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Thread: Tiff files and RGB question

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    Badcast's Avatar
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    Tiff files and RGB question

    I recently burned a DVD for a friend and the files were Tiff 16bit. He could not open the files. I did a search on this and got so much information my head is about to explode. I'm still trying to understand and need someone to dumb it down for me What is the best way to convert a file for viewing and printing. I process from RAW to 16bit Tiff, crop and save on DVD to save HD space. I noticed when I try to edit in Elements 7 it must be 8bit, so I don't. After reading my searches I guess 8bit is OK. When you send your files to a lab for printing should they be 8bit, 16bit, Tiff or Jpeg. Whats the norm for best prints. Also a question about RGB and sRGB. I changed the setting on my camera from sRGB to RGB to see if I could see a difference in viewing but could not see any. One thing I did notice it slowed down my camera's processing and lost 1fps or more. I shoot mostly sports so I need the speed. I know RGB covers more of the color spectrum but shooting sports will I need this. After using both and comparing I can't tell the difference. Sorry for the long questions but after reading so much I think I'm leaking information out my ears

    Randy

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    Re: Tiff files and RGB question

    I think I'm leaking information out my ears with me, Randy, it usually seems to come from a different orifice.

    What you have encountered is a tricky situation which often occurs between different software. I assume that you aren't using compressed Tiff's which is an even more complicated problem because many programmes won't work with those. In fact, it can be amazing just how much software won't even recognise a basic Tiff.

    For example, if I may repeat a little tale which I recently told here, but now I can't remember which post.

    Recently, I had to supply some photos for my local Regatta Programme. Usually, I pick a couple of suitable images for each event and put them onto a CD, as Jpeg, and give it to the printer.

    This year, the Secretary asked if she could see everything that I had. So to save time I just copied every thing (in 16 bit Tiff) to a DVD. But her computer couldn't open DVD's; so she took the disc directly to the printer, who was also unable to see anything.

    She then took my DVD to a guy who creates web sites and he copied the photos to a memory stick. But the printer still couldn't see anything and it still wouldn't work on her home computer either.

    Then, and by now she was starting to become a little flustered, she took the memory stick to a local chemist which did photo prints; but this was rejected once again.

    Upon receiving my original DVD back, I opened it on my computer without any problem. I then reverted to selecting what I considered to be the best images and put them onto a CD as Jpeg's, which worked OK except . . .

    I burnt 3 copies for different people. But one was returned because 'there wasn't anything on the CD'. And once again, it opened perfectly on my computer. I suspect they didn't have a 'proper' Photo Editor and weren't using the computer viewer correctly; or more likely, simply didn't wait for the disc to 'load'.

    Maybe a bit long winded, but I think that tale illustrates some of the many compatibility problems.

    So, Randy, the first question is can your friend's computer handle DVD's? Then can he open Tiff files and if so which form of Tiff (8 or 16bit)?

    Photo printing shops may have specific requirements so it would be wise to enquire first. And this can include image size/resolution requirements as well as format. There isn't any 'one size fits all' answer except basic Jpeg, not the modern improved forms.

    Much the same applies to your choice of colour space. I normally work in sRGB which usually seems to be compatible under most conditions. But Adobe RGB can sometimes produce better results; although it isn't suitable everywhere, particularly for internet use. Simple RGB maybe the most universally accepted format but it might not produce the best results.

    Does this little ramble help to clarify anything, Randy, or am I simply leaking more questionable data!

    ps. Today, I encountered another simple little problem. I had to supply some images for a web site about my local area. I had asked for details about the required file sizes, etc, but nothing was forthcoming. So I converted my images to 80% compressed Jpeg's at 800 pixels on the longest side.

    I have just received an e mail to say that it is taking them a long time to resize from 800 to 600 pixels and is it possible for me to send some resized images. Why this simple task is a problem, I don't know but assume they either only have basic software or don't know how to perform this simple task. Even without Batch Conversion it should only be a matter of a couple of clicks per photo.

    But, I think that I may have deleted my original resized files and can't now remember which photos I had selected for use.

    Rambling again, Sorry.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 28th March 2011 at 07:03 PM.

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    Re: Tiff files and RGB question

    Hi Randy,

    The solution for printing is simple - Convert a copy of your files to 8 bit JPEG converted to sRGB for printing (saved at a high quality setting). The files will be a lot smaller than a TIFF, will be in the correct colourspace, and won't lose any quality.

    For storing work that may require further editing, PSD is preferred as it is lossless, but smaller in size than TIFF (usually) - and is Photoshop's native format.

    DVDs are great for backing up images, but I wouldn't keep my only copy of an image on them -- too risky. Get a bigger HDD - they're cheap enough these days.

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    Re: Tiff files and RGB question

    Thanks Geoff, and yes your example was on the nose. Colin, your second person who told me to get a bigger HDD and I am. The 8bit jpeg is working fine, I emailed a file to him and it opened fine. Thanks! What about my camera set on RGB processing slower than sRGB. Is this normal or is it my D90? Also my raw files went from 12mp to 14mp, figure that.
    Randy

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    Re: Tiff files and RGB question

    Quote Originally Posted by Badcast View Post
    What about my camera set on RGB processing slower than sRGB. Is this normal or is it my D90? Also my raw files went from 12mp to 14mp, figure that.
    Randy
    Hi Randy,

    I'm not sure what they're on about to be honest - normally the choices are Adobe RGB and sRGB, whih are two slightly different colour standards. RGB in itself (without an attached colour profile) is "mystery meat".

