Lightroom: Fails to import some valid scanned TIFFs created by Mac Image Capture

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  • Updated 1 week ago
When LR tries to import some scanned TIFFs created by Mac Image Capture, the import fails with "The file uses an unsupported compression algorithm".  The problem is that LR doesn't implement the representation used by Image Capture with these TIFFs: JPEG compression, 4 samples per pixel (RGB + Alpha), and PhotometricInterpretation = RGB.

For some reason, Image Capture uses this representation on crops with non-zero angles, such as those created by the very useful feature Auto Selection: Detect Separate Items, which identifies and separates multiple photos being scanned.

Here's such a TIFF: 
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ks57ijejfuvjcbp/Image-Capture-Angle.2018.07.14.tiff?dl=0

Many programs correctly read this TIFF: Preview (Mac), Gimp (Mac), Photos (Mac), Safari (Mac), Photos (Windows 10), Paint (Windows 10).

Unfortunately, there's a longstanding bug in Photoshop that incorrectly reads this representation: 
https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/scans-not-working-in-photoshop

There are (at least) two workarounds:

1. In Image Capture, save the scans with non-zero angles as JPEGs rather than TIFFs.  These TIFFs use JPEG compression anyway, so there is no advantage to using TIFF over JPEG.

2. Open the TIFF in another program and save it with a different compression algorithm (e.g. none or LZW). 

Unfortunately, you can't use Preview to export as a TIFF, since it seems to have a bug in its Export / Save that ignores the setting Compression = None.  But since the TIFF is already using JPEG compression, simply use Preview to export it as a JPEG, and in this case you won't suffer any additional loss in quality.

Tested with LR 7.4 / Macos 10.13.5. But this problem has been in LR for years, based on reports in the forums.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Posted 8 months ago

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Simon Chen, Principal Computer Scientist

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Thanks John for the bug report!
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Lyle Berman

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I had this same problem which was driving me nuts.
I ended up installing ImageMagick from https://www.imagemagick.org/script/index.php.
Then I used this command in Terminal to convert the files to LZW. 
mogrify image.tiff -compress LZW
This overwrites your originals so make sure to back them up first!
HTH,
-Lyle
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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Greetings

Updates to Lightroom Classic CC (8.2), Lightroom CC for desktop (2.2), Lightroom CC.Mobile (Android and iOS) were released on Monday, February 11, 2019. Please verify that your issue is fixed by the current update.

Thank you for your patience.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Unfortunately, the sample file linked above still gets an error when importing:

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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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I've pinged the team, John. 
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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Apologies John,

This issue is not fixed. There is no ETA for a fix.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Thanks for the update. The use-case I identified above has a low-impact workaround, so it's not important to me personally. 
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Mike Naylor

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Well its important to, as I've just scanned 500 images and I don't want to do that again. Nor do I want convert each image manually.

WORKAROUND:  Install XnConvert from the Apple App Store. It will batch convert and its FREE!
(Edited)
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Czarek Gorzeński

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Any news in that topic? After 8 months still doesn't work...
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Lyle, Mike, and Czarek: Make sure to click Me Too in the upper-right corner. Right now, there's just one Me Too (me) -- the  more people who vote on the topic, the more likely Adobe will pay attention.
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Simon Chen, Principal Computer Scientist

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Official Response
From the bug report, our developer reported that the problematic TIFF files are compressed with lossy JPEG compression. This type of lossy TIFF compression is not supported by Lightroom/ACR. The bug is marked closed/won't fix.

One workaround is to re-save the lossy compressed TIFF from Photoshop, and then the result can be imported into Lr.
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Czarek Gorzeński

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It is not a proper solution. You can open these files in Photoshop, but - in my case, at least - it is not properly displayed. Roughly one quarter of the right side part of the picture is destroyed. It is a repeatable issue on every scanned image. Surely I am able open the same pictures using other software without any issue.
(Edited)
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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As described above, Photoshop is also buggy reading these files: 
https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/scans-not-working-in-photoshop

The two workarounds described above: Save the images as JPEGs rather than TIFFs, or use a third-party program like XnConvert or Imagemagick to convert the TIFFs to uncompressed or LZW compression.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Since the internal bug report is marked closed/won't fix, I changed this topic to "idea" (feature request).
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Lyle Berman

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Frustrating that they're just throwing up their hands and not fixing this.