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I have a large (growing) collection of scanned images. They are TIFF files, mostly 48 bit with the Adobe RGB color space. This color profile is integrated in the files. When such a file is opened in IrfanView (with plugins), it says (Image - Information) Adobe RGB 1998. "Normal images", like the JPG files from a digital camera, do not (necessarily) have a color profile integrated in the file.

I understand that it's necessary to include the Adobe RGB profile in an image file which uses the Adobe RGB space, so the color values can be interpreted correctly. Here's a test image with a completely different color profile, programs that ignore the included profile (like MSIE8 or Gwenview) will render it as sRGB (?):

Color profile test image

I'm planning to convert my TIF files to JPG, so I'm wondering if there's anything wrong with using IrfanView that would save them as sRGB without embedding the sRGB profile.

I've heard that images should always be saved with the color profile included.

Since every image seems to be interpreted as sRGB by default (by software without color management), I don't understand why the sRGB profile should be included?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The sRGB profile is kind of the standard for the www world. As you said, most softwares tend to interpret untagged images as sRGB.

I would not recommend you, though, to be the agent of removing a ICC profile from an image. In further uses, the original profile can be very useful as a tip of the image's color space, and it is a key piece in color management. This becomes even more important if you want to print the images some day.

I imagine that you want to save a lot of disk space by removing the ICC from the files. This is a benefit that you have to put on the balance along with the lack of color accuracy that it will bring to your images from now on.

If you decide to remove them after all, I would recommend CONVERTING the original images from Adobe RGB 1998 to sRGB and then removing the profile, instead of just removing them. This way, the color values are trully changed to sRGB.

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