Problems reading tif files

Christian Heimes lists at
Mon Sep 27 03:19:28 CEST 2010

Am 27.09.2010 02:31, schrieb gujax:
> Hi,
> I have read several related e-mails dating back as far as 2006. I am
> quite confused whether PIL can open tif images. Some posts seem to say
> there isn't yet any support for PIL while there are few posts where
> PIL has been able to open tif images. So I guess, I have to ask this
> probably trivial question again. I am just learning python and PIL. I
> have tiff images which are 8 bit and 16 bit gray scale images. I
> cannot open them. Here are the errors that I encounter.

PIL only supports a limited subset of TIFF files. Several compression
algorithms like G3 and G4 fax compression are not supported yet. PIL may
have a problem with partly broken TIFF files, too.

> I have no idea why this happens.
> I will appreciate a resolution. The file opens with ImageJ and
> ImageMagick. It is a 8-bit RGB file. I have associated default viewer
> to be ImageMagick. I am on Lucid Linux, and other programs such as F-
> spot and Gimp cannot open those files either.
> I don't yet know how to attach image files to the post so please bear
> with me till I figure that out.

Can you please post the output of tiffinfo for the specific file? It may
give me a hint what's going wrong.

There aren't a lot of good alternatives for image processing in Python.
I've evaluated most of them and decided to write my own one for my
employer. It's a Cython based library around FreeImage [1] and LCMS2 [2]
and works very well. So far we have processed several million TIFF files
with more than 100 TB of raw data smoothly. I've permission to release
the software as open source but haven't found time to do a proper release.

Christian Heimes


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