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Print jpeg or tif?
Mar 21, 2018 13:53:54   #
Bobnewnan
 
I'm shooting a Nikon d500. The RAW files are 14MB, which yields a 35MB tif file and a 6MB jpg file. At 300 ppi, which is the best file to send to an ink jet printer? They both look good but I would think that the tif uses more ink. Eh?

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Mar 21, 2018 14:21:31   #
robertjerl Loc: Corona, California
 
My best prints are usually done from Tiff. I have PS set to save edits as tiff when saving back to LR so most of my final versions are tiff. One thing, when working in PS you often end up with multiple layers and file sizes in GB*, yes GB-not MB so as a last step before saving flatten the image. I have had an edited picture go from 2-4 GB down to 100 MB plus or minus a bit.
Look here, others available if you google "Tiff or Jpeg for printing". Generally they say use tiff for large prints or when you want max resolution, tone scale etc you save and print as tiff after editing. http://www.companyfolders.com/blog/jpeg-images-suck-for-printing
Yes it eats storage space like crazy. So I cull images like crazy, use external drives and multiple internal drives including one 3 TB for nothing but pictures.

* this happens most often when doing focus stacking or panoramas where you start with multiple frames.

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Mar 21, 2018 15:45:25   #
MichaelH Loc: NorCal via Lansing, MI
 
I would think that the print size on paper would determine the amount of ink used. I have not tested this but it would be a reasonable assumption - in either case (big file or small file) the amount of paper with ink on it is the same.

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Mar 21, 2018 19:29:30   #
Bobnewnan
 
That's why I'm asking, if you have more pixels to reproduce, it seems to me that would require more ink. But if you are using 300 ppi, max for ink jet, maybe it doesn't matter how many pixels are on the paper.

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Mar 21, 2018 21:27:17   #
robertjerl Loc: Corona, California
 
Bobnewnan wrote:
That's why I'm asking, if you have more pixels to reproduce, it seems to me that would require more ink. But if you are using 300 ppi, max for ink jet, maybe it doesn't matter how many pixels are on the paper.


The paper still gets covered with ink, no matter the format or ppi. Just different tone gradation etc. Now changing "quality" to draft, normal or best will change the amount of ink by a tiny amount. So will using different types of paper.

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Mar 22, 2018 08:46:19   #
big-guy Loc: Peterborough Ontario Canada
 
Can you define, "send to an inkjet printer"? Are you referring to a commercial outlet or your personal printer?

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Mar 22, 2018 16:27:11   #
Bobnewnan
 
Personal printer. Canon 8720.

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Mar 22, 2018 19:54:58   #
big-guy Loc: Peterborough Ontario Canada
 
Then why not print from RAW to get the best bang for the buck? I mean, you do want the best quality print do you not?

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Mar 23, 2018 01:22:57   #
Bobnewnan
 
Can't print RAW.

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Mar 24, 2018 12:56:57   #
MichaelH Loc: NorCal via Lansing, MI
 
Bobnewnan wrote:
Can't print RAW.

You can't just print from the same software you create the jpeg or tif file from to print to your printer without creating an intermediary file? I would think most RAW editors would be able to do this - like Lightroom and Photoshop can. I have never had to create a jpeg or tif in order to print from these programs.

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Mar 25, 2018 22:29:57   #
Bobnewnan
 
Nope. Even if you use the printer software, it will only show jpeg or tiff available. LR and PS have no way to get out of RAW to the printer, that is a Photoshop function not in the RAW process. Now if you know a way I'd be interested. Eh?

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Jul 24, 2018 17:33:15   #
burkphoto Loc: High Point, NC
 
Bobnewnan wrote:
Nope. Even if you use the printer software, it will only show jpeg or tiff available. LR and PS have no way to get out of RAW to the printer, that is a Photoshop function not in the RAW process. Now if you know a way I'd be interested. Eh?


Lightroom has been able to print directly for years. Of course, here's what is REALLY happening:

>>Your raw image is converted to a 16-bit bitmap in an extremely wide-gamut ICC profile.

>>This 16-bit image is displayed as a proxy, converted from the wide gamut color space to your monitor profile, in 8-bits per channel (10 BPC if you have a card and monitor that support that) for viewing.

>>When you print, the output to the printer can be in 8-bits per channel or 16-bits per channel, at the mercy of the printer driver, and the bitmap is converted directly from the wide gamut color space to the paper profile.

This is the workflow used by high end portrait photographers, high end museums, and other professionals who seek the most saturation they can get from their wide format pigmented inkjet printers. If you have a simple office printer, it works for that, too, but probably just in 8-bits per color channel.

Note that TIFF stands for Tagged Image File Format. TIFF is a standard image format wrapper for bitmaps that simply tags the bitmap array with information that tells your software how to interpret the data. The tags are necessary when sending files to external destinations, because there are so many different kinds of bitmap! Last I checked, there are over 49 flavors of TIFF, although only a handful are still in common use. Bitmaps printed directly need not be tagged. They are generated on the fly, by software, during the print process. Only the information needed to process the raw file is stored in Lightroom's Catalog or a sidecar file. Of course, you can MAKE a TIFF in whatever flavor a third party lab or service bureau might need...

But, the benefit of printing directly is that you can test a small print on the same system (printer, paper, ink) that will print a larger print, evaluate it, and repeat that process before making a final print in a much larger size. Monitors cannot display the printable gamut of what's in your raw files, so despite using simulation or "proofing" profiles, what looks good on a monitor may still look a little bit flat on printer. Some tweaking of saturation is common.

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Apr 22, 2019 10:55:45   #
columbine1111
 
Thank you for your in-depth explanation.

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Jun 14, 2021 12:56:15   #
Photomac Loc: The Dalles, Or
 
A lot of folks confuse PPI and DPI when talking about ink. We tend to get all titillated about ink costs associated with printing, but its the cost of the paper that eats a hole in your wallet!!!

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