What are the uses of TIFF format? (Nikon cameras)


Jul 4, 2010
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Toa Payoh
#1
Okay, I know most people would probably shot in RAW or JPEG or even both. but, especially cameras by nikon, it allows you to shoot in TIFF format. But one thing that i still can't understand why TIFF cost you a whopping 30-35mb of file size per image. I think RAW, although smaller in size, able to tweak the white balance and better handling (takes shorter time for your comp to edit) than the TIFF

So what the big deal shooting in TIFF? do you guys shoot in TIFF?

Would be appreciate for your views :D
 

tankahn

New Member
Aug 12, 2004
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#2
Some 3rd party stitching software like PTgui uses only jpg or tiff format as it cannot read nef files (obviously). The files needs to be reprocessed several times so its not a good idea to start with lossy jpg format. So shooting in tiff is useful and Nikon is thoughtful is this respect. Their nef readers are problematic anyway and shouldn't expect or force people to buy their software to extract tiff images..
 

Hacker

Senior Member
Dec 6, 2005
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Cyberspace
#3
TIFF is lossless (uncompressed) and JPG is not, using lossy compression.
 

catchlights

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Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#4
not all people have software to or can or want to processing NEF files.
and TIFF file is accepted and preferable file format for offset printing industry.
 

jeff7id

Senior Member
Oct 15, 2008
4,863
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#5
Okay, I know most people would probably shot in RAW or JPEG or even both. but, especially cameras by nikon, it allows you to shoot in TIFF format. But one thing that i still can't understand why TIFF cost you a whopping 30-35mb of file size per image. I think RAW, although smaller in size, able to tweak the white balance and better handling (takes shorter time for your comp to edit) than the TIFF

So what the big deal shooting in TIFF? do you guys shoot in TIFF?

Would be appreciate for your views :D
Why NEF file is smaller than TIFF file (30-35 mb)?
NEF by default is compressed, TIFF is uncompressed.

TIFF is an uncompressed image. It's a common image format, and I think most of image processing software could read TIFF file.

But Nikon RAW file (NEF), by default setting is compressed. That's why Nikon RAW file (NEF) is smaller, especially on D90 or below that the user can't select uncompressed format. Secondly, only certain software is able to read NEF file.

Here is the source for NEF compression:
http://home.comcast.net/~NikonD70/NikonInfo/NEF_Compression.htm
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#6
I don't know exactly the answer, but if one wants to process their images from NEF as raw as possible using professional 3rd Parties like Photoshop...then TIFF is the only way to go. No seconds about it...
 

chanjyj

New Member
Apr 8, 2007
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#7
I don't know exactly the answer, but if one wants to process their images from NEF as raw as possible using professional 3rd Parties like Photoshop...then TIFF is the only way to go. No seconds about it...
Cannot understand you.

"if one wants to process their images from NEF as raw as possible using professional 3rd Parties like Photoshop...then TIFF is the only way to go" :dunno:

1. If one wants to process their images from NEF as raw?
2. If one wants to process their images from NEF as raw as possible use TIFF?

Either way I read it don't make alot of sense.
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#8
I don't know exactly the answer, but if one wants to process their images from NEF as raw as possible using professional 3rd Parties like Photoshop...then TIFF is the only way to go. No seconds about it...
Have to agree that your post here confuses me. :confused:

If you are talking about multiple software workflow, and exporting from RAW to another loseless format, then import into another software, I agree, TIFF is one way to go.

But there are other formats as well, like PSD or DNG files.
 

sjackal

Senior Member
Jul 9, 2008
4,490
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#9
Cannot understand you.

"if one wants to process their images from NEF as raw as possible using professional 3rd Parties like Photoshop...then TIFF is the only way to go" :dunno:

1. If one wants to process their images from NEF as raw?
2. If one wants to process their images from NEF as raw as possible use TIFF?

Either way I read it don't make alot of sense.
Dont understand what he talking either.

Tiff format is bigger because it is a bigger box at 16bit. Whether that box is filled with data or not, doesn't matter. It still occupies the same space coz the exterior dimension of the box is 'Size 16bit Tiff'

Raw format is smaller because its a smaller box at 12 or 14bit. Most of the time its filled up and packed with data.

JPG format is even smaller at 8bit.

Take a JPG pic and save it as a 8bit Tiff, immediately you will see the same image/file size changes to a lot more. Save it as a 16 bit Tiff, it becomes even bigger. So why does the file size change so dramatically when its the same data same picture? What you are doing now is actually taking the contents/data of the JPG and putting it into a bigger 'Box', whether you fill that box or not is another matter. The space occupied in the storeroom is always a size 16bit Tiff because the exterior is that dimension.

So you can shoot Tiff captures with camera but that doesn't mean its got more data than RAW, some tonality data and a significant amount of color data is discarded and lost permamently, unlike a full Raw file.

Hope this analogy helps.
 

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sjackal

Senior Member
Jul 9, 2008
4,490
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#10
Have to agree that your post here confuses me. :confused:

If you are talking about multiple software workflow, and exporting from RAW to another loseless format, then import into another software, I agree, TIFF is one way to go.

But there are other formats as well, like PSD or DNG files.
Correct, one of the several ways, not the only.

But probably the more universal one though.
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#11
Question... can Photoshop (latest version) open up NEF? Sorry, I forgot that I'm still on older version...

Secondly, can NX2 export out as PSD or PNG?

The thing is... when I want to do image distortion correction, like perspective in Landscapes, I have to tweak it first using Photoshop...and TIFF is the only "RAW" way I can do it... otherwise how do you correct perspective distortions in NX2?
 

