Written by 2:45 pm Camera and Lens Care, Photography • 6 Comments

Help Stop Camera and Lens Theft by Registering Serials

Lenstag is a service that curbs camera and lens theft by collecting serial numbers from your gear and keeping them in a registry to be flagged and indexed online if they get ever stolen. Lenstag now has free apps for iOS and Android in multiple languages. Some features include: gear name auto-complete, picture-taking of your gear right from your phone, easy and immediate flagging, and more. Lenstag aims to curb theft by making it harder to resell stolen items.

Download it here:

• http://lens.tg/ios
• http://lens.tg/android

By locking down a serial as belonging to its owner, the reselling and pawning of stolen gear becomes increasingly discouraged. The more people who register their gear, the more effective the registry system is. Stolen serials are indexed online, so checking up on a serial before purchasing in the resell market is easier than ever. We have already registered our gear and want to give a few pointers on finding your gears’ serials. There are a lot of numbers listed on cameras and lenses and not all of them are unique identifiers–be sure you have the correct number!

Lens Theft Prevention: How to Find Canon Serial Numbers

Canon’s Guide to Locating Equipment Serial Numbers is a great, visual resource. Some of the highlights to remember:

Don’t confuse company codes for serial numbers. Company codes tend to have letters in them like “‘UV” or “UZ”. Serials do not. Most lens serials will be either on the body of the lens or on the mount.

Location of Lens Serial Numbers

Not every number on your lens is a serial. Be sure you are reading the right thing.

Canon body serials are located on the base plate of the camera (not the number with “DS” in its sequence).

Lens Theft Prevention: Locate the Serial Numbers of Your Gear

Note that the “DS” number is NOT the serial number. Serial examples marked here in red.

For ownership verification, Lenstag requires an actual photograph showing the serial of your item in your direct possession. However, for your own reference (or to just verify you are photographing the correct thing for registry), you may also pull serials from the EXIF data of your images.

Serial number inside EXIF data.

This camera’s serial was found from opening an image in Photoshop and choosing File Info from the File menu. A variety of other image viewers and editors will display your EXIF data.

How to Find Nikon Serial Numbers

Nikon also provides a visual guide for finding serial numbers. Some of the highlights to remember:

  • The serial number of the product is printed on your warranty card and should match that printed on the product. Remember, Lenstag requires images of the serial directly on the item itself, however, warranty cards can be a great sanity check to make sure you are inputting the correct number.
  • Location varies quite a bit for serials on Nikon cameras and lenses. Fortunately, there doesn’t tend to be company codes also listed so discerning the serial is fairly straightforward.
Serial Number on Bottom of a Nikon Camera Body

Nikon pro bodies tend to have their serials printed on the back. Others are on the bottom plate.

Lens serial number on lens barrel.

Note that some serials are very faint and difficult to read. Also, some serials are printed on the front element of the lens.

You can also check your item’s original box to make sure you are reading the right number on your camera or lens.

Almost all lens and camera serials follow similar location patterns as the examples above and every brand uses unique identifiers – sometimes even for their small items, such as batteries.  It’s free to register these items so you might as well get your investment on record at Lenstag. Additionally, it is always a good idea to register your items with the manufacturer. Help prevent camera and lens theft! Never purchase a used item without first verifying they are the real owner. Registries like this help everyone.

Tags: Last modified: May 20, 2020
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