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Thanks for the quick reply. If you take a look at the implementation in OpenImageIO you'll see that they call unpack() immediately after calling open_file():

From your comments above, it sounds like I could start reading the metadata immediately after open_file() and not call unpack() at all. Lower down, on line 285, there's a comment that indicates where the metadata reading code begins:

Is all of that code "safe" to call after only calling open_file()? Will valid values, if present, be correctly read? The last call to read_tiff_metadata() looks like it's just using standard OpenImageIO routines to read a TIFF header, I assume that would be OK as well?

Thanks again!