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Thread: Printing files help

  1. #1

    Printing files help

    OK, after reading several articles and talking with several printing labs i'm still comfussed... I shoot in raw and then do my editing and save file as a tiff...........but, when i send the tiff file to the lab they reduce it to a jpeg before printing.......If i'm wanting 20x30 prints made, then wouldnt i get better prints from a tiff??? thanks

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    South Devon, UK

    Re: Printing files help

    Just a thought, but is the print lab's printing equipment able to work with Tiff?

    Which may be why they have to convert to Jpeg. If so, you may prefer to do the conversion yourself where you have full control over the process.

    But I print my own stuff anyway.

  3. #3
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Southern California, USA
    Real Name

    It depends on the company doing the printing...

    The mass market services accept only JPEG files, which are limited to 8 bits of luminance information: 256 different levels.

    I would check for a lab which will print from TIFF files or even from PSD files.

    I have a local lab which prefers to print from PSD files. I will drop off my files at their storefront on a thumb drive which they download and hand me back the thumb drive. We will discuss the image and any tweaks which might make a better print. They don't charge for a quick tweak and will suggest how I can end up with a file which they can do a better job of printing. They do an excellent job but, their services are fairly expensive.

    Note the mass market type labs can be a LOT less expensive than custom labs. I only use the custom lab for products which I cannot duplicate such as large stretched canvas prints...

    I would suggest doing a test by sending the same file to a mass market lab and to a more customized lab and see the difference in print quality.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 4th February 2012 at 09:19 PM.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    New Zealand
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Printing files help

    Quote Originally Posted by virg View Post
    If i'm wanting 20x30 prints made, then wouldnt i get better prints from a tiff??? thanks
    In a word, no (a JPEG at the highest quality setting will be "visually lossless")

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