View Full Version : TIF 8 bit or 16 bit?
07-01-2006, 05:19 PM
I've been saving my RAW files to TIF 16 bit but if I want to use USM in my Photoshop Elements II it has to convert the files to 8 bit. Is there any quality degradation in printing an 8 bit TIF as opposed to a 16 bit?
07-02-2006, 04:30 AM
The extra dynamic range of 16 bit TIFF is most useful for doing operations like curves or levels. If you leave the conversion to 8 bit 'til just before you do the USM (which should be the final operation before printing anyway) you'll have the least degradation.
07-02-2006, 04:42 AM
As AlexMonro said, the added dynamic range of a 16bit image is most useful when doing editing. A good portion of output devices won't even be able to deal with the extra data in a 16bit image and would just toss it anyway. heh
A bigger concern for quality would me making sure that you have a color calibrated system and are using a color managed workspace. I don't know the capabilities of Elements, and the one person I know that uses it isn't online right now... oh well... but in Photoshop proper and certain other applications, making sure you're working from a colormanged workflow and using standard color profiles will be the biggest thing as far as getting images that look good in this case (since you're already using a lossless file format, which is another big one that people don't think about).
07-02-2006, 10:55 AM
... but in Photoshop proper and certain other applications, making sure you're working from a colormanged workflow and using standard color profiles will be the biggest thing as far as getting images that look good in this case (since you're already using a lossless file format, which is another big one that people don't think about).
I've chosen "Full color management-optimized for print" instead of optimized or web graphics or no management. Is this what you are referring to? Also, I'm letting Adobe be the color picker instead of Windows. Is this a good setting? I'm a little low in understanding of all the post processing color stuff. Thanks. Oh and another thing, I use Rawshooter Essentials for doing my RAW files. My PS Elements doesn't do RAW at all. I would just use PS for the USM.
07-03-2006, 04:26 AM
Hard to say exactly since every application and version of every application is different. It sounds like you're using one of the CS versions of Photoshop to me, but hard to tell. I'm using PS7 still and I know that especially in CS2 a lot of the terminology for processes changed. I'll try to make things basic so they apply to everything. ;)
1. Make sure your monitor is calibrated. The very least would be to make sure you've done some visual calibration. eg... colorsync or adobe gamma. Visual calibration is more effective on CRT monitors than on LCDs. Make sure CRT monitors are heated up and running for at least 30 minutes before you attempt to calibrate them. It's better to use a hardware calibration device, but they can be a little pricey. If you do a lot of printing to an open system... like say an inket or laser printer (not a closed system like a wet process thermal developer which does it's own special calibration) then it might be well worth the investment. It's always good to work with a calibrated system. I would suggest calibrating to a standard working space... either 1.8 or 2.2 gamma... most new monitors use around 2 gamma... 2.2... 2.3 etc... so 2.2 works fine. D65 or 6500K white point is considered the best all around working white point for graphics and photos. Some people will say that D50 / 5000K is more "true"... but I find it very yellow and unless you're using a neutral work room with low filtered sunlight or D50 lamps as well as a D50 light booth to view... D65 is going to be easier to work with.
2. Make sure you are using a standard color profile and embedding it in the document. Good profiles to work with are Adobe RGB 1998 or sRGB. Each has their pros and cons. Adobe98 has a larger color gamut... eg it can display more colors than most other standard profiles. But... the colors are a little hot for most work. They are very nice for working with portraits as a lot of the extra data shows up in the warm colors and will make working with portrait photography much smoother. sRGB is a decent space, and often the default working space of digital cameras and monitors. If you can set the profile for the documents in camera, do so. Most DSLRs will allow this... most P&Ss won't. Most P&S cameras will shoot sRGB and it's just a matter of opening it in Photoshop and looking at the profile to see what you're actually getting from the camera. EXIF data should show this as well. Either way, make sure you are using a standard profile and not something like your monitor profile. Also, make sure that in your preferences, if it's available, to "preserve document profiles" and have it ask you every time for mismatches and untagged documents so that you can ensure the correct profile is being used.
3. Make sure when you print that the color profiles are being honored. In most inkjet printers, for example, there is some color correction to most photos becaues they assume, correctly, that most people using an inkjet aren't color gurus. Grandma doesn't need to know the ins and outs of color managed workflows to print a snapshot of the grandkids. You, being a color professional, need to know this. So in most print dialogue options, there is some hidden little toggle that says "do not color manage" or "document color management" or something similar. On Epson, my personaly choice, it's in the advanced section of the print options on the upper right where the color enhancement is. Just choose "do not color manage" and it will give you a choice to use ICM/colorsync. Basically this means that the application and the embedded color profile are being untouched by the color management of the printer drivers. This is what you want... just let it flow through the printer, not be second guessed and changed after you already color corrected it.
In answer to your question about color pickers... it's kind of a personal preference thing... but I personally hate the windows color picker and the Adobe one has more options... so I would always use the Adobe one.
Hope that clears things up and wasn't confusing. hehe
Good luck. :)
07-03-2006, 10:25 AM
It'll give stuff to chew on.
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