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AI assumes rasters are at 72ppi. If you have an unscaled image, i.e. direct from a camera, it will be placed with each pixel as one point in size. If it is 2048 x 1532 it will be placed in AI as 28.44 in x 21.28 in. Scaling it down in AI will increase the effective resolution.
I am, so far as I know, using scaled images that are on the surface identical format as files that work normally with Place. Your suggestion to scale the image down in ai will probably work as a workaround, pending solution of the mystery. But I think they are so immense that scaling down even to 3+% (the minimum?) does not bring in the whole image.
What's the pixel count of these files and what type of file (JPEG, PSD, TIFF)?
Try opening a picture file in Photoshop to see what its physical size really is, not just in pixels but also in inches/centimetres.
If the image is too big in inches/centimetres you can scale it in Photoshop without resampling thereby increasing its effective resolution.
Illie believes Photoshop inch/centimetre values.
Thanks, Steve, for the hint.
I checked the resolution of my problem jpg files and found that resolution was 1.265 versus 72 in the pngs that I converted and cropped.
I discovered that my crop box size was set to 1140 x 1920 inches, not pixels. I don't know how that happened, but certainly that was the problem.