8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 10, 2017 1:30 PM by Per Berntsen

    Editing TIFF files from scanner

    MrScoobydoobee Level 1

      I have a large archive of negatives both 35 mm and 6x6.

      I use LR with RAW files at this point.

      My scanner, a Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 343 which can give me fff or TIFF files.  As I understand it I can convert an fff into a TIFF and then edit the TIFF in LR.

      Can you enlighten me on:

      • should I save the fff and put it in a folder?
      • when I take the fff and convert to TIFF-what program would do this?
      • once I edit a TIFF in LR, is that "it" for that file; meaning I cannot revert back to the original TIFF?  Do I save it the edited TIFF or is it "in LR just like the RAW is?  Is the original TIFF gone?  Is that why I have saved the fff; in order to start again with another TIFF?

      Thanks,   Walter

        • 1. Re: Editing TIFF files from scanner
          Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

          I have an Imacon scanner myself, but I always scan as 16-bit tiffs. The way I see it, the FFF format is a detour, and will only create extra work for you. Lightroom cannot import these files, and you would need Imacon/Hasselblad software to convert them to TIFF. I also think there is a plugin for Photoshop that allows you to open FFF files, and save them as TIFF.

           

          The important thing is to scan in 16-bit, and make sure that you get all the information in the negatives into the scan - i.e. capture all the shadow and highlight detail. You want a histogram with ample space at both ends, and this is usually achieved by zeroing out all settings in the scanning program. You probably also want to disable any sharpening - it's much better to do this in Lightroom.

           

          If you have problems with clipped shadows or highlights when scanning as negative, try scanning as a positive, and invert the image in Photoshop. You can use Lightroom to invert, but it's a lot easier in Photoshop. If you don't have Photoshop, I would strongly recommend subscribing to the CC Photography Plan -  Photoshop and Lightroom for $10 a month.

           

          You will almost certainly need to do some retouching - removing dust and scratches in the scans, and Lightroom is not suited for this kind of work. LR does have a spot removal tool, but compared to Photoshop, it is awkward to use, and what's worse - if you have more than a few spots in an image, it will slow Lightroom down to a crawl, or it might stop working completely.

           

          So I recommend that you first bring the image into Photoshop, where you do retouching, noise reduction (Photoshop's noise reduction is far superior to Lightroom's), and a rough image adjustment, so that it looks reasonably good.

           

          Now is the time to import the image in Lightroom, where you can do the fine tuning.

          Lightroom will treat TIFFs the same way it treats raw files. The original is never touched, the edits are stored as metadata in the catalog. You can also edit the original in Photoshop after it has been imported in Lightroom, if you need to.

          Lightroom can import layered TIFFs, and although you cannot see the layers in Lightroom, the layers will still be there if you go back to Photoshop to edit.

          • 2. Re: Editing TIFF files from scanner
            MrScoobydoobee Level 1

            Thank you for your great help.

             

            I used to use PS in the past.

             

            If I add a layer to the TIFF that I bring into PS, e.g. for spot retouching can I keep the file as 16 bit for it to go into LR.  If I flatten the file in PS does that make it an 8 bit file, somehow I recall it that way.

            In any event, if I bring the layered file into LR, can I print from LR using the layered file.  I assume I can make a VC of the layered file before I make other changes in LR.

             

            Do I have this straight?

            • 3. Re: Editing TIFF files from scanner
              Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

              Yes, you can (and should) keep the file in 16-bit. LR has no problem with 16-bit files.

              Flattening will not convert to 8-bit, but it's a good idea to keep the layers. That way you can always go back to PS and edit the layers.

              If you're concerned about file size, use ZIP (lossless) compression for both the image and the layers when you save it. It will reduce the file size somewhat, but opening, and particularly saving will be slow. Do not use LZW compression, it will increase the file size for 16-bit files.

              To send a file to PS from LR for editing, press Ctrl/Cmd + E, and choose Edit Original. When you save the file in Photoshop, the image should update in LR, but it doesn't always happen. Selecting a different image, and then going back to the first usually fixes it.

               

              Personally, I wouldn't do retouching on a separate layer (unless it's something more than removing defects).

