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Thread: Printing 8 or 16 bit Tiff files saved in Adobe RGB colour space versus sRGB

  1. #1

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    Printing 8 or 16 bit Tiff files saved in Adobe RGB colour space versus sRGB

    As I do not own a printer I have been advised to save my image files as tiffs or jpegs in the smaller colour space of Adobe sRGB but I am not satisfied with outcome of my prints when I get them back from my local processing companies that is Jessops and Boots the colours especially in the red, green and blues, as they seem muted compared to what I see on my computer screen. I have calibrated my monitor and this is fine, but I am not sure where to get my photos printed in the RGB colour space, a local printing firm say that they can print them using CMYK but I have heard that because of the black ink used in this process it can tend to darken the images slightly. Is there anywhere online that could print image files saved in the RGB colour mode and saved as high quality tiffs? also if there is someone out there, how do I send such large files over the internet or would they accept files burned to a CD?
    Any help much appreciated!
    Regards Gary

  2. #2

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    Re: Printing 8 or 16 bit Tiff files saved in Adobe RGB colour space versus sRGB

    The simple answer, Gary, is to work in sRGB all the time and everything is easy. But I'm not fully understanding what you are saying about your current colour mode.

    Adobe RGB may have slight advantages in some conditions but you probably won't be able to see the differences. And sRGB is acceptable everywhere.

    Alternatively work in Adobe RGB then convert your files to sRGB for printing. The method will depend on your software.

    Also, printing on cheap paper will give poor results.

    But I always do my own printing to avoid this problem.

  3. #3
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    Re: Printing 8 or 16 bit Tiff files saved in Adobe RGB colour space versus sRGB

    Gary
    I suggest you try an online printer, someone like Photobox rather than Boots or Jessops for your prints. They are quick, turnaround is usually a lot quicker than they estimate, very reasonably priced and good quality too. They will have advice on their web site about colour spaces (sRGB & AdobeRGB), format, resolution etc.

    Saving in AdobeRGB should be fine for printing (sRGB for web or projector).
    As for the colours being muted, if you have calibrated your display screen correctly and converted your image to either AdobeRGB or sRGB then there shouldn't be much of a problem. Don't forget you screen will always show images brighter than they will be printed because it is back lit. You can always adjust the 'gamma' of your screen until it gets close to what you see in your prints.

    Chris

  4. #4

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    Re: Printing 8 or 16 bit Tiff files saved in Adobe RGB colour space versus sRGB

    Hi Geoff,
    I have read many a photography magazine and even my Nikon NX 2 and Elements 9 software says that you should set the colour space to Adobe RGB if you intend to edit your pictures in post processing and only set to sRGB if you only intend to view your images on screen or send via e-mail. I have to disagree with you on the colour differences as I have changed the colour profile of my images in Nikon's NX2 software from sRGB to Adobe RGB and the difference is plain to see especially in the greens and blues.
    Regards
    Gary

  5. #5

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    Re: Printing 8 or 16 bit Tiff files saved in Adobe RGB colour space versus sRGB

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for your advice, I agree that the colours you see on screen are never as such when printed and I will have a look at changing the settings on my Spyder Pro3 calibrator as you suggested to see if I can match them that bit closer. Has for printing I will visit the Photobox website and check them out soon.
    Regards
    Gary

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    Re: Printing 8 or 16 bit Tiff files saved in Adobe RGB colour space versus sRGB

    I would avoid Jessops and Boots like the plague if you are looking for specific quality. Their product is set for average "Joe Soap", who would never understand the complexities of RGB/sRGB. The products and processing are down to a price also, so it is unlikely that they will ever tweak your pics/their machines, it is primarly for the holiday/Xmas/birthday party market.

    I like LoxleyColor.com in terms of online labs, and judging by others who use their service I am in good company. A lot of people I know use ProAmimaging.com, who are remarkably competitive on price, so much so that you wonder how they do it, but a vast number of club photographers do make use of their service, so no doubt they get the volume too.

  7. #7

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    Re: Printing 8 or 16 bit Tiff files saved in Adobe RGB colour space versus sRGB

    Hi Gary,

    Very common problem.

