A Simple Method to Measure MTF of Paper and Its Application for Dot Gain Analysis


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E92-A   No.12   pp.3328-3335
Publication Date: 2009/12/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1337
DOI: 10.1587/transfun.E92.A.3328
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Image Media Quality)
Category: Printing
MTF,  paper,  halftone print,  dot gain,  

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Image quality of halftone print is significantly influenced by optical characteristics of paper. Light scattering in paper produces optical dot gain, which has a significant influence on the tone and color reproductions of halftone print. The light scattering can be quantified by the Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) of paper. Several methods have been proposed to measure the MTF of paper. However, these methods have problems in efficiency or accuracy in the measurement. In this article, a new method is proposed to measure the MTF of paper efficiently and accurately, and the dot gain effect on halftone print is analyzed. The MTF is calculated from the ratio in spatial frequency domain between the responses of incident pencil light to paper and the perfect specular reflector. Since the spatial frequency characteristic of input pencil light can be obtained from the response of perfect specular reflector, it does not need to produce the input illuminant having "ideal" impulse characteristic. Our method is experimentally efficient since only two images need to be measured. Besides it can measure accurately since the data can be approximated by the conventional MTF model. Next, we predict the reflectance distribution of halftone print using the measured MTF in microscopy in order to analyze the dot gain effect since it can clearly be observed in halftone micro-structure. Finally, a simulation is carried out to remove the light scattering effect from the predicted image. Since the simulated image is not affected by the optical dot gain, it can be applied to analyze the real dot coverage.