    In a nutshell, sRGB is safest, but MAY contain SLIGHTLY fewer colours -- in reality, nobody ever notices these few colours that are changed slightly -- so if you don't have a strong understanding of colour management, then sRGB is by far the safest option. Adobe RGB has a slightly bigger colour gamut - but most monitors are only sRGB devices, and most print shops can only handle sRGB files - so unless you're doing your own printing, then Adobe RGB is a waste of time in most cases.

    If you're shooting RAW then it doesn't matter what setting you have the camera on, as a RAW file doesn't have a colourspace until it's converted in your computer.

    Does this help?

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    Re: Tiff files and RGB question

    Yes it does Colin, thanks, I need to go back to the defalt setting sRGB and forget about it. I think I make my own problems

    Randy

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    Re: Tiff files and RGB question

    Quote Originally Posted by Badcast View Post
    Yes it does Colin, thanks, I need to go back to the defalt setting sRGB and forget about it. I think I make my own problems

    Randy
    Maybe, Randy. But I always think it is worthwhile to try to understand each subject.

    Even if I fail to fully understand the entire depth of a complicated situation I often find that simple things which were previously confusing me suddenly become obvious. So something has been learned from the experience.

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    Re: Tiff files and RGB question

    Quote Originally Posted by Badcast View Post
    Yes it does Colin, thanks, I need to go back to the defalt setting sRGB and forget about it. I think I make my own problems

    Randy
    That's often best!

    If you're shooting RAW (as you should be!) then just set the converter to spit the images out in sRGB and "job done"

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    Re: Tiff files and RGB question

    All this convinces me that job 1 should be simplification of file compatibility, not new features that nobody needs, e.g. face recognition and GPS tagging.

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    Re: Tiff files and RGB question

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Recently, I had to supply some photos for my local Regatta Programme. Usually, I pick a couple of suitable images for each event and put them onto a CD, as Jpeg, and give it to the printer.

    This year, the Secretary asked if she could see everything that I had. So to save time I just copied every thing (in 16 bit Tiff) to a DVD. But her computer couldn't open DVD's; so she took the disc directly to the printer, who was also unable to see anything.
    Geoff, I've had this issue with CD/DVD before. If you have a reasonable computer you are probably burning at x12 or x16. A slower (older) CD/DVD drive won't recognise a disk burned at a faster speed. Best thing to do is to burn at x8 which should work for most disk drives.

    Cheers.

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    Re: Tiff files and RGB question

    The next time I burn a disc, I will check the speed. I don't think I am burning at top speed, but these things do have a tendency to 'self set' the adjustments.

    But in the previous case, my second burning of CDs worked fine. I suspect that I just assumed that the users were DVD compatible when they were actually using older CD only equipment.

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    Re: Tiff files and RGB question

    Geoff, another question is what type of DVD disk are you burning to? I use -R as it seems to be the most compatible, although this is not always the case.

    I recently restored my parent's old hard copy photos to digital and gave a DVD out to each family member. In the end I had three versions (burn speeds and disk types) of the same thing just to suite people's different equipment.

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    Re: Tiff files and RGB question

    Yes Mark, it was DVD-R and 'proper' TDK discs too, not the cheap supermarket version.

    I remember a couple of years ago, getting a pack of good quality CD discs but I just couldn't get them to work. Eventually I gave some to a friend, who knows more than me about this sort of thing, and he was equally stumped.

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    Re: Tiff files and RGB question

    I always edit in adobeRGB using 16-bit .tiff and only convert to 8-bit when editing options require it. Finally, I convert to sRGB .jpg when the use of the image will be on the web or when giving the image to someone else to view/use. I use adobeRGB when printing because my printer can support that color space.

    DVD discs have been a problem for me due to differences in equipment used to play or read them. I have some movie files that were converted from 8mm film and the DVD-R files will play on about 60% of the equipment that it is inserted into. I can get them to play on my car's DVD player and my HP workstation, but not on my DVD player. My mother can play the DVD on her player but my sister can't. So there are no guarantees unfortunately.

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    Re: Tiff files and RGB question

    I use Paint Shop Pro X2 and the Neat Image and Focus Magic plugins. Both plugin manufacturers claim that the plugins will work with any format that is supported by X2. However, the plugin options are greyed out for both programs when I load 16-bit RGB tiff images into X2. So compatiblity can be a tricky thing, indeed. FWIW

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    Re: Tiff files and RGB question

    Quote Originally Posted by tclune View Post
    I use Paint Shop Pro X2 and the Neat Image and Focus Magic plugins. Both plugin manufacturers claim that the plugins will work with any format that is supported by X2. However, the plugin options are greyed out for both programs when I load 16-bit RGB tiff images into X2. So compatiblity can be a tricky thing, indeed. FWIW
    Hi tclune (btw, what is your first name?),

    The 16 bit Tiff options for Neat Image may be greyed out if you don't have the Pro+ version (AFAIK), could be same for Focus Magic.

    HTH (someone)

    Cheers,

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