    The vast majority of print shops ASSUME that the image is in sRGB. Adobe RGB is capable of representing a wider gamut than sRGB so the actual numbers used to represent the same colour in Adobe RGB is LOWER than the numbers used for the same colour in sRGB. But because the print shop software is ASSUMING that what you're feeding it are sRGB numbers they basically all print darker, and appear less saturated.

    If you're not going to be printing your own images then there's little advantage (but several disadvantages) to using a colourspace bigger than sRGB, but ultimately it doesn't make a lot of difference so long as you CONVERT TO (not assign) sRGB before you take the images into them.

    Why print shops seem universally incapable of detecting profiles like Adobe RGB and Prophoto RGB are beyond me, but that's a story for anothe day!

    Hope this helps.

  8. #8
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    Re: Printing 8 or 16 bit Tiff files saved in Adobe RGB colour space versus sRGB

    Hi Gary,

    take a look at www.theprintspace.co.uk there are instruction videos on all aspects of getting your prints right and the site is very easy to use too.

    Cheers
    Nigel.

  9. #9

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    Re: Printing 8 or 16 bit Tiff files saved in Adobe RGB colour space versus sRGB

    Hi Nigel,
    Thanks for the link to the print space website, I shall have a good look on there to see what I can learn.

    Regards
    Gary

  10. #10

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    Re: Printing 8 or 16 bit Tiff files saved in Adobe RGB colour space versus sRGB

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryMarsh View Post
    As I do not own a printer I have been advised to save my image files as tiffs or jpegs in the smaller colour space of Adobe sRGB but I am not satisfied with outcome of my prints when I get them back from my local processing companies that is Jessops and Boots the colours especially in the red, green and blues, as they seem muted compared to what I see on my computer screen. ...
    Any help much appreciated!
    Regards Gary
    Gary
    The problem is to do with Adobe RGB vs sRGB. It's not your fault - it's that your print people are not bothering to use their software to determine which colour space was used to encode your image.

    The following, from an article of mine, might help:

    "Colour spaces. Standardising colour numbers
    sRGB
    sRGB, was defined by Microsoft. sRGB is a colour space that limited the colours it tries to represent to only those that could be printed on every known monitor and inexpensive printer at the time. It assigns 255 to a red that is easily within the gamut of any monitor or printer. Similarly it assigns 255 to a green that easily displayed, and likewise for blue.
    Itís a Ďsafeí space to use because if you send someone an image containing only the colours in sRGB itís a good bet they will be able to see all the same colours you sent. But in doing so, you may have had to sacrifice colours from your image.
    ProPhoto RGB
    At the other end of the scale is ProPhotoRGB, designed by Kodak. They took the opposite approach. ProPhotoRGB contains every colour that any physical device could ever hope to be able to display.
    In ProPhoto RGB, the red that is assigned 255 is more saturated than most devices can reproduce, and closer to CIE's definition of 'pure red'. Similarly for green and blue.
    As far as I know, there is no real device that can reproduce all of the colours in the ProPhotoRGB space. You would never have to trim colours if you sent someone an image represented in ProPhotoRGB.
    Adobe RGB
    In between sRGB and ProPhotoRGB is Adobe RGB. Adobe realised that cameras, many modern printers, and good monitors can display more colours than Microsoft imagined. At the same time they saw no point in assigning numbers to colour values that few or no devices could display. Adobe RGB contains more colours than sRGB, but fewer than ProPhoto RGB, and all contain fewer that the human eye can see!
    The tricky part~
    sRGB, AdobeRGB and ProPhotoRGB are systems that assign numbers to real visible colours.
    But (255,0,0) does not represent the same colour red in sRGB, Adobe RGB and ProPhoto RGB. As you can see in the diagram (255,0,0) in sRGB represents the colour that is represented by ~(235,00) in ProPhoto RGB. Conversely, (200,0,0) in ProPhoto RGB represents a fairly saturated red, but in sRGB would be relatively washed out. If you send an AdobeRGB file to a printer, and he assumes your file uses sRGB numbers, your image will be badly undersaturated.
    When we are using numbers representing colours, it is very important to know which colour space the numbers refer to, or there is great potential for confusion!"

    The above assumes an 8-bit space, but the numbers are simply scaled for a 16bit space - the same colour number interpreted in Adobe RGB represents are more saturated colour than in sRGB. My diagram would help but I cant seem to upload it!!!

    Cheers
    Tim

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