Lightroom - open in Photoshop - TIFF or PSD?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by Tobers, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. Tobers

    Tobers
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    What do you Lightroom users do when you open an image in Photoshop from Lightroom? Do you open it as a TIFF or PSD? Any idea which is better?

    I'm sort of sure that a TIFF will give better results from a couple of experiments but I dont know for definite.

    Tobers
     
  2. Liquid101

    Liquid101
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    They should be both exactly the same.

    It's possible that using the PSD format you coudl retain information like history states or versions. But the actual image quality should be identical.
     
  3. Liquid101

    Liquid101
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    I take it back - PSD can't handle this data.

    I can think of no reason (other than the fact it's an adobe product) for using PSD. TIFF all the way.

    Does lightroom give you the option of layers? I didn't think it did?
     
  4. Tobers

    Tobers
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    Llightroom doesn't have "layers" but it does have "history" which is a bit similar. You can step forwards & backwards through your edit sequence as you can with layers. However you cant use masks i.e. blot out the change on one half of the pic but leave it on the other.

    I reckon TIFFs are the way to go as well, they just get pretty big. Strangely, once you've tweaked a RAW file in Lightroom, you cant then send the original state RAW to Photoshop. Instead you have to open Photoshop, find the RAW on disk and open it from there to get the original state as it came out of the camera.
     
  5. cedmondson

    cedmondson
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    Why should a TIFF give better results? I've always understood both TIFF & PSD to be lossless so surely no difference?

    @Tobers - do you open in Photoshop in 8 bit or 16 bit?
     
  6. Tobers

    Tobers
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    16 bit into Photoshop. I know, it's a bit peculiar, but when I was fiddling with my comp entry for last month, I'm certain that the TIFF gave much better detail. I'll have to do a few more experiments.
     
  7. cedmondson

    cedmondson
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    Fair enough. I've never tried TIFF but will give it a go. My logic for using PSD is that I save over the PSD after the photoshop edit (preserving layers etc) and avoiding too many file versions cluttering my HDD.

    A further question re. 16 bit in Photoshop - how do you convert to 8 bit to display here, for example? Actually make that 2 questions - do you notice a shift in colours when those images are displayed in a web browser?
     
  8. allymac123

    allymac123
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    For Q1 - go to image -> mode -> then select the 8 bit option
    Q2 - Not that I've ever noticed.
     
  9. Liquid101

    Liquid101
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    That makes sense.

    However, to ensure long term preservation of your digital images, I would always save a simple TIFF file, no layers, defined colourspace.
     
  10. cedmondson

    cedmondson
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    Here's an image that was exported from Lightroom to PS as a 16 bit file and finally converted to 8 bit to save it as a JPG (exactly as described by allymac123). The colours displayed in a browser are rather cold and not as intended. If you download it & display it in a different app, however the colours are much warmer (as in the 2nd image below).

    [​IMG]

    Here's the same image exported to PS as 8 bit. Colours are as intended & don't change when viewed in different applications.

    [​IMG]

    Anyone have any ideas what's going on here?
     
  11. Liquid101

    Liquid101
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    It's some kind of colour management issue, but without looking at your setup i'm guessing here.

    I suspect sRGB, (which most browsers use) does not support 16bit colour. When you export your 16 bit images they must be emedded with a different colour profile, which when you save is embedded in the jpg.

    When you import 8 bit images, they probaby use the sRGB profile, and therefore look the same.

    How do you have your colour management policies set up in Photoshop? Are they warning you of mismatches? What is your working colourspace? and finally are you using mac or PC. Generally, Macs are set up with a different gamma 1.8 compared to PC's 2.2.
     
  12. cedmondson

    cedmondson
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    I use PCs. The gamma is set correctly and profiled with a Spyder. Until I started dabbling with Lightroom I've stuck exclusively to sRGB (without any problems).
    Lightroom uses ProPhoto RGB as its Colour Space. There is no facility to vary this. I have my system set up to export from Lightroom to PS in sRGB and sRGB is set as the default Colour Space within PS. So there is a change but there shouldn't be a mismatch (?). I'm not getting any mismatch warnings.

    Saving a JPG (8 bit) directly from Lightroom involves specifying a colour space (again I always use sRGB) but I've not been aware of colours getting changed in the process. Similarly outputting to PS as 8 bit / sRGB seems OK - that was the basis for my 2nd example.
     
  13. Liquid101

    Liquid101
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    But have you checked that it's using sRGB when exporting 16 bit images? I suspect it isn't. PS will only warn you about profile mismatches if you have it set up to do this in the colour prefrences setup.

    The colours will be changing, you just might not be noticing the difference. sRGB is an old colour space, has a very narrow gamut and is hoplessly out of date for use with modern monitors and print systems. Personally, I use Adobe RGB which has a much larger colour gamut and therefore a wider range of colours. For web use I convert to sRGB so I know what others will see.

    There would be no problem with this as sRGB is more than happy with 8 bit.
     
  14. Liquid101

    Liquid101
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    This one is embedded with prophoto RGB. Did you bring this one into PS as a 16 bit image?
     
  15. cedmondson

    cedmondson
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    Lightroom is definitely set to export 16 bit as sRGB and this has always been the case. Good point about the warnings - I hadn't set it to warn but have now.
    I take your point about sRGB vs. Adobe RGB. I don't print very much so I've tended to stick with sRGB for web compatibility.
     
  16. cedmondson

    cedmondson
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    No. That was exported directly from Lightroom. However I'm mystified about the ProPhoto colourspace. To my knowledge, I've always output / exported as sRGB.
     
  17. Tobers

    Tobers
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    I did have some strange colour problems when I had Photoshop set to AdobeRGB instead of sRGB. Took me a while to work out what was causing it.

    I've not had any problems since I put everything to sRGB.
     
  18. Liquid101

    Liquid101
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    I'd rethink using sRGB has your colourspace - just think of all that lovely colour you're losing. You can always convert your web images before posting.
     
  19. Tobers

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    I know, I've tried numerous permutations but decided to stick with this for the time being. I have read up on the subject a fair bit and the general conclusion appears to be that whilst sRGB loses some colour definition, in general use it isn't enough to worry about for the sort of stuff that I do.

    If I was into studio portraits that need printing out very large, I'd probably change my mind. Maybe when I get my 1Ds3 :D.

    In the meantime, I've assigned it to the "too complicated" file and will leave it there until I've got the time to reset my entire flow from camera to Lightroom to Photoshop to printer and do a bunch of comparisons.
     

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