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Author Topic: 16-bit printing  (Read 1338 times)
Jeremy Payne
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« on: March 29, 2010, 12:28:16 PM »
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Ok ... I guess I haven't been paying attention ... It was news to me that some versions of Lightroom offer 16-bit print output ...

Does it matter?  I had always believed that if you preserved a 16-bit workflow all the way up to the 8-bit print path, there would be very little (if any) benefit to sending and printing in 16-bit.

What's the real-world experience say?
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Schewe
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2010, 01:17:21 PM »
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Quote from: Jeremy Payne
I had always believed that if you preserved a 16-bit workflow all the way up to the 8-bit print path, there would be very little (if any) benefit to sending and printing in 16-bit.

For general photographic output there is little if any difference assuming you are sending 16 bit images to the printer and allowing either Photoshop or Lightroom to handle the color transforms. When you do that and use the Adobe ACE CMM you are getting the advantage of 20 bits of precision in the working space to printer profile color transform. So, the difference between allowing Photoshop or Lightroom do the transform and printing 16 bit at the print head will be very slight.

Where 16 bit printing CAN help is when you apply long gentle gradations (like the Gradient Filter) on otherwise very smooth tones or colors. Also if you are outputting vector graphics from Illustrator or InDesign you can see a benefit to going the output in 16 bits.
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shewhorn
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2010, 01:25:44 PM »
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Depends a lot on the image source. Sometimes photos taken during that "Nation Geographic hour" (you know... about a 1/2 hour after sunset) where you have lots of sky that contains a very smooth gradient from blue to dark blue/black it can be beneficial. It's also worth noting that not all printers are capable of full 16 bits. I don't know about the Epsons and HPs but the Canon IPFs go to 14 bits (at that point though there's not a huge advantage from 14 bits to 16 bits if any especially considering that very few cameras can even capture over 14 bits at the moment).

Cheers, Joe
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Jeremy Payne
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2010, 01:34:55 PM »
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Gotcha ... thanks!
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