Leica X Vario: Manufacturer-Specific Exif Data

Example of Manufacturer-Specific Exif Data | Manufacturer-Specific Exif Data in GraphicConverter | Putting Things Together... | Using ExifTool on the Apple Macintosh | Links to ExifTool

Considering all the debates around the Leica X Vario's AF behavior, I believe that it would be of some help to know which focus mode was set and which distance the camera or the user selected. I therefore inspected the manufacturer-specific fields in the Exif data with ExifTool (I did this already for my Ricoh GXR some time ago...). At the moment, I can give away the following information, which includes fields that are not related to distance and focusing data.

 

Example of Manufacturer-Specific Exif Data

To inspect Exif data, you need a tool that displays them. Many photo applications, for example, do so, but most applications and tools display only a subset of the Exif data. Moreover, camera manufacturers hide manufacturer-specific data in Exif fields that are not documented publicly. Therefore, it is difficult to decipher this data, if if may be of primary importance for judging what happened to certain photos.

The probably largest set of Exif data is displayed by the ExifTool application provided by Phil Harvey. This is a command-line tool that can be installed on Unix, Windows, and Apple Macintosh computers. For Windows, there is also a GUI shell available. For copyright reasons, I do not duplicate the information that Phil Harvey provides on his site and provide just a number of links to specific content and topics.

Phil Harvey also provides a page on which he lists Panasonic/Leica-specific Exif tags. This page is quite useful for understand the output of the Exiftool application for images taken with Leica cameras like the Leica X Vario. However, I found that Phil Harvey still does not include the focus-specific tags I have revealed. Perhaps, I should send him an e-mail...

This is an example of how ExifTool 9.31 lists the manufacturer-specific Exif data for the Leica X Vario:

---- MakerUnknown ----
Unknown 0x0302 : 255 0 0 0
Unknown 0x0303 : 4710231
Unknown 0x0304 : 0 0 0 0
Unknown 0x0400 : 0 0 0 0
Unknown 0x0401 : 0 1 36 0
Unknown 0x0402 : 0 0 0 0
Unknown 0x0404 : 1 0 0 0
Unknown 0x0405 : 0 0 0 0
Unknown 0x0406 : 3 3 3 3
Unknown 0x0407 : L1003575.JPG
Unknown 0x0408 : 100LEICA
Unknown 0x040a : 5100 33000 0 0
Unknown 0x040b : 0 1 0 0
Unknown 0x040c : 0 0 0 0
Unknown 0x040d : 0 1 0 0
Unknown 0x040e : 255 0 0 0
Unknown 0x040f : 0 3 0 0
Unknown 0x0410 : 247 13 53 53 18 1 9 221 7 87 223 71 0 0 0 0
Unknown 0x0411 : 1 0 0 0
Unknown 0x0412 : Standard
Unknown 0x0413 : 0.4555160142 1.001956947 0.6243902439
Unknown 0x04ff : ##START##.000000000000W?G?.1004Ҵ.?.[...]
Unknown 0x0500 : 000000000000
Unknown 0x05ff : XV-1.004#b6#..@?DZG?KLA1?0 .."[...]

Note that Exiftool 9.39 lists the data somewhat differently (and speaks of "Panasonic Leica" tags, in this group, of the Panasonic Leica 5 tags in particular):

--- Leica ----
Panasonic Leica 5 0x0302 : 255 0 0 0
Panasonic Leica 5 0x0303 : 4706521
Panasonic Leica 5 0x0304 : 0 0 0 0
Panasonic Leica 5 0x0400 : 0 0 0 0
Panasonic Leica 5 0x0401 : 0 3 0 0
Panasonic Leica 5 0x0402 : 0 0 0 0
Panasonic Leica 5 0x0404 : 5 0 0 0
Panasonic Leica 5 0x0405 : 0 0 0 0
Panasonic Leica 5 0x0406 : 3 5 3 3
Original File Name : L1021565.DNG
Original Directory : 102LEICA
Panasonic Leica 5 0x040a : 62100 18000 0 0
Panasonic Leica 5 0x040b : 0 1 0 0
Panasonic Leica 5 0x040c : 0 0 0 0
Exposure Mode : Program AE
Panasonic Leica 5 0x040e : 127 0 0 0
Panasonic Leica 5 0x040f : 1 3 0 0
File Index : 1565
Panasonic Leica 5 0x0411 : 131 0 0 0
Film Mode : Natural *
WB RGB Levels : 0.4839319471 1.001956947 0.5925925926
Panasonic Leica 5 0x04ff : ##START##.000000000000??GT.1004???..[...]
Panasonic Leica 5 0x0500 : 000000000000
Panasonic Leica 5 0x05ff : .XV-1.004#b6#..@?DZG?KLA1?0 ..4[...]

