U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: OT: 16 bit editing myth or reality?

Re: OT: 16 bit editing myth or reality?


It is true that most printers currently print in 8 bit mode and even if you send a 16 bit file to them, the file is converted to 8 bit mode—HOWEVER...

Editing a 16 bit file will leave a rich file that when converted to 8 bit mode for printing has no gaps in tone....

Editing in 8 bit mode will leave gaps that will still be there when printed, possibly causing posterization.

As Ryuji stated, this issue is really a "no-brainer" and has been considered such for years by the experts.  I'm not sure what your point is other than maybe setting up a model to illustrate what the actual final difference is in tonal richness for the same file in both 8 bit & 16 bit mode when given the same adjustment.  If you can come up with a model that would demonstrate it, it would be interesting to know, but it won't change the reality that 16 bit files are superior.

By the way, supposedly the newest Epson printers working with Mac Leopard will be able to make "16 bit" prints as soon as Epson releases the drivers to do so.  Also one of the other printer manufacturers has a plugin that is supposed to give around 14 bit prints......so the 8 bits/printer thing may soon be a thing of the past.

Another side note, a custom scanning house of "good reputation" was making drum scans for people that were supposedly 16 bit drum scans.... in fact, they were scanning in 8 bit because that was all their drum scanner would do, then converting them to 16 bit and sending them out.  This is, however, rather easy to detect. Of course they were charging extra for their "16 bit scans".

Happy Holidays,
Mark Nelson

Precision Digital Negatives - The System
PDNPrint Forum at Yahoo Groups
In a message dated 12/18/07 12:18:13 PM, gauvreau-yves@cgocable.ca writes:

All this above is true while in hi bit mode but the question is what happen to these extra bits when you need to print the image knowing the majority of consumer printers out there are 8 bit printers? The simple answer is, they go back to the black hole they came from. The true benefit of editing in hi bit mode is so small, it is for all practical purpose insignificant on actual prints but I'll give you this it looks much better while in this hi bit mode.

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