16 Replies Latest reply on Oct 3, 2014 9:42 AM by trshaner

    does exporting as tiff reduce quality?

    hhost05 Level 1

      I have many files that will be exported and imported several times in lightroom and other programs. However. each time, they will be saved as Tiff files (uncompressed, Adobe 1998 RGB).

       

       

      Will doing this reduce their quality? I have heard differing accounts of whether tiff is a true lossless format

        • 1. Re: does exporting as tiff reduce quality?
          areohbee Level 5

          hhost05 wrote:

           

          I have many files that will be exported and imported several times in lightroom and other programs. However. each time, they will be saved as Tiff files (uncompressed, Adobe 1998 RGB).

           

          Will doing this reduce their quality? I have heard differing accounts of whether tiff is a true lossless format

          Well, it depends on what you mean by lossless. For example, if you crop then export as tiff, you'll lose the border. Likewise, if you move the black-point way in, then export as tiff, you'll lose the blacks, permanently. Ditto for the whites..

           

          Bottom line: tiffs are not lossily compressed, so there is no loss due to compression (as there is with jpeg), but exporting and re-importing can result in loss, which is why Lightroom uses a non-destructive workflow where original stays original, and you are always exporting the original, with edits applied to it, instead of exporting an export, with edits applied to it..

           

          Makes sense?

          Rob

          • 2. Re: does exporting as tiff reduce quality?
            hhost05 Level 1

            it deos make sense. i am not making adjustments to the color or anything like that. in a that case will there be a loss in image quality?

            • 3. Re: does exporting as tiff reduce quality?
              areohbee Level 5

              If at all possible, try to switch to a non-destructive workflow. If not possible, and you are going be re-saving destructively (which has nothing to do with file format), then along with using tiff (to avoid loss due to compression), also make sure there is no clipping, so you at least have the option to not lose blacks & whites.

               

              To try and be more specific:

              * Yes: there will be loss, due to the destructive nature of the proposed workflow (there is no way to undo sharpening, as another example, once it's been baked into a tiff).

              * No: there will be no loss just due to resaving, since compression and re-compression is not one of the causes for loss in the proposed workflow.

               

              ?

              R

              • 4. Re: does exporting as tiff reduce quality?
                hhost05 Level 1

                Thanks a lot for the explanations!

                 

                These are scanned images. and some times, I want to destructively crop and rotate them so they can be viewed in simple image viewers quickly.

                 

                What I don't want is for there to be a loss of details, change in color, and so forth when I save them as tiff repeatedly. Of course, at this stage, I will not consciously adjust the color like you mentioned in Lightroom. However, I am worried that the simple act of resaving causes image quality degradation.

                 

                 

                Just to conform, what's I'm doing won't degrade the image in the ways I'm concerned?

                • 5. Re: does exporting as tiff reduce quality?
                  areohbee Level 5

                  hhost05 wrote:

                   

                  what's I'm doing won't degrade the image in the ways I'm concerned?

                  I think it won't. I mean, you can crop (and/or rotate) a tiff file and resave without loss. Put another way, you could resave a tiff a million times and if you haven't edited it, then there will no loss (unlike a jpeg, which will get gradually worse each time you resave it). The potential loss when resaving a tiff comes from baking in edits that you can't unbake - if you don't make such edits, there will be no loss.

                  • 6. Re: does exporting as tiff reduce quality?
                    Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    If you're concerned about degradation, you're best off never going out of Lightroom. All edits are nondestructive in there. So as much as you can limit roundtripping between Lightroom and other applications and do as much as you can in Lightroom. Best is no roundtripping at all. If you need to do some cloning cleanup of dust that Lightroom can't do very well, do it at an early stage on a copy. That way your Lightroom adjustments will all remain completely reversible. As Rob notes, even with tiff, edits and saves can be destructive and cause degradation. If you need a copy for viewing in other apps, just export from Lightroom but treat those exported files not as your new originals but as copies only for viewing.

