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COLOR 4-27

curve or a table of transmittance values at specified wavelength intervals


(usually 0.02 micron).
Figure 4-15 shows spectral reflectance and transmittance curves obtained
with a spectrophotometer
for a number of different samples of common
materials.
Colorimetry
Color and the color properties of objects may be measured in many ways,
all of which involve, either directly or indirect^, visual comparisons of a
sample with optical combinations of measured quantities of several (usually
three) fixed or physically specifiable qualities of light.
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Direct colorimetry is simpler than indirect but is subject to errors and
uncertainties arising from the nonuniform spectral sensitivity of any ob-
server and individual differences of considerable and variable magnitude
between observers. In some applications, such as product inspection and
quality control, direct visual comparison is preferable because of the flexi-
bility and simplicity of the procedure.
Indirect colorimetry utilizes spectral distribution data for sources, spectro-
photometric data for surfaces, and standard colorimetric data representa-
tive of a normal observer. Standards and tolerances for inspection and
control are best established and maintained by spectrophotometry and
indirect color measurement. Only by this method can long-term changes
resulting from fading, drift, loss, or destruction of the standard, be avoided.
Color mixture. Both direct and indirect methods of color measurement
are based on the fact that a color match can be established between optical
mixtures of any sample color and variable amounts of three standard colors.
In some cases, one of the standard components must be combined optically
with the sample light in order to match some combination of the other two
standards and the amount of the standard mixed with the sample is then
recorded as a negative quantity. In rare instances, two of the standards
need to be mixed optically with the sample light in order to match the third
standard and the amounts of the two standards mixed with the sample are
both recorded as negative quantities. Curve a in Fig. 4-164 shows the
number of lumens (spectrally pure red primary, wavelength 0.65 micron)
required to establish a match with one watt of spectrally pure energy at
each indicated wavelength, when two other spectrally pure components,
wavelengths 0.538 micron and 0.425 micron, are used (in the proportions indi-
cated in curves b and c) as the other primaries. Curve b in Fig. 4-164.
indicates the number of lumens of the yellowish green primary (0.538 micron)
required for these color matches. Curve c in Fig. 4-164. indicates the
required number of lumens of the bluish purple primary (0.425 micron).
Photoelectric colorimeters are frequently described, but since no photo-
electric cells, nor any photocell-filter combinations, have yet been de-
veloped with the color response of the human eye, none are entirely satis-
factory. A few have been built that approach the desired accuracy
including the instruments built and used by Barnes,
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and the Hunter
instrument
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widely used in the paint industry.