I am using Capture One Pro 10.2 on a 13-inch 2015 MacBook Pro. Recently I output some black and white photos as TIFF files and sent them to my usual lab for printing. (This was, however, my first time transferring them photos in TIFF format.)

When I got the prints, I noticed that every single one of them had a small thumbnail of the same photo on the upper-left corner. This was unexpected and unwanted and at first I thought the lab had something to do with it, so I contacted them. They replied that this was a problem with the TIFF format and that it was also possible that this had to do with the software I used to output the files (i.e. Capture One).

I should state at this point that I do not see any such thumbnails when I open and view the TIFF files on my machine.

Having googled and recalling that TIFF is a container that can hold many items, I had a hunch that these thumbnails might have had to do with the metadata that was being embedded in the files during outputting. I then stripped the metadata – by unticking all the boxes in the metadata tab of the process recipe – and re-sent the lab one example file for printing. I got it back today and it still had a thumbnail at the corner.

I really want to get rid of the thumbnails, but honestly don’t know what to do next and would appreciate any help/insight on this matter.

For reference I am attaching an example print. The colour cast is from the light source.

enter image description here

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Have you check how many pages this TIFF file have? In print houses they expect to be only one. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 27, 2017 at 17:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ How can I check the number of pages in this TIFF file? Is there a command I can type in the terminal to see this? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ian.
    Oct 27, 2017 at 18:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can try with imagemagic and command identify -ping -format %n\n multi.tiff. Or with XNview,->Properties->Image/Frame counts \$\endgroup\$ Oct 28, 2017 at 7:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If you have access to a Windows PC you could try to open your image with a very small freeware image viewer called IrfanView. It can show all images in a multipage Tiff. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gnudiff
    Nov 1, 2017 at 19:21

2 Answers 2


I would put it this way:

  • The lab didn't notice the problem when printing the first set of prints. This means the lab was not checking its work closely.
  • The lab did not have the technical expertise to identify the source of the problem when it was pointed out to them. The lab blamed TIFF. The lab blamed your software. It did not take responsibility.
  • The lab didn't notice the problem when printing the second set of prints. This means the lab was not checking its work closely after having discussed the problem with you.
  • This suggests that the lab does not care about the problem it is having with your TIFF's.

Your options are:

  1. Live with the bad prints (not really an option).
  2. Find another lab.
  3. Don't send TIFF files to your current lab.

My bet is that unless it is a very professional shop, they might have had trouble with embedded thumbnail. Just like raw files of most formats, TIFF can contain thumbnails:


Note also that thumbnails can even be embedded in EXIF data. And also not only by some external editor but also by by camera itself:


As you said, it is the first time you sent them TIFF and they said they had "trouble" with it.


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