One of the powerful features of Lightroom (and incidentally, one of the reasons why I started using it) is its ability to read the EXIF data from each photograph, for photographers to be able to sort images easily and stay organized, and to quickly find specific photographs without going through thousands of pictures. Lightroom stores its catalogs in a database, which is designed and optimized to index all relevant fields such as Camera type, Lens type, Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO, Keywords and Collections, in addition to storing information about every single picture (note that the pictures themselves are not stored within the database). This index is used by Lightroom extensively – every time when you access an image or work with “Collections” and “Keywords” to tag your photos, this index is read from and written to. This database is also the reason why Lightroom gets much slower overtime as you add more and more photographs to it, since it stores so much information about every single photo.
At the end of each year, I go through my Lightroom catalog to see my “photo statistics”. I do it through the “Library Filter” feature on top of Lightroom’s “Library” module:
Simply click on the word “Metadata” and the menu will expand with four default columns: Date, Camera, Lens and Label. If you see anything different, click on the top-right menu right next to the lock and select “Default Columns” to reset the columns. You can add or remove the default columns by clicking the little dots on the right side of each column and selecting “Remove this Column”. Here is how mine looks with just the “Lens” column:
Now here is the important part – in order to see the full stats for the whole year, you have to be at the root level of your catalog. For example, if my root folder where I store all of my 2010 images is called “2010” and I have all pictures underneath, I have to select 2010 before I go to the Library Filter.
Once you do that, take a look at the “Lens” column and see the numbers. In my case, as you can see above, Lola and I shot with 26 different lenses in 2010, with a total of 50,623 pictures so far. Our #1 used lens is still our favorite Nikon 50mm f/1.4G, with 10,487 images. The #2 spot is taken by my favorite Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G, with 8,635 images. And the #3 most used lens is the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II, with 6,000 images. Unfortunately, there is no way to sort lenses by the numbers of pictures taken.
So, what is your most used lens in 2010 so far?