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sjackal

Senior Member
Jul 9, 2008
4,490
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#12
Question... can Photoshop (latest version) open up NEF? Sorry, I forgot that I'm still on older version...

Secondly, can NX2 export out as PSD or PNG?

The thing is... when I want to do image distortion correction, like perspective in Landscapes, I have to tweak it first using Photoshop...and TIFF is the only way I can do it... otherwise how do you correct perspective distortions in NX2?
Its been a long time since I used that NX2 program because I think its not on par with Adobe. But as far as I remember, it can only do TIFF, RAW and JPEG.

It cannot do PSD, which is an Adobe format.

Nor PNG.

Not sure about distortion correction with NX2.
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#13
Its been a long time since I used that NX2 program because I think its not on par with Adobe. But as far as I remember, it can only do TIFF, RAW and JPEG.

It cannot do PSD, which is an Adobe format.

Nor PNG.

Not sure about distortion correction with NX2.
So you use Adobe all the time? In that case do you still shoot NEF? Because if you want to work in Adobe, you need to convert to TIFF first so that Adobe can open it right? Correct me if i'm wrong... Like I've said, i'm not sure if I know the answer exactly... That's why TIFF is the only way that works for me if I want to correct the distortions directly from RAW (loss-less)...
 

chanjyj

New Member
Apr 8, 2007
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#15
Question... can Photoshop (latest version) open up NEF? Sorry, I forgot that I'm still on older version...

Secondly, can NX2 export out as PSD or PNG?

The thing is... when I want to do image distortion correction, like perspective in Landscapes, I have to tweak it first using Photoshop...and TIFF is the only "RAW" way I can do it... otherwise how do you correct perspective distortions in NX2?
Why do you say that TIFF is "RAW"? The only "RAW" is the NEF format.
Unless you are referring to "RAW" as a format with no compression (.NEF has compression - unless you actually go down into the menu to select uncompressed NEF, which results in fantastic sizes)

But in your case, it doesn't matter if you use .NEF or .TIFF because you wish to manipulate the actual pixels (distortion correction). Well, I suppose there is Lightroom 3, but their distortion correction is crap to me.

Personally, from experience in the industry, my take on the TIFF format is the same as catchlights: TIFF is the standard for offset printing. And offset printing is THE standard as it is used for almost all kind of printing except photographic prints (dye sublimation).
 

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chanjyj

New Member
Apr 8, 2007
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#16
Btw, D90 doesn't allow you to shoot TIFF... only NEF and jpeg, if i'm not wrong that is...
Correct. Only the professional cameras allow you to do so. That means D300 upwards.
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#17
Why do you say that TIFF is "RAW"? The only "RAW" is the NEF format.
TIFF data has already been hardcoded.

But in your case, it doesn't matter if you use .NEF or .TIFF because you wish to manipulate the actual pixels (distortion correction). Well, I suppose there is Lightroom 3, but their distortion correction is crap to me.

Personally, from experience in the industry, my take on the TIFF format is the same as catchlights: TIFF is the standard for offset printing. And offset printing is THE standard as it is used for almost all kind of printing except photographic prints (dye sublimation).
Okay, TIFF is not RAW, but it should maintain all the digital values as much as possible as compared to JPEG right?

For me, I process all the B/W, K values, darkness, lightness, contrast in NEF (from NX2) first before finally exporting to TIFF to correct all the perspective distortions in Photoshop, before finally exporting to JPG for photo printing...
 

#18
So you use Adobe all the time? In that case do you still shoot NEF? Because if you want to work in Adobe, you need to convert to TIFF first so that Adobe can open it right?...
Adobe Photoshop can open NEF files from most Nikon cameras if you have downloaded and updated the Adobe Camera Raw plugin (Also commonly known as ACR for short). Since NEF is a raw representation of data captured by the photosites on the sensor, they are stored without any manipulation. The 12/14 bits RGB pixel data are not demosaiced in a NEF file. For TIFF, the 16 bit RGB values are demosaiced.
 

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Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#19
Why do you say that TIFF is "RAW"? The only "RAW" is the NEF format.
Unless you are referring to "RAW" as a format with no compression (.NEF has compression - unless you actually go down into the menu to select uncompressed NEF, which results in fantastic sizes)

But in your case, it doesn't matter if you use .NEF or .TIFF because you wish to manipulate the actual pixels (distortion correction). Well, I suppose there is Lightroom 3, but their distortion correction is crap to me.

Personally, from experience in the industry, my take on the TIFF format is the same as catchlights: TIFF is the standard for offset printing. And offset printing is THE standard as it is used for almost all kind of printing except photographic prints (dye sublimation).
Yes, offset printing demands TIFF. Hence, if you can shoot your images without any corrections, it would be "good-to-go" with a Illustrator file/ In Design / Freehand that can be directly sent to the printer for printing. For the printing industry, TIFF is considered as "RAW" as it can get... So, that's probably why there is the TIFF option available... Eg, you shoot products, pass the TIFF images to brochure designer who can use it right away without conversion...
 

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Apr 7, 2010
2,560
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Southern Enclave
#20
Adobe Photoshop can open NEF files from most Nikon cameras if you have downloaded and updated the Adobe Camera Raw plugin (Also commonly known as ACR for short). Since NEF is a raw representation of data captured by the photosites on the sensor, they are stored without any manipulation. The 12/14 bits RGB pixel data are not demosaiced in a NEF file. For TIFF, the 16 bit RGB values are demosaiced.
Good to know that, I've only recently purchased CS5 - would be keen to download NEF plugin so that I no longer have to work with TIFF... :)
 

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