I took six focus bracketed shots, each about 20mb raw (cr3), then focus stacked in Photoshop (open in Lightroom, open in PS as layers, auto-align layers, blend). I deselected the individual raw files, leaving only the stacked layer selected, then hit ctrl-S to save. The resulting tiff file is about 1 gb.

From other posts here, I would have expected the tiff to be around 130 mb.

Should I have expected a 1gb tiff? Is there something I should have done to get a smaller tiff?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you save it with or without layers? When saving with layers, Photoshop warns me that it will result in a larger file (unless you have ticked the Don't show this again checkbox on that message). Did you use compression / no compression? Is it 8 or 16 bits/channel? There are many different options that can affect the size of the final TIFF file. \$\endgroup\$
    – MrUpsidown
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 15:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MrUpsidown I didn't get any such warning and don't recall ticking the checkbox. I'm just using the PS default. What's best for saving files back to LR? \$\endgroup\$
    – foosion
    Commented Nov 27, 2021 at 22:30

1 Answer 1


Did you save it with Layers?

Photoshop will save layers to tiff even if they are switched off in the app. You must either delete the layers if you never need them back [or are not going to save the entire PSD], or switch off Layers in the Save dialog.
Layers will be on by default if the Photoshop document contains multiple layers, or off [& greyed out] if it doesn't.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Deleting the other layers resulted in a file size of 238mb, which was still bigger than I expected, but certainly smaller than 1gb. Is there something else I should be doing? I'm first stacking the files, then bringing back to LR for editing. \$\endgroup\$
    – foosion
    Commented Nov 20, 2021 at 17:46
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Any single layer file size will depend on the image's complexity, assuming you are using some form of compression. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 20, 2021 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @foosion What is your purpose for saving as a TIFF? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 4:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelC it was a file from LR. When I use PS to edit a photo from LR I hit ctrl-S to save. PS then saves it as a TIFF and the edited file appears back in LR. It's not something I think about. I assume that's what LR/PS regards as the best format. Is it not? \$\endgroup\$
    – foosion
    Commented Nov 27, 2021 at 22:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @foosion The reason there are choices is because the "best" format for one thing isn't always necessarily the best format for something else. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Nov 29, 2021 at 3:50

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