Color Space for scans

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
technoid Senior Member • Posts: 2,276
Re: Need to know to convert! Also ...

NAwlins Contrarian wrote:

Firstly NEVER assign a profile. Always convert TO a profile. I can not see why you would want such a high pixel count file for printing , I would think it could become more of a hassle than an advantage.... unless of course your prints are going over a very large hoarding.

Yeah, I realized later there is a difference between assign and convert, so I converted

You cannot properly convert to a color space without first knowing (or having the scan file tell the software) what color space it's in to start with, that is, from what color space you're converting.

Exactly so.

IMO the must-do item is to ask the service that scans your art what color space they're saving it it. If they aren't aware of color spaces, then IMO look for a new service.

Also good advice. There is a slim chance it's in the native camera/scanner colorspace. Sort of like one of the options dcraw.c has for raw images. But you then need an input profile attached to it so it can be converted to a standard colorspace. So I suspect it's already converted to some standard colorspace. Odd that they haven't tagged it so it may be just sRGB which is not adequate for scanning artwork that has highly saturated colors. Depends on the artwork.

Assuming that they are saving it in a color space that the service that prints it can use, I see no reason to convert to a different color space unless you're performing edits that will substantially change the color. If they scan to sRGB and that clips your art's colors, then your converting from sRGB to e.g. ProPhoto RGB is not going to restore those colors.


In a similar way, an 8-bit TIFF is every bit as good as a 16-bit TIFF for printing. The extra bits are only helpful if you will perform edits that substantially change the color and/or lightness.

True for scans. Sensor noise is typically higher than 8 bit resolution with a reasonable gamma. At least for tiff files. Jpegs are more problematic as their lossy compression effectively reduces the resolution bits. Even so, jpegs are usually adequate.

A bigger issue with scans is metameric failure. That's a real issue as artwork can have quite diverse spectra. There really isn't much that can be done about that with normal commercial processes and it's rarely discussed outside of museum art archivists but is a real issue in precision reproduction work.

Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow