I have few photos - JPEGs from smartphone, RGB, 8 bit per channel. Nature, landscapes. I want to edit them.

Before editing I will convert JPEGs to TIFFs. I will use TIFF, RGB, 8 bit per channel.

During editing some TIFFs I will crop. I will make color correction in GIMP - Curves.

Next step I will make JPEGs and will publish them in my blog. TIFFs I will store on computer and external HDD for future usage.

During editing TIFFs I want to use LZW compression. For TIFFs storage I want to use LZW compression too.

I see the following benefit of LZW compression for TIFFs - file size of TIFF with LZW compression is smaller in compare with file size of TIFF without LZW compression.

  • Does any other benefits of LZW compression for TIFFs exists?

  • Does any limitations of using LZW compression for TIFFs exists?

  • Does any technical problems, weak points, danger, maybe some technical incompatibility around LZW compression in TIFFs during editing and storing exists?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ "During editing TIFFs I want to use LZW compression". If you are editing a file in several sessions, your best format is Gimp's native format (XCF). This will save everything. \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 9:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xenoid Thank you, xenoid. Yes, I edit file in several sessions. I took in attention your words. How to store finished photos for long time? TIFF or XCF? \$\endgroup\$
    – Konskoo
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 12:13
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The real thing to keep in the initial JPEG. For the rest, it depends on the effort. If you spent significant time in Gimp, creating masks and such, saving the XCF may save you time later of you want to try something else, because it will have save masks, clip paths, etc... Saving TIFF has the advantage that you can open the image in other apps, but you redo the edit from scratch. \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


For me the benefits can be:

  • less disk space (compressed data)
  • less time to load (but plus time to decompress)
  • same for write

But I will have in mind few negative points:

  • compatibility, it's possible not all programs understand this TIFF format and can load it
  • one (of few) bit error(s) can ruin most of the image (because of the compression string)
  • disk/cloud space is so cheap

And at the end depend of bottleneck of your computer compressed files can save faster (or the opposite)


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