LensTagger, or: how to add metadata to images shot with legacy glass and/or on film

LensTagger shortcut

First and foremost: in this way you will actually be able to add much more to your images then just, say, lens data, such as: lens serial number, film type used, developer, agitation scheme, shutter times, scanner, paper etc.

The magic trick that will let you do all this is called LensTagger, and is a donation-ware plugin made by a guy called Dirk Essl. You can find it here:

http://www.essl.de/wp/software/lenstagger-lightroom-plugin/

First install the LensTagger plugin:

  1. in Lightroom, go to “File” > “Plug-in Manager…”
  2. then click on “Add” on the bottom left corner of the window just appeared
  3. navigate to the folder you decompressed LensTagger, select it and install it

Now select one image (or multiple ones; LensTagger works on the images you select) and go to “File” > “Plug-in Extras” > “LensTagger” to test it, just to see if it’s actually installed & working.

  • Select one or more images whose metadata you want to change / add
  • Compile the fields you need in LensTagger
  • Optional: save them as a preset (if you need the same data often)
  • Click on “Update command”
  • Click on “Run command” and wait for it to finish
  • “Close” LensTagger window
  • Right-click on your selected images and click on “Metadata” > “Read metadata from files”

In theory you could stop just here, but given that the process of going every time over so many menus is kinda a pain in the you-know-what, if you’re on a Mac you’re in luck because I wrote an Automator service to put LensTagger just one click away…

 

My shortcut

It would be nice to be able to assign directly in Lightroom a shortcut to the plug-in, but unfortunately doesn’t seem to be a way to do it.

So, like I said, I ended up writing an Automator service that will let you fire LensTagger using the shortcut “CTRL-ALT-CMD + L” (or any other combination of keys of your choice; how to do that in a moment).

In Automator choose “Service”, than drag “Applescript” to the right part of the window.

Automator applescript

Choose “no input” on the top part, and in “Lightroom” (you will have to navigate to the folder where your Lightroom installation is).

Copy and past the following code inside the Applescript window on the right (NOTE: if you’re using a Lightroom version in any language other than English please substitute “File” and “Plug-in Extras” with the exact same name these two menus have in your language, otherwise it will not work):

on run {input, parameters}
try
tell application "System Events" to tell process "Lightroom"
set frontmost to true
tell menu bar item "File" of menu bar 1
click
tell menu item "Plug-in Extras" of menu 1
click
tell menu item 11 of menu "Plug-in Extras"
click
end tell
end tell
end tell
end tell
end try
return input
end run

Save the service and take note of the exact name you decide to give it.

 

How to set up the shortcut

Go to “System preferences” > “Keyboard” > “Shortcuts” and then select “App shortcuts” (the last voice).

Shortcuts

Now:

  1. click on the + sign on the bottom to add a new shortcut
  2. choose “Lightroom” as the app
  3. in “Menu title” insert the exact name you gave to your Automator service
  4. finally in the “Shortcut” field input your desired combination of keys to fire the service
  5. click “Add”

You’re done! Now every time you want to add a set of metadata to your images (and remember that LensTagger lets you save various predefined configurations) the entire process will be just one click away.