We analyze the sources of error in specifying color in CRT displays. Theseinclude errors inherent in the use of the color matching functions of theCIE 1931 standard observer when only colorimetric, not radiometric, calibrationsare available. We provide transformation coefficients that prove to correctthe deficiencies of this observer very well. We consider four different candidatesets of cone sensitivities. Some of these differ substantially; variationamong candidate cone sensitivities exceeds the variation among phosphors.Finally, the effects of the recognized forms of observer variation on thevisual responses (cone excitations or cone contrasts) generated by CRT stimuliare investigated and quantitatively specified. Cone pigment polymorphism givesrise to variation of a few per cent in relative excitation by the differentphosphors—a variation larger than the errors ensuing from the adoptionof the CIE standard observer, though smaller than the differences betweensome candidate cone sensitivities. Macular pigmentation has a larger influence,affecting mainly responses to the blue phosphor. The estimated combined effectof all sources of observer variation is comparable in magnitude with the largestdifferences between competing cone sensitivity estimates but is not enoughto disrupt very seriously the relation between the L and M cone weights andthe isoluminance settings of individual observers. It is also comparable withtypical instrumental colorimetric errors, but we discuss these only briefly.
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