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Author Topic: TIFF or JPeg for storage  (Read 5706 times)

te4o

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TIFF or JPeg for storage
« on: January 31, 2012, 03:56:51 AM »
I shoot in RAW almost always, import, store and backup in Aperture and do PP in NIK or PS. The last two do save in TIFF and this multiplies the file size.
Do you convert your PP tiff files back in jpeg for storage or not? Is there a lot of printing info lost, i.e. is it better to print from the tiff than from  jpeg?
I always keep the RAW masters separately, so a second look and PP is possible.
Thanks for your advice!
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 04:28:32 AM by te4o »
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TIFF or JPeg for storage
« on: January 31, 2012, 03:56:51 AM »

xROELOFx

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2012, 04:54:25 AM »
This is my little workflow when processing photos.

I also shoot in RAW (Adobe RGB color space) and backup the original RAW files on a seperate external HDD. I then import the RAW files in Lightroom, delete the not so good photos and tweak the other photos if necessary. I set flags on the good photos and export them as JPG @ 300 pixels/inch.

If needed, I open and edit the exported JPGs in Photoshop and save them as a PSD file. This way I can always trace my actions back in Photoshop and extra tweak the photo in a later time when needed (if I for example learn a new PS trick). I always save a copy of these images as JPG on highest quality and in Adobe RGB color space. The PSDs and Lightroom catalog files are backed up again on another HDD.

The most recent JPG version of the photo is the final photo. It depends on the wishes of the client if I send the final photo, or make the final photo web ready (by lowering the dimensions and lowering the resolution to 90 pixels/inch).

So far, I haven't used the TIFF format at all. But most of my photos are for use on websites and not for printed media like magazines etc.
I'm pretty curious how others work and their use of TIFF images though.
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pakosouthpark

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2012, 05:40:27 AM »
yeah tiff is better for printing. jpg would be better for web use.

mhvogel.de

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2012, 05:56:45 AM »
My storage-system
(all on different HDD, no DVD-backup)
a) RAW
b) TIFF
c) JPEG

If I would have to decide between TIFF and JPEG, TIFF would be my chioce though I've experienced that this format is more stable vs. read-/write-errors, both of HD and optical media. (please see attached sample of a HD read/write-damaged JPEG). I've never had any issues like this with TIFF.

Asuming that you do the editing itself in RAW or TIFF (JPEG would decrease the photo-quality with every time you safe the file) I do not see a critical/visible tiff/jpeg difference in quality at least for prints up to 20x30cm (based on my equipment: 5DII...).
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 06:03:30 AM by mhvogel.de »

pakosouthpark

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2012, 06:03:26 AM »
I've never had any issues like this with TIFF.

kinda cool effect ;)

TexPhoto

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2012, 06:21:25 AM »
I keep the RAW file and after that save the photoshop file. 

xROELOFx

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2012, 06:25:19 AM »
I've never had any issues like this with TIFF.

kinda cool effect ;)
yeah, it looks like a hologram of an OS program window
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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2012, 06:25:19 AM »

Ryusui

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2012, 06:26:32 PM »
My workflow is pretty close to resembling xROELOFx's.

  • shoot in RAW
  • move files to computer HD
  • backup to external HD
  • adjust selected RAW images as needed
  • edit in Photoshop as needed (whenever possible, edits are kept to separate layers)
  • save as PSD
  • move folder of files to external HD
  • delete initial backup on external HD

Never use TIFF unless doing prints.  And even then, all I'll do is export to TIFF for the customer.  I won't keep the TIFF exports because I'll have the RAW and PSD files.  No need for the extra space usage.  My PSD files end up being big enough on their own.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2012, 06:40:43 PM »
Raw files are basically Tiff files with a wrapper that contains extra information.  I print from the raw file in lightroom, never from a jpeg.  If I edit in Photoshop, I export as a tiff with profoto colorspace and import the edited version backinto lightroom.  Then, I keep both.   I save jpegs of the chosen images for upload to my website, otherwise. I backup the original cr2 files and the lightroom catalog.  I also let Adobe create a sidecar file with the edit settings for each raw image.

Orangutan

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2012, 09:21:58 PM »
I'm writing this with my "computer guy" hat on.

