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Lenstag Launches New ‘Rescue’ Chrome Extension To Help Find Stolen Gear

By Anthony Thurston on February 12th 2014

We have talked about Lenstag before here at SLR Lounge, but for those of you who have not heard of it, here is a quick refresher. Lenstag is an online database where you can store a list of your camera gear and their serial numbers. Then, if your gear is lost or stolen you can mark it as such and Lenstag marks that serial number as a stolen gear. So, if anyone buying gear checks the registry, they will see that the gear that is being sold to them is, in fact, stolen.


Lenstag has just taken it to a whole new level, and is now offering this impressive new “Rescue” service which helps to try and locate stolen gear online through image meta data. The service runs through a chrome extension which reads the meta data of images that you view in your browser. If one of those images comes back as being shot with a stolen piece of gear, then Lenstag rescue is notified and the process of tracking that gear down becomes a whole lot easier for law enforcement.

[REWIND: Lenstag Looks To Put A Dent In Gear Theft]

In order for the system to work correctly though, they need as many people running this chrome extension as possible. The more people surfing the web with this extension installed the more chance that stolen gear can be recovered.


The Chrome extension only sends data when it finds an image with serial numbers or other data in an image that can aid in a camera’s recovery. The data is about the found image and does not contain any text data from the web page itself, nor about you or your computer. The extension should also not effect your browsing or page load times much, if at all, so the effect on your Internet performance will be negligible, at best.

If you are interested in learning more about Lenstag you can do so on their website at, or if you would like to install the chrome extension and help other photographers find their stolen gear, then you can find the free chrome extension here.

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Nicole Boivin

    I think you would also be quite interested in this exif metadata photo search engine also :

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  2. Nick

    What are the legal ramifications if say, you, Anthony, purchase a used 24-70 2.8 from a seller listing on Kijiji. The purchase was made in good faith. Then a year later someone contacts you saying your lens was stolen. What happens to the $1375 you spent on the lens? Is the onus on you to return the lens to the “rightful” owner?

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    • S.Miramontes

      Well, if the (stolen) lens was purchased at a reasonable price (something fair), then the person who bought the stolen item will be okay since it wasn’t unreasonable or suspicious to have gotten a twenty-one hundred dollar lens for two-hundred dollars; Nevertheless, it is still a crime, the totality of the circumstances, facts, and details will be played out in court if it even gets to the level.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      That is a great question. It would certainly be the moral thing to do, but I don’t think that is the only thing you can do. Maybe you still have the contact info for the person you bought it from, so you can give that information to the police. Maybe they can recover the money and you can return the lens feeling good that its rightful owner has it back.

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