                    • 7. Re: does exporting as tiff reduce quality?
                      trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      hhost05 wrote:

                       

                      Thanks a lot for the explanations!

                       

                      These are scanned images. and some times, I want to destructively crop and rotate them so they can be viewed in simple image viewers quickly.

                       

                      What I don't want is for there to be a loss of details, change in color, and so forth when I save them as tiff repeatedly. Of course, at this stage, I will not consciously adjust the color like you mentioned in Lightroom. However, I am worried that the simple act of resaving causes image quality degradation.

                       

                      Just to conform, what's I'm doing won't degrade the image in the ways I'm concerned?

                       

                      I currently use CS6 Design Suite and work often with PS and LR all open at the same time. I do a lot of film scanning and first process the scan images in PS for dust spot removal, frame cropping & straightening,  basic white/black point levels adjustment, or perhaps a Curves adjustment layer. After that I import the scan image files (TIFF ProPhoto RGB 16 bit) into LR for further processing.


                      Often I will re-open the TIFF scan file in PS (NOT Export or Edit In PS) to do more dust spot removal, content aware cloning, etc. After saving the file in PS the changes applied show up in LR along with its settings without any issues. Things such as sharpening, noise reduction, color editing, etc. should only be applied non-destructively in LR and not in PS, as already been mentioned. Keep in mind when using this workflow the re-opened TIFF image file in PS will NOT have any LR editing applied. This usually is not an issue when making the adjustments mentioned above. This workflow allows you to use one (1) TIFF scan image file rather than multiple TIFF files with LR settings applied. If you are doing extensive content aware cloning or other destructive manipulation inside PS I suggest making a 2nd copy of the TIFF scan file and retaining the original until you are satisfied it is no longer needed.

                      • 8. Re: does exporting as tiff reduce quality?
                        areohbee Level 5

                        hhost05 wrote:

                         

                        some times, I want to destructively crop and rotate them so they can be viewed in simple image viewers quickly.

                        You really haven't provided the justification here for a destructive workflow. I essentially tried to answer your questions as asked, but it still seems like you don't understand how Lightroom works, in terms of exporting. As Jao said, unless you have a good reason (do you, really?), there is no reason not to just crop and export, instead of cropping and saving destructively. If you want to keep multiple copies (at the ready, in Lightroom) with different crops for different purposes, then use virtual copies; if you just want to crop and export (and not keep copies in Lightroom), then, well, crop and export, and don't make virtual copies.. (you could still make snapshots if you want some record).

                         

                        To be clear: since you've asked this question in the Lightroom forum, the best answer is - don't re-save tiffs destructively - there is no reason to: Lightroom is designed specifically so you don't have to.

                         

                        Put another way, I think what you want is just to re-export, instead of re-saving destructively - am I wrong?

                         

                        In other words: in Lightroom, re-exporting is equivalent to re-saving, except since the original is never overwritten, there is never any loss, regardless of original file format.

                         

                        But also, as trshaner said - if you are doing things outside Lightroom, because Lightroom can't do them, then you need to save "destructively", in the external app, a tiff (or jpeg), so Lightroom sees the externally edited file, and can pile it's edits on top, so to speak. (i.e. the edited/saved tiff becomes the new original and Lightroom..).

                         

                        Did this help clarify things?, or only make them muddier (or did you already understand all of this, but you are driven by forces as yet unshared..).

                         

                        Rob

                        • 9. Re: Re: does exporting as tiff reduce quality?
                          hhost05 Level 1

                          I think I have a pretty good handle on it now. Thanks for explaining it to me.

                           

                          But what do you mean by:

                           

                          "But also, as trshaner said - if you are doing things outside Lightroom, because Lightroom can't do them, then you need to save "destructively", in the external app, a tiff (or jpeg), so Lightroom sees the externally edited file, and can pile it's edits on top, so to speak. (i.e. the edited/saved tiff becomes the new original and Lightroom..)."