TIFF is largely obsolete, and you should avoid it, generally-speaking.  Technically it has no advantages over RAW or PSD.  I'll give one exception at the end.

RAW: Your RAW file represents the full information from the image capture, and this possibly can never be reproduced exactly.  RAW files are your jewels.

PSD: These represent all the post-production work you have done to make the original capture conform to your vision.  While you could reproduce this work, it would take time and effort.  You should keep those PSD's in which you have invested a lot of effort.

JPEG: JPEG is largely an "output" format.  It loses a significant amount of your original capture.  For a photographer, save JPEG's as a convenience if you expect to need to send them out again for general use.

Exception on TIFF's: This format has been around a long time and has a very regular structure.  My guess is that 50 years from now, it'll be easier to import or use an uncompressed TIFF than any of the above formats.  (Think phonograph records: even after needles are no longer made, they can still be played with lasers)  For those rare, no, for those extremely rare, very valuable photos that could be important in 50 years, keep them also in TIFF.


te4o

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2012, 11:00:29 PM »
Thanx for the replies:
I understand that TIFF is not a common format for use. I agree with all commentators.
BUT:
If you'd be using Aperture like I do, you'd notice that exporting for an External Editor creates either a TIFF file or a PSD file (8 or 16 bit, but no-one serious uses the 8 bit any more nowadays). No matter if you PP in Photoshop or in NIK you are working with either PSD or TIFF. They have BOTH NEARLY THE SAME FILE SIZE! If you save your work in tiff/psd you create a 'blown out' file (like my 40D makes a RAW.CR2 at 11 MBite and the PSD/or TIFF have around 51 MB). Even more so with the 21-25 MB 5D2 files - they jump to 100 MB PSD/TIFF. If I do a panorama with 30 shots it goes in the area of 1 GB per single output... But this is a second topic.
This is why I am asking: how do you keep the SIZE of your post-processed shots within at least the range of a RAW file, i.e. 20-25 MB.

BTW, I do 95% of my work in NIK, so I rely on the external editoring from Aperture.
Is Lightroom different in managing the external editors? And how?

There are recent non-expert opinions against PSD (http://www.philbertphotography.com/blog/tiff-vs-psd-in-lightroom).
There are recent views FOR TIFF (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1006&message=39585535) .
Even if TIFF is reported up to 50% larger than PSD the speed of processing is 5 times that of PSD in CS5 (http://www.lightroomforums.net/showthread.php?10428-PSD-vs-TIF) .

I use a maxed out 6 core Mac Pro 2010 with a fast striped RAID too and 8 TB of disk space but someday it will hit the limit too (it's not used solely for photography but video&TV as well and the file sizes there are significantly higher)
So, last question: do you ZIP or somehow compress your PSD / TIFF files for storage?
See, the end of the workflow is not unified - we are all impressed by what the recently developed software can do to our native RAWs and at least speaking for myself I don't know how to finalize my workflow properly. At present I just keep the RAWs AND the TIFFs. Until there is some real advice.
Thanks!
Happy Waiting !
BTW, has someone tried to do a stitch and PP it with a 36 MP file (MF) ? My machine chokes with the 21MP already... I don't know if our computing gear is really ready for postprocessing 36 MP 16 bit files. Storage is not an issue but really advanced postprocessing will be!   
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 11:21:49 PM by te4o »
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Orangutan

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2012, 11:27:46 PM »
This is why I am asking: how do you keep the SIZE of your post-processed shots within at least the range of a RAW file, i.e. 20-25 MB.

Unfortunately, I think the answer may be "you can't."  You could try compressing PSD's or groups of PSD's using a ZIP tool of some kind.  I'm not aware of any lossless image compression format in common use.  (JPEG2000 does it, but it's not so common, and I can't claim to be very familiar with that format)  For a 5D2 you have 21megapixels at 16-bits x 3 channels (six bytes) each.  That's just a lot of data -- no way around it.  And for a pano with 30 images?  Huge.  You need to compress it somehow, and you have two choices: lossy or lossless.  JPEG does lossy compression.  Only you can decide if that's acceptable.  For lossless compression you might try 7Zip.  From my perspective, disk space is still dirt cheap, even with the price-gouging after the Thailand flooding.  I'd keep the RAW's and PSD's, plus those JPEG's I planned to send out for printing, posting, emailing, etc.  I'd either try lossless compression or I'd suck it up and buy disk space.  But it's your call on what's important to you.

