In standard (four-exposure) quadrature phase-shifting holography (QPSH), two holograms and two intensity maps are acquired for zero-order-free and twin-image-free reconstruction. The measurement of the intensity map of the object light can be omitted in three-exposure QPSH. Furthermore, the measurements of the two intensity maps can be omitted in two-exposure QPSH, and the acquisition time of the overall holographic recording process is reduced. In this paper we examine the quality of the reconstructed images in two-, three-, and four-exposure QPSH, in simulations as well as in optical experiments. Various intensity ratios of the object light and the reference light are taken into account. Simulations show that two- and three-exposure QPSH can provide reconstructed images with quality comparable to that of four-exposure QPSH at a low intensity ratio. In practice the intensity ratio is limited by visibility, and thus four-exposure QPSH exhibits the best quality of the reconstructed image. The uniformity and the phase error of the reference light are also discussed. We found in most cases there is no significant difference between the reconstructed images in two- and three-exposure QPSH, and the quality of the reconstructed images is acceptable for visual applications such as the acquisition of three-dimensional scene for display or particle tracking.
© 2011 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 18, 2010
Revised Manuscript: February 26, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: March 16, 2011
Published: May 27, 2011
Jung-Ping Liu, Ting-Chung Poon, Gui-Syu Jhou, and Po-Jung Chen, "Comparison of two-, three-, and four-exposure quadrature phase-shifting holography," Appl. Opt. 50, 2443-2450 (2011)