 

Manufacturer-Specific Exif Data in GraphicConverter

GraphicConverter lists some of the manufacturer-specific fields, but does not mention their HEX numbers (labels are in German):

---- Leica ----
Original Dateiname: L1003560.JPG
Original Directory: 100LEICA
Belichtungsmodus: Unknown (0 1 0 0)
Datei-Index: 3560
Film-Modus: Standard
Weißabgleich RGB-Farbverteilung: 0.4749536178 1.001956947 0.5981308411

I will also use this data in my attempts at deciphering the manufacturer-specific fields for the Leica X Vario.

 

Putting Things Together...

In the table below, I present what I have deciphered so far, included what GraphicConverter already lists and new addtions in ExifTool. For some details see notes below the table.

Marker Description Value(s) - Example Comment
Unknown 0x0302 :   255 0 0 0  
Unknown 0x0303 : Serial number 4710231 *GW
Unknown 0x0304 :   0 0 0 0  
Unknown 0x0400 :   0 0 0 0  
Unknown 0x0401 :   0 1 36 0  
Unknown 0x0402 :   0 0 0 0  
Unknown 0x0404 : Focus mode 1 0 0 0 *GW; for focus modes see below
Unknown 0x0405 :   0 0 0 0  
Unknown 0x0406 :   3 3 3 3  
Unknown 0x0407 : Original file name L1003575.JPG *GC/ET
Unknown 0x0408 : Original directory name 100LEICA *GC/ET
Unknown 0x040a : Distance, Focal length, n.a., n.a. 5100 33000 0 0 *GW; for distance and focal length see below
Unknown 0x040b :   0 1 0 0  
Unknown 0x040c :   0 0 0 0  
Unknown 0x040d : Exposure mode 0 1 0 0 *GC/ET
Unknown 0x040e :   255 0 0 0  
Unknown 0x040f :   0 3 0 0  
Unknown 0x0410 : File index (shot info), ... 247 13 53 53 18 1 9 221 7 87 223 71 0 0 0 0
*GC/ET (file index)/*GW; the first two bytes (low byte, high byte) contain the image number (as HEX value)
Unknown 0x0411 :   1 0 0 0  
Unknown 0x0412 : Film mode Standard *GC/ET
Unknown 0x0413 : White balance RGB values 0.4555160142 1.001956947 0.6243902439 *GC/ET
Unknown 0x04ff :   ##START##.000000000000W?G?.1004Ҵ.?.[...]  
Unknown 0x0500 :   000000000000  
Unknown 0x05ff : Firmware version, ... XV-1.004#b6#..@?DZG?KLA1?0 .."[...]  

*GC: listed by GraphicConverter, GW: deciphered by me, *GW/ET: deciphered by me and also Exiftool, *ET: in Exiftool (tested in 9.76ff)

Focus Mode

Field 0x0404: Focus mode

Exposure Mode

Field 0x040d: Exposure mode

Note that I found that the second bytes is used: "0 1 0 0", not not the first one (e.g., "1 0 0 0") as the Exiftool Website states...

Distance

The first double byte in field 0x040a contains a measure of the distance. This is, however, not easy to decipher. Here are my preliminary results:

One might characterize the behavior between 3 m and infinity as an S-shaped curve with a maximum slope (factor) of 7,000 around 4 m. I do not know why the sensitive is at a maximum between about 3 m and about 6 m - I would expect it at the shortest distance. The graph below shows this S-shaped curve and is a rough estimation of how the tag values reflect distance. For this graph, I approximated infinity as 20 m and the midpoint between 4 m and infinity as 10 m. The data points are mean values based on two to six photos that I shot with manual distance settings.

I tried to set distance manually to exactly 1, 1.5, 2, and 3 m, but the distance values were not exactly 1,000, 1,500, 2,000, or 3,000 as one might have hoped for... Moreover, even for shots with the same manual distance setting, I found different distance values most of the time.

BTW: For my Ricoh GXR, sensitivity is lowest at infinity (50 or 49) and set to a fixed value (67108914) at 1 m. The camera lists the inverse of the distance in the Exif data (Ricoh Subdir 0x0008 - Focus distance). This leads to the following interpretation (for comparison):

The value 67108914 is an equivalent of 1m. Multi AF seems to provide a value of 50 for infinity, whereas manual focus seems to provide a value of 49.

Focal Length

The second double byte in field 0x040a contains the actual focal length multiplied by a factor of 1000 (for example, 44600 means 44.6 mm) as a decimal value.

 

Links to ExifTool

For more links around Exif data see page Using ExifTool on the Apple Macintosh, ExifTool Links.

 

 

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12.02.2015