7 Replies Latest reply: Jan 4, 2013 7:23 AM by Frank Caggiano
Grand Bork Level 1 (0 points)

Several photos scanned with my Epson Perfection 1260 scanner in tiff format went rather wonky when imported into Aperture. The tiffs in question are about 100 to 200 MB in size. Smaller tiffs of 50 to 100 MB imported in the same batch were all OK. The problem pictures now look like abstract art or something from Tron, with bits from other images and lots of areas of blue lines and rectangles.


I just wondered if there is a theoretical limit to imported image size, which I've hit, or perhaps my scans, which were taken directly from the scanner software, have become corrupted. Is there a workaround?


I'm still using Snow Leopard as I need Rosetta, which of course means I haven't been able to update to the very latest version of Aperture (despite only buying it a year ago, which kinda leaves a bitter taste in the mouth), so I'm stuck at 3.2.4.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8), 13 in, Mid 2009, 4GB RAM
  • léonie Level 10 (90,876 points)

    I just tried again: a jpeg with 124.9 MB is ok., a jpeg with 169 MB is o.k., a tiff with more then 1GB displays as patchwork, a tiff with more than 2 GB crashes Aperture.


    The boundaries shift a bit, depending on how much RAM I have.

    So probably you have hit the border with 100 MB.  I could not find an official limit to the picture file size in Aperture. Apple only promises that Aperture will deal well with images taken by most digital cameras. And there the limit to the filesize is still below 100MB.


    I am preprocessing my scans in Photoshop and import them as jpegs into Aperture, to reduce the file size.

    What kind of tiff are you using? Does your scanner produce 16 bit tiffs?

  • Grand Bork Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the reply, Leonie.


    If 100MB is my limit when I have 4GB of RAM, how much do you have?


    I prefer to use tiffs or raw files in Aperture, as manipulating them is not as lossy as using jpegs, but perhaps high grade jpegs, with quality of 95% or more might not be too bad?


    Alas, I don't have Photoshop, except on on old PC, which struggles with files much over 20MB.


    How do I determine how many bits the tiffs are that my scanner produces? There's nothing on the files themselves (exifs or similar), and I don't have the scanner to hand at the moment. But it's at least 6 years old. The files are mostly scanned with grayscale, and are pretty big, 17,000x11,000 pixels, for example.

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,722 points)

    The files are mostly scanned with grayscale,

    This is going to cause possible problems in Aperture. Aperture is not designed to work on grayscale images.


    See Aperture: Unexpected results when working with grayscale or other non-RGB images

  • Grand Bork Level 1 (0 points)

    I've just found an old forum post "Aperture corrupting imported tiffs", dating from 2008/2009, where the poster had problems with Grayscale tiffs. Perhaps this is the root of my problem? Is Aperture 3 still designed to work only with RGB tiffs? Strange, as the program v3.2.4 seems to manage the smaller grayscale tiffs fine, it's just the larger ones that go all weird and freaky.

  • Grand Bork Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the info, Frank.


    So what do you suggest I do? If I rescan these big images as RGB they will be absolutely VAST. Then I will have to covert them back to Grayscale in the adjustments menu (with loss of detail) before I can send them to a book printer to print in monochrome? That just sounds daft and horribly inefficient... And what about using Grayscale images in a Photobook? Will that cause further colour shifts or casts?


    Yet Grayscale scans seem to work fine when they are relatively small, say under 100MB. Or am I gonna find some more surprises hiding in the Aperture woodwork?

  • léonie Level 10 (90,876 points)

    If 100MB is my limit when I have 4GB of RAM, how much do you have?

    I have one MBP with 8 GB RAM and one with 16 GB. The above result was with 8GB. 16GB give a much speedier performance, but even with 16 GB I cannot load 2GB scans without crashing Aperture.


    How do I determine how many bits the tiffs are that my scanner produces?

    Open the image files with Preview and use "Tools > Show Information"

    Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 1.15.26 PM.png

    This will show you the color model and the bit size.

    If you have a standard scanner model your scans will probably 8bit tiffs, but check.


    If I rescan these big images as RGB they will be absolutely VAST

    It is not a good idea to scan RGB if you want grey scale; this will only introduce color noise.

    It is much better to scan in grayscale mode and then to convert to RGB and use LZW compression to prevent the file size from growing to much. A pity, that you do not have PhotoShop to be able to simply change the mode of the image file to RGB.  Right now I do not have GIMP installed on this machine, but you could give it a try. Gimp is free, and can do similar things as Photoshop.


    Also you could try to use "Preview" to export your Tiffs as jpeg - so far I have had no problems with high quality grey scale jpegs in Aperture. It will depend on what kind of edits you want to do. You will not be able to brush color in, but sharpening, contrast and other enhancements should work well.





  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,722 points)

    I can't say for certain that the fact that these images are grayscale are causing the problems you are seeing. I just wanted to point out that Aperture isn;t designed to work with these images and using then in Aperture could cause flakiness.


    It's similar to the situation with Aperture and libraries on NFS volumes. Apple says not to do it yet some users do do it and have no apparent problems. So is it a good idea to do it. As long as it works for you I guess it's OK but once you have probelms you need to eliminate the things that Apple says cause problems.


    Léonie has given suggestions for converting the images, seem like it's worth a try.