2.11Modulation Transfer Function: Understanding Lens Resolution

OK, bear with me… this is actually much deeper, technically, than I normally venture in this column, but it’s an important topic to understand.

This month, I’m going to talk about modulation transfer function. It’s a fun mouthful of words; try it—modulation transfer function. You can almost hear Marvin the Martian asking, “Where is my elunium pu36 modulation transfer function?”


OK, maybe that’s just me…

Modulation transfer function (MTF) is a methodology for measuring the resolving power of a lens, or an entire imaging system for that matter.

The Basics of Mtf

Let’s break it down:

  • What are we modulating?
  • What are we transferring?

No lens is 100% perfect. In fact, it’s physically ...

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