RAW to jpeg or tiff

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by raeraespike, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. raeraespike

    raeraespike TPF Noob!

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    Thanks in advance for reading this....I'll try to keep it short!
    I've been a film photographer for 15 years. I'm fairly new to digital photography (about 1.5 years now) and feel I'm an old pro at this point ;) but I need some input from "real" people. I can read article after article but I'm getting nowhere.

    K...I shoot in RAW, which I believe is the best way to shoot! Then I "do my thing" in Lightroom and then export everything as a jpeg when I'm done. But, recently a photog frind of mine tells me I should be finalizing my photos as tiffs to avoid the compression that occurs to jpegs.

    Can anyone offer any advise/thoughts regarding this? My problem is that my clients and myself have to hand over jpegs to the printer, so I don't see how tiffs would really work for me.

    Second part to my question....sorry.....by convertng my raw files to jpegs, am I "ruining" them? I don't think so, but my "wise-owl-friend" says that I am.

    H E L P! Thanks!
     
  2. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    A pro lab should be able to handle TIFFs. If they can't, I would get a different printer. You're not ruining the photos necessarily by compressing them into a JPEG, but there is still some loss of detail and artifacting even at the highest settings. JPEG is awesome for displaying images on the web, but hardly the best option when printing. For that, a loss-less TIFF is the way to go.
     
  3. Vudoo4u2

    Vudoo4u2 TPF Noob!

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    technically speaking, you are giving up lots of color data etc when you convert to jpg and not tiff. However, for practical purposes, you may find that a lot of local printing shops cant deal with TIF, and if thats the case, either you can accept that and deal with slightly lower output quality (which only an EXTREMELY discerning eye will notice)...or you can find a shop willing to print from TIF files which retain original data without compression

    quick answer:

    TIF > jpg when it comes to image quality (when converting from RAW)
     
  4. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    After editing save in native Adobe PSD format ... or TIFF.
    Most photofinishers that deal a lot with digital images can handle TIFF.

    If you need to send compressed images then you can do that later.

    JPEG is used to save space.
     
  5. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Keep in mind that in LR you are only exporting in JPG or TIFF. The original file and it's adjustments will still be in RAW. The printer may only use jpg's for a variety of reasons such as printing speed, file compatibility, and maybe storage. If it is an issue then bring it up with the printer. Better yet start printing your own work. You and your clients will be much happier.

    Love & Bass
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can see NO visible difference between an 8bit JPG and a 16bit TIFF. Not even the slightest unless your image is pretty much made up of only blue and even then it would be very hard to pick the changes if the compression quality was set at max. Although I am very willing to change my opinion if someone can show me the slightest evidence to the contrary.

    The question becomes are you finished with the photos? TIFFs can be opened, worked with, resaved, and retain 16bits per channel of invisible data which is awesome to improve quality on even the slightest changes to an image. That's the real benefit. TIFF is uncompressed and it is important to keep as much of the original information as possible when editing files, since it reduces guesswork/estimation on behalf of the filters and algorithms you are working with. However this information is completely invisible. Also JPEGs even in the highest quality settings can not be constantly opened and resaved. Due to the lossy nature of JPEG compression after doing this process 10 times you may start to see the slightest artefacting. Do it 30 times and the image becomes completely useless.

    If you don't intend on editing the photos again then why keep all the extra data that makes no visible difference? It's just using up 10x the disk space.

    I edit once keeping the process in TIFF or PSD till I am done, then I save out and archive JPEGs and delete all the intermediate files and the RAW originals. But I have never gone an re-edited an image so it's up to you.

    Oh and even if your printer natively works in TIFF you lose nothing by opening a JPEG and saving as a TIFF.
     
  7. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    You delete...your RAWs? Oh man, am I a pack rat? I can't stand to delete most of my RAWs. If the aren't pitch black or bright white (because of...er...quantum fluctuations of the lightsource...yeah...), I keep them. (Then again, I *do* run back to the RAW occassionally and re-edit).
     
  8. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Jpg is fine for my needs, but I do save at the highest quality. I prefer the smaller files sizes to the microscopic difference in quality. I always keep my raw files anyway if there's a problem. I mean, I don't toss out my film negatives, why would I do it for digital?
     
  9. zsparks

    zsparks TPF Noob!

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    With 1-1.5 terabyte hard drives costing around 100 dollars I keep two separate folder structures. One of them RAW, the other the processed files.

    It doesn't matter how much you lose making a jpeg to toss online when you always have the RAW to go back to. Disk used to be expensive, that really is no longer the case.
     
  10. benjikan

    benjikan TPF Noob!

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    I would save all of the selected RAW files and those that are considered important or have been retouched saved to TIFF. Any images you wish to share on the net or with friends JPEG.
     
  11. HeY iTs ScOTtY

    HeY iTs ScOTtY TPF Noob!

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    by converting your file to jpeg your not ruining them your just losing information you can use to do more in depth editing. let me give you an analogy. raw files are like having a song in an editing room. you have all the drums, guitar, vocals, everything on a separate tracks and each can be edited separately jpeg is like putting those tracks on a CD they then are all compressed into one track. its sounds the same it is just harder to edit. and think of the more compression you do its like turning that cd track into a mp3. you just take out things you cant hear(in photos things you see) and the smaller the file size gets. i hope this helps and clears things up a little.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2009
  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I work in LR. All changes are preserved in LR. I work on my RAW files and if I need to go back, I still work on the RAW files. If I have to do an edit outside of LR (which is no longer all that often), it is in TIFF format.

    My 2 rules are:
    1. I do not edit a JPG... ever.
    2. My final product is ALWAYS JPG.

    I keep all my RAWs becuase they are substantially smaller than keeping TIFFs (the only exceptions being the files processed outside of LR, which are TIFF and saved/kept as TIFFs). Yeah, hard drive is cheap, and to be honest, I doubt that anyone here except a pro photography business has more space available to them in their house than me (I'm Up to two 2TB and two 1TB hard drives as temp storage and work areas and a 48TB SAN in my basement as well as every keeper I put on a good quality DVD-R) ... but saving all my RAWs as full sized uncompressed TIFFs is not my thing. I'd run out of space in a year!

    I keep all my RAWs, any heavily worked on shots are TIFFs (which are very few) and all my "keepers" are converted to JPG for viewing or printing purposes.

    Here in Montreal, there is only ONE place that I know of that deals with TIFF files, and though they could not care less about file format, they print it all, they themselves say that their guys cannot see the difference between a 16X20 printed out as a JPG or a TIFF when the prints are placed side by side. My tests are a little more meagre... from my own home tests, when done properly (printing a TIFF and a JPG), I also see no differences on a 8 X10 full face protrait. Then again, I am not using a $4000 printer, but that printer here in Montreal uses printers that are 5 digits in price.

    I say, at the consumer level, the TIFF vs JPG printing level discussions are a little humorous. There is no possible amount of difference that could justify it to most reasonable people. :)

    The discussion of giving TIFFs to the clients vs JPGs... the client ONLY gets JPG. I do not want **any** client have the ability to modify my files to something FUGLY and then pass it off as something that I did. They get JPGs. Sure they can change those, but as a general rule, people that want your RAW or TIFF files *will* want these kinds of files specifically to change your work, whereas people that want JPG may want to print your pics out, but do not think about changing them becuase of the limitations that we all know about.

    Even then, as a professional, I make sure to let people to whom I give a JPG to that *I* retain ownership and all copyrights to the shots and that they are not allowed to modify them nor print them... unless I gave them permission to do so.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2009

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