I have a zoom lens (18-135mm on an APS-C body) and I am starting to look at options to upgrade to a different lens. I bought my camera and lens together and while I used a different lens (70-350mm) for a while, I'm back to only one lens for now. After using it for more than a year, I'm really loving photography, a little more every day, and one way to go ahead is to have another lens (as an extra or instead of this lens).

Anyway, looking around at the paths photographers take, I realised how the upgrades are really specific to each lens and photographer, multiplying the number of questions here and on forums on the web. In particular, I couldn't help but notice that photographers just try and feel their lenses and learn from experience. Which means you might buy a lens only to sell it a couple months later, as opposed to using the data from past photos to figure where to go from there and maybe make better decisions. In other words, in terms of gear, choice is mostly based on qualitative analysis of past usage rather than quantitative analysis.

I would like to know if there are software tools that help photographers figure what their main usage is, based on photo metadata. I am typically thinking, in the case of a superzoom lens like mine, what focal length do I mostly use? I know that on a day-to-day basis, I feel like I try multiple focal lengths when I take a photo. I know I like the zoom, I often use the max. zoom, I often use the wider angle. But what if, after sorting them, 90% of my photos were in the 35-55mm range? That would mean I don't use my lens on its entire range and maybe I could use a more specific lens. Some other things could be the aperture that's most used. If I never go below say f/8, what would be the point of upgrading to a lens offering a wider aperture? Or, if I often shoot at high ISOs, maybe it's worth considering a brighter lens. I'm sure there is plenty more we could extract from metadata.

Is there any software, on a desktop OS or on a mobile, that would offer such insights? Or any other tool, in fact.

  • See here
    – xenoid
    Dec 18, 2022 at 1:29
  • I actually found this question even more appropriate as a duplicate
    – Vince
    Dec 24, 2022 at 3:30