              I would definitely do noise reduction on a copy of the background layer. Use a little bit more noise reduction than you need, then adjust the layer's opacity to control the effect.

               

              I assume that you will be scanning at the scanner's max resolution (for best results, you should).

              This will produce files that may be larger than you need, and they will be noisy, particularly from 35mm.

              What I usually do is to archive the full resolution unedited scan, and then resize a copy to the largest size I think I'll need in PS, which will also reduce the noise. I resize using Bicubic, not the recommended Bicubic sharper, which will sharpen the noise.

              • 4. Re: Editing TIFF files from scanner
                Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                In any event, if I bring the layered file into LR, can I print from LR using the layered file.  I assume I can make a VC of the layered file before I make other changes in LR.

                I never print from LR, but a layered file should print fine, and there shouldn't be any need to make a virtual copy, which will also reference the layered original.

                • 5. Re: Editing TIFF files from scanner
                  wobertc Adobe Community Professional

                  I assume I can make a VC of the layered file before I make other changes in LR.

                  Yes you can, and you should- if you intend to make further changes to the image in Lr.

                  The action to do further edits in the Lr Develop module effectively 'flattens' the tiff file destroying the layers as saved from Ps.

                  And to re-open the tiff/psd in Ps- always select "Open Original"  (meaning the original Ps Tiff-  not the out-of-camera original)

                  • 6. Re: Editing TIFF files from scanner
                    Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                    wobertc wrote:

                    Yes you can, and you should- if you intend to make further changes to the image in Lr.

                    The action to do further edits in the Lr Develop module effectively 'flattens' the tiff file destroying the layers as saved from Ps.

                     

                    This is not the way it works. Further editing in LR does not flatten the file or destroy the layers. You can go back and forth between LR and PS as many times as you like, the layers will still be there, and the editing you do in PS will be visible in LR after saving in PS.

                    Edits from LR will not be visible in Photoshop, but that doesn't mean that they're gone, you'll still see them in LR.

                    So there is absolutely no need to work on a virtual copy.

                     

                    But choosing Edit a copy with Lightroom adjustments will open a copy of the original without layers, leaving the original untouched.

                    Choosing Edit a copy will open a copy with layers - i.e. an identical copy.

                    • 7. Re: Editing TIFF files from scanner
                      wobertc Adobe Community Professional

                      But choosing Edit a copy with Lightroom adjustments will open a copy of the original without layers, leaving the original untouched.

                      True. Thanks Per.

                      I find that if I start from a Layered TIFF image in Lightroom- AND do more Development steps in Lightroom (call them 'secondary' )-

                      then:

                       

                      1. Edit a Copy with Lightroom adjustments - the layers are flattened in the copy-  all the previous Ps work has gone.

                      2. Edit a Copy -  the 'copy' opens in Ps with layers BUT all the 'secondary Lr Development work is not shown in Ps.

                      3. Edit Original - the 'original' opens in Ps with layers BUT all the 'secondary Lr Development work is not shown in Ps.

                       

                      There is no way (except 'Smart Objects' methods) to go back and forth from  Lr-Ps, Ps-Lr, Lr-Ps, etc (ad infinitum), with the one tiff image and maintain all editing steps done in both Ps & Lr.

                       

                      I was trying to suggest that by creating a VC you can make 'secondary' adjustments to the tiff image for printing without having to create a physical copy of any kind, or damage the tiff with its layers intact.  So one tiff, multiple VCs to crop, develop, print, as desired.

                      • 8. Re: Editing TIFF files from scanner
                        Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                        There is no way (except 'Smart Objects' methods) to go back and forth from  Lr-Ps, Ps-Lr, Lr-Ps, etc (ad infinitum), with the one tiff image and maintain all editing steps done in both Ps & Lr.

                        I agree that the only true non-destructive workflow would be using smart objects in Photoshop, or using virtual copies if you're going to do heavy editing.

                        But for simple edits, like adjusting a layer mask, or changing the opacity of a noise reduction layer (which is what I typically do on scans), editing regular layers on the original will be fine.

                        Since I began using Lightroom nine years ago, the only editing I do in Photoshop is retouching, noise reduction, inverting scans from color negatives, and sometimes output sharpening for printing. (Smart sharpen)