Abstract

The limitations in the performance of microdensitometers set by diffraction and other optical effects are discussed. Experimental tests are described comparing the performance of a typical commercial microdensitometer (an Ansco Model 4 automatic recording microdensitometer) with that of an ideal diffraction-limited instrument. The adverse effects in the practical instrument of aberration in the optics and of nonuniform photocathode sensitivity are illustrated. It is shown that suitable improvements in the microdensitometer can raise its performance quite close to the diffraction limit. The significance of these tests in relation to other practical microdensitometers is indicated.

© 1965 Optical Society of America

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