NEF to TIFF=Huge File Sizes!

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by summers_enemy, May 15, 2006.

  1. summers_enemy

    summers_enemy TPF Noob!

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    Just been doing some NEF experimentation today. Turns out that when I open the NEFs in Nikon Capture and save them as TIFF files, the file size ups itself from around 6mb per picture to over 30mbs per picture! :shock:

    Anyone know why this happens? Anyway I can retain TIFF quality but still keep a smaller file size? I'm shooting a wedding on Saturday and I really don't want to be giving the lady 30 CDs worth of photos!:lol:
     
  2. Bob_McBob

    Bob_McBob TPF Noob!

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    That is not really very surprising. RAW formats only have luminance values for each pixel (the colour is interpolated), so they are not particularly large compared to a converted uncompressed TIFF. I see you have a D50, so here are some file size comparisons:

    RAW:
    3008 x 2000 x 12 bits per pixel = 72192000 bits = 8.6 MB/image (they are less in practice because Nikon uses compression in RAW)

    24 bit colour:
    3008 x 2000 x 24 bits per pixel = 144384000 bits = 17.2 MB/image

    48 bit colour:
    3008 x 2000 x 48 bits per pixel = 288768000 bits = 34.4 MB/image

    If you want to decrease the size of the TIFFs, you can try using LZW compression (that should be an option in the save dialogue), but this will not save very much space. You are using 48 bit TIFFs, which is a good idea for editing, but if you are giving them to your customer to print, converting them to 24 bit should be fine. You could also try an alternative image format like PNG, but your customer may have problems getting them printed, as most photo lab systems I've seen don't support PNG.

    Really, the best solution would be to get a DVD burner and cut your 30 CDs down to 4 or 5 DVDs (or even 2 if you use 24 bit images). Of course, then you will run into clients with ancient computer systems, so you can't win. :)
     
  3. summers_enemy

    summers_enemy TPF Noob!

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    Thank you, that makes sense. :)

    My plan was to give the shots to her on a 1 or 2 dual layer DVDs but, just like you said, ancient computer so she wants CDs instead. And she wants no fewer than 400 individual pictures. Haven't we ever heard of quality before quantity? :roll:
     
  4. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    What about conveting them to a high quality Jpeg. I recently took about 500 photos in DC and had them all converted into TIFF from NEF and like you said I would have needed a ridiculous amont of discs to burn all of them, so I saved them in the highest quality Jpeg format I could and fit all of them onto 2 discs. I am not too knowledgeable on compression and the rsulting print quality but does a printed Tiff image look noticaably better than a high quality Jpeg?
     
  5. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    If she's printing them herself, just give her JPEG. if she doesnt want DVDs, chances are that she wont have any idea what to do with TIFFs, much less be able to handle them on her PC. I've printed high quality jpeg before and the quality is really good, just not quite as smooth as TIFF. It's highly doubtful that she would even notice a difference.

    TIFF is mainly used for editing, as it doesnt lose quality after many saves and large amounts of tonal editing like JPEG does. In print (comparing two unedited files), the difference is pretty small.
     
  6. summers_enemy

    summers_enemy TPF Noob!

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    Jpeg it is then. Thanks for sharing the expertise! :)
     
  7. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I agree. If you are delivering on CD, use JPG, but just make sure that converting to JPG is the very last step.
     

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