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Thread: best print image

  1. #1
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    best print image

    I am shooting all of my photos in RAW with my DSLR which I convert to TIFF in PS Elements and then save. TIFF is to big of a file if I want to send the photos via e.mail so should I save the files to JPEG? What if I want to print them out later? Is a print in JPEG as good as a print in TIFF for clarity?
    Also can I convert a TIFF to a JPEG if I want to send via e.mail?
    Thanks Elkybum

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    Re: best print image

    Your last sentence is your answer, Bill.

    I normally shoot Raw then convert to Tiff, although depending on your software there may be alternatives which are equally as good, or even better.

    Tiff (or any of the alternatives) can be converted to Jpeg at any time. Just make sure that you are creating a new copy (eg using Export or Save As commands) and not converting the original; which can still be used for printing etc.

    Exact Jpeg settings (amount of compression etc) and sizes will be a bit variable depending on the use for that image. Some internet sites for example make specific demands about the size of files. But for a straight e mail the size options will be a lot more variable. For example, when sending an e mail to a friend, or an insect for identification, etc, I normally resize to around 1000 pixels on the long side at the Best Quality Jpeg setting and the file size just becomes whatever it is.

    But where there are size constraints I vary the image size and compression until I achieve a suitable file size.

    Jpeg can lose some details during the compression process which is why it is better to save the 'mastercopy' as a Tiff or other non compressed format.

    During the resizing and compression, Jpeg images can lose a bit of sharpness so if you make a considerable downsize it may prove an advantage to add a little Unsharp Mask afterwards. But don't overdo this.

    Best photo formats for different uses has been discussed in more detail recently in other posts; these should help to provide extra information.

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    Re: best print image

    Thanks for the info...that answered my question, perfectly

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    Re: best print image

    elkybum:

    Another thing to keep in mind: You may have noticed that when you convert to jpg you get a menu that allows you to set your jpg options including a scale from 1 to 10. One will give you the highest compression and the smallest file. You also will get severe posterizing - colors in bands instead of grades. I find anything above 5 will be OK but I usually use 8. Eight will give you good compression, no noticable posterization, and frankly, I can't see any difference between 8 and 10.

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    Re: best print image

    Just a quick bit to add ...

    Often JPEGs are frowned upon as being the "poor cousin" to other (lossless) formats like PSD & TIFF, but in reality - so long as one doesn't choose an overly agressive compression option - then the final result is "visually indistinguishable" from the larger files.

    JPEGs are designed to be small - and they do that by throwing away a LOT of information, but information none-the-less that's not needed PROVIDED NO FURTHER LARGE ADJUSTMENTS ARE NEEDED TO THE IMAGE.

    In other words - send a finished file to the printers as a JPEG and you'll be fine (just make sure it's in an sRGB format first); convert a poorly exposed image to JPEH and then try to adjust it and you'll strike all sorts of issues.

    Hope this helps

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    Re: best print image

    I would only add, referring back to the original post's questions, that yes, a jpg is fine to print from, BUT the jpg you print from needs to be the full resolution version of the image with no downsizing (apart from cropping for better composition obviously).

    Whereas one for sending in an e-mail will inevitable benefit from a size reduction (e.g. to say, 800px on longest side);
    Now, some mail programs do that on the fly for you (if you have the right options set), but others don't, so for them, you'd want to downsize manually and SAVE AS a copy (with a different filename to avoid overwriting the full res image). You wouldn't want to print this small one anything bigger than 6 inches on longest side, but the full res one will be fine for much bigger prints (assuming was in the order of 4,000 - 5,000 pixels on longest side), which is why you don't want to accidentally save the small e-mail version with same filename as the big one

    I use 9 out of 12 - equivalent to your 8 out of 10, for my jpg quality setting.

    For safety's sake, I always "Save As" (not just 'Save') so I know what format the file will be and am prompted to enter a filename each time.

    Cheers,

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    Re: best print image

    I have been caught out by accidentally clicking Save instead of Save As. In many ways, I preferred the editing software which had Save or Export as options. Even I rarely got that wrong!

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    Re: best print image

    And a practical story about using the most suitable image format . . .

    Part of my duties with the local regatta is taking photos for the next programme. Usually I sort out a small sample of suitable photos and give them to the programme printer who decides which to use. Jpegs (best quality) at printed page size.

    Recently, the regatta secretary asked if she could see all of my photos to decide which one to choose for this year's cover. No problem so far; but they are all currently full size Tiff images. So I simply burnt a DVD of everything (approx 1 GB) which is sorted into sub folders of different events to make selection easy. After burning I opened a few photos to check that it had burnt correctly.

    She was unable to open the DVD. Her computer only reads CD. So she took the disc to the printer who was also unable to open it. Then a visit to a guy who produces web sites and he copied the data onto a memory stick.

    But she was still unable to view anything. In desperation she drove 10 miles to a local chemist/photo printer but was still unable to open the Tiffs.

    I suppose I now have two alternatives. Either they come around to my house and view them on my computer or I batch convert them into Jpeg.

    I'm not sure if I can convert the whole folder including sub folders in one go, but I suspect I will have to do each sub folder individually. And if I want to retain the previous tidy one event per folder system I will have to create another 'framework' of sub folders in a new main folder.

