We develop a comprehensive procedure for characterizing the modulation transfer function (MTF) of a digital printer. Especially designed test pages consisting of a series of patches, each with a different one-dimensional (1D) sinusoidal modulation, enable measurement of the dependence of the MTF on spatial frequency, bias point, modulation amplitude, spatial direction of modulation, and direction of modulation in the color space. Constant tone patches also yield the extreme and center color values for the input modulation. After calibrating the scanner specifically for the direction of modulation in the color space, we spatially project the scanned test patches in the direction orthogonal to the modulation to obtain a 1D signal, and then project these sample points onto a line in the CIE L*a*b* color space between the extreme color values to obtain a perceptually relevant measure of the frequency response in a specific color direction. Appropriate normalization of the frequency response followed by compensation for the scanner MTF completes the procedure. For a specific inkjet printer using a dispersed-dot halftoning algorithm, we examine the impact of the above-mentioned parameters on the printer MTF, and obtain results that are consistent with the expected behavior of this combination of print mechanism and halftoning algorithm.
Woonyoung Jang, Jan Allebach, "Characterization of Printer MTF" in Journal of Imaging Science and Technology, 2006, pp 264 - 275, https://doi.org/10.2352/J.ImagingSci.Technol.(2006)50:3(264)