I've started using ND and polarizer filters in my shots.

Since I'm learning to use them, I'd like to manually add this info to exif/iptc/xmp metadata of my shots, so later I can find images taken using a specific filter. I plan to do it manually at the end of each session, when I import images from my DSLR.

I already have the software needed to edit tags, but I'm unsure which tag I should use to add such information.

Is there any "standard" (even a "de facto standard") tag used to store filters info?

I looked at exiftool documentation (http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/), but didn't find anything.


2 Answers 2


Page 16 of the EXIF 2.2 standard lists the main fields and details on the fields follow in subsequent page. I don't see anything related to lens filters and I'm not surprised, it would be very hard for the camera to know that and record it. On page 22, of the spec, there is the "ImageDescription" field which is arbitrary and could be used.

However, in the IFD section, further in the document, there's an attribute 'UserComment' which seems to be far better for this purpose and page 28 has the details.

Mind you, that's just from a cursory look, a deeper read of the specification may find more information for you.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I like "usercomment" as well. That is probably what I would use. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    May 29, 2013 at 14:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, I think I'll use UserComment tag, since it seems to play nice with Aperture, Digikam and other software I use. They can display it, and some of them can edit it. It seems that none of them overwrite it during editing. \$\endgroup\$
    – gerlos
    May 29, 2013 at 15:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ After some more tinkering I confirm that best practice for me is to add text like "ND8 Filter" to UserComment tag using exiftool or Martin Novak's "Exif Editor" before importing shots to Aperture. This way I can search these shots in Aperture using words like "ND8" or "filter". Aperture don't let me edit this tag, and I'm ok with it: no risk of overwriting it by mistake. \$\endgroup\$
    – gerlos
    May 31, 2013 at 13:14

You can store it where ever you would like.

Take a look at either the 2.2 spec or the 2.3 spec and decide for yourself where it fits best for your needs.

No clear field exists for "filters" so you will just have to use whatever works for you.


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