    Not really a great problem, just another slightly tedious job which I thought I had evaded. I'm not sure if this is possible using Bridge; I have moved/copied files with it but couldn't manage to copy into sub folders. Never mind, I can still process the job with ACDSee, providing I get all the settings correct and don't accidentally also delete the originals - as happened once previously!
    Last edited by Geoff F; 17th February 2011 at 05:32 PM.

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    Re: best print image

    Bill,

    The option to save in tiff is good in one respect for the lossless nature of the work and the 16 bit support, but unless you select the compress option (assuming it is available in the program you use) the files are extremely large. I personally use PNG format for most of my work, as it is both lossless and compressed.

    Geoff,

    I suppose you aren't using Linux, but if you have access to a Linux machine you could use Phatch to process the images.

    -Sonic

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    Re: best print image

    Will, no I don't have Linux which is something that I once considered but decided that I can get sufficiently confused with what I am currently using!

    Eventually, I considered that some of the photos could do with a little extra sharpening before converting (I never like to risk over sharpening the originals). So I batch copied each Tiff sub folder into a new folder 'framework' then opened 5 or 6 to a time in the main programme and slightly sharpened, where required, before Saving As a Jpeg into that same folder, then batch deleted the copied Tiffs.

    There might have been an easier method but this way made sense to me - well just about.

    Incidentally, the original Tiff files which she was unable to open varied between 10 and 30 Mb each which I wouldn't regard as excessively large; but I know that some software does totally refuse to recognise any Tiff images.

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    Re: best print image

    hi !
    I print my photos (usually 20x30 or 30x45 cm) compressed with jpeg format, sending them via the net to www.digitalpix.com (I recommend this site, since the prices are low, they provide their icc profile and many kind of photografic paper as Fuji archive supreme, Fuji pearl, kodak endura metallic... and whitin 2-3 day I've the prints in my post box! it's an italian printing factory but has also an english and spanish version, see up-right the flags)

    but this web site, and many others I've seen, doesn't manage any kind of file with 16 bit depth. The only way I've found to print from tiff-16bit is contact the many "fine art studios" in the neighborhood, but one need about 30 euro for a 20x30cm print...

    Do you have a cheaper way in order to let me try what's the difference between a jpeg and a 16bit print?
    many thanks to all!
    have a nice day
    Nicola

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    Re: best print image

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicola View Post
    Do you have a cheaper way in order to let me try what's the difference between a jpeg and a 16bit print?
    Hi Nicola,

    16 bit files give you an extra "safety margin" whilst you're editing them, but once you've finished editing you can save a copy as a high-quality JPEG without losing any quality.

    So to answer the question, don't worry about trying to print 16 bit files (unless you do your own printing, it's a battle you won't win) ... just convert them to 8 bit JPEGs (sRGB Profile) - send them off - and enjoy

    PS: Having DigitalPix's ICC profile is only of any use if you're doing soft-proofing, which - in my opinion - isn't overly useful as often printers will have significantly different gamuts to monitors, and sRGB is usually supported by both monitors and printers anyway, so usually not a lot to gain.

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    Re: best print image

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Nicola,

    16 bit files give you an extra "safety margin" whilst you're editing them, but once you've finished editing you can save a copy as a high-quality JPEG without losing any quality.

    So to answer the question, don't worry about trying to print 16 bit files (unless you do your own printing, it's a battle you won't win) ... just convert them to 8 bit JPEGs (sRGB Profile) - send them off - and enjoy

    PS: Having DigitalPix's ICC profile is only of any use if you're doing soft-proofing, which - in my opinion - isn't overly useful as often printers will have significantly different gamuts to monitors, and sRGB is usually supported by both monitors and printers anyway, so usually not a lot to gain.
    hi Colin
    thanks first of all!
    about ICC profiles you're right, and I don't use them.. too much professional for my photo knowledge!

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    Re: best print image

    It is useful to have the profile, but only if you set the correct soft profing mode. This is of particular intrest to me as I do graphic design work (still learning, also the reason I can do something with pp but nothing with my camera) and have to soft proof documents for getting the images correct.

    -Sonc

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    Re: best print image

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic4Spuds View Post
    It is useful to have the profile, but only if you set the correct soft profing mode. This is of particular intrest to me as I do graphic design work (still learning, also the reason I can do something with pp but nothing with my camera) and have to soft proof documents for getting the images correct.

    -Sonc
    Personally, I've only found it to be of limited use; mostly just for Gamut checks. Most of the time the issue is in the different gamuts of the two devices; the average monitor has pretty close to a sRGB gamut, but many printers can go outside of this - and into the Adobe RGB gamut in areas like highly saturated cyans and highly saturated magentas (for obvious reasons). The problem is if one is soft-proofing with a printer profile and an image that contains colours out of the sRGB gamut - in most cases (wide gamut monitors excluded), the monitor is incapable of displaying them; so what you see isn't what you get.

    From a levels perspective, it's just as bad; the monitor can do 6 stops of DR, and the paper only 4 ("ball park figures"); in theory the tones are mapped according to the rendering intents and are as close as the current state of the art permits, but my personal experience tells me that I actually get a better indication of the likely result simply by looking at how hard I'm pushing the histogram (along with how the image is looking on the screen). To my eye, soft-proofing - especially when using options like "simulate paper colour" - just aren't close enough for me to be able to adjust the image visually.

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