I Disagree, But It Depends Upon One's Point Of View
I can agree with you slightly but there are some major differences between TIFF and JPEGs and Roberts suggested method is correct for archiving old photos. JPEGs are a compromise solution for storage, Internet transmission, and the like. Even novices can see the differences when the shortcomings are pointed out.
I do considerable restoration work on old photos and I can tell you most of them are just about "Had it" condition wise. If one is working in the photographic professional field, a lost or damaged image can usually be replaced by reshooting. And, you must consider that most pictures/images are going to eventually end up being printed commercially. Nearly all commercial printing is done via a half-tone process where even the best magazine images are at 175 DPI. - A far distance from being high resolution.
Our prized Kodak moments from yesteryear that are being scanned probably will fall apart within a few more years. Depending upon whom you read, a photo typically has a life span of somewhere around 25 to 75 years. There are exceptions to this but it is a general rule of thumb. Everyone admits scanning and touching up is very time consuming and no one wants to do it twice. It just makes sense to get it right the first time when you store it.
Perhaps, to the average or casual viewer there are imperceptible differences between the formats, but if you know what you are looking for, the problems begin to be seen.
The JPEG format was created to perform compression by using known characteristics (flaws) of the eye. An eye is quite critical of edges and is not particularly picky about smooth slowly unchanging areas or surfaces. These traits are built into the JPEG algorithms to allow compression without seemingly giving up anything.
Where JPEGs really fall short, in my opinion, are when there is a sharp subject edge that has a large change in intensity or color. If you check such a condition on a JPEG even at minimal compression, you will see a ghost like effect alongside that edge. Now, in fairness, this is normally quite minor but it does cause the edge to seem blurred and that results in a loss of picture quality.
You can test this effect by making some simple one-color objects in MS Paint and then saving them to a JPEG file. If you then reopen the JPEG, and magnify the image to see the edges closely, the shortcomings of JPEGs become obvious. For this reason, GIF type files (simple artistic one color objects and letters) are not a recommended format by artistic/graphic experts to be converted to JPEGs.
TIFFs, on the other hand, are a pure representation of an image. Every pixel is faithfully reproduced and retained regardless of the number of times you open and store the file under different names. It is an ideal format with the exception of the large final file sizes.
There is a way around that problem and that is to store your TIFFs using a lossless compression program. Many imaging programs, such as Photoshop, offer an optional check box at saving time for LZW compression. This compression saves the TIFF file in about the same space as an equivalent JPEG file in its highest resolution modes (roughly a 3 to 1 reduction depending upon subject matter). Yet, when you reverse the process, you are back to exactly where you were when you created it.
Of course, there are other compression schemes too such as *.zip, etc. Zip files are lossless and are also an ideal way to combine multiple groupings of photos/images. For current users of Windows XP, the OS will unlock those zip images for you without any extra effort.
The point of this dissertation is that for those special photos/images retain them as TIFFs. For sending that image of Jenny in the sandbox to Aunt Millie where it will be looked at maybe once or twice, JPEGs are fine. But, for the special situations like a family album, then TIFFs are the only way to go.
Your scanning and touching up maybe the only time anyone will ever do it. Soon the photo will be gone, the information will be history and it can never be recovered then. Just remember, when some descendant a hundred years from now pulls up your image from the sugar cube thingy that uses gamma rays enhanced with pi mesons, you do not want them to say, Why in the H$@@ didnt they use something with more resolution?
Just some thoughts from someone who has been there and done that . .. .
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