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Colorimetric Significance of Spectrophotometric Errors

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Abstract

Some recent interlaboratory surveys have demonstrated poor agreement between color measurements made with different spectrophotometers. It is suggested that instruments should have a precision at least equal to that of the human eye, and that this requires that errors be represented by a distance not greater than 0.2 units in C.I.E. (U*V*W*) space. Tolerances for several different types of error in both the photometric and the wavelength scales of a spectrophotometer are derived by calculating their effects on a number of samples, covering a wide range of color, and comparing this effect with the tolerance of 0.2 C.I.E. units. To fulfill this tolerance, errors which are independent of wavelength should be less than 0.4% if they are proportional to spectral reflectance, and less than 0.4% of the luminous reflectance if they are independent of spectral reflectance. If the error varies systematically with wavelength, the tolerances are reduced to half these values. Constant errors of wavelength should be less than 0.2 nm, random errors less than 0.3 nm, and slit widths less than 7 nm.

© 1967 Optical Society of America

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