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Photonics Dictionary

modulation transfer function (MTF)

Also called sine wave response and contrast transfer function.The modulation transfer function is the ratio of the modulation in the image to the modulation in the object as a function of frequency (cycles per unit length) of the sinusoidal wave pattern that describes both the object and image. A plot of the MTF against frequency is an almost universal measure of the performance of an image-forming optical system as it provides a measurement of the ability of an optical system to reproduce various levels of detail from the object to image as shown by the degree of contrast (modulation) in the image.
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