There are many applications in biology and metrology where it is important to be able to measure both the amplitude and phase of an optical wave field. There are several different techniques for making this type of measurement, including digital holography and phase retrieval methods. In this paper we propose an analytical generalization of this two-step phase-shifting algorithm. We investigate how to reconstruct the object signal if both reference waves are different in phase and amplitude. The resulting equations produce two different solutions and hence an ambiguity remains as to the correct solution. Because of the complexity of the generalized analytical expressions we propose a graphical-vectorial method for solution of this ambiguity problem. Combining our graphical method with a constraint on the amplitude of the object field we can unambiguously determine the correct result. The results of the simulation are presented and discussed.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
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