxO software isn’t behaving as it should. I’m not interested in making that determination - that’s for DxO’s development teams to do. I’m only suggesting that PL’s DAM can be more useful and maybe even more competitive if it took unusual EXIF data into account and handled it consistently in the image browser, metadata palette, and search results. If you agree, please add your vote and any helpful comments. But keep them helpful in tone, please.

Excellent, I’m glad I could help :smiley: Each manufacturer does that differently and I think, you’re right, it is also for IBIS. But Nikon DLSRs don’t have IBIS, maybe that’s why they only offer some standard focal lengths (like 24, 35, 50 mm) whereas Panasonic lets me choose the exact value.

That sarcasm is caused by DxO’s concept (or lack of concept) of a DAM… :roll_eyes: there are so many features lacking in it and the search for empty EXIF fields is a rather special feature which might not be the first in line to catch up with.

I confirm that the EXIF for my fisheye photos contains:

FNumber = 0.00
MaxApertureValue = F 1.00
FocalLength = 0.00 mm
Maker Note, LensModel, LensType, LensSerialNumber are all blank.
Other MaxAperture fields are 0.0

Nonsense data, of course - but in my case unique to this lens. :slight_smile:

When I import photos taken on manual lenses, or lenses with no EXIF data, I import then using Lightroom (when you stop your subscription you still have access to the Library module, which is all that is needed for this). From Lightroom it is easy to use Lenstagger (which accesses ExifTool) to enter lens details. I then quit LR and only then do I point PhotoLab at the folder, and it usually picks up the lens data. This is a lot friendlier than using ExifTool from a command line.

One frustration I have with PL, which relates to this post because it is about lenses that are not recognised, used to be being unable to select camera-lens profiles manually. I have sold the lens now, but PL had profiles for both the Voigtlander 10mm and for all my Sony cameras, but there was no way I could select the right profile because the correct information was not stored in the Exif.