Question about post processing merged RAW files into a TIFF file

Jun 6, 2013
Ghent, Belgium
I have a question concerning my workflow when post processing a stack of RAW files. I recently finished this spider which is based on a stack of 30 pictures. My question: when I merge them in Photoshop into a TIFF file, do I have the same post processing freedom as if I was post processing a RAW file?

Most of the time I take one picture of my stack in Lightroom. I alter my while balance, shadows, highlights, etc ... and then I copy all my developer settings to all the other pictures in the stack. Next, I merge them in Photoshop.

It would be much easier, to merge them first in Photoshop, save it as a TIFF, and do the post processing once in Lightroom. Will the TIFF file give me the same freedom to alter my parameters?


Cafe Ambassador
Apr 8, 2008
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
I merge raw files to .tif for HDR processing of dark interiors. I have notice no loss of detail or processing flexibility.
Nov 14, 2005
Winter Haven, florida
You do lose some of the raw flexibility with tiff.
I like to do the heavy lifting in raw- especially white balance and any color shifts. Major changes in exposure or contrast. Do these changes on one raw image, then apply the changes to all the raws you are going to stack. Once you have the “finished” tiff file back in lightroom you can do final adjustments with no visible issues. Just do the heavy lifting in raw.
Of coarse if your raw images are close and need no major adjustments, you can go straight to tiff.
It also depends on what you are going to do with the image. Web size, go for it. Large print output needs to be treated more gently.
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