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Converting 16-bit to 8-bit for printing - yes?

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  • Converting 16-bit to 8-bit for printing - yes?

    I am still correct in thinking that printers will convert 16-bit images to 8-bit before going to press? This would be for CMYK offset printing.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Gregg View Post
    I am still correct in thinking that printers will convert 16-bit images to 8-bit before going to press? This would be for CMYK offset printing.
    AFAIK yes. But it would be better if you did the conversion yourself so you can deal with any resulting artifacts yourself.

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    • #3
      16 bit images are overkill for an offset press. We typically don't convert to 8 bit unless the file sizes get too huge. A 16 bit image is twice the size of an 8 bit with no discernible increase in quality.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Macmann View Post
        16 bit images are overkill for an offset press. We typically don't convert to 8 bit unless the file sizes get too huge. A 16 bit image is twice the size of an 8 bit with no discernible increase in quality.
        You can get banding/shadestepping when going from 16 bit to 8 bit. Better to catch that before RIPping when you can do something about it.

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        • #5
          Thanks guys. I guess a better question would have been: is there is noticeable improvement in quality when printing a 16 bit image vs printing 8-bit image? Seems that the answer in No.

          I direct illustrators to provide 8-bit images, but often times they supply them in 16-bit. They must be working on some powerful Macs, because the files tend to be 800mb+ per spread.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Gregg View Post
            Thanks guys. I guess a better question would have been: is there is noticeable improvement in quality when printing a 16 bit image vs printing 8-bit image? Seems that the answer in No.

            I direct illustrators to provide 8-bit images, but often times they supply them in 16-bit. They must be working on some powerful Macs, because the files tend to be 800mb+ per spread.
            Right, there is no printing value to 16 bit images. The value of 16 bit is for certain image editing functions.

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