The contrast sensitivity of the human eye for sinusoidal illuminance changes was measured as a function of spatial frequency, for monochromatic light with wavelengths of 450, 525, and 650 nm. At each wavelength, data were obtained for a number of illuminance levels. All observations were taken at equal accommodation, and corrected for chromatic aberration. If the wavelength-dependent effects of diffraction on the modulation transfer are taken into account, no difference is found between the photopic contrast-sensitivity functions for red, green, or blue. For mean retinal illuminances <i>B</i><sub>0</sub> smaller than 300 td, threshold modulation <i>M</i> at a given frequency is found to increase in proportion to <i>B</i><sub>0</sub><sup>-½</sup> (de Vries—Rose law). For <i>B</i><sub>0</sub> greater than 300 td <i>M</i> remains a constant fraction of it (Weber—Fechner law). After separation of the optical modulation transfer of the eye media from the measured psychophysical data, the remaining function can be considered as composed of a neural and a light-diffusion transfer function. The latter can be compared with the analytic transfer function of photographic film.
FLORIS L. VAN NES and MAARTEN A. BOUMAN, "Spatial Modulation Transfer in the Human Eye," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 57, 401-406 (1967)