Sorry I can't be more helpful.  If it makes you feel any better, the digital video guys have it worse than us still photographers.   :D

Ellen Schmidtee

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2012, 12:38:45 AM »
I'm writing this with my "computer guy" hat on.

TIFF is largely obsolete, and you should avoid it, generally-speaking.  Technically it has no advantages over RAW or PSD.  I'll give one exception at the end.

RAW: Your RAW file represents the full information from the image capture, and this possibly can never be reproduced exactly.  RAW files are your jewels.

PSD: These represent all the post-production work you have done to make the original capture conform to your vision.  While you could reproduce this work, it would take time and effort.  You should keep those PSD's in which you have invested a lot of effort.

JPEG: JPEG is largely an "output" format.  It loses a significant amount of your original capture.  For a photographer, save JPEG's as a convenience if you expect to need to send them out again for general use.

Exception on TIFF's: This format has been around a long time and has a very regular structure.  My guess is that 50 years from now, it'll be easier to import or use an uncompressed TIFF than any of the above formats.  (Think phonograph records: even after needles are no longer made, they can still be played with lasers)  For those rare, no, for those extremely rare, very valuable photos that could be important in 50 years, keep them also in TIFF.

I think TIFF is here to stay, as it is an open standard, easy to add to image processing software via libtiff, already included in many such softwares, is lossless, and has 16 bit support in both color & greyscale. There's nothing else in that not so niche corner.

The day I see CR2 support fading, I'm going to convert all my photos to TIFF, not because I think each and every one of them is very valuable, but my disk is my photo album, disk space is cheap, and I hope in two generations my family would enjoy that photo album as much as my cousins & me enjoy our grandparents'.

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2012, 12:38:45 AM »

Orangutan

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2012, 01:18:27 AM »
I think TIFF is here to stay, as it is an open standard, easy to add to image processing software via libtiff, already included in many such softwares, is lossless, and has 16 bit support in both color & greyscale. There's nothing else in that not so niche corner.


I don't disagree that it'll be around, but it's not that simple.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tif.  It's really more of a container format, with certain baseline requirements.   Since there are many variations of TIF files, high compatibility is likely restricted to the baseline structures, which I believe are just bitmaps.   From the article: "Baseline TIFF. The Baseline TIFF does not include layers, or compression with JPEG or LZW."  This is a weak format for modern photography.

Quote
The day I see CR2 support fading, I'm going to convert all my photos to TIFF


Hopefully, there will be better options than TIF, maybe a version of DNG will catch on at some point, or PSD with lossless compression.  Sure, baseline TIF will be around, and will be supported, but may not be the best solution.  Also, TIF contains less information than CR2.

This is the same problem as in other areas of computing: data formats evolve and create obsolete files.  Fortunately for us, so long as we keep our files in managed libraries like LightRoom, we'll probably have the option to migrate the whole thing to the newest/bestest format in one command.

Ellen Schmidtee

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2012, 05:33:44 AM »
Hopefully, there will be better options than TIF, maybe a version of DNG will catch on at some point, or PSD with lossless compression.  Sure, baseline TIF will be around, and will be supported, but may not be the best solution.  Also, TIF contains less information than CR2.

This is the same problem as in other areas of computing: data formats evolve and create obsolete files.  Fortunately for us, so long as we keep our files in managed libraries like LightRoom, we'll probably have the option to migrate the whole thing to the newest/bestest format in one command.

TIFF probably contain less info than CR2, as it wasn't designed to serve as raw format, but rather as a format to keep image data from scanners & faxes. IMHO, TIFF is more likely to be readable in the far future, so it would be a case of something is better than nothing.

I'm not a fan of TIFF, and share your hope that something better than TIFF will become, at least for the purposes we're talking about, an industry standard. DNG seems to do a good job, and is half way there, so why not?

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2012, 05:33:44 AM »