The use of soft-copy displays to simulate printing devices is a common practice in the color imaging community. CRT and LCD displays can be used as a means of proofing hardcopy prints, and can also be used as tools for the development and evaluation of future imaging systems. Desktop display devices are typically of a much lower resolution than most printers, which can make it difficult to evaluate the spatial structure of prints such as the perceptibility of half-tone dots or graininess. To evaluate these spatial properties one common practice is to use a larger soft-copy display viewed further away. A psychophysical study was performed to determine the influence of this increase in viewing distance on perceived spatial frequency and contrast. Observers were asked to match the appearance of band-passed noise patterns between two displays viewed at different distances by adjusting spatial frequency and contrast. The results indicate that observers perceive a higher spatial frequency in the far image as a match the appearance of the closer image. Therefore, when a near and far object have identical spatial frequencies, the far image is perceived at a lower spatial frequency. This suggests that the overall visibility of spatial structure cannot be modeled by simple retinal frequencies.
Garrett M. Johnson, Ethan D. Montag, "Size Matters: The Influence of Viewing Distance on Perceived Spatial Frequency and Contrast" in Proc. IS&T 13th Color and Imaging Conf., 2005, pp 339 - 343, https://doi.org/10.2352/CIC.2005.13.1.art00065