Anti-Theft Service Lenstag Can Now Help You Stop Gear AND Image Theft


We’re big fans of anybody who helps to stop gear theft, and so naturally, we’ve always been big fans of the free service Lenstag. Initially unproven, the service made its first recovery a couple of months ago, and as its database of registered gear expands, it can only get better.

But Lenstag isn’t just resting on its laurels and waiting for that moment to come, content with what it has achieved. No, the service is branching out with an awesome new feature that will help you keep track of unauthorized use of your images as well!

The idea of integrating this feature came about somewhat accidentally when Lenstag creator Trevor Sehrer’s wife, Alexandria Huff, had some flashes stolen a couple months ago and accidentally marked her camera as stolen, too.

“She got an alert from Lenstag Rescue when it found her camera and noticed that one of the images linked in the alert was on some random person’s blog (credited but still taken without permission),” Sehrer tells us. “So that’s where I got the idea to turn this functionality on for everyone since it can help recover stolen images, too.”


The new feature launched last night and is built-in to the iOS and Android apps, as well as Lenstag’s website. It uses the same system that the service has always used to find your gear, only this time Lenstag Rescue will let you see where it found images taken with your gear.

And, of course, as with all things Lenstag, it is free.

To learn more about the service, head over to Lenstag or update your Lenstag iOS and/or Android app. And if you’d like to help Lenstag continue to get better, download and install the service’s Chrome extension by clicking here.

  • SiriusPhotog

    So does it only find and report your images after you tag your camera as stolen or anytime it runs across one of my photos?

  • Alex Huff

    Anytime. My understanding is that it used to be just when stuff was flagged as stolen – which is why I got a notification about my camera and a picture taken with it. Then the featured got opened up to everyone because there is that added benefit of seeing where your images end up – regardless of if your camera is stolen or still in your possession.

  • SiriusPhotog

    Ok, so how long before I start getting notifications for all my photos taken with my registered 5DmII? I’ve got pics posted on my site and blogs and other sites. Just curious….

  • Pete

    Wonderful work Lenstag! You work is appreciated by photographers.

    I’m curious if Lenstag is reading EXIF data to match serial numbers. I can imagine the service wont be catching any images that have the EXIF data stripped.

    I would love to see Lenstag develop a service that allowed photographers to select a online gallery (flickr,500px,etc) or upload a gallery of images and have those automatically input into google images to find matches based on looks.

  • JonathonWatkins

    Excellent. Just signed up up for this. I also doubt it will work if metadata is stripped, but hey, every little helps.

  • Carsten Schlipf

    As soon as a user, who has installed the LensTag Rescue extension installed in his Chrome browser, runs over an image that was created with your camera, its location will be reported in your profile.

    The extension scans the image EXIF data for your serial numbers (does not work with Sony cameras therefore).

    Now if only internet services (e.g. Facebook) would stop removing all EXIF data from images this would make our lives much easier. :-(

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  • Gary Burr

    There are a ton of ways to cleanse EXIF data, but hopefully the as****les who steal gear and images are just as stupid in that arena. What we need is to get password protection and/or encryption of the ID keys so they cannot be removed, and make it illegal to remove these. Another thought is to plant a virus in the EXIF data so that if somebody attempts to remove without the passcode or decryption key, it would unleash alerts to Lenstag.

  • Theresa

    I love the idea of an alert system for exif data. I still have no clue as to why we can’t lock all exif data on our images.

  • marcolino

    Part of the process with Lenstag is that you prove ownership of your gear. One of the ways that’s done is by taking photos of you equipment’s making sure you capture the serial #. Within 24 hrs, Lenstag verifies the equipment ownership by viewing the s/n, then verifying it on their site. I did this 4 days ago and it has not been verified yet. Maybe they are shut done for some reason.