PSD VS TIFF suggestion

Started Jan 13, 2019 | Discussions thread
pixelgenius Senior Member • Posts: 4,072
Re: PSD VS TIFF suggestion

irv00 wrote:

jmw4 wrote:

I am going back and forth between Lightroom and PS a lot recently. I usually start my file in LR then go over to PS, then bring it back into LR for final adjustments. Should I be working with PSD's or TIFF with layers. I know there are varying opinions on this so please give me a suggestion.

PSD gives you more options for future editing (smart objects comes to mind), which is the main reason you would want to keep the files around in the first place.

There's nothing a TIFF can't do a PSD can do other than dutone support and some options within InDesign. Including Smart Objects (they can indeed be saved as TIFF).

PSD is a proprietary file format. TIFF is not. Any software that needs to support PSD has to pay a licensing fee to Adobe, TIFF usage is free but both formats are owned and controlled by Adobe.

IF one is interested in future compatibility with either format, and one isn't using InDesign for there tiny features it provides or Duotone's in PS, there's zero reason to save PSD and more compatibility today and likely in the future using TIFF.

PSB is a different story.

Jeff Schewe, Photoshop expert:

Wrong...PSD is now a bastardized file format that is NOT a good idea to use. Even the Photoshop engineers will tell you that PSD is no longer the Photoshop "native" file format. It has no advantages and many disadvantages over TIFF.

TIFF is publicly documented, PSD is not. That makes TIFF a preferred file format for the long term conservation of digital files.

TIFF uses ZIP compression for max compression, PSD uses RLE which if you save without the Max compatibility will be a bit smaller, but at the risk of not being able to be used by apps, like Lightroom.

TIFF can save EVERYTHING a PSD can save including layers, paths, channels, transparency, annotations and can go up to 4 GIGS in file size. TIFF can save all the color spaces PSD can. The ONLY thing I can think of that PSD can save that currently TIFF can't save is if you Save out of Camera Raw a cropped PSD, you can uncrop the PSD in Photoshop CS, CS2 or 3. That's one tiny obscure thing that PSD can do that TIFF currently doesn't. How many people even knew that let alone use it?

PSD used to be the preferred file format back before Adobe bastardized it for the Creative Suite. The moment that happened, PSD ceased to be a Photoshop "native" file format. PSB is the new Photoshop "native" file format for images beyond 30,000 pixels. And , at the moment, only Photoshop can open a PSB.

Getting back to the fist point, Adobe can do anything including stopping support for PSD because it's a proprietary file format. TIFF is public, even if it's owned by Adobe (by virtue of the Aldus purchase). Even if Adobe went belly up tomorrow, TIFF would continue.

And, let me be blunt, anybody who thinks PSD is "better" than TIFF is ignorant of the facts. If Adobe would let them, the Photoshop engineers would tell you to quit using PSD. Lightroom for the first beta did NOT support PSD and Hamburg fought tooth and nail to prevent having to accept PSD. He blinked, but you still can't import a PSD without Max compat enabled-which basically makes it a TIFF with a PSD extension.

Look, I'll make it REAL simple...

TIFF = Good
PSD = Bad


Further, from Peter Krogh of the DAM Book:

As to why the preference for PSD persists, probably the same reason everyone says "300DPI TIFFs for delivery". Some urban legends take forever to die.


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