We have had some questions recently from customers about our .TIFF offering and associated pricing, thanks in part to more misleading marketing tactics by DigMyPics. I would like to take a moment to succinctly describe how the offering works.
But first, let me state the following: TIFF is a very high end file format that the vast majority of customers will not use. The ability to store image data in a lossless format makes TIFF files a useful method for professional photographers & hobbyists to archive images. TIFF files can be ten times larger in memory usage than JPEGS and can be cumbersome to work with for the novice. Unlike standard JPEG, TIFF files use lossless compression (or no compression at all) and can be edited and resaved without suffering a compression loss. Because of this “lossless compression”, TIFF files scanned at 3000 dpi (our default setting) range in size from 60 to 120 MB per image. This is clearly quite unwieldy and requires a great deal of storage space on your hard drives, lots of RAM and siginificant processing capacity from your computer. For the vast majority of our customers there is no need for TIFF as they simply need a high quality scan of the original image. For most applications, our unmatched pricing of 19 cents for negatives, and 24 cents for slides, both at 3000 dpi, is plenty. Because TIFF is “bulky” and requires additional storage space, we have a surcharge of 9 cents per image when a customer requests TIFF format.
Now, in the past we had a process associated with TIFF in that had a customer ordered TIFF images that exceeded 60GB in size (which equates to over 800 images in TIFF), we required the customer to purchase a 120GB pocket hard drive at cost. This was in lieu of sending the customer what could amount to be 15-20 DVDs (this sort of defeats the purpose of archiving your imagery). This drive can have other images / files added to it by the customer and it literally fits into your pocket. A professional can have his or her entire archive of imagery on this drive and take it with them wherever they go. Customers are actually choosing to order the hard drive for all types of orders because they believe in the utility of such a product. When we rolled out the new website, we removed this requirement so customers are no longer required to buy the hard drive, regardless of how many images they send us or type of format. Of course, we strongly encourage customers who might place an order that would require 20 discs to place an order for the hard drive, simply because it is much easier to manage. But, this is the customer’s choice – simple as that.
But to be even more explicit, let me show you an example. Lets say a customer orders 1000 negatives in TIFF format along with an optional 120GB hard drive – the total price of the order would be $399.95 or 39.9 cents per image ([1,000 x $.28] + $119.95). Of course, this assumes the customer purchases everything they send us and I point out that ScanCafe is THE SINGLE COMPANY in this market that allows you to only pay for what you want and discard up to 50% of your order. Now – go to all the “competition” out there and do a price comparison of 1000 negatives, at 3000 dpi, TIFF format, with full post scanning services of color correction, cropping, dust/scratch removal, red eye reduction, etc, etc and see what you come up with. Even w. the hard drive option enacted, you will find that ScanCafe is significantly and materially much more affordable than the “competition” as the charts here show. But as always: I encourage you to investigate the real prices yourself – don’t just listen to me, and certainly don’t just listen to the paranoid scanning companies out there – do the due diligence yourself, your precious memories deserve it.
For more info and background on TIFF format, check out wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiff. You can always call us or shoot us an email as well.