Who Cares Which Camera Made The Photograph?

When I was heavily into film, and using a number of cameras, lenses and film emulsions, I would tag religiously by each on Flickr, as well as having an album for each. 

This helped me sort the wheat from the chaff and hone down (eventually) to my favourites.

Having the tags and albums to search with on Flickr made it very easy to compare photographs made with, say, different consumer films, 50mm lenses or AF compacts. 

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As time went by and I began to simplify, this need to tag by camera, lens and film became less useful.

Not least of all because I was using digital cameras (so no film tag necessary), and the EXIF tells me the camera used – and usually the lens too.

Plus using fixed lens compacts, I eliminated another variable to track – the lens.

I was also trying to move towards a place where I didn’t care (or didn’t want to care) which camera made which photograph, because I wanted a consistent look across all of my photographs anyway.

Using a couple of DSLRs again recently though, I do like being able to gather together the photographs made just with that body, and/or a particular lens.

So I’ve started using albums again on Flickr to do this.

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It doesn’t seem quite so important with compacts, because as mentioned, I have the camera name in the EXIF and the lenses are fixed, so a lens tag/album is redundant.

But with DLSRs and the variation across lenses (in field of view if nothing else), this sorting and organising is useful.

I’m glad I did it with my past photographs too, as I can browse the other way around.

Rather than going to a specific album and looking through images made with that set up, I can scan my whole photostream and pick out specific photographs I like, then note which combination of camera/lens/film they were made with.

And perhaps try to make more with a similar recipe.

How about you? Do you like to organise your photographs by camera/lens/film?

Or do you not care which camera made the photograph, as long as you like the final image?

How about with other people’s photographs – do you have any interest in which gear made the images?

Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking.

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13 thoughts on “Who Cares Which Camera Made The Photograph?”

  1. I only take note if I’m making the pictures for specific equipment comparison purposes. Otherwise, what does it matter?
    My organization, such as it is, comes from using different camera brands which label their files with different prefixes (“100” for Kodak, “DSCN” for Nikon, and “IMG” for Canon) which then go into different folders reflecting the source. After that they may get post-processed, renamed, and posted to one place or another and/or placed in the select “Art” sub-directory.
    If it’s good, it’s good. No matter where it came from.
    I guess neither of us will be rushing out to buy that Sony with the 61 MP sensor, eh? 😀

    1. Marc, yes ultimately this line sums it up entirely – “If it’s good, it’s good. No matter where it came from.”

      But yes there are times when it’s useful for specific comparison.

      What do you mean about the Sony, I’ve ordered two, one to use in each hand simulanteously on super rapid shot so out of the 124 images per second I make, at least one is bound to be a masterpiece… Photography at is purest! ; )

        1. On the waiting list!

          Seriously, who needs that?? And whatever the sensor spec, phones will still be awkward to hold as a camera unless used with some kind of case with extra grips…

  2. Old habits die hard. When I started developing and wet printing my own film 50 years ago I noted the camera, lens(es), film and developer on the Nega File index card for each roll. I still occasionally refer too those notes. Now that I am making inkjet contact pages of my negatives I print the same information as a footer on the page. It did help recently when I was trying to track down what looked like a light leak on some of my negatives. It turned out to be not one of my cameras, as I feared, but apparently random short, i.e., bulk loaded, rolls of several of my film stocks. This suggests the issue is with one or more of my FILCA cassettes. The investigation continues.

    1. I can see how this kinf of information is useful Doug. And that it’s done for the purpose of tracking down any anomolies, whereas otherwise you might be just taking a stab in the dark and not resolve the issue for ages. We’re very spoilt with the EXIF data on digital photos…

  3. I do keep track of camera, lens, and film. I add it to the EXIF of each scan. I also store each scanned roll in a folder labeled like “2019-08-18 Canon EOS 630 50-1.8 Canon EF Kodak Ektar 100” — a little dense but it works well enough.

    I like knowing this stuff, as it’s very useful for the blog. Without the blog, it would be 90% less useful.

    1. Thanks Jim. Yeh I think that’s the thing, for certain purposes it’s incredibly useful, especially with film where you don’t have the EXIF saved automatically. But if you’re just interested in taking photographs, regardless of kit, it’s next to useless. Maybe one day we’ll both be at that point. But I wouldn’t put money on it! 🙂

  4. Hello, I’m having a good time with different 35mm film cameras and lenses to care. I enjoy the unpredictable and embrace imperfection.
    However just this weekend while teaching on a camera ‘orientation’ lesson some found reviewing lens focal length and shutter speed helpful in understanding why photos were appearing blurred or not. So a useful tool.

    1. Hi arh, thanks for your comments.

      Yes the general rule of using the reciprocal of focal length as the minimum shutter speed (to the nearest shutter stop) when shooting hand held is a great guide. In other words, using a 50mm lens, shooting 1/60s handheld is fine, using a 135mm lens you can go as slow as 1/125s, and so on.

      In practice, I’ve found I can get away with another stop or two, and on a digital body with image stabilisation you can usually count on another couple.

      I think a general workshop or guide on “why are my photos blurred” would be invaluable for casual photographers. The amount of times I see someone take a photo with a phone or compact, then looked at the blurred result wondering why it’s not perfect is numerous! More often than not, they just need to hold the phone steady as they release the shutter, not be waving it around!

      PS/ I clicked through to your website (ahphotography2016.wordpress.com) but it says it’s not there anymore? Is this is a technical issue or is it permanently shut down? Do you have a new blog/site?

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