I want to write down model name and serial number of my camera body and camera lens, in case they are lost or stolen.

  1. Where can I find those data? Lightroom provides all data but serial name of lens. Are they missing from EXIF?

    Lightroom Exif screenshot

  2. How can I copy those data to the clipboard? There's no way to select, and Ctrl+C does not work for it.

  • 5
    Isn't each respective serial number just printed right on the camera and lens themselves? Also check original packaging if you still have it, or original invoice if you still have it. – osullic Nov 10 '18 at 11:56
  • @osullic, maybe OP want to filter (in LR) by serial number (if have two copies of particular lens) – Romeo Ninov Nov 10 '18 at 14:27
  • 4
    @RomeoNinov well the OP specifically says, "Just in case I lost or they get stolen". It just seems to me that the OP is making a simple task difficult for no reason. – osullic Nov 10 '18 at 15:05
  • You are right, @osullic, the serial numbers are on the lens :) – Romeo Ninov Nov 10 '18 at 15:08
  • Not all cameras and lenses have the serial numbers etched in. Labels can also become worn down so that they become unreadable. Also, if it can be confirmed that particular equipment saves serial numbers in image metadata, it can be used to track stolen equipment if the new "owner" uploads any images. – xiota Nov 12 '18 at 10:29

Based on my version of LR (6 standalone) this information is not displayed (see below) LR EXIF

From other site when I try XNview (no affiliate with the software) I see in Properties->ExifTool the serial number of my lens. XNview

So for me Adobe do not display all the meta information. My advice is to use other tool(s)

P.S. And one clarification, this is NOT the serial number of my lens (as I can read it on the lens itself). So seems like camera do not include it (on correct way). When I check with other (again Canon camera with Canon lens) I do not see at all lens serial number in LR. But in XNview I see the correct serial number of lens.


The lens serial number isn't set in any picture I have. Photos from my 450D haven't even got the field, and those from my EOS70D have the field, but set to all zeroes.

Reporting the lens S/N is likely a recent feature, and to see it requires a recent camera and a recent lens while your lens design is from 1992...

To grab the data, there are other tools than LR...

  • Not exactly (about new lens ad cameras), I get correct number (in XNview) with older camera and older lens. But not with newer – Romeo Ninov Nov 10 '18 at 14:34
  • @RomeoNinov What specific camera and lens? – Michael C Nov 10 '18 at 14:42
  • @MichaelClark , "new" is 700D with 10-18, "old" is 5D Mark III with 16-35/f4 – Romeo Ninov Nov 10 '18 at 14:44
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    The reason the "newer" 700D does not record the lens ID is probably because it is not capable of AFMA, and thus does not need to discriminate between two different copies of the same lens model. – Michael C Nov 10 '18 at 15:53

Apparently Canon only started including an "internal" lens serial number field in the EXIF info when they started including the ability for cameras with AFMA (Autofocus Micro Adjustment) to discriminate between two copies of the same lens model.

When using Adobe products (such as Lightroom or ACR), the field is never included in the EXIF info displayed by the application. Canon's own 'Digital Photo Professional' does not display the lens ID number, either. Using other third party applications, such as 'Irfanview', does show the lens ID number included in the EXIF info for cameras with AFMA that can discriminate between two copies of the same lens model.

enter image description here

The screenshot above was taken from an image captured with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II using an EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II lens manufactured in 2010. The 5D Mark III I use regularly also includes the internal lens serial number in the EXIF info. My older Canon EOS 7D and Canon EOS 5D Mark II do not include the field, even when the same lenses are used on both sets of cameras. When an older lens model that does not communicate an internal lens ID to the camera is used on one of the newer cameras, the field is reported as '0000000000' (ten consecutive "zeros"). This is even the case with a newly made copy of an older lens design. The EF 135mm f/2 L is a lens model first released in 1996. My current copy was manufactured in September 2016. The Canon EOS 5D Mark III reports the internal 'Lens serial number' as '0000000000'.

This internal" serial number is a different number from the external serial number printed on the lens barrel or flange mounting ring. It is presumed by many to be a number that is uniquely assigned to only one lens ever made by Canon. Canon probably uses a separate "internal" serial number in order to standardize the format for all of their various lens lines, which can vary significantly in terms of the number of digits included in the external lens serial number. There also seems to be at least some cases where the same external serial numbers have been used for two different lenses in two different model lines.

Please note that the actual date of manufacture of the lens does not seem to affect whether the lens provides an internal serial number or not. It appears to be when that lens model was introduced.

  • I have an EF 17-40mm f/4 L. The lens was introduced in 2003. My copy was made in May 2012. It does not report a serial number to the camera.
  • I have an EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS. The lens was introduced in 2005. My copy was made in March 2011. It does provide an lens serial number to the camera.
  • I have an EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II. The lens was introduced in 2010. My copy was made in June 2010. I reports a lens serial number to the camera.
  • All of my other lenses that are models introduced prior to 2003 do not report an internal serial number, even if my copy of the lens was made as recently as 2016.
  • Do you have a source for "It [the internal lens serial number] is a number that is uniquely assigned to only one lens ever made by Canon."? – cmuseum Jan 12 at 23:40
  • @cmuseum I don't have an authoritative source at my fingertips. I have read in more than one place that such is the case. I've altered the answer to more accurately reflect this. It does seem quite likely that, since Canon seems to have only started programming internal serial numbers into the firmware of their lenses about 15 years ago, and based on the 10 digit length that uses both numbers and letters (for 36 potential characters for each digit - thus there are 36^10 available numbers), that they have not remotely approached using all of the 3.6 quadrillion available combinations. – Michael C Jan 13 at 0:22
  • Approximately 140 million EF lenses have been sold since 1987. Over the past 4-5 years, Canon has celebrated a 10 million lens milestone each year. At the current production rate of 10M per year, a full set of 10-digit serial numbers with 36-characters available per digit will be exhausted about 365 million years in the future. – Michael C Jan 13 at 0:29
  • I am not questioning whether or not this field can accomodate enough unqiue numbers. But I don't think Canon actually uses it for globally unique numbers. I'd rather presume that the number is unique per lens type. The examples I have seen all seem to use "three bytes" or less. Three bytes support 16.8M unique numbers. Canon has produced a lot more lenses than that since they started coding this number into their lenses. And I have seen examples of younger lenses with smaller numbers than older lenses. That would at least be unusual for a globally unique number. – cmuseum Jan 14 at 21:30

Whether the lens serial number is included in image metadata depends on both the lens and camera. Many Canon cameras and lenses do not communicate the lens serial number. The only reliable way to know whether a particular combination provides the information you desire is to check for it in images.

Many graphical-interface metadata viewers do not show all available tags. Use exiftool instead.

# all metadata
exiftool -a -G image.jpg

# serial number (camera body)
exiftool -a -SerialNumber image.jpg

# internal serial number (camera body)
exiftool -a -InternalSerialNumber image.jpg

# serial number (lens)
exiftool -a -LensSerialNumber image.jpg

# internal serial number (lens)
#    On Mac or Linux, try:
#       exiftool -a -G image.jpg | grep -iE 'lens|serial|internal' 
#    None of the cameras-lens combinations available to me
#    produced any tags with this info.
#    Anyone who can confirm the name of the tag, feel free to
#    edit to include the command with the correct tag name.

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