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Why exporting in TIFF is more expensive?

Enthusiast ,
Feb 01, 2024 Feb 01, 2024

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Hello everyone,

I am no photographer, but I use Illustrator & InDesign (and occasionally Photoshop) for my editorial work. 

Recently I have asked a library to scan an old manuscript for me. They offered JPEG@300dpi as output format. While this is generally good, it would be better to have 600dpi and a TIFF format. 

I know these are much bigger files, but when I asked for that, they 6x the price of each shot, which I then had to refuse. The photographer mentioned a "different method" of working on the pictures from the RAW file to get the TIFF@600dpi format from the RAW file produced by a Canon professional machine.

Could you please enlighten me on what this different method may be? In my ignorance, I would have told Ps/Lr to just export in TIFF@600dpi, then letting the computer do its thing. 

Due to the sheer increase in file size, I would have certainly expected an increase in price per shot, but 6x looks a bit too much to me. Could you share your thoughts on this?

Thank you very much

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Community Expert ,
Feb 01, 2024 Feb 01, 2024

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You would need to ask them about their charging policy.

The file size is considerably larger due to the heavy (and lossy) compression applied to jpeg files as well as the the requirement for 4 times the number of pixels at 600ppi compared to 300ppi). A scanner may run slower when set to a higher resolution.

Processing a raw file to a jpeg or a tiff takes no more processing time. Saving to disk would take longer for a larger file, and if you are having files delivered on a drive then it may entail a larger drive, or multiple drives, depending on the number of files involved. Sending it over the internet would also take more bandwidth (perhaps they charge by bandwidth).

Dave

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Community Expert ,
Feb 01, 2024 Feb 01, 2024

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That sounds crazy. Saving to jpeg or TIFF is all the same from a production standpoint. The higher resolution might be problematic, but only if this photographer uses inferior/old equipment and needs to stich several files into one. But that's not really your problem...

 

Is it scanned or photographed? The latter usually produces much higher quality, with a high-resolution sensor, a good macro lens, and a sensible lighting setup. Not to mention that you have infinitely more control over processing.

 

EDIT: maybe that's what this is. Delivering at the higher resolution he may need to set up his photo equipment, whereas at the lower resolution he figures he might get away with just scanning.

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Enthusiast ,
Feb 01, 2024 Feb 01, 2024

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I doubt the library would allow XIX century books to be just fed to an ordinary scanner.

There are specialised equipments for doing this (arm scanners?).

This photographer uses a Canon machine, don't remember the model, so yes, it is photographed.

They only mentioned that, for the "completely different" process that needs to be used to export in TIFF at 600dpi (?!), every scan will need to get charged 6x of the original price.

My guess? They have a not very modern computer and exporting in TIFF will keep the machine busy for a longer period of time. Plus, they may not have access to a fiber-optic connection, which will make upload to the service used to send pictures longer, also keeping them from using the connection for other things. 

Another library, for another job, asked 2x the price for TIFF at 600dpi, which I understand. Quadruple resolution, 10x the size, 2x price is fine, but 6x... come on... 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 01, 2024 Feb 01, 2024

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I still don't understand why it would need a "completely different process", at least not for jpeg vs TIFF. That's all the same except for the bigger file size (but not that big).

 

It has to be the higher resolution. What's the physical size required? Just as an example, A3 at 600 ppi = 9921 pixels long side. While a big file, it's not at all unrealistic. I work with those sizes all the time (my camera outputs 9500 pixels long side, and bigger if stitched).

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Enthusiast ,
Feb 01, 2024 Feb 01, 2024

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The page is about 30x25 cm, give or take. 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 01, 2024 Feb 01, 2024

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OK, so that's 7087 x 5906 pixels. Give or take. That should be manageable with any reasonably current equipment.

 

Of course, if there are many of these to send over the internet, it will take up some bandwidth.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 01, 2024 Feb 01, 2024

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What the market will bear...

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Community Expert ,
Feb 01, 2024 Feb 01, 2024

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Note that the Tiff LZW compression is not destructive and can reduce the file size without altering quality

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Enthusiast ,
Feb 01, 2024 Feb 01, 2024

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Well... it seems this photographer didn't know, and I could not risk "teaching" the job to a professional, lest they refused to do it, and they would be the only one contracted to do so with the library.

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