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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 39, Iss. 11 — Nov. 1, 1949
  • pp: 924–926

Subtractive Color Reproduction. The Approximate Reproduction of Selected Colors

W. L. BREWER, W. T. HANSON, JR., and C. A. HORTON  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 39, Issue 11, pp. 924-926 (1949)

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Proper use of masking in subtractive color photography is dependent upon a means of establishing the color reproduction equations which give the values of the mask gammas. Yule has shown that such equations can be obtained from an extension of the principles of duplicating, while MacAdam has done so by treating the subtractive system in terms of an equivalent additive system. Marriage has demonstrated that a specification of the requirements necessary for the exact reproduction of any four selected colors can be used to derive a unique set of equations. In the present paper, it is shown that Marriage’s method can be extended to include colors in any number greater than four, provided “approximate reproduction” rather than “exact reproduction” is taken as the criterion. The resulting equations will depend upon the manner in which the criterion of approximate reproduction is applied, as well as upon the particular selection of colors to be reproduced. While these aspects of the problem have not been investigated, results have been obtained which appear to be reasonable. The method may be applied to any assumed types of sensitivity distributions and forms of color reproduction equations.

W. L. BREWER, W. T. HANSON, JR., and C. A. HORTON, "Subtractive Color Reproduction. The Approximate Reproduction of Selected Colors," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 39, 924-926 (1949)

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  1. E. Albert, German Patent 101, 379 (1899); German Patent 116, 538 (1900).
  2. J. A. C. Yule, "Theory of subtractive color photography. I. The conditions for perfect color rendering," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 28, 419–430 (1938).
  3. D. L. MacAdam, "Subtractive color mixture and color reproduction," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 28, 466–480 (1938).
  4. A. Marriage, "Subtractive colour reproduction," Phot. J. 88B, 75–78 (1948).
  5. The equivalent neutral density of a given amount of one of the colorants in a subtractive three-color set is the common logarithm of the reciprocal of the luminous transmittance of the neutral combination which can be formed by combining the colorant with just sufficient concentrations of the other two colorants. If the neutral formed by the three colorants is spectrally selective, which is usually the case, the equivalent neutral density may vary with a change in the viewing illuminant. Thus, the definition of the equivalent neutral density of a given amount of a. given colorant is a function of the other colorants in the set and of the illuminant, but once these conditions are established, the equivalent neutral density is a function only of the amount of the given colorant.
  6. The sensitivity distributions and dye characteristics used in tlese calculations are lot lose used by Marriage but are those described in the following section.
  7. M. Merriman, A Texibook on the Method of Least Squares (John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 1913).

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