                          Can lightroom merge its own edits with the external edits?

                          • 10. Re: Re: does exporting as tiff reduce quality?
                            areohbee Level 5

                            hhost05 wrote:

                             

                            But what do you mean by:

                             

                            "But also, as trshaner said - if you are doing things outside Lightroom, because Lightroom can't do them, then you need to save "destructively", in the external app, a tiff (or jpeg), so Lightroom sees the externally edited file, and can pile it's edits on top, so to speak. (i.e. the edited/saved tiff becomes the new original and in Lightroom..)."

                             

                            Can lightroom merge its own edits with the external edits?

                            The way Lightroom works is very simple, it:

                            * Reads image data from an "original" (source) file.

                            * Reads edits from the catalog and applies them to the "original" (source) image data to create the images you see in Lightroom, called previews, and/or

                            * Reads edits from the catalog and applies them to the "original" (source) image data, then based on export settings, formats the final image (and metadata) for saving as an exported copy.

                             

                            So, if the original image is raw, it will never change.

                            But, if the "original" image is tiff, you can re-save the tiff outside Lightroom, and that won't change what Lightroom does, but it will change (what you see in Lightroom, and) what gets exported.

                             

                            So, for example, what some people do is: make modifications in an external app (e.g. Photoshop) to do things Lightroom can't do (e.g. content-aware fill, or run a Ps plugin, or use layers..), and save as tiff which they import (one time) in Lightroom.

                             

                            Then, use Lightroom to do tone and color enhancements (or crop/rotate, or..) - the usual stuff one does in Lightroom.

                             

                            The key thing here is:

                            * Lightroom applies Lr edits to whatever is in the tiff file at the time. So, if you go back into Photoshop and do some more content-aware filling, or tweak an adjustment layer.., and resave the tiff which has already been imported in Lightroom, then those changes will be reflected in the Lr exported file, next time it gets exported (along with whatever Lr edits you've done..).

                             

                            Let me know as soon as you understand this 100% (must be backed with experience!) - then we'll have the smart-object tutorial... . (or you can lookup an Adobe or other independent tutorial - for now: just something to whet your appetite..).

                             

                            Rob

                            • 11. Re: does exporting as tiff reduce quality?
                              trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              Rob's description of my scan image workflow is 100% correct. Smart Objects offer the best of both worlds, but your TIFF files will become ~2x larger even with ZIP image and layer compression. I'm pretty happy processing scan image files using my PS> LR> PS workflow with a "select mix" of destructive and non-destructive editing, but Smart Objects are worth a look.

                              • 12. Re: does exporting as tiff reduce quality?
                                hhost05 Level 1

                                Rob Cole wrote:

                                 

                                hhost05 wrote:

                                 

                                But what do you mean by:

                                 

                                "But also, as trshaner said - if you are doing things outside Lightroom, because Lightroom can't do them, then you need to save "destructively", in the external app, a tiff (or jpeg), so Lightroom sees the externally edited file, and can pile it's edits on top, so to speak. (i.e. the edited/saved tiff becomes the new original and in Lightroom..)."

                                 

                                Can lightroom merge its own edits with the external edits?

                                The way Lightroom works is very simple, it:

                                * Reads image data from an "original" (source) file.

                                * Reads edits from the catalog and applies them to the "original" (source) image data to create the images you see in Lightroom, called previews, and/or

                                * Reads edits from the catalog and applies them to the "original" (source) image data, then based on export settings, formats the final image (and metadata) for saving as an exported copy.

                                 

                                So, if the original image is raw, it will never change.

                                But, if the "original" image is tiff, you can re-save the tiff outside Lightroom, and that won't change what Lightroom does, but it will change (what you see in Lightroom, and) what gets exported.

                                 

                                So, for example, what some people do is: make modifications in an external app (e.g. Photoshop) to do things Lightroom can't do (e.g. content-aware fill, or run a Ps plugin, or use layers..), and save as tiff which they import (one time) in Lightroom.

