An approach is proposed for removing the wave front curvature introduced by the microscope imaging objective in digital holography, which otherwise hinders the phase contrast imaging at reconstruction planes. The unwanted curvature is compensated by evaluating a correcting wave front at the hologram plane with no need for knowledge of the optical parameters, focal length of the imaging lens, or distances in the setup. Most importantly it is shown that a correction effect can be obtained at all reconstruction planes. Three different methods have been applied to evaluate the correction wave front and the methods are discussed in detail. The proposed approach is demonstrated by applying digital holography as a method of coherent microscopy for imaging amplitude and phase contrast of microstructures.
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