Re: OT: 16 bit editing myth or reality?
Title: Re: OT: 16 bit editing myth or
Earlier this year I bought a high end flatbed scanner (
Scitex/Creo/Kodak EverSmart Pro) but when I got it up and running
discovered that even though the actual analog to digital conversion
was done in 14 bit, the saved file was only 8 bit. I consulted with
some experts on the Scan Hi-End forum and here is what they
recommended for scanning B&W negatives.
1. Do as much corrective work as possible in the pre-scan take
advantage of the fact that the actual scan is done in high bit.
2. Scan in RGB.
3. Once the file is in Photoshop, and before any further
corrections are done, change the mode from 8 bit RGB to 16 bit RGB,
then change to 16 bit Grayscale.
This method gives much less combing of the histogram than making
the scan in 8 bit grayscale, and then converting to 16 bit
It is obviously much better to capture or scan in 16 bit if
possible, which should be the case with most modern quality cameras
and scanners. However, there are some high end desktop and scanners
available on the used market that do not save in high bit and you can
improve the quality of the image a lot by the work flow described
At 7:01 PM -0500 12/16/07, Ender100@aol.com wrote:
I think your inquiry is interesting-especially the cumulative effect
that adjustment layers would have on file data.
In the mean time, I have no doubt that 16 bit is far superior-and
even to take it a "bit" further, I would venture to say that
16 bit RGB is better than 16 bit grayscale when working on the same
"grayscale" file-the numbers seem to work better.
Bruce Fraser confirmed that with me (before he passed away). I
had contacted him when I was writing my book about some anomalies I
found working with 16 bit gray scale files.
Anyway, good luck with your inquiry, I'll look forward to hearing your
conclusions-in the mean time I have no doubt that working with 16
bit capture files is far superior to 8 bit.
Try doing some sort of series that makes an adjustment followed by one
that reverses it and see how much error accumulates. BTW, it has
been suggested that even rotating a file can lead to some sort of
degradation of data.
Precision Digital Negatives -
PDNPrint Forum at Yahoo
In a message dated 12/16/07 4:31:46 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org
You could be right
but I (we) don't know if PS works with real number until the data
needs to be save or whatever. If it's not the case and this would be
surprising, then each editing step would effect the data and each
additional editing steps would have a cumulative effect. I don't think
what you propose below is correct even if PS works with real number
because the starting point would be different.
Let's say I choose
arbitraly a normalised [0..1] pixel level of 0.5, lets see
what our starting value could be in 8 bit resolution. This
would mean we started with a value of 0.5*255=127.5 => 127 or 128,
now in 16 bit this would be 0.5*65535=32767.5 => 32767 or
32768. Lets say our original pixel value is 32767, PS would transform
this in 32767/65535 = 0.49999237 and we could proceed with editing
from this value but if we convert this value to 8 bit and save it for
later comparison, PS would need to convert this to a value to an
integer value between [0..255], so lets do this by 0.49999237 *
255 = 127.4980545 and to 127 by rounding. If we need to apply the
same editing to the 8 bit data file, PS will convert 127 to 127/255 =
0.498039215, a difference of 0.001953155, though very small this
difference could be increased by editing the image further. Just out
of curiosity say we apply a small gamma correction of say 1/1.45
and see what effect it as.
0.49999237^(1/1.45) = 0.6199955
0.4980392^(1/1.45) = 0.6183242
for a difference
The difference is
now lower, this could be surprising and it's why a full analysis
including both color errors and quantization errors migth produce
interesting results. I made a search on Google to see if someone did
this kind of analysis but as of now (4) I saw only perceptual
comparisons and no number crunching but interestingly the
few test I've seen seem to indicate the difference are
imperceptible from 8 or 16 bit editing on printed image. Food for
thought don't you think?
PS I don't recall
any discussion of this topic in particular but I have a bad memory so
don't take my word for it.
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