                                 

                                Then, use Lightroom to do tone and color enhancements (or crop/rotate, or..) - the usual stuff one does in Lightroom.

                                 

                                The key thing here is:

                                * Lightroom applies Lr edits to whatever is in the tiff file at the time. So, if you go back into Photoshop and do some more content-aware filling, or tweak an adjustment layer.., and resave the tiff which has already been imported in Lightroom, then those changes will be reflected in the Lr exported file, next time it gets exported (along with whatever Lr edits you've done..).

                                 

                                Let me know as soon as you understand this 100% (must be backed with experience!) - then we'll have the smart-object tutorial... . (or you can lookup an Adobe or other independent tutorial - for now: just something to whet your appetite..).

                                 

                                Rob

                                 

                                 

                                That's interesting. But it's different from what I have encountered. A simple example:

                                 

                                1. I import IMG001.tiff image into Lightroom, and crop the image.

                                2. Afterwards, I edit the image in PS or another external editor.

                                 

                                3. I want to import the changes I made externally. I do this by selecting "scan for metadata updates" on the folder. However, when I do this, I loose the initial changes I made in lightroom.

                                 

                                 

                                Am I doing something wrong?

                                • 13. Re: does exporting as tiff reduce quality?
                                  areohbee Level 5

                                  hhost05 wrote:

                                   

                                  Am I doing something wrong?

                                  Yes - omit step 3. Just re-save the tiff in your external editor.

                                  • 14. Re: does exporting as tiff reduce quality?
                                    trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    When working on scan image TIFFs I have both PS and LR open. When an edit is made inside PS and I do a 'Save' the changes "automatically" appear inside LR in 2 to 3 seconds.

                                     

                                    To get rid of the 'Metadata has Conflict' and 'Metadata was changed externally' icons on Library thumbnails click the icon and select 'Overwrite Settings.' It's not necessary to remove the warnings when making PS edits, but they will be retained if you do. The only time you don't want to do this is when adding things like keywords, ratings, etc. in Adobe Bridge or another application. When applying metadata tags select 'Import Settings from Disk' and they will appear inside LR and be recorded in the LR catalog. I apply keywords in both Bridge and LR to my scan image files with no issues. LR's metadata tagging is only recorded in the catalog unless you manually select 'Save Metadata to File' (CTRL +S), which is what I suggest for tagging TIFF or JPEG files (i.e no sidecar required).

                                    • 15. Re: does exporting as tiff reduce quality?
                                      Metromantra

                                      what? that last sentence seems like you are saying two things directly opposed?

                                      • 16. Re: does exporting as tiff reduce quality?
                                        trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                        CAVEAT: You only need to use this procedure if you have a specific need to add keywords in both LR and Bridge to the same image files. Otherwise add your keywords in one application only!

                                        Metromantra wrote:

                                         

                                        what? that last sentence seems like you are saying two things directly opposed?

                                        They are only "opposed" if you don't keep LR and Bridge manually synchronized. The easiest way to do this is select all the images in LR after adding keyword edits inside Bridge and go to toolbar Metadata> Read Metadata from File. When making keyword changes to files inside LR make sure to use CTRL+S to write them back to the file's metadata to keep Bridge's keywords synchronized.

                                         

                                        Synchronization Workflow

                                        1) Add keywords in Bridge

                                        2) Select files in LR: Metadata> Read Metadata from File

                                        3) Edit keywords in LR

                                        4) Select all keyword edited files: CTRL+S

                                        5) Back to Step 1 or Step 3.

                                         

                                        Images with metadata changes that have NOT been synchronized will have a ' lines and arrow' symbol on the thumbnail. From my experience the symbol doesn't always appear. If you follow the above procedure metadata conflicts won't occur and symbols won't appear. Bridge is always up to date since it reads and writes its keywords directly to the file automatically real-time.