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Thread: "Bit" size and printing...

  1. #21

    Join Date
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    Re: "Bit" size and printing...

    If you are going to get inexpensive proof prints at a one-hour lab such as you might find at Wal-Mart or Walgreens, then you need to give them 8 bit jpg's. They cannot read tif's. ideally you should size your jpgs to the print size you wish in advance. this helps to guarantee that you will get what you want. I always scan at the highest resolution of my scanner in 16bit, either greyscale or RGB, then I make corrections and save as 8 bit tif's. If I want cheap prints, I then convert to jpg, but archive my images in tif format. I have written an action in Photoshop to do the conversion in bulk, resize to 4x6, save as jpg in another folder. The original file is not touched.

  2. #22

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    Re: "Bit" size and printing...

    Quote Originally Posted by John Berry View Post
    I agree with Marko. In RGB you can put a tone curve on a B&W print.
    I am not sure what you are saying here. You can adjust the curves on an greyscale file also. Do you mean a "tint" such as making your images look sepia toned?

  3. #23

    Re: "Bit" size and printing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominique Labrosse View Post
    Capocheny,

    In terms of B&W it breaks down like this...

    8 bit B&W has 256 levels of grey (including black and white) which is about what the human eye and brain can work out. 16 bit B&W has a lot more than that (were talking tens of thousands here).

    If you plan on printing a scan without manipulating the file then there is no reason to go 16 bit. If however you want to move tonal values around in Photoshop before you print it is better to have a 16 bit scan done. This way you have less of a risk of posterization.

    Once you are happy with how your 16 bit file looks then convert it down to 8-bit and save a version to send to the lab.

    By the way. Who is scanning and printing your work these days?

    Regards,
    DL

    Dominique,

    Unfortunately, this doesn't quite work out as well as it could ideally. I have never seen an 8 bit image file that has had anywhere near 256 levels of gray in them. Most top out at about 1/2 of that value (128 or so). For that matter, with a 16 bit file, most files that I have seen top out much lower than the theoretical limit of 65,000+, more like 1/4 or 1/3 of the theoretical limits.

    That puts even more pressure on the files in terms of the resistance to artifacts. The second even minor adjustments are made in PS or other programs to an 8 bit file, you can start to have problems.

    I keep the file in 16 bit throughout and never convert down. If you have a need to send an 8 bit file to a printer for compatibility reasons, convert it down and then save it with a unique filename so it doesn't replace the 16 bit version. There's almost no penalty to working with 16 bit files other than file size, so I don't even consider scanning in 8 bit for B&W